Austin Working Again, WM31 Plans For Undertaker, Slammys Rigged?

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Welcome to Ask WNW on steroids... the 365th installment of the WNW Premium Mailbag. This installment features questions that were sent from Saturday, December 6, 2014 to Sunday, December 14, 2014.

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Now that it seems WWE and Steve Austin are on good terms, how about a match against Brock Lesnar?

We never say never in this business but a match featuring Steve Austin vs. Brock Lesnar seems highly unlikely. As for Austin's status, he and WWE do seem to be on good terms right now, however, he's not in ring shape. There have been rumors for years about Austin dipping his toe back in the water for "one final match" but it'll have to be the right situation for all parties involved.

Brock Lesnar, on the other hand, is only under WWE contract through Wrestlemania 31 next year. He is booked for Raw the following night (March 30, 2015), however, will have to agree to a new deal before continuing. The last I heard and reported, Lesnar wants to become a free agent and pick the highest bidder with UFC and Bellator MMA also interested in his services.

What are the Motor City Machine Guns no longer together? I thought they were at one point heading to WWE?

Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley are off on their own, doing their own thing. Sabin is working independent dates, as he tagged with Matt Sydal (a/k/a Evan Bourne) on Friday night against Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson at PWG Black Cole Sun in Reseda, California. Shelley has been working for New Japan Pro Wrestling and was on Ring of Honor's Final Battle show last weekend. WWE has had interest in them previously, however, deals were never offered.

As a shareholder, does it bother you that two of WWE's highest executives are sidelining as fitness gurus? Shouldn't their 100% focus be on the product, especially given where the company is at?

In the spirit of total transparency, I no longer have a position in WWE stock. I, like many others, sold my shares when the price went up and haven't looked back since. I'm sure I'll buy some more one day, however, that won't be this year. The respective roles of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon as editorial advisors for “Muscle & Fitness” and “Shape” magazines are more about publicity than anything else.

WWE is dabbling into the home fitness DVD market with their recently released DVDs by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon and their roles with the magazines will help them promote that. I do not view their roles as a distraction to their real jobs as WWE executives so they do not bother me. In fact, Hunter's stock seems to be very high after the R Evolution pay-per-view with many feeling he has the company's developmental system on the right track.

Do you think Slammy voting for Superstar of the year was legitimate?

Everyone from WWE maintains voting for the "Superstar of the Year" Slammy Award that went to Roman Reigns was legitimate. I am skeptical, as are many of you, because of who Roman Reigns beat out and the fact that he hasn't been on TV since September (not to mention he was conveniently there to give an acceptance speech). With that said, other nominees, such as Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan, haven't been featured regularly either. We could also argue the accomplishments of Lesnar (ending the streak) and/or Daniel Bryan (winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 30) were more significant than anything Reigns did this year. But it's a moot point and the kayfabe awards show is over.

Moving forward, I just hope WWE is more careful with Reigns and do not try to force him on the audience. I've been high on Reigns from the day he got called up to the main roster, however, I have watched support start to dwindle due to not handling his character with care. WWE should not try to make Reigns something he's not, let him tell the story and help him by putting him in good positions to do so.

What do you think about The Undertaker being in a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 31? Under this scenario, they could have Undertaker pin Lesnar (assuming that he's leaving) and have Undertaker vacate the title the next night on Raw.

As we reviewed last week here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, two matches that have been pitched for Wrestlemania 31 if The Undertaker returns are Undertaker vs. Sting and Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar. If I were betting (which I would never do with pro wrestling), I would pick Undertaker vs. Sting because it's something Vince McMahon wants to do. I completely understand the logic behind the triple threat but I just have a hard time seeing it. Further, I am not opposed to the idea of Roman Reigns taking the WWE World Heavyweight Championship off Brock Lesnar. I just hope if that's the direction they go, they do it carefully. That cannot be stated enough.

Forgive my ignorance, but I've been watching some older PPVs and I was wondering, back during the days of WCW, how exactly were wrestlers able to 'jump ship' in the way that they did? Were there not any legal issues with people no-showing? And, were there no no-compete clauses on contracts or anything like that?

The 90-day non-compete clauses that are attached to most WWE Performer's contracts today are a result of what happened during the 1990s. What would happen is Raw would air from tape, when Nitro was live. So a performer could finish up their dates with WWE, sign with WCW and debut in a new company live while their final bout was airing on tape. The non-compete clauses were brought in to solve this and require a "cooling off" period before a performer would be able to take their services elsewhere.

However, it's interesting to see how Alberto Del Rio negotiated out of his non-compete clause with WWE and CM Punk also reaching a settlement. CM Punk discussed how you can't attach a non-compete clause to an independent contractor agreement, in which I think is a very good point. It will be interesting to see if this changes things. To answer your question, no these clauses were not attached to deals back then and that's why they are used today.

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