What are your thoughts on the development of both Seth Rollins and Rusev?
I am thrilled someone asked this question because my main takeaway from this week’s Monday Night Raw (other than the fact that Jon Stewart has a job if he wants it) was the development of Seth Rollins and Rusev as top heels in WWE. Let’s just think about where they are working on the roster at the peak of Wrestlemania season. While WWE has made some huge blunders over the last year, they’ve really gotten it right with these two. I will happily admit I was wrong about the “stay-ability” of Rusev’s Russian/not-Russian gimmick and while my opinion of him changed in October, I’m “all in” now. I hope when Rusev emerges from this program with John Cena that he’ll go to another top program.
Seth Rollins, what else is there to say? We all saw the potential but I think he’s surprised everyone. Rollins is just on another level and has passed his other Shield members as the top guy from that faction. Considering the other two guys are Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns (who by the way, is headlining Wrestlemania), that’s pretty significant.
Now that Rey Mysterio is going to be interviewed during Wrestlemania weekend in a podcast, do you expect his interview to be similar to CM Punk's "tell-all" podcast back in November 2014?
Rey Mysterio has a lot to say and is going to have a great place to say it on March 26, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. CM Punk had Colt Cabana, Mysterio will have Konnan. I think what makes it even better is there will be a live Q&A that will take part as part podcast. I don’t know if it will be “tell-all” but given the fact Mysterio will be in a position where he can trust the interviewer, I am very interested.
Mysterio was officially introduced by AAA on Tuesday for their March 15, 2015 Rey de Reyes event in Guadalajara. He’ll also team with the original Sin Cara, Myzteziz and Alberto Del Rio at a show on May 23, 2015. Below is a photo:
I loved Paul Heyman’s promo on this week’s Raw. Do you think it was a little bit over the top for him to mention Andre the Giant being dead? I didn’t have a problem with Paul Heyman stating that Andre the Giant is dead. It wasn’t disrespectful or in poor taste, it was just the truth. Paul Heyman’s promos are outstanding and he hit one out of the park again on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. He’s a genius on the stick and one of the best talkers we have ever seen. I have no idea how WWE would be able to book Brock Lesnar if it weren’t for Heyman. That was another great promo but no, I didn’t think it was over-the-top. I haven’t heard but I would be surprised if he got heat for stating a fact in the middle of a heel promo. Three weeks until Wrestlemania 31 and no Brock Lesnar, no Sting or no Undertaker on Raw. While I’m all for giving up and comers more screen time, shouldn’t these guys at least be on TV when they have major matches on the books for the pay-per-view? Brock Lesnar was scheduled for Raw last week and got mad and left, he was never scheduled for this week in Newark. He is scheduled for next week’s show in Pittsburgh and we can only hope he shows up. I’ve written a lot about how problematic the infrequent appearances of the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion have been and my opinion has not changed. I understand the idea — wanting Brock to come off as a big deal by limiting his appearances - but I don’t think it’s worked. The same idea is behind limiting Sting’s exposure and not even bringing The Undertaker back (maybe not even until Wrestlemania itself). WWE still has three episodes of Raw before Wrestlemania 31 but I’ll agree with you. The names scheduled for top matches at Wrestlemania should at the very least be on Raw in the final weeks leading up to the show. I understand the thought process and rationale behind limiting them but there is too much content in 2015 to not have them participating in storylines. For years, I’ve defended WWE talent on part-time contracts but Brock Lesnar has ruined it for me. He was given the biggest rub of all time by ending The Undertaker’s streak at Wrestlemania yet I can make a solid argument that it doesn’t even matter if he works Wrestlemania 31 this year. I’m not blaming Brock either, I’m blaming Vince McMahon and the way they’ve booked him. From the Ask WNW vault…May 2013: Was there any reason why Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and Steve Austin left WWE after Wrestlemania XX? - All three had different circumstances. Brock Lesnar hated the WWE travel schedule and wanted to pursue a career in the NFL. He requested his release to do this. WWE granted his release on the condition he would sign a non-compete agreement that would prevent him from working for a competing organization before June 2010. Lesnar signed it and was granted his release after his match at Wrestlemania XX against Goldberg. When the NFL didn’t pan out, Lesnar went to Japan to wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling. This resulted in a legal battle with WWE due to the non-compete but it was later dismissed after a settlement. Goldberg wasn’t happy in WWE either and wanted out. He fulfilled his contractual obligations and was “fed up” with backstage politics and the way the company operated. Goldberg didn’t get along with Vince McMahon and stated publicly both he and Lesnar were in a hurry to get out of dodge. Steve Austin’s contract with WWE was coming up and they were negotiating behind-the-scenes. I don’t have specifics as to what went wrong but they broke down a month after Wrestlemania XX and he let the company. Goldberg accused WWE of not putting the focus on the Wrestlemania XX bout (with Austin as the special referee) given their impending departures. The New York City crowd was “smartened up” to the fact that Goldberg and Lesnar were leaving and crapped on the match. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. You can submit a question for the next installment of Ask WNW at this link. If you have problems with the form, you can send your question to AskWNW@wrestlingnewsworld.com. Have more questions? Check out the Ask WNW archive and Premium Mailbag!