A friend of mine, who is also a long term wrestling fan, made an interesting point about how the WWE World Heavyweight Championship isn't being routinely defended. Back in the 80s the title would only be defended once every few months and it definitely kept the excitement alive. Fast forward through the 90s and 00s and everyone essentially has held the belt, some upwards of 15 times. The title is clearly cheapened beyond repair, so therefore isn't it better to not see it for a long time in order to build the value back up? Perhaps it is better to have Brock Lesnar be this part time champion for the greater long term viability? Any thoughts?
Your friend isn't the first to make this point; in fact, I've had several people counter my arguments regarding Brock Lesnar [as part-time champion] with the same point. The problem is it's 2014, not 1984. So much has changed with business in large part due to the amount of content each week. Without considering Total Divas or pay-per-views, WWE has 8 hours of new programming each week (Raw, Main Event, Superstars, NXT & Smackdown). Throw in the fact there is now a 24/7 365 live streaming Network and the WWE fan is overloaded with content. One can literally watch nothing but WWE (without considering TNA, ROH or any other promotion) all the time. I agree WWE has gotten overzealous in the frequency they change their titles in recent years, however, there is so much content it's very easy to completely forget about the World Heavyweight Champion when they miss a few weeks of television. So to answer your question or give you my thoughts, there's too much content and too much visibility to only see the WWE World Heavyweight Champion every couple of months.
WWE always claims that magic happens when they are at Madison Square Garden. Why don't they ever do Monday Night Raw or PPVs there?
WWE runs live events over television tapings and/or pay-per-views at Madison Square Garden because it's expensive. Jim Ross recently wrote on his blog that when he was with WWE they would sellout Madison Square Garden for Raw and still lose money. I don't know the difference in taxes/fees from running at Madison Square Garden from the Barclays Center, however, I know that's the reason for not doing more TVs or PPVs at the former.
Were you surprised at the release of Justin Roberts?
Yes, I like everyone else was shocked to hear that Justin Roberts was released from WWE. I put my best contacts on the story and have been assured his release had to do with WWE trying to get him to take a pay cut and him being reluctant. He was well-liked and there wasn't a scandal or any backstage heat that resulted in his release. I thought Roberts was great in the role and will miss his voice.
Is Kurt Angle finally coming back home to WWE?
We ran a detailed update on Kurt Angle earlier this week in our Backstage News section. It was there I explained that Angle's contract with TNA Wrestling expired on September 21, 2014 and he remains a free agent. TNA was believed to be in the lead to re-sign him, however, they aren't offering contracts until their TV is sorted. Angle has had varying degrees of interest from WWE over the course of the past couple of months. Just when I was ready to put it to bed and that Angle wasn't returning to WWE, it appears there is interest once again. I'm told if Angle would reach an agreement with WWE it would be on a part-time basis involving limited dates. However, TNA still has a decent shot to re-sign him as well. If I had to break it down I would say there is a 75% chance he re-signs with TNA, a 20% chance he ends up back in WWE and a 5% chance he ends up somewhere else.
With some of the negative feedback from this year's Bound For Glory, do you see it negatively impacting TNA's negotiations for a new domestic TV deal?
This year's Bound For Glory was a low point for TNA. I know attendance was good and it was passed off as a big international event, however, there was very little interest in TNA's key markets. In fact, I highlighted the social media activity of TNA President Dixie Carter during the event and concluded it was sad. She was trying to pass it off as a big event and it came across as the President of a company sitting in a room watching the show by herself.
As for TNA's domestic TV negotiations, there has been optimism surrounding a new deal lately, however, the new deal does not appear to be with Spike TV. I've stated on numerous occasions the first part in stabilizing the company is to sign a new domestic TV deal. Once that is complete, the company can address other issues and can decide how they move forward. Make no mistake about it however, without Spike TV, TNA will be forced to scale back from what we're used to seeing from them.
From the Ask WNW vault…
July 2008: How did Ask WNW come about and what made you start this? - I started Ask WNW in June 2007 because we got so many questions sent to us about wrestling I thought that it would be a good idea to start answering questions on the site. Also I am always looking to add features that make us different since so many websites rip off every piece of content that we put out. Ask WNW is a Monday-Friday ritual for me and I actually enjoy doing it.
Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, October 20, 2014.