If you were head of WWE creative, what are three realistic main events you would book for Wrestlemania 31?
First, I am extremely glad the tremendous burden of being head of WWE creative does not rest on my shoulders. It's not an easy job and I know I have been critical lately, however, I want to continue to reiterate issues are much easier worked out online behind a computer than actually writing TV each week. In terms of realistic Wrestlemania matches, there is so much uncertainly, it's extremely hard to pick three matches.
For example, the status of Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, Batista and The Rock is all in question. Bryan and Reigns are out with injuries, while Batista and Rock are movie stars. Even if we get into talent such as Undertaker and Sting, there are still issues. Would Undertaker want to work another match? How about WWE's ability to build and book Sting in just a few months?
I could easily sit here and write a past, present and future card featuring Undertaker vs. Sting, Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock and Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose but there are issues with every one of those matches. Many people want to see Lesnar drop the title to Reigns but once again, Reigns has to get healthy first. WWE expects him to be available by December but there are still steps that must precede his clearance.
In conclusion, armchair fantasy booking is just that. The biggest thing WWE needs to focus on is something that should have become a priority far sooner and that's turning more young talent into stars. I realize that too is easier said than done but they cannot continue to rely on the likes of Undertaker, Lesnar and other part-time workers to sell their biggest show of the year.
What does it mean for TNA if they are securing all these various TV deals in other countries except for the US? Worse case scenario, could they survive by being a US promotion and broadcasting via their international deals alone?
That's been brought up in various circles, however, I do not think it would work. Spike TV has paid TNA approximately $6,760,000 a year in TV rights fees (based on $65,000 per hour). Take that away from any promotion and there are going to have to be significant changes. I don't see how TNA will exist without a domestic TV deal but there seems to be some optimism lately. However, the domestic networks currently interested Impact aren't believed to be offering anything like what Spike has been paying.
Are workers in WWE pushed on crowd reactions, attitude backstage or something else?
Workers in WWE are pushed based on crowd reactions, their overall body of work and creative direction. In other words, a worker needs to be generating a reaction from the crowd, have decent work in the ring and on the mic and have the backing of creative in order to be featured in a storyline. Unlike professional sports, wrestling is not objective. That means the best worker isn't guaranteed a push. Some people pushed back on my suggestion WWE should scrap Rusev's gimmick with the defense he's a good wrestler. There have been a lot of good wrestlers that haven't made it in WWE. There are many factors that go into a worker getting pushed, none less important than the vision of Vince McMahon himself.
Could Daniel Bryan win next year's Royal Rumble to return to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture?
Anything is possible but Daniel Bryan has to get healthy first. Since Bryan is not healthy, it's nothing more than speculation. Once he does return I believe it's only reasonable that he go right back to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture because he never actually lost the title. While many want to see Roman Reigns be the worker to beat Brock Lesnar, what about Daniel Bryan? There would be a lot of money in a Bryan vs. Brock program -- the ultimate underdog vs. the ultimate monster -- but once again, nothing can be done until Bryan is healthy.
Is David Otunga still under WWE contract?
As far as I know, David Otunga is still under WWE contract. The last story we ran on him was the feature he did with Celebrity Auction Doctors. It was there he seemed to speak of his time in WWE in past tense.
From the Ask WNW vault…
September 2012: What does it mean when it’s written Vince McMahon is standing in Gorilla? - Gorilla is the term used for the position just before the entrance curtain at WWE TVs and PPVs where Vince McMahon remains with a headset and runs the show. The name comes from the late Gorilla Monsoon who stood in the position late in his career.
Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, October 6,2014.