Welcome to the WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure. This week's edition covers news from Saturday, October 18, 2014 to Friday, October 24, 2014 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:
Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!
- Nikki Bella is featured in this week's episode of Smackdown Fallout, where she hypes her match against Brie Bella at WWE Hell in a Cell. You can watch at this link.
- Seth Rollins did an interview with MIX 106.1 the day after The Rock made a surprise return to WWE on the October 6, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw. In it, he was asked how he feels about The Rock coming back. The interviewer mentioned that guys have complained about it in the past and asked Rollins for his thoughts.
Below is Rollins' response:
"I mean there is a little bit of resentment there, there got to be. But it's mostly envy because we all want to have the level of success that he [The Rock] has. We all want the ability to be able to walk into a room and be as well-received as he was, although he did take the cheap route (mentioning the cheap pop from his segment)… I'm all about buying in and not selling out."
You can watch the interview embedded in the video below:
Click here for coverage on MixPhiladelphia.com.
Richard Reacts: Seth Rollins was honest and well-spoken, which is very respectable. I can't stand it when people either dance around questions or refuse to acknowledge the truth. I liked how he was able to intertwine his heel character and also show his personality by joking. This is just another reason why I believe Rollins is going to be a top top guy for many years to come.
- Michelle McCool and The Undertaker were on the sideline at Saturday night's college football game between the Iowa State Cyclones and Texas Longhorns. Many readers Tweeted and emailed photos, I've included some below:
Thanks to WNW reader Charlie Crimefighter Hovey for sending a photo.
- The Boogeyman Marty Wright recently visited WWE headquarters in Stamford, CT. Below is a photo from Twitter:
- This week's episode of After Total Divas is now online at this link.
- It's our unfortunate responsibility to report that Ox Baker died Monday morning at age 80.
SLAM Wrestlingreports the cause of death was due to complications from a heart attack. WWE also confirmed the sad news at this link.
The news has trended Twitter for several hours on Monday morning, spawning reactions from inside the business.
Click here to load Photos/Tweets (if not loaded)
- Paige & Alicia Fox are the latest Divas to join the cast of Total Divas. According to WWE, the Divas will arrive when the show returns from its mid-season hiatus on January 4, 2015. A synopsis is below:
When "Total Divas" returns with all-new episodes on Jan. 4 at 10/9 CT, a new duo emerges to shake up the dynamics of the cast: WWE Divas Paige and Alicia Fox. Former WWE Divas Champion Paige is a raven-haired Diva who preaches a simple message: She wants to mix it up in the ring. She first began battling when she was 13, following her family of English wrestlers, and gained prominence inside the WWE’s NXT Division, as the first NXT Women's Champion. Similarly, the stunning and lithesome Alicia Fox has proven herself to be far more ferocious and eccentric than anyone ever expected. The talented Ms. Fox has etched her name in WWE record books as the first African-American woman to win the Divas Championship. Together, the two ladies, along with friend WWE Diva Rosa Mendes, form a clique in the locker room that rivals The Bella Twins and WWE Diva Cameron, leaving Nattie stuck in the middle.
The mid-season finale is set to air this Sunday, October 26, at 9/8 CT. Click here to read the full article.
- The private WWE corporate jet has arrived at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City, Missouri, WrestlingNewsWorld.com can confirm. Kansas City, home of the 2014 American League Champions, will host this week's episode of Monday Night Raw.
Former Wrestling News World co-owner Ryan Gray drove down to the airport and provided the following photos:
Further, here is a WWE buss promoting Wrestlemania 31 outside of the Sprint Center:
- WWE has announced that Lilian Garcia will replace the departed Justin Roberts as Raw ring announcer. Eden will replace Lilian on Smackdown. Joey Styles Tweeted out the news on his verified account:
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Garcia used to work as the ring announcer for Raw before being replaced by Roberts in 2009. She's worked as the Smackdown ring announcer since returning to WWE in late 2011.
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown garnered an average viewing audience of 2,694,000 viewers on SyFy. This was up slightly (23,000 increase) from the prior week's 15h Anniversary episode. Smackdown was the number two original with a 0.7 adults 18-49 rating, down from the 0.8 adults 18-49 rating from last week. TV by the Numbers has more data at this link.
- WWE has posted an official press release with details on next Sunday's Total Divas mid-season finale featuring the wedding of Eva Marie. Here's an excerpt, previewing next week's episode:
Get ready for a real red wedding! The "Total Divas" mid-season finale features WWE’s SummerSlam, Eva Marie's wedding and even shows Brie Bella meeting with sister Nikki Bella’s boyfriend, WWE Superstar John Cena, behind her sister’s back about his influence causing her to give up on dreams of marriage and children. Of course, the unexpected confrontation leads to explosive consequences. Meanwhile, Natalya is caught in a downward spiral when the truth is revealed to the Divas that her marriage to WWE Superstar Tyson Kidd is falling apart. In an attempt to help mend their relationship, The Bella Twins organize a night out, but when the infamous #BrieMode comes out in full force, the sisters are inevitably pushed further apart. While Eva Marie does make it down the aisle on her big day, there is no guarantee that her fellow Divas will all be there to witness the ceremony. Don’t miss the mid-season finale of "Total Divas," Sunday, Oct. 26, at 9/8 CT on E!.
For those wondering, I'm told the stuff between Tyson Kidd and Natalya is completely kayfabe. One observer that knows the couple on a personal level told me they "never fight."
As Brooks noted earlier, Alicia Fox and Paige will join on the cast of Total Divas in January. It's teased that Paige, Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes form a clique to oppose The Bella Twins and Cameron, with Natalya stuck in the middle.
The biggest question being asked if Paige's inclusion on the series means she won't win the WWE Divas Championship from AJ Lee at Hell in a Cell on Sunday. I can't answer that question but it's confirmed the Divas Championship has been kept away from Total Divas because the latter is taped months in advance. Nikki Bellasaid recently they were trying to work it out where the Divas title was featured on the show.
- TMZ is reporting that recently released WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts went to Hawaii for a few days and is working on a book about his life. According to their report, he'll detail his struggle about breaking into the wrestling business.
- Dot com covered the ring announcer changes we reported on earlier, with a quote from Lilian Garcia:
“No matter which show I’m on it makes me really happy to have the opportunity to announce for the WWE Universe,” said the beautiful Diva. “I wish to thank all our fans for all for their love and support through all these years!”
