Reconciling The Screwjob, Alex Riley's Transition, Unmasking Kane, Daniel Bryan's Exaggerated Demise

The following is today's edition of Ask WNW. Ask WNW is the most popular feature on the website where Richard Gray answers four questions daily, Monday through Friday. To submit your question for the next installment of Ask WNW, click here
Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels

As we approach Survivor Series I'm sure I'm not the only one recalling the Montreal Screwjob at the show in 1997. How legitimate was the reunion in 2010, was that really the first time they've been face-to-face since?

The reunion between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels on Monday Night Raw on January 4, 2010 was by all accounts a genuine reconciliation between the two and not part of a WWE storyline. Ironically enough, at the same time Hart and Michaels were in a WWE ring together for the first time in 12 years, Hulk Hogan was making his debut in TNA Wrestling. I was extremely happy for both Bret and Shawn as they were able to put Montreal behind them and create a truly historic moment on Raw. I will criticize WWE's use of Hart thereafter as I feel they overexposed him, which is something they have a bad habit of doing with talent that is unable to wrestle.

Why is Alex Riley commentating and not wrestling? What happened?

WWE officials were really high up on Alex Riley's look, personality and ability to get over but the knock on him was his in-ring work left a lot of be desired. I was surprised at how much the fans got behind him in storylines but let's be honest, he was very sloppy in the ring. WWE made the decision to transition him to announce. I don't know the exact reason why, however, I'm not opposed to the move. A lot of people that work commentary are wrestlers doing commentary. Jerry Lawler still maintains he's a wrestler that does commentary, not a commentator that occasionally wrestles. Matt Striker was a guy that made the transition. Byron Saxton is a guy in developmental that's made the transition. This is something that happens and it's a desirable position.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the direction that they've gone with the Kane character, as it truly took me by surprise. Looking at the big picture, I think that they have bypassed obvious logical storytelling and jumped straight to surprising logical storytelling recently. I wonder, though, if the new character was requested by Kane so he wouldn't be dressed as a monster when he finally runs for office as a Libertarian candidate. Your thoughts?

The decision to take the mask off Kane had to do with the upcoming sequel to "See No Evil," where Kane reprises the role of Jacob Goodnight, a character that does not wear a mask. I'm not aware of the move having anything to do with Kane's political aspirations and feel "the monster still lurks within." Kane's new character puts him right in the middle of WWE's top storyline so it's a good thing for his position in the company.

I don't get WWE's logic. They have the best wrestler in the world in Daniel Bryan, yet they think it was his fault that the PPV buy rates were down. How about not having Bryan-Orton several times in a row on PPV's. That is the real problem. To me Randy can't carry the WWE. There is no personality in him. I rather watch wet paint dry then watch an Orton match. Yet with Byran he has shown improvement with his mic work and his wrestling work in the ring elevates his opponents to make them look great.

It's funny that question three puts WWE over for their logic and question four blasts them for the lack of it. It's fair to say that both sides are getting represented in Ask WNW. Reports of Daniel Bryan's demise are greatly exaggerated. I don't know who writes this stuff or why they write this stuff but Daniel Bryan isn't being blamed for the SummerSlam debacle. Vince McMahon never mentioned Bryan in talking about the pay-per-view underperforming and instead blamed the fact fans didn't buy the attraction, which is a true statement (and one I heard directly from Vince's mouth). Sometimes people want to create a controversy that just isn't there. Bryan is as over as any babyface in WWE and is in a main event program with CM Punk to oppose The Wyatt Family. As long as Bryan is working in main event level programs, there's no reason to assume anything else. Everything I've heard about Vince's opinion of Bryan is he realizes he was wrong and is high up on him. I do not share your sentiment on Randy Orton as I feel he's a top guy and I'm glad to see him regain the trust of top management. It was time for Bryan to move on from the WWE title because it was creative that booked the program horribly as it never looked like Bryan had a legitimate chance to walk away champion. Let's hope the program with Big Show is different.

From the Ask WNW vault…

November 2011: Is CM Punk the biggest star in WWE besides The Rock? - CM Punk is finally established as a main event name but he’s still viewed behind John Cena and Randy Orton. I realize a lot of people are sick and tired of the Cena character but that’s still the way it is. The Rock is more popular than he’s ever been; the problem is he’s not back full-time.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, November 18, 2013. Remember questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. Check out the Ask WNW archive at this link.

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