Babyface Brock, Raw Highlighted WWE’s Biggest Problem, TNA 2.0

Did we witness Brock Lesnar turning babyface on Monday Night Raw or is The Authority just that despised?

A lot of people want to know if Brock Lesnar is a babyface going forward, well not exactly. He did get a big pop to end this week’s Monday Night Raw and the crowd fully bought it when he gave an F5 to Kane and an impressive one to Big Show.

Further, let's don't lose track of the story.  John Cena was supposed to be "taken care of" and wasn't, something "Brock took issue with."

We talked about turning Brock last week and my argument was, why risk it? What happened last night might have relieved some of that risk. We have the scoop from backstage at this link.

What were your thoughts on this week’s WWE Raw? I thought it was one of the best in quite some time.

This week’s go-home to Royal Rumble episode of Monday Night Raw was much better. Overall, I enjoyed the broadcast but it wasn’t without issues.

Before I go all negative on you, I thought Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan had a great match, Brock Lesnar was very good in the opening and closing segments, the nostalgia meter was at an all time high, Big Show worked the stick like a pro and Sting’s Raw debut was significant and well done.

However, I have no idea what WWE is doing with the Intercontinental Championship and cannot begin to explain how disappointed I am with the return of Bad News Barrett. No one seems to be buying The Ascension, even in a segment with some of the most legendary tag teams in the history of the wrestling business. And what does it say that Raw has to feature Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, The APA, The New Age Outlaws and Sting to be enjoyable?

I mean absolutely no disrespect to the Legends but it’s pretty clear WWE has failed to develop new stars. They could be on the verge of correcting this with some of the names coming up now (The Shield, The Wyatts, Bryan, etc.) but man, a lot of their mind-blowing decisions for refusing to get behind fresh talent was on display this week.

The constant starting and stopping on guys has come back to haunt WWE. We can go back and re-trace it too. Guys like Ryback, Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, The Miz, etc. have all been started on but had the brakes slammed on them at some point and as a result, the company is still relying on what drew in The Attitude Era or in the peak of the Monday Night War to draw for them today.

While I’ll admit the 12-year-old inside of me popped big time for the segments with the NWO, DX, the legendary tag teams and of course Sting, I’m interested to know what someone born after April 1, 2001 thinks. This is a person that never experienced the Monday Night War, never channel-flipped from Nitro to Raw and is who WWE will depend on to grow their business.

I personally believe the lapsed fan is laughing at the state of WWE right now. Again, I mean no disrespect, but why is it that WWE has more hours of programming than ever before, the best developmental facilities than ever before and are relying on a show stacked full of guys — most that don’t even wrestle anymore — to sell one of their “big four” shows?

This is why I offer no opposition to Roman Reigns winning the Royal Rumble on Sunday. Sure, I think Daniel Bryan is the better story but WWE has to get serious about developing talent. I don’t want to hear about guys lacking ambition or being lazy millennials that don’t want to work for it.  That is certainly true to a degree, but we've seen far too many guys that look like they have "it," only to have the rug pulled out from under them.

The constant indecision that plagues WWE’s creative process and a blatant lack of confidence in all but a select few guys has left no one but the guys that used to be popular to save the show. It’s time for WWE to get serious about "future stars" or their business will begin to fade.

Was TNA Wrestling on the verge of going out of business before they were picked up by Destination America?

No one will know how close TNA Wrestling was to closing up shop because the fact of the matter is, there are only two or three people [with the last name Carter] that could give you an honest answer.  We continually pushed back on reports that had TNA going out but explained several times if they lost Spike TV, they would have to dramatically scale back their operations.

TNA lost Spike and has significantly scaled back their operations. That’s not a bad thing but it was necessary if they were going to continue to operate.

From the Ask WNW vault…

May 2012: Why did WWE bring back Skip Sheffield as Ryback? - Ryback was Skip Sheffield’s old gimmick as he was a WWE developmental standout along with Sheamus as Sheamus O’Shaunessy and Ryback were a tag team prior to Sheamus being called up to the main roster. While The Nexus provided Sheffield a good opportunity, he was nothing more than an extra to people like Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan. The revamp as Ryback gives him a chance to become a much “bigger deal” in WWE.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.

You can submit a question for the next installment of Ask WNW at this link. If you have problems with the form, you can send your question to [email protected].

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  • The Blue Blazer

    Richard – Kudos for a thorough critique of RAW. It’s not that you’re being negative, rather a little too picky with individual segments. When a RAW show is noticeably better overall, that’s what matters. There will always be weaker segments, mostly because WWE has to prioritize the stronger segments (which compromises the less significant angles). Does it have to be a zero-sum game? Of course not. But we all know that it’s not going to change in that way. Also, you’re looking at the Legends angles all wrong. It’s not that WWE felt that it needed all of those Legends to elicit the desired response. It was a one-night theme, so they simply crammed as many of them as possible. With the exception of marquee Legends, WWE isn’t going to sprinkle the Legends into every show. While they didn’t “need” all of them, they weren’t under the delusion that it would have an exponentially bigger effect.