Click here for coverage by dot com.
- Paul Heyman came down to the ring during an in-ring segment with Randy Orton and John Cena on this week's Raw from Kansas City. Heyman spoke for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar before taking an RKO from Orton.
- Mick Foley also made a surprise appearance on Raw during an in-ring segment with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to help promote their cell match this Sunday at Hell in a Cell.
- Hulk Hogan made an appearance for an interview with Renee Young during Raw Backstage Pass following this week's Raw in Kansas City. Hogan promoted Hell in a Cell and then made his way out to the ring and did his poses with John Cena.
- A top goal of Vince McMahon and WWE management recently has been to make Randy Orton more of a main event priority. This stems from Orton approaching company officials last month, unhappy with his booking, and requesting time off.
The original plan for Hell in a Cell was for Orton to co-headline the show against Roman Reigns. Once Reigns was pulled due to injury, it was clear in speaking with sources that WWE planned to cater to Orton in order to convince him to stay on. Vince realizes the top of the card is devoid of overall star power and doesn't want Randy to take time off right now.
Orton wasn't thrilled with the idea of getting the LOSER of John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose at Hell in a Cell, which is probably why they moved the match up to Raw and have now added the title shot stipulation.
Vince did recently approach Orton about regularly working Smackdown on Tuesdays, but Orton declined.
- WWE has updated their talent programs and policies to carry issues on domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. It's unknown when it exactly this was added but below is an excerpt originally posted here on WWE corporate:
WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. Upon arrest for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately suspended. Upon conviction for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately terminated.
WWE’s ability to fine, suspend or terminate a WWE talent will not be, however, limited or compromised in any manner in the event incontrovertible evidence of such illegal misconduct is presented to WWE. Section 9.13(a) of the WWE booking contract, commonly known as the “morals clause”, provides WWE with broad discretion and authority to act under such circumstances.
- Nickelodeon has teamed with WWE to air WWE Slam City on Nicktoons' NickSports TV Block. The first episode will premiere on Wednesday. Click here for the official press release.
- The viewership data is in for this week's Total Divas doubleheader and it's not pretty. The first episode, airing at 9 PM on E, garnered an average viewing audience of 826,000 viewers. The second episode, airing at 10 PM on E, garnered an average viewing audience of 860,000 viewers. The numbers are new lows for Season 3 and were two of the least-watched first run episodes in series history. TV by the Numbers has data for the top 100 cable shows for adults 25-54 for the whole day available at this link.
- Randy Orton was banged up following this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, taking a bad bump in a spot with Dean Ambrose in the show's main event. It's unknown if a serious injury occurred but certainly something worth keeping an eye on.
- Stephanie McMahon is featured in a new Q&A by Yahoo Sports at this link. She said she has no idea how the rumor got started that the Divas Championship couldn't be won be a Total Divas cast member. The interviewer mentioned it was brought up by Nikki Bella in a promotional interview with Peter Rosenberg. Stephanie said there is no policy and to never say never.
- We noted earlier that WWE had quietly implemented new talent policies regarding matters such as domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. Stephanie McMahon spoke to Yahoo Sports about the company's official policy.
Below is an excerpt from the piece:
We have a zero tolerance policy for domestic abuse. Upon arrest for such misconduct, our superstars are immediately suspended and should there be a conviction, that superstar or diva would be terminated.
- The soundtrack for WWE 2K15 featuring tracks with Wiz Khalifa and John Cena is now available for download on iTunes. For more information or the link to purchase, click here.
- For those that don't think WWE isn't heavily invested into moderating social media, think again. Mick Foley was called in to make a surprise appearance on this week's Monday Night Raw similar to what The Rock did a couple of weeks back, following this exchange on Twitter:
Vince McMahon realizes the company is light on overall star power and is combating it with more special appearances. The surprise cameos of Rock and Foley are exactly how the company also plans to use Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair moving forward. As for Foley's feelings with how he's viewed in WWE, it's Triple H that has never seen him a big star. Hunter always felt Foley didn't "have it" to be the company's top guy and has been one of his biggest critics for more than a decade.
There was an incident a couple years ago when Hunter made a backhanded comment about Foley being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, when Vince corrected him in front of others. This was before Triple H had secured Bruno Sammartino as the "face" of the Hall of Fame that year, with some believing had Bruno not agreed that Hunter would have had DeGeneration X inducted just so they could co-headline with Foley.
Remember Foley's WWE Hall of Fame induction speech was rumored to be cut completely off the televised broadcast, which resulted in a social media rant. His appearance on this week's Raw was kept secret, just as the case with The Rock a couple of weeks ago.
- It was announced on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw the winner of John Cena vs. Randy Orton will get a "future title shot" against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. A date wasn't announced because Vince McMahon is still uncertain of Lesnar's next defense. As I've reported on more than one occasion, there was legitimate talk about blowing off Cena vs. Lesnar at Hell in a Cell but plans were changed when Roman Reigns was ruled out indefinitely.
As of last week, there were no plans for Lesnar at Survivor Series but he was strongly rumored to be on the WWE TLC lineup. At this point a possible title defense at TLC seems more likely but it seems that Brock will have at least one title defense before the year is over.
- There are rumors that AJ Lee isn't being included on Total Divas because she is married to CM Punk. While that would certainly be an issue in trying to film the "real life" of AJ Lee, she was actually asked to be on the show when it first got started and declined. AJ is known for being private and aloof backstage so the idea of cameras filming her every move isn't something that lines up with who she is.
- Renee Young continues to receive high marks from WWE officials and the feeling within the company is that she could end up on the commentary team for Raw or Smackdown sooner than later. Young currently works on commentary for WWE Superstars and NXT.
- This week's episode of Monday Night Raw garnered an average viewing audience of 3,668,000 viewers on the USA Network. The good news first. Raw was Monday's highest-rated non football program, earning a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating (even with last week).
Viewership for the go-home to Hell in a Cell episode was the lost-viewed show since the Memorial Day episode of Monday Night Raw, which did 3,602,000 viewers back in May.
Below is how the numbers broke down by hour:
Hour one - 3,589,000 viewers
Hour two - 3,864,000 viewers
Hour three - 3,631,000 viewers
Monday Night Football over on ESPN garnered an average viewing audience of 13,275,000 viewers.
TV by the Numbers has data for the top 100 cable shows in adults 25-54 for the whole day at this link.
