WWE No Longer Releasing Talent, Sheamus' Return, HHH The Unified Champ?, Fandango's Future, What We Run & What We Ignore

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
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Triple H

With Triple H's "don't fire anybody" edict, do the workers waiting out their contract get paid to do absolutely nothing? Or are they still called on to work live shows and do they still need to at least show up to Raw and Smackdown? If not, how does this benefit WWE?

This is something flying completely under the radar but something we've been on top of since its implementation (See also - Triple H Calls For Major Change In Philosophy With How WWE Handles Releases, The New Edict That Will Shock You; Two WWE Stars That Are Ready To Return But Have No Return Plans & Why They Might Be On Their Way Out Of The Company). Right now there is a list of inactive workers in WWE that have medical clearance but simply aren't being used. The latest to draw a lot of attention is Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde, the original Sin Cara, that was quietly replaced on last week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Triple H's thinking is they are high profile company and a job creator. If they're successful, how do they look when they publicly acknowledge releases? As stated, the edict does not apply to developmental talent as WWE doesn't have to acknowledge those releases. To answer your question, a worker continues to collect their downside until their contract expires, essentially being paid to do nothing.

Is it looking more like Sheamus will return to WWE as a surprise entrant in next year's 30-man Royal Rumble match?

It's possible that Sheamus returns to WWE in the Royal Rumble match but I haven't heard that as of press time. I'm told both Vince McMahon and Triple H are highly anticipating the return of Sheamus and have plans to insert him back into the top of the card. When he suffered the initial injury, a torn labrum at Money in the Bank, estimates had him out anywhere from December (this month) until February.

Triple H said in a kayfabe dot com interview that guaranteed one champion walking out of WWE TLC. Do you see a swerve and Hunter himself winning the belt?

Ask WNW readers pick up on everything and this is a great point and a feasible scenario. I'm on record as to writing a screwy finish seems to be inevitable in the booking of John Cena vs. Randy Orton at WWE TLC. Multiple finishes have been discussed but I am not aware of one that has Hunter walking out as champion. There has been nothing in the booking of the WWE title with The Authority over the past several months to suggest there will be a clean outcome.

In what direction do you see Fandango moving in the next year: forward, backwards or stagnant? Vince McMahon obviously saw a lot of potential in him initially but he's been insignificant lately. In retrospect, do you think it was a mistake having him go over Chris Jericho at last year's Wrestlemania?

Fandango is a midcard gimmick, nothing more and nothing less. He's 0-4 in his last 4 televised singles matches and worked the weekend live event loop going under to The Great Khali (where he also competed in a mixed tag match). I don't see him as someone that is going to emerge on the main event scene but I don't see immediate regression either. I wouldn't say Fandango over Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania 29 was a mistake because it at least gave WWE the opportunity to push him. Fandango's music and gimmick got him over in a big way following the pay-per-view and WWE did a good job of taking full advantage of the opportunity. Not everyone can work in the main event but that doesn't mean they are useless either.

Every creative plan in the WWE has to be approved by Vince McMahon. Does everything published on WNW or its sister sites have to be approved by you before making it to the world wide web?

Every story that I run involves a judgment call on my behalf. I actually got heat from one reader when they learned there is information that I receive that I do not publish. It's essential for me to sort out what needs to make it to press from what I need to wait on or just ignore completely. I do this for the credibility of the website. The majority of publications will run anything by anyone and will do zero "leg work" to find out if what they are posting is actually true. It's funny because we get emails about "developing stories" all the time and they go something like this. TNA Wrestling is for sale. Billy Corgan is buying TNA Wrestling. Janice Carter says TNA isn't for sale. Rumor killer on Billy Corgan buying TNA. It's ridiculous how reckless the reporting was on that story. One sweeping statement, fueled by conjecture and unfounded Tweets, turned into something it wasn't. Does that mean we never make mistakes? Absolutely not, I'm only human. However, I would never run a story of that magnitude without double-sourcing the information. Some readers might have wondered why we didn't have the story when it was everywhere else but I refused to post something until I knew what was true and what wasn't. As for blogs and opinions and stuff you might find at WWENews.net or TNANews.com, I leave that completely up to Kendra Bunyon and Alex Barie respectively.

From the Ask WNW vault…

December 2010:When is Batista coming back to WWE? - While the word was Batista would return to WWE for a "retirement tour" after some time away, that isn't looking as likely as he pursues a deal with the Strikeforce MMA promotion. If he hits a snag in his MMA plans, a return to WWE certainly has not been ruled out. WWE would welcome Batista back with open arms at any time as company officials claim they were surprised by his sudden retirement despite the fact we reported he was leaving for months.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.

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