    • Last night’s show was fun for me. I’ll be 30 next month and got to relive some of my favorite characters that brought me in. But man, the older star power outweighed the up and coming star power and I find that to be a major problem.

      • The Blue Blazer

        But in most cases, they used the Legends to make the Superstars look good. Hogan/HBK/Flair were used to put over Bryan/Wyatt/Ambrose. NWO/Outlaws/APA were used to put over The Ascension. And speaking of the latter, the Legends can only tee it up for the Superstars … and The Ascension just couldn’t deliver. You may recall when the Legion of Doom put over the Outlaws (via matches and the shaving of Hawk). It worked because the Outlaws seized the moment. So you talk about building new stars, but you’re miscalculating their ability to execute. Ziggler was shooting blanks as a heel because he wasn’t authentic on the mic (now it’s evolving). Wyatt is great on the mic, but his cryptic messages never materialize into anything (which is probably not entirely the fault of Creative). Barrett is credible in some moment and has great instincts, but he’s not consistent. It’s not that WWE isn’t trying to build new stars. They simply haven’t found the right core group to usher in a new generation of superstars. There are only footprints for now. I wouldn’t be so hard on the Legends stealing the limelight from young guys who are not yet convincing enough to seize the moment themselves.

        • TheBigKing1

          Again…I agree with you.

      • TheBigKing1

        I will be 30 next month too…and I didn’t feel like that, but to each his own.
        So you’re an aquarious like me. Hmm. No wonder we relate like that.

        • David F

          RAW just seemed like you had to be Triple H’s friend in order to be legend. I would like see some legends we have not seen in while like some ECW legends maybe

  • Terra Ryzing

    I’m not a premium member so I do not know what the above link says about Brock Lesnar’s supposed turn. That being said, I don’t think Lesnar has turned completely face. He was coming after the Authority who are the top heels with Rollins leading the pack. I’m sure Brock will get a positive reaction going into the Royal Rumble this Sunday because Rollins is the top heel in the company and Cena will get booed in Philly. I’m almost positive that if Lesnar F5’d Ziggler, Bryan, or Ambrose it wouldn’t have garnered such a positive reaction.

    • TheBigKing1


  • Geordie Dolph

    My favourite part of Raw was easily the Clothesline from Hell haha love that move!

  • jdl

    You can’t call Brock a babyface simply because he F5d a few heels. What you can call him is a renegade, unstoppable behemoth out to do what he wants regardless of the consequences. He’s still a fairly blatant heel, though, as Heyman has warned the Authority on more than one occasion to stay out of Lesnar’s way lest they suffer the wrath of an angry beast. This is the storyline here, this is the character portrayal here. Lesnar and Heyman are the top heels in the company at the moment, and they have never and will never be directly affiliated with anyone. They are a rogue element and that is the story that is being told.

  • TheBigKing1

    I didn’t think Brock was becoming babyface. I believe most didn’t see it that way. But some people did notice the pop he got. I noticed it in the beginning when he opened up. I think the people were hype by the open of the show and all.

  • Evony Res

    Good read

  • Lebron

    It’s hard to develop stars in a PG environment. Most of these guys can’t display their true personalities because they’re restricted to being overly child friendly. If they loosened up a bit, a lot of guys would have more of a chance to flourish. Creative can’t keep forcing guys to be heels who are clearly very popular and cheered (Cesaro, Barret). The announce team also needs to do a better job putting guys over, take the action in the ring a lot more seriously. I disliked Booker as an announcer when he first started but he really does a good job calling the action and putting guys over. If these things can be fixed then that locker room will explode with stars. They’re there, they just need to be utilized correctly.

  • LarryMendte002

    Really getting bored with the men’s tag team division as well. The same old guys against the same old guys. They need to mix it up more. Maybe have a tag tournament or some internal team disputes. And the Mizdow schtick is growing hair on it. Sandow is a very talented wrestler and great on the mic, but he’s replaced Santino as the class clown. I guess if the money’s good and the spotlight is still there, no reason to rock the boat, but it seems an incredible waste of talent.

  • JR Texx (Jamie)

    I never once thought Brock had turned, it’s simply the fact that thats how the crowd reacted with a heel on heel. One of them is going get cheers, and considering The Authority is technically “the system”. It was kinda obvious.


    The Ascention are a very poor and lame copy of LOD. I think they should try bring animal back and he ends up turning heel and being their manager. That would help them I think