- Variety is reporting that John Cena has teamed with Leftfield Pictures to develop unscripted series that revolve around unknown individuals from all walks of life with compelling so tires to tell. Details of prospective projects were not available but Cena commented on the new venture, below is an excerpt from Variety's coverage:
“For someone like me that’s surrounded by so many interesting characters, you know when you brush up against someone who can hold a room,” Cena told Variety. “There are so many people out there who can hold someone’s attention.”
“We have a few already in the pipeline, a few irons in the fire,”
The projects do not directly involve WWE, however, there is an option for them to participate in projects should the opportunity arise.
Click here for coverage by Variety.
- WWE has posted behind the scenes videos of Roman Reigns and Hulk Hogan filming commercials for WWE 2K15. You can watch them below:
WWE 2K15 will be released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 28, 2014 in North America and 31 October 2014 in Europe. The game will be released on Next-Gen consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, on November 18, 2014 in North America and 21 November 2014 in Europe.
- If you missed the latest "divide and conquer" vignette of The Wyatt Family that was included on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, you can watch at this link.
- WWE reset their ring announcers this week following the release of Justin Roberts. Lilian Garcia returned to Raw this week from Kansas City. She Tweeted the following about her return:
Eden, a/k/a Brandi Rhodes, debuted as the Smackdown ring announcer at Tuesday night's taping in Wichita, Kansas. She Tweeted the following:
Click here to load Tweet/Photo (if not loaded)
Justin Roberts wished his replacement well on Monday. The following is from Twitter:
Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in Kansas City…
- As we discussed on Tuesday, Mick Foley's appearance was something that was put together by Vince McMahon to help offset the lack of overall star power on shows. Vince doesn't want to overexpose the likes of Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair so an eleventh hour phone call was made to see if he would be interested in a surprise appearance. There was an interesting backstory that we detailed at this link.
- Randy Orton possibly re-aggravated a herniated disc in the main event on a spot with Dean Ambrose. The backstory here is that Orton suffered a herniated disc on the L4-L5 side of his back a few years ago. As a result, he missed some time due to pain and weakness down his leg. Orton was in pain and seen using expletives at ringside. I don't have an official update but the fact no change was made to his main event match against John Cena indicates that he should be good to go. It will be something to keep an eye on, especially given the physical nature of a Hell in a Cell bout.
- WWE is looking for a way to restart on Curtis Axel. There isn't a lot of optimism, however, due to the fact he couldn't draw heat with protection and the backing of Paul Heyman. Supporters blame Axel's lack of ability to get over on poor booking. The point here is he could be back to TV soon, as he's been lost since the injury issues to Ryback.
- Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have actually been "sat down" and spoken with about their upcoming match at Hell in a Cell on Sunday. According to one source, it's known both are hungry and ready to go "all out" but WWE officials have made it clear they can't afford another injury right now. Both Ambrose and Rollins are obviously known for pushing the limit and sacrificing their bodies in the process.
- Paige has officially proved the naysayers wrong and her stock is once again very high. WWE officials feel confident in everything she does and are high up on how she has gotten herself over. Her debut was completely attributed to nervousness and the feeling is they are seeing the "TV ready prospect" they knew that she was.
- Michael Cole's latest kayfabe sit down interview with Triple H is now online. Below are the highlights:
Cole opened by asking Triple H about Seth Rollins Curb Stomping Randy Orton to end Raw. Triple H talked about everyone dealing with pressure in a different way and talked about the life-changing experience that is Hell in a Cell. He said it's all been put behind them.
Regarding the Rusev/soldier skit, Triple H cautioned "any member of the WWE Universe" is just a spectator and not to get involved in anyway. Rusev will be dealt with internally but he wouldn't want to step inside the ring with an angry 450-pound giant with a Knockout Punch. Hunter highlighted Big Show's passion for US troops and questioned if Show can control that passion because Rusev will be waiting for him to make a mistake. If he does, it won't be pretty.
Cole talked about Triple H and The Undertaker having 6 HIAC victories each. Asked about his HIAC match against Cactus Jack for his career, Hunter talked about HIAC being life-changing. He said it does something to you inside there. He said his first one, Seth Rollins, he can sympathize going in there with a crazy man. No boundaries or acknowledgment of what pain is. Triple H talked about ending Cactus Jack's career that night and how Jack was carried out when he walked out.
Triple H talked about his HIAC bout with Shawn Michaels. He said great friends but arguably better enemies. Hunter said you really don't win HIAC, you survive HIAC. The goal is to get in and get out as quick as you can.
About teaming with HBK to face Big Show, Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon. Cole said there was a funny moment. Hunter talked about how Vince's head was buried in Big Show's butt. Triple H talked about Vince being his father-in-law.
Cole talked about one of his favorites, Triple H vs. Undertaker in HIAC at Wrestlemania. Triple H said it was one of the most memorable matches of his career. He said he has more respect for Undertaker than anyone in the business. Hunter said it was one of his favorite matches of his career but neither of them walked out of that match the same.
Triple H said HIAC changes your life and it changes a man. Cole plugged all the HIAC matches being available on the WWE Network for only $9.99. Triple H said that is a bargain.
Cole asked Hunter what he would tell Dean Ambrose or Rollins going into their first HIAC match. He said Seth has asked him what to expect. Hunter said there is nothing to tell them and neither one of them can imagine what they're about to go through this Sunday in HIAC. He ended with, they can't imagine it.
You can watch this week's interview at this link.
- Dot com has a "Where Are They Now?" piece now online on Maria Kannellis. In it, it's noted that Maria is one of the first recipients of WWE’s Talent Scholarship and that she is using it to complete her degree in sports, event and entertainment management at Johnson & Wales University. The article takes a look back at Maria's WWE career and highlights her marriage to Mike Bennett. You can read it at this link.
- Paige, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rwoan will attend Wizard World Ohio Comic Con on Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Dot com has the details at this link.
- Former WWE star John Morrison did in interview with AlternativeNation.com where he spoke candidly about several topics. Below are some highlights:
What it will take for Dolph Ziggler to get a main event push in WWE:
Ziggler should wear a suit to TV tapings, wait outside Vince’s office to shake his hand & talk about deadlifts, tell HHH that he should be the lead Viking on that Viking TV show that the kids are watching, maybe less selling in the ring, more crossfit at home, paint his face, get bigger, forget how to work completely then remember half of what he forgot … I dunno?… he could start with all that or just accept that success in wrestling is usually a combination of luck and skill.
