WWE Reads WNW, Defending The Impact Zone, Cena's Return, Sandow Cash In, Where HBK Ranks

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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Impact Zone

Does WWE pay any attention to websites like yours? It would probably help them make certain decisions if they did.

WWE pays attention to WrestlingNewsWorld.com and we actually have a good relationship with their Public Relations department. The company used to have a reputation of "ignoring the dirt sheets," but the fact of the matter is it is 2013 and we're not going away. WWE doesn't look to this website for creative advice but they do monitor to see what information we are putting out. This is also why we are careful what we post in terms of storyline plans because WWE has and will change match outcomes based on what gets leaked onto the Internet.

What if TNA decided to tape Impact Wrestling at one city every month rather than returning to the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida?

We still do not have full details on the future of Impact Wrestling. The belief is the company will hold a set of Impact tapings from Universal Studios next month, however, I haven't heard what's going to happen beyond that. Everyone enjoys burying the Impact Zone but I flat out disagree. The Impact Zone at Universal Studios provides the company with a TV-friendly facility, a packed house of fans and a tourist attraction for the theme park itself. Obviously it's not ideal but TNA is still a very local product. Every time TNA has tried to step out and "become the next WWE," they've failed. Why is this? Because they're not big enough for such an endeavor. If TNA can't sellout their biggest pay-per-view of the year then why did anyone think they could sellout television tapings? Assuming TNA is able to bounce back from their most recent rough patch, we need to accept TNA for what it is. It's a bigger company than the average independent promotion but it's a local product that airs weekly on Spike TV. It's not on WWE's level and unless it sees rapid growth like WCW did in the 90s, it should be treated as such.

I refuse to believe John Cena will "do the honors" at Hell in a Cell on Sunday but I also do not see him carrying the World Heavyweight Championship. Could you see him beating Alberto Del Rio but Damien Sandow "cashing in" and winning the title?

This is a possible scenario and the fact WWE has teased Damien Sandow "cashing in" fairly often leads me to believe they're considering doing it sooner than later. However, it seems like it would be a hard sell to put John Cena under, in any situation, coming back from a two-month absence. Passing the torch or doing the honors is always a good thing for an established veteran to do but it's essential the talent getting the torch is ready for such an opportunity. I'm a fan of Sandow but I wouldn't buy him over John Cena, it's too soon.

If Battleground wasn't considered an absolute flop of a pay-per-view, do you think John Cena would still be returning at Hell In A Cell or would WWE have held off his return for a later date?

As far as I know WWE immediately came up with plans to bring John Cena back when he received medical clearance. We can all speculate about whether or not he is returning too soon but this seems like a case of Cena getting cleared and creative "hot shotting" him right back into the mix. With stiff competition and viewership declining, Vince McMahon is always going to to respond strong.

In my opinion Shawn Michaels is the greatest North American worker that's ever laced his boots. What’s your opinion on Shawn Michaels and his ranking among the all-time best? Is his status diminished because of his so called "drawing power" or do you see him as viable to be called the best of all-time?

Anyone that knows me knows that I hate lists, especially where people expect me to role out one of the "greatest of all-time." This is a difficult thing to do in pro sports but it's nearly impossible in pro wrestling. There are so many things to factor in and so many things that influence where someone chooses to rank a certain individual. However, in the same breath, I don't think it's unreasonable to throw Shawn Michaels' name around in the argument. However, we can't have that argument without mentioning at least 5-10 other workers. The best way to do it is to separate lists based on set parameters, whether they be by era, in-ring skills, drawability, look, charisma, Wrestlemania, etc. Once some guidelines are in place, it's much easier to begin to compute a list. Let me explain further with an example.

Hulk Hogan is the most recognizable name in the history of the business yet his work didn't touch the work of Bret Hart. Hart might have more name recognition in Canada but by large, Hogan is better known than Bret. Now factor in someone like Ric Flair, who isn't as well known as Hogan and his in-ring work wasn't as good as Bret. Let's throw Steve Austin in but we have to remember his in-ring career was cut short by injury and The Rock is still able to draw in 2013. Shawn Michaels had some of the best matches in Wrestlemania history, yet Undertaker is still stealing the show on a yearly basis. Do you see what I mean? I just mentioned 7 names and solved nothing, not to mention I left out very prominent and recognizable names, such as Bruno Sammartino.

From the Ask WNW vault...

October 2008: Jeff Jarrett and Dixie Carter need to convince Spike TV to spend more money on them. TNA Wrestling can only go as far as their network can take them and I think that it is up to the higher-ups in TNA to convince the network that they are really going to have to open up their wallets if they want to give McMahon some competition. I also think that TNA should do a better job of branding their own workers (Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Robert Roode, etc.) rather than limiting main event pushes to already established workers (Sting, Kurt Angle, Booker T, etc.). Obviously I do not have all of the answers but more could be done and I know that is the feeling amongst several of the company's workers.

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