TNA's Former World Champion, Bischoff's Status, Paul Heyman's Role In WWE, New Direction For Kane

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
David Arquette

What are your thoughts on Adam "Pac Man" Jones returning to TNA Wrestling?

Remember the campaigns that TNA Wrestling used to deliver Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (the "big free agent signing") and Tito Ortiz (#August1Warning cryptic videos) earlier this year? I was in the minority in defending both moves because I felt they had more "star power" than another WWE retread, however, the moves fell flat and were the beginning of what has been a brutal year for TNA. Dixie Carter advertising a "former World Champion" and delivering Adam "Pacman" Jones is a very questionable move. I will give her credit for "revealing him" before it happened Thursday night at TVs but moves like this cause fans to not take Dixie seriously. Jones isn't even relevant in NFL circles, much less pro wrestling circles. The pro wrestling business is all about hype. It's about who can generate buzz around their product. However, when you start to create buzz and hype about a former "World Champion," you set unattainable expectations. Many set their hearts on people that have less than a 1% chance of coming in like Dave Batista or Bill Goldberg. And this is why I hate the "major free agent" and "former world champion" promotional lines.

No matter who the company delivers, most fans are going to be disappointed. Because outside of a select few names, there aren't many that can answer the hype. Especially in TNA's case that has already employed the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Sting. When you've had some of the biggest names in the business, the bar is raised accordingly. TNA got destroyed for bringing in Jackson and Ortiz and haven't learned from their past mistakes. If they wanted to use Jones because they're in Cincinnati (he plays for the Bengals), then I'm fine with that. Those type of tie-ins are more than acceptable and can be very effective if utilized properly. However, to advertise a former "World Champion" and deliver Jones is like WCW putting David Arquette over for the World Heavyweight Championship. It makes no sense and undermines the business all for cheap mainstream publicity.

For the sake of the business and the fact I want TNA to succeed, let's hope they swerve. If not, I'm afraid Dixie Carter is going to have a lot of upset fans to address after the show airs. Regardless, make plans to join our "Open Thread" Watch Party Thursday night beginning at 8:30 PM EST so we can watch together.

Now I know Hulk Hogan is gone from TNA, but recently you mentioned Eric Bischoff was gone as well. Is Eric Bischoff really gone from TNA and how come that wasn't mentioned until recently?

The questions surrounding Eric Bischoff's status starting popping up when he wasn't backstage at Bound for Glory last month. After all, his official title is "Executive Producer" so it's pretty important that he is at the shows he is executive producing. Talent were later told when it was announced that Impact would be returning to Orlando that Bischoff would be working "from home" moving forward. Again, Bischoff's job as Executive Producer isn't exactly a job that can be done "from home." While not officially announced, the word going around backstage is TNA is paying him the remainder of his contract while keeping him away from the product.

Does Paul Heyman have any creative duties backstage or is he just an on-screen character?

Paul Heyman was originally brought back exclusively as an on-screen mouthpiece for Brock Lesnar. He wasn't part of the Lesnar deal, he was added afterwards because the thinking was he could be used in situations where they did not want to burn through one of Lesnar's limited appearances. Heyman got his foot in the door and landed an expanded role as he's currently on the overseas tour… where he's advertised to wrestle. There are few people that understand the business the way Paul Heyman understands it and because of that, there will always be opportunities for him. As for your question about creative duties, Heyman has no formal title other than on-screen talent. However, I'm aware of multiple situations where his input has been sought in the direction of storylines.

Am I the only one that is confused with Kane, He's gone from the "Big Red Monster" and now he's in a suit?

Kane was named the new “Director of Operations” in this week's kayfabe Tripe H interview. This is a way of aligning him with the corporation faction and turning him heel. Taking the mask off him is seen as something that's part of his role in the forthcoming "See No Evil" sequel. If the sudden change of plans caught you off-guard, you aren't alone. The plans for Kane changed significantly over the last week as initial plans had him aligning with Vince McMahon.

From the Ask WNW vault…

July 2011: Was WWE Money in the Bank the best pay-per-view of the year? - Sunday's WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view was the best show of 2011. From the way it was booked, to the ultra hot crowd, to the surprising CM Punk title win - the show was very entertaining. We saw title changes, surprising finishes and stuff that made logical sense and had everyone guessing what was a shoot and what was a work. There isn't much more you can ask for in a pro wrestling pay-per-view and I feel I got my money's worth. The biggest disappointment to me was a weak WWE Raw following a stellar pay-per-view. As one of my sources pointed out, this is what happens when you leave your creative team in the dark.

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