Thoughts on Joey Mercury, his former partner, as a "corporate stooge":
Love it. Every time I see Joey on TV I get so happy! That dude has lived wrestling his entire life & is a genius in wrestling psychology. Working with him in MNM was like teaming with a non annoying agent- haha. I couldn’t be happier to see him back with WWE in a fun on air role & as an agent behind the scenes as well. Of course if our paths ever crossed on-air, I’d have to let ‘Corporate Joe’ know what a sell out he became and how badly Joey Matthews would’ve kicked the crap out of Corporate Joe
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- Cesaro was interviewed by the Liverpool Echo and said what most of us are thinking. While promoting WWE's upcoming European tour, Cesaro gave his thoughts on the "new wave of guys" coming through and delivered a sobering truth.
Below is an excerpt:
It's certainly a time when the likes of yourself, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, the new wave of guys coming through, are proving that you are performers who can 'go' in the ring, just as much as you can talk on the mic. "Exactly. It is a new era of guys, it's a new generation, and it's a lot of fun to watch that because there are fresh match-ups. I mean I'm sick of seeing John Cena against Randy Orton for the 500th time. It's great that we have some new, young guys that can come out and provide absolutely great match-ups and for the fans there are fresh, exciting matches and things to watch."
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
Richard Reacts: While I completely agree with Cesaro, I hope this doesn't impact him on TV. I spend a lot of time trying address WWE rehashing a program we've seen multiple times when there is so much talent waiting in the wings. It's unexplainable and it's nice to see someone in the WWE locker room have enough guts to say it. By all accounts Cesaro is "cool" with Cena, so this doesn't appear to be anything personal but just someone that's ready for something fresh.
Further, the argument can certainly be made this is just a case of a heel being a heel. And while that's certainly true, #HeelZiggler got heat in the past for making comments seen as being too outspoken against the company.
- Joanie "Chyna" Laurer rips Stephanie McMahon in a new video blog that you can watch at this link.
- The lyric video for "All Day" with Wiz Khalifa and John Cena is online at this link.
- We covered this week's Michael Cole/Triple H kayfabe sit down interview at this link. WWE has posted it on YouTube at this link.
- Triple H spent Wednesday at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida to evaluate newer talent that hasn't made it to the NXT tapings yet.
We're told Triple H wants to start tracking the progress of workers earlier in their careers to see who stands out the most and should be given the chance to move up to being featured regularly on NXT.
Hunter wants the staff at the Performance Center to do a better job of recognizing talent with true breakout potential as early as possible so they can be given extra attention and have their progress meticulously tracked.
This is very notable as it's not often Triple H comes to Florida early and dedicates an entire day to evaluating new talent. He's of course also in town for Thursday night's tapings in Winter Park, Florida.
- It's now public that Rey Mysterio is finished with WWE and he'll be following Alberto Del Rio to AAA as soon as the details can be worked out. Mysterio's future in WWE has been a hot topic for a large portion of the year. His Performer's Contract was coming up in May, however, WWE added time due to injury. In addition to issues regarding Mysterio's bad knee and a questionable Wellness suspension, Mysterio is one of the many workers upset about the decrease in pay-per-view bonuses that are the result of the WWE Network. Rey doesn't need the money but wants to work outside of WWE and have a final run in Mexico before he retires.
- Variety published a more in-depth piece on John Cena expanding his career as a producer and noted that he was looking to make more movies. A lot of ground is covered so you can check out the piece for complete details but there were a couple quotes I wanted to feature.
First, Cena talked about not shedding his image as an over the top babyface. Below is an excerpt:
“When you do that, everything you said, everything you stand for gets erased,” Cena says. “It’s a poor business decision.” He keeps meetings like one with an eight-year-old boy who beat cancer twice in the back of his mind. “He was shy and reserved but simply said, ‘I never give up because you tell me not to.’ It’s tough to win that eight-year-old kid back (with heel turns). I don’t want to lose them. Athletics has become such a business. Everything is circulated around the almighty dollar. It’s tough to find people to look up to.”
Vince McMahon was quoted and shed more light on what John means to the company. Here was his quote:
“John’s passion for our business along with his charisma, work ethic and integrity have made him a global superstar and role model,” McMahon says. “John also has extraordinary business instincts and an insatiable thirst for knowledge which translate to any medium and are keys to his success.”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Mike Jones (who?) has a new promotional interview online with WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee. In it, she spoke on numerous topics but there were two points in particular Jones highlights on the DC101 website that I wanted to bring to attention. They are as follows:
Divas Hell in a Cell match:
"I can tell you for sure that women like myself and Paige are down for it, and I think more than capable of hanging with the guys in that kind of scenario, because we're insane and we like to jump off of stuff!" "I think if anyone could do it we could, but if it's not in my generation, it needs to happen someday, and I really think women could handle that."
Contenders for the Divas title:
"I see so much potential in people who haven't particularly gotten that opportunity yet, like Emma and Summer and even Lana. I think they are interesting characters and women who have a lot of potential and I would love to something that's vastly different with one of those girls. Just someone we haven't seen yet get a chance."
Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.
- Gordon Holmes has a new Q&A online with Dean Ambrose to promote Sunday's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. In it, Ambrose discusses how he and Seth Rollins are going to stand out on Sunday and why they should be the main event. Below are the highlights:
How he and Rollins are going to stand out:
Going into anything like this, you want to put your own stamp on it. You want to do something that’s never been done before. I hate a formula. I hate stepping in the footsteps of those that came before me. And Seth has the same mindset. Even though we’re enemies and opponents, and are going to be trying to rip each other’s heads off in the Cell.
Being the second HIAC match to Cena vs. Orton:
The kind of guys that we are and you go back to the competitive chips we have on our shoulder. You go back to the attitude that we came into this company with? We’re going to blow anything they put up out of the water. You know what I mean?
The HIAC main event:
If…we’re not the main event, then somebody’s making a mistake. They’re going to regret it.
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
As I reported exclusively here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium in my Backstage Raw News, Ambrose and Rollins were sat down and spoken with about not going too far in their HIAC match because the company couldn't afford another injury. Something tells me that's wishful thinking... I'm expecting them to find another level of insanity in what should me a Match of the Year candidate.
