WWE Scouting Indies, Sting A Bigger Draw Than Styles, The Shield Breakup, Paul Heyman's Status

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
The Shield

With Triple H focusing on growing talent through the new WWE Performance Center, does this mean we will see an end to WWE signing ROH talent, despite success with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Sami Zayn?

No, quite the opposite in fact. WWE is as active as I can ever remember in scouting the independent scene for talent. The WWE Performance Center is still not up and running at 100% capacity and they're pushing for that towards the end of the year. Triple H wants more bodies training in their 7 rings and the company is actively looking. There is currently a 3-day tryout camp ongoing at the WWE Performance Center and we posted details about the next big indy name likely to sign at this link. The process is still as follows - 1) Workers are scouted 2) Workers are signed pending a physical 3) Once signed, workers are assigned to the WWE Performance Center 4) Workers are seasoned and called up when ready.

Why would WWE offer Sting a contract instead of AJ Styles? Sting said the last time he had negotiations with WWE was two years ago. Surely the same amount of today's WWE audience who knows who Sting is the same amount who knows AJ Styles.

This is a completely hypothetical situation at this time because WWE is not free to negotiate with neither Sting nor AJ Styles until their current contracts are up with TNA Wrestling. Styles is down to "days" left on his deal but I'm still unclear on the exact expiration of Sting's contract. Back to your question, I can't begin to explain the WWE reasoning to everything but I will argue Sting is a bigger draw than AJ Styles. While Styles is portrayed as "big deal" in TNA Wrestling, he's virtually unknown everywhere else. Sting has been in the business for decades and is an established household name despite not working for Vince McMahon and WWE. A lot of readers get confused about the size of TNA because we cover the news together. TNA is a much smaller promotion than WWE or WCW was back in the 90s. Just because a worker is prominently featured on their programming does not mean the rest of the world knows who they are.

It seems inevitable The Shield will breakup soon but do you think they should? I say if it's not broke, don't fix it.

Steve Austin and Chris Jericho recently had a discussion about tag team wrestling on the new "Talk is Jericho" podcast. In it, Steve Austin made a good point about how there are certain guys designed to be tag team wrestlers. Jericho talked about how Marty Jannetty and Jim Neidhart were unable to achieve the same level of success of their respective partners (Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart). The reason I mention this is there are some guys better suited for a career as tag team performer. I do not feel this is the case for the members of The Shield faction. Two out of the three (Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose) have already been featured prominently as singles competitors (albeit outside of WWE) and flourished. Roman Reigns, whose stock has surged over the past year, is being thrown around in "future WWE Champion" discussions. Back to the question, I feel like it's too soon to blowup the faction and I hope if WWE does indeed go forward with splitting them up, it's done over the course of time. The subtle teases lately are a nice touch but it would be a mistake to hotshot it and end up doing irreparable damage.

Do you have any idea of Paul Heyman's current status with WWE?

I'm told there are plans for Paul Heyman to return to WWE television and that it's just a matter of time before it happens. My source says Heyman has been more involved behind-the-scenes than Triple H would like people to believe but his official title is still as an on-screen talent.

From the Ask WNW vault…

February 2012: With all the risks that the WWE Network could be a failure, is it going to be a big blow to the WWE finances just like the XFL was? - Some people close to WWE feel that if the WWE Network fails it could be the one project that could land Vince McMahon in financial trouble. The XFL would have continued if it weren’t for problems with television clearance. While NBC nixed their coverage after the premiere season due to low ratings, the XFL still had clearances on UPN and TNN. However, UPN demanded that Smackdown be cut to 90 minutes if they were to going to continue broadcasting XFL games. Vince McMahon didn’t want to cut Smackdown and thus pulled the plug on the league. While the XFL under performed in the ratings, it wasn’t a big blow financially for WWE as it was financially solvent. What troubles a lot of people about the WWE Network is the lack of clearance gained. Company resources are being pooled together to create new original programming, however, the network hasn’t gained enough clearance to make its projected April 1, 2012 debut date. The idea was for WWE to begin promoting the launch of the network in hopes the fan response would be enough to gain support on both cable and satellite systems, but as of this writing, there are major questions about clearance.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, December 13, 2013.

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