Reigns Isn't Batista, Lesnar Should Retain, Kong Back w/TNA, WWE Hates Success?

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.
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Do you see Roman Reigns as this year’s Batista if he wins the Royal Rumble and goes on to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? And by Batista I of course mean causing the crowd to turn on the show and have disinterest in the title match at Wrestlemania?

As I explained on Wednesday, I believe the optimal story is one where Daniel Bryan wins the Royal Rumble and takes back the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Brock Lesnar.

I will not back off that, however, we’re told Vince McMahon and Triple H are in agreement on Reigns winning the Royal Rumble. Based on materials WWE has already published, there is a plan for Reigns to face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31 and I would imagine that is for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

It looks like the decision has been made, so I believe fans should prepare for the inevitable and be surprised with a swerve. Roman Reigns winning the Royal Rumble and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 31 is not the worst thing that could happen. In fact, I would have favored this scenario if Brock had been a “fighting champion” and Bryan had not been cleared to come back.

What happened with Batista last year was the “perfect storm” and the blame needs to rest solely on WWE officials. They let Batista’s return leak, they insisted on pushing him as a babyface, they kept Daniel Bryan out of the Royal Rumble. Batista was victimized by hot shot booking without a long-term plan.

Reigns has the potential to be a top guy for years to come. I believe Daniel Bryan is the safer bet but I’m not going to destroy any scenario where an up and coming worker gets the rub from Brock Lesnar (which of course is a big deal only because of The Undertaker, not because of a credible WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign).

Why did WWE not do everything they could to get Awesome Kong back?

WWE wasn’t interested in bringing Awesome Kong back, so she is back with TNA Wrestling. It’s a new day for Divas in WWE and the division is centered around the reality TV aspect of Total Divas. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, just don’t expect athletic pro wrestling matches with the female talent. That’s never been the case in WWE, with their males or females.

I agree with people like Vince Russo in that the mainstream fanbase couldn’t care less about whether or not someone can work but that doesn’t mean looks and storyline alone can save a gimmick. If so, a worker like The Great Khali would be one of the greatest world champions of all time. Hulk Hogan was more known for his look and charisma but he was adequate enough in the ring to carry a match.

I agree with your analysis that Daniel Bryan vs. Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is the way to go. But if creative is set on having Lesnar take on Roman Reigns, how would you feel about a scenario where Seth Rollins, as champion, faces Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania?

This is going to surprise some people but I don’t think WWE should take the title off Brock Lesnar before Wrestlemania at this point. They had the chance to do it at Night of Champions and give Seth Rollins the rub and they didn’t take it. Now, I think we’re too close to the payoff that’s been in the works since The Undertaker’s streak was ended.

It will be interesting to see how WWE handles Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania but it’s a good situation to be in, considering both have so much potential as up and coming talent.

With The Ascension calling out past tag teams, could you see this being a great opportunity to bring back the Hardy Boys or the DudleyBoys (Team 3D)? Both are available very soon if not already and both linked with WWE again.

If there is a chance WWE brings back Bully Ray, they have to give him a singles run. To not would be to completely miss the boat. A lot of people have wondered what will happen with Paul Heyman when/if Brock Lesnar departs, could you imagine him bringing in Bully Ray? Don’t get your hopes up as that’s me going off on a tangent but if Bully Ray comes back to WWE, it has to be in singles. I can't stress that enough!

As for the Hardys, they’re with TNA Wrestling. While I fully expect Jeff to mull a return to WWE at some point, he’s under contract and TNA sees him as one of their top names on their Destination America reset. Knowing how he is viewed in TNA and the fact he’s under contract, there really isn’t much of a point in hypothetically booking him in WWE.

Regarding The Ascension, WWE better do something quick. It’s unfathomable (second time this week I’ve used this word) how WWE can take a very successful gimmick from NXT and give them what we’ve seen so far on main roster programming. It’s almost like they aren’t even trying! At one time, The Ascension as a faction was the hottest thing in NXT. While it’s not what it once was, WWE has not put them in a position to succeed.

From the Ask WNW vault…

May 2013: How much longer is Chris Jericho expected to stay with WWE? - Chris Jericho’s new deal with WWE is very flexible. It allows for the company to utilize him when he’s available. Jericho has said he sees himself being involved with the company as long as he still has something to offer. I can’t say enough about Jericho and his desire to put the business before himself. He’s a rarity in this business and there aren’t very many like him.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, January 9, 2015.

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