- WWE reported Thursday on dot com that Christian will reunited with Edge for a recurring guest arc on SyFy's "Haven." According to their report, Christian will appear on the show on November 28 and will reprise the role for two additional episodes in 2015. Click here for coverage by WWE.com. Haven airs Fridays at 7 PM ET/PT on SyFy.
- WWE posted a preview clip for the upcoming mid-season finale episode of Total Divas. In it, Brie Bella, her mother and her brother confront John Cena about his relationship with Niiki. You can watch at this link.
- The WWE employee that Alberto Del Rio slapped that caused his termination has left the company, WrestlingNewsWorld.com can independently confirm. The employee, whose name is Cody Barbierri, left WWE after working there as Social Media Manager since September 2012.
According to Barbierri's LinkedIN profile, he has launched the website SocialMediaMNGR.com. While with WWE, he was "responsible for creating and implementing compelling social media interactions & stories designed to enhance the fan experience, build story lines and drive viewership during WWE programming, including Monday Night Raw, Main Event, Friday Night SmackDown & PPVs."
Barbierri burst onto the national scene when it was learned there was an incident at an August 4, 2014 television taping in Laredo, Texas. As the story goes, someone told Barbierri to wipe his plate clean after a backstage meal at catering. Apparently joking, Barbierri said that was Del Rio’s job.
Del Rio ended up finding out about the comment and perceived it to be racially charged. He confronted Barbierri and rather than apologize, Cody smiled. This is when Del Rio slapped him. The WWE office found out what happened and terminated Del Rio over the incident. Del Rio confirmed the incident in a subsequent promotional interview.
Meanwhile, WWE posted a new job listing for a Social Media Manager on Thursday at this link. Below is a snippet from the listing:
The Manager, Social Media will work directly with WWE road crews and event producers to moderate social media content at Live Events both domestically and internationally, in an effort to enrich the in-arena fan experience. In addition, the Social Media Producer will work with WWE and NXT Superstars to create social media content, including text, photo and video, for more than 300 Live Events per year, and assist the Superstars with various facets of managing their social presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, and more. The successful candidate will have a strong marketing/branding sense and be proficient with all current social media platforms. Previous experience covering and/or working at live sports or entertainment events is preferred.
Click here for more information.
- Below is the final advertised lineup for WWE Hell in a Cell:
Hell in a Cell Match
- Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Hell in a Cell MatchWinner gets a future shot at Brock Lesnar & WWE World Heavyweight Championship
- John Cena vs. Randy Orton
Singles MatchThe loser will become the winner’s personal Bella assistant.
- Brie Bella vs. Nikki Bella
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
- Gold & Stardust (c) vs. The Usos
2 Out of 3 Falls WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
- Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Cesaro
United States Championship Match
- Sheamus (c) vs. The Miz
Divas Championship Match
- AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige
- Big Show vs. Rusev
WWE Hell in a Cell Kickoff
- MizdowTV w/The Miz & Damien Sandow
- Panel featuring Renee Young, Booker T, Alex Riley & Paul Heyman
Click here for official event information.
Make plans to join us here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com on Sunday night starting at 7:00 PM EDT for streaming live results, reaction and your discussion.
- Earlier this week in one of my backstage reports here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, I reported that WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee isn't included on the Total Divas reality show because she doesn't want to be. I explained AJ is a private person and even considered aloof in many circles. While the fact she's the real-life wife of CM Punk would certainly prove to be tricky [if she were to be included], it's not the reason she isn't on the reality series.
AJ spoke to Chuck Carroll on the Turnbuckle Weekly about the issue.
“It’s been well documented for the second season they tried to get me on board. I’m not interested in being famous. I’m interested in doing my job and doing it well and that’s wrestling and that’s what I love,” she said. “I could do it, but I wouldn’t do it. I’m just happy being who I am on TV two days a week and on live events and then going into my private life, and into my little hole in the middle of nowhere and having no one talk to me about my private life.”
Click here for the interview in its entirety.
- Digital Spy has a new promotional interview with Seth Rollins now online. In it, Rollins is asked about a number of topics… including CM Punk. However, the one topic I want to focus on is whether or not it's important that he and Dean Ambrose go on last at Hell in a Cell.
Below is an excerpt:
"Yeah, it is. I'd be lying to you if I didn't say that it was. We won't know the answer to that question till Sunday comes. Of course it's important. I want to go on last every single night, regardless of the match, regardless of the show
Ambrose said if he and Rollins aren't the [Hell in a Cell] main event, somebody is making a mistake and they're going to regret it. He also vowed to blow John Cena vs. Randy Ortonout of the water.
You can read the Digital Spy piece at this link.
- Rolling Stone has a new piece online featuring quotes from Dean Ambrose. There are several interesting comments featured, below are a few that I find particularly of interest:
Trying different things:
"I'm trying all kinds of crazy stuff at house shows just for my own amusement and to see what the people are gonna do," he says. "Ya know, start a match, jump me in the aisle, and I'll just fight from underneath the whole time. I don't need a shine. I don't need to arm-drag you four times. They know who I am."
Being in one of the main events at Hell in a Cell:
"Having that main event load to carry is very comfortable for me," he says. "Anything less is uncomfortable."
On his current spot on WWE TV:
"Who knows how long that will last? All the people who love me right now are probably gonna hate me next month." "I'll be fine," he says reassuringly. "There's no, 'Oh my God, somebody else is gonna come back and take my spot.' I wanna have a spot that's my spot, that nobody can take away, because nobody else is me."
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- WWE continues to try and work out a deal to get Randy Orton to work Tuesdays on a regular basis so he can be recurring on Smackdown. They want him going babyface soon to do a program with Seth Rollins, however, with the roster so thin, it'd be difficult to give him the #2 babyface slot without him appearing on Smackdown.
- Alberto Del Rio has been telling promoters that he's free to work anywhere he wants starting next month, including the United States. Some reported recently that Del Rio won a court case against WWE, however, that's not true because there was never a court case. We're told WWE and Del Rio are quietly working things out privately and a settlement is expected by the end of the month. It's not a done deal yet but Del Rio wants it complete before he heads to Japan.
