This week’s episode of Raw was one of the best in a while. I liked how The Authority storyline continued throughout the night and felt every segment featuring them was well done. I’m actually looking forward to Survivor Series now. What are your thoughts?
I agree this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw was stronger than the show has been in the past few months. In fact, I think a very reasonable argument can be made it was the best Raw since SummerSlam (although I realize that’s not saying a whole lot considering the current creative slump). They also did this without John Cena, which is even more impressive. The best thing to come out of this week’s show is the fact that Seth Rollins is a legitimate top heel and Randy Orton has been completely rejuvenated (even though he was written off in the process). There was a lot of good wrestling, too. Kendra and Seth graded the matches in this week’s Raw is Blogged but I’ll also comment on the good work of Dean Ambrose/Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler/Seth Rollins, Kidd/Sheamus (save the improper count) and Orton/Rollins. I’m also optimistic about the Ryback restart and thought the return of Vince McMahon made for compelling television.
With that being said, I still feel the show could have been contracted down to two hours. There’s just so much filler with three hours that it waters the show down. Add in the Sheamus vs. Rusev “bonus match” that aired on WWE Network and it’s A LOT OF WRESTLING. I believe viewership told that story as well. There was a 160,000 audience jump from hour one to hour two but fatigue set in and 328,000 tuned out for the third and final hour. I was on The Mark Moses Show on Wednesday and I was asked about Raw being too long. I explained it this way. Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. I believe it’s a case of the extra money from the USA Network testing Vince McMahon’s judgment. While they’re making more money, they’re watering down their product and burning out the audience and writers in the process.
Because Impact has been taped so far in advance, what do workers do until the next set of tapings?
TNA Wrestling’s final show of 2014 was Bound For Glory last month. They ordinarily do not tape so much material so far in advance, however, their uncertain future on domestic TV has left them with no more tapings this year and no more live events until it’s worked out. Basically, they don’t want to spend any money until they know what their future is in the United States. As for reaction from talent, I’m told many inquired about getting out of their TNA contracts because the way their agreements are structured, when they don’t work, they don’t get paid. That’s what gets lost in all of this. It’s easy to deeply criticize TNA. I mean we can question Dixie Carter or Bob Ryder or whoever else but the fact of the matter is it’s the talent and employees that get the short end of the stick. Their livelihood is at stake and I’ll argue it’s by no fault of their own. Mistakes from upper management, investors and executives that have failed to grow the company have put the livelihoods of all their talent and employees at stake. That’s the tragedy and that’s why I’m rooting for TNA Wrestling to continue operations.
When will Roman Reigns be back?
Roman Reigns is currently scheduled to return to WWE before the end of 2014. I actually laid out his advertised dates last week here in Ask WNW. WWE will hope the time off leaves him rejuvenated — not only physically - but with the fans as well.
What do you think of the recent rumor that Vince McMahon will be represented by The Rock and The Authority will be represented by Triple H at Wrestlemania 31 for a match between Rock and Triple H?
I think we need to pump the brakes on it and understand there were plans last year for a program between Vince McMahon and Triple H for “control of WWE” that never came to fruition. With Vince returning to television and announcing the stipulation to Team Cena vs. Team Authority [at Survivor Series], there are plenty of questions about whether or not the faction will exist following the pay-per-view later this month. We have the latest Survivor Series buzz at this link but the note to make is Survivor Series is up next. Let’s hold off on booking Wrestlemania 31 until the time gets closer. Right now, we can’t even confirm The Rock for the show so it’s premature to speculate right now.
From the Ask WNW vault…
Updated note from Richard: I’m running a Shane McMahon vault question today to tie-in with The Authority question, I just want to make note that Shane is now Chairman of the Board at You On Demand. Their CEO as of November 6, 2014 is Weicheng Liu.
January 2013: Do you see Shane McMahon returning to WWE? - Shane McMahon has found success outside of WWE as he is the Chief Executive Officer of You On Demand. The company is publicly traded and you can find out more information here on Google Finance. As for Shane returning to WWE, anything is possible, but I don’t really see it happening. Vince McMahon is grooming Triple H as his successor where he, along with Stephanie, will run the company. Shane admitted that his decision to leave WWE strained his relationship with his father but I admire him for having the courage to do it.
The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, November 7, 2014.