- The latest episode of The Amazing Race aired Friday night on CBS. Robbie E and Brooke -- The Wrestlers -- are not only still in the competition but they've skyrocketed up the board. This week's episode didn't see any eliminations as Misti & Jim -- The Dentists -- came into the episode in 1st but finished last in a non-elimination leg and had to perform a Speed Bump during the next leg of the race. Here's the updated board:
- Kym & Alli (The Cyclists)
- Brooke & Robbie (The Wrestlers)
- Keith & Whitney (Team Nashville)
- Amy & Maya (Sweet Scientists)
- Tim & Te Jay (College Sweethearts)
- Shelley & Nici (Mother/Daugher)
- Adam & Bethany (Soul Surfers)
- Misti & Jim (The Dentists)
- Michael & Scott (The Firefighters)
- Dennis & Isabelle (The Dating Couple)
- Lisa & Michelle (Miami Realtors)
Here's Robbie from Twitter:
Click here to load Tweet (if not loaded)
His latest blog is on ImpactWrestling.com at this link.
Tweet your support to Robbie and Brooke using the hashtag #TheWrestlers.
- On Saturday, we updated on the progress of Brooke and Robbie -- #TheWrestlers -- on The Amazing Race. TNA Wrestling posted a new video with Brooke talking about it at this link.ImpactWrestling.com has more coverage at this link.
- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,065,000 viewers on Spike TV. This is up from last week's average viewing audience of 982,000 viewers.
What do you see being the end result with Seth Rollins and his Money in the Bank opportunity?
It's my hope that Seth Rollins comes out of it as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. John Cena (2012) and Damien Sandow (2013) failing to successfully "cash in" has begun to alter the perception of the briefcase. Maybe not so much Cena but the abysmal booking of Sandow since putting him over in the match itself is worrisome. The same could be said for Dolph Ziggler, even though he won the title. It's unfathomable how WWE gets in this situation. They have an exciting and entertaining concept but hold it down to the point of irrelevance. It's exactly what they've done to their secondary titles. I felt WWE had a great opportunity to put Rollins over at Night of Champions but they chose to leave the title on Brock Lesnar. The biggest cause for the Money in the Bank contract failures can be attributed to a lack of long-term planning. Anyone that wins the contract should have a long-term plan for success as a potential main eventer in place. To not do that is to WWE's own detriment.
Do you see Seth Rollins being built as the next CM Punk? There are so many similarities.
There are a lot of similarities between Seth Rollins and CM Punk and that's one of the takeaways I had from this promotional interview. Rollins was respectful but also honest. I can't stand it when workers "toe the company line" and refuse to be honest because it's very easy to see through when it happens. However, how about instead of Rollins being the next CM Punk, he's the first Seth Rollins? Rollins could actually have a higher ceiling but I believe Punk paved the way for such talent.
If Vince McMahon is desperate for star power, why not try to convince Sting to get on TV?
Vince McMahon realizes WWE's lack of overall star power and he's working to address the issue. Sting is 55 years old and only wants one more match. I don't see the benefit in putting him all over TV, other than taking away from a possible retirement match. I disagree with McMahon's approach in trying to solve the problem by putting Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair on TV, while keeping Brock Lesnar as champion. Why not look from within and push guys like Cesaro? The talent is there but there's an unexplainable resistance to do so. Bray Wyatt seemed to be breaking out but WWE just quit on him. The time from SummerSlam through the end of the year should be used to help create new stars before the build to Wrestlemania. WWE is doing the right thing with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose but there are others as well and the time is now!
Could we see The Boogeyman return to WWE TV anytime soon?
The Boogeyman Marty Wright was photographed at WWE headquarters over the weekend, used in a recent 30-second fury video and featured on a poster for WWE's "Pin to Win" contest. I could absolutely see a Halloween-related cameo but given his age, 50, I don't see much more than that. The Boogeyman was a great gimmick, so over-the-top it worked.
If Roman Reigns makes a surprise comeback and wins the 2015 Royal Rumble, do you think WWE will end up in the same situation as they were in with Daniel Bryan and Batista they were in this year?
We've talked about this before and I really don't think so. Batista was a different situation with countless other issues. Roman Reigns is drawing a fair share of detractors but even if he goes over in the Royal Rumble match, WWE would still be showing confidence in an up and coming worker. However, I will say the last memory the WWE audience has of Reigns isn't a good one.
From the Ask WNW vault…
January 2012: Why are Divas matches so short? - WWE Divas matches are limited due to time constraints. The WWE creative team has to work closely with production to get everything in. As you can imagine, Monday’s are very stressful due to going live on the USA Network and having to make sure to stay “on time.” Divas are not pushed based on athletic talent and in-ring performance so their matches are usually cut short as a result.
What exactly does WWE see in Randy Orton? He can't handle crowd heat, he has no real character traits, and there are way more wrestlers beneath him with equal physique and skill and way more charisma.
It's safe to say you are not a fan of Randy Orton… and that's OK! Orton, like John Cena, is a polarizing figure and most fans either love him or hate him. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground and that's the case with most top stars. The fact of the matter is Orton was correct in his in-ring promo on Raw when he talked about himself, along with Lesnar and Cena, being faces of a generation. Some love him, some hate him but history will see Orton as one of the biggest WWE stars of all-time.
With the winner of John Cena vs. Randy Orton getting a title shot against Brock Lesnar, could we see Cena vs. Lesnar III?
Yes, that's absolutely a possibility. As a matter of fact, it would be John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar IV if we counted Extreme Rules 2012 (the dreadful outcome where Cena beat him out of the gate). Vince McMahon seriously considered Cena vs. Lesnar at Hell in a Cell but later changed his mind. I believe it would be better to move on with Orton vs. Lesnar but then it's a situation of heel vs. heel, unless they turn Orton (which is a possibility, especially with Seth Rollins looming with the briefcase). We'll see how it plays out but WWE wants to accomplish two things; treat Randy Orton as a legitimate main event talent and set up a program for Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Do you feel Rusev's gimmick is getting old? The way WWE used a fake soldier was a disgrace to the uniform I wear. The American flag was on the wrong side and was facing backwards. Just so you are tracking, The American flag is always facing forward, showing that the US is always going forward and never retreating.
I haven't been a fan of Rusev's Russian/not Russian anti-America gimmick since its onset. It generates cheap heat and is tailored for a monster heel but it's been used so much, I find it boring. Not to mention Rusev isn't even Russian. I will admit I feel hypocritical criticizing because I want to see WWE push new stars but the Rusev concept seems like doing so in lazy/uncreative fashion. He's an impressive talent, especially given his size, but I question how far they can take the Russian/not Russian anti-America gimmick. As for the stuff involving the fake soldier, I don't know why WWE does such silly things.
What are your thoughts on the work of Justin Roberts? Personally I thought he was a very talented announcer and will miss his work. Where would you put him on the list of all time great WWE announcers?
I was a huge fan of Justin Roberts. He has a great voice and was very talented at his job. I will miss him but I am also a big fan of Lilian Garcia. I don't know where Roberts ranks as far as "all-time greats" but I agree with Joey Styles that Howard Finkel is the best ever.
From the Ask WNW vault…
November 2012: Do all full time WWE stars have the same downside guarantee or are they negotiable? - Downside guarantees vary from worker to worker. The more valuable the worker is to WWE, the more downside money they are paid. Downside guarantees are negotiated before contracts are signed. Without going into exact figures (I don’t have them), John Cena is making significantly more than Roman Reigns. For those unaware what the term downside means, it’s money a worker gets no matter what for as long as they are under a WWE performer’s contract unless they are suspended.Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered.
Is there any chance we see Randy Orton go over at Hell in a Cell, face Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series, only for Seth Rollins to "cash in" and start Orton vs. Rollins? OR do you think we aren't going to have the title defended for two straight pay-per-views?
I want to unpack this a little. First, we don't know Brock Lesnar's next WWE World Heavyweight Championship defense. When he was yanked from the Hell in a Cell plans, some people started speculating he was off WWE TV for the rest of the year. I tried to warn that wasn't true and finally there is evidence to suggest that Lesnar is "probable" for WWE TLC in December. However, the question this poses is what about Survivor Series? I can confirm there have been no mentions of Lesnar at Survivor Series last week or this week but it's still up in the air.
As for Randy Orton vs. John Cena [on Sunday], I believe most people want to see Orton go over because they don't want to see Cena vs. Lesnar again. I completely agree. The issue is going to be with how WWE handles turning Orton babyface, an inevitability if they are going to program him with Lesnar. With that being said, I have not heard the direction they plan to go at Hell in a Cell. I do know that Orton is being "catered to" right now, which is the reason for the high profile match against Cena in the first place.
Finally, regarding Seth Rollins "cashing in," this is another unknown factor. We know he won't be utilizing the briefcase on Sunday but what about Survivor Series? We have to figure out Lesnar's status before we can even think about a successful "cash in." As I stated earlier in the week, I believe it's imperative that Rollins is successful in cashing in the briefcase.
Do you agree with me that it's quite clear Randy Orton will go over this Sunday against John Cena due to the stipulation added and WWE catering to him?
I agree Randy Orton over John Cena is the outcome people want at Hell in a Cell but I'm not ready to say it's clear or predictable. Yes, Vince McMahon is trying to quell concerns Orton has had with the booking of his character. That's why his match at Hell in a Cell is being promoted as a co-main event.
With 8 matches on the Hell in a Cell card, the pay-per-view seems overbooked. In my opinion, either one match will get little to no time, or matches could be merged, such as the Hell in a Cell matches. What do you think?
Eight matches is the standard for a WWE pay-per-view, the reason I picked this question is to address the strength of the Hell in a Cell card. Heading into last weekend, I asked my friends on Facebook if they were excited for Hell in a Cell. The consensus was they were not and I agreed. Now, given the fact Orton vs. Cena means something and the other matches added, I believe there is considerable interest in the pay-per-view even without a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. Check out the spoiler lineup at this link, I believe issues surrounding the show's lineup have been resolved.
I've read rumors that TNA has no TV deal in place and there is a good chance if nothing is reached by Nov 1st, TNA will be up for sale. Can you confirm any of this?
No, I cannot confirm and it sounds like a lot of speculation. The Carter family has had two significant opportunities to sell TNA Wrestling in recent years. One opportunity came when Toby Keith and Jeff Jarrett inquired and Spike TV (Viacom) was interested before deciding to move on. They could always choose to sell at anytime, I just find it hard to believe they would choose to sell now when their value was higher in the months prior. With that being said, it's really getting down to the wire on a new TV deal and TNA must remain on TV in the United States to remain in operation.
From the Ask WNW vault…
December 2011: Are WWE wrestlers classified as WWE employees or independent contractors? - WWE wrestlers signed under performer’s contracts are classified as independent contractors, not company employees. Due to the independent contractor status, there is no set pay structure or union that offers benefits. The classification has been argued and even fought in court; however, the bottom line is every wrestler under a WWE performer’s contract has legally agreed to be an independent contractor for WWE. We can debate the classification for hours but it makes no sense for a wrestler to agree to working as an independent contractor only to argue it once the agreement has ended. A contract is only binding if both sides agree and no matter how much someone may argue a WWE performer’s contract, they have to sign it for it to become legally binding.
With all the conversation that has been on here about the prestige, or lack thereof, of the mid-card titles, specifically the IC Title; Do you feel that the company more or less views the MITB briefcase as its most prestigious mid-card "title" seeing as how it basically creates a main event worker instantaneously?
What would your ideas be to add prestige to the IC and US titles? Wouldn't defending them in the main event of Smackdown be a good start?
I put these questions together because they flow off one another. First, WWE has done the same thing to the Money in the Bank briefcase they've done to their mid-card titles - see Damien Sandow. I discussed it earlier in the week and it's the result of not having a clear plan for the MITB contract holder. Obviously past success has given the MITB contract holder prestige, which is why Seth Rollins is seen as a bigger deal than either midcard champion right now. However, if WWE treats Rollins the way they treated Sandow (or to a less extent, Dolph Ziggler), the MITB briefcase is going to be in the same situation as the United States or Intercontinental titles respectively.
As for rebuilding prestige, it's not difficult but it's going to take some planning. I completely agree with the philosophy it's the worker that makes the title, not the title that makes the worker but WWE can't book the worker repeatedly under in non-title matches and expect defenses to mean something. My idea to rebuilding prestige is to establish a plan. That plan would be to eliminate champions participating in non-title matches, stop switching titles at the drop of a dime and make a conscience effort to push the strapped worker. WWE has this bad habit of changing directions after putting someone over. Either push them or don't. Beginning a push and slamming the brakes is recipe for disaster and one of the reasons why WWE has such a void at the top of the card despite a tremendous amount of talent under contract.
If WWE does not renew Brock Lesnar's contract after WrestleMania 31, what will that mean for Paul Heyman's future with the company?
WWE would be crazy to let Paul Heyman walk regardless of what happens with Brock Lesnar. Heyman is still one of the best mouthpieces in the business and while past "Heyman Guy" projects have failed, I don't believe that's indicative of his overall value. The reason WWE is limiting Heyman's exposure right now is because they want him exclusively alongside Brock Lesnar because Lesnar is to be perceived as on a different level from the rest of the roster. That said, I don't know if WWE will resign Lesnar. I don't think it's likely unless he comes way down on price but the company has invested a lot in him.
With John Cena getting so much heat from WWE fans and WWE reluctant to turn him, will Cena ever "win over" the audience again?
John Cena has always been polarizing and that will continue for the foreseeable future. WWE has had opportunities to turn him heel in the past but they've been reluctant and I just don't see it happening. Even if Vince McMahon pulled the trigger on a heel turn, Cena would still be polarizing as that's how top stars are perceived regardless of their on-air character. As for your question, I don't see anything Cena can do to make himself a 100% babyface. That's difficult for anyone to do, let alone someone that has collected the number of haters that John has.
You have mentioned on multiple occasions that, "...without Spike TV, TNA will be forced to scale back from what we’re used to seeing from them." Jeff Jarrett started TNA out on a low dollar PPV format before TV rights were granted. Optimism aside, do you see TNA possibly having to go back to the very beginning and re-build the company from scratch? Do you think that TNA could ever recover from such a downgrade? Where would this leave other promotions like ROH, CZW, etc.?
If TNA Wrestling loses Spike TV, it's very likely they lose their spot as the "number two promotion" in the United States. However, it's still unclear what exactly that will look like. Times have changed since Jeff Jarrett started TNA, mostly due to the evolution of iPPV. There are several independent promotions that run them and not to mention Ring of Honor has widespread TV clearance with the backing of Sinclair Broadcast Group. I can't tell you if TNA would have to "start from scratch" but if they lose domestic TV clearance, big trouble is ahead. If they get a deal, they'll have to scale back in some fashion but until we see the deal, it's very difficult to predict what that will look like. As for other promotions, the spot for "number two" would technically be up for grabs, but it's more of an equal playing field with WWE and "everyone else."
From the Ask WNW vault…
March 2012: How long does the WWE Wellness Policy last? I realize it one strike is a 30-day suspension, two strikes is a 60-day suspension and three strikes results in termination. However, let’s take Evan Bourne for example. If he fails another Wellness test in let’s say three years, would he still be fired? What about William Regal, who also has two violations? Is there a time when the policy resets? - The policy doesn’t reset and even if Evan Bourne or William Regal were terminated and later re-signed, they would return with two Wellness Test failures. If a worker has three failures and they are terminated, they will remain terminated for at least one year. If WWE brings them back after their minimum termination of one year they will return with two Wellness strikes, must test negative during pre-screening and will be subject to strict random testing while they are under WWE contract. The entire WWE Wellness Policy is online at this link.
Is it just me or does Chyna seem extremely jealous and bitter towards Stephanie McMahon and WWE?
What about Sean Waltman? She accused him of drugging her with GHB, abusing her physically and emotionally and then talked about his drug abuse (including using needles). The video blog we're talking about was posted Thursday here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com. Look, I'm not into victim bashing but after the things Chyna said, people are going to talk about the video. She makes a good point about Stephanie McMahon standing high and mighty against domestic violence when WWE has showcased anything but. I realize there's a difference between a contrived storyline and real-life but remember this is a company where the Chairman once forced a Diva on her hands and knees and had her bark like a dog in front of a sold out crowd. Any time WWE takes a stand against issues like bullying or domestic violence, they're going to take heat because of what they have on tape. I agree Chyna should let her issues against Stephanie and Hunter and whoever else go but she made some pretty damning allegations against Sean Waltman.
What are the plans for Bray Wyatt?
WWE is in the process of separating The Wyatt Family to push them out on their own. From what I've been told, there are big plans for Bray Wyatt. We'll see how WWE restarts on Bray because he's been lost since SummerSlam. I don't understand the logic behind pulling him from TV and burying him against Big Show on live events at a time when WWE needs star power in the worst way.
Why hasn't Fandango been featured on WWE TV lately?
Fandango is no longer a priority and has lost his spot on TV to other midcard gimmicks. He has been on the road in an enhancement role but nothing further. This is just the case of creative having nothing for a talent. There was initially a lot of optimism with Fandango, putting him over Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania 29 and his theme music getting over big in the weeks after. However, interest later cooled and so did Vince McMahon in terms of making him a midcard priority.
I have read your recent installments and the way you view Brock Lesnar as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. While I do agree with your assessment, I also feel the title is defended and switched too often. I personally feel the WWE World Heavyweight Champion should appear frequently but not defend every month. What are your thoughts?
There have only been three WWE World Heavyweight Champions this year and Daniel Bryan was stripped due to injury. In 2013, the belt was held by CM Punk, The Rock, John Cena, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. I personally do not feel that's switching the title too often. If WWE changed it every month -- or treated it like one of their midcard belts -- I would feel it was a problem. However, less than a handful of world title changes doesn't seem like too much to me. With only one world title and WWE treating every pay-per-view (there are 12) as a "must order event," is it really too much to ask that the top belt be defended? We're talking a minimum of 12 defenses over the course of a year. WWE fans are flooded with hours upon hours of content each week and now we've gotten to the point where we can't expect 12 title defenses? I'm sorry but I just completely disagree the world title is 1) switched too often or 2) defended too frequently.
It would be one thing if WWE had four TV shows and a pay-per-view each month but with Raw, Main Event, Superstars, NXT and Smackdown before even getting into Total Divas, YouTube content and WWE Network originals, it's imperative WWE utilize their most prized possession on a regular basis. This whole idea that fewer world title defenses makes the title more prestigious is asinine. Out of sight, out of mind; there's no other way to spin it.
From the Ask WNW vault…
February 2012: Could you see Santino Marella ever holding the WWE Championship or World Heavyweight Championship? Why or why not? - I do not consider Santino Marella world champion material. No disrespect to him but the character is a comedy gimmick that isn’t meant to be taken seriously as an in-ring performer. Randy Orton’s concussion provided WWE a chance to book Santino in the underdog role at Elimination Chamber but I don’t think anyone legitimately thought he was going to defend the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania. How he was booked on last night’s Raw Supershow against Daniel Bryan is more indicative of his position in the company. The rare thing about Santino is that he isn’t hurt by doing jobs because of how good he is on the mic.