What is the latest on the Brock Lesnar signing with WWE rumors?
In my latest free update I noted Brock Lesnar was in Miami to meet with WWE officials with the hope of appearing at Wrestlemania 28 or Raw Supershow tonight. I have much more regarding Lesnar on my Backstage Blog and in the WNW Premium Area. I have the latest on Lesnar and I will be posting more shortly.
With the crowd reaction following the World Heavyweight Championship 'match' at Wrestlemania last night, can you see a forced heel turn for Sheamus, with the crowd backing Bryan after his burial?
Daniel Bryan was a babyface before WWE did the quick match with Sheamus going over. There were "Yes, Yes, Yes!" chants and signs with Sheamus the clear heel in the bout. In the best case scenario, last night's squash will lead to some gimmick progression, ditching the "cheating" gimmick and on to bigger and better things in the top of the card. Worse case, he's reduced back to a mid-card role. I will have my full reaction to the match in Richard Reacts to Wrestlemania XXVIII online later today.
Why did WWE put Sheamus over Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds at Wrestlemania?
I got word last night the match was a planned outcome and WWE had hoped to beat the time it took Kane to beat Chavo Guerrero for the ECW Championship at Wrestlemania XXIV back in 2008. My first thought was something had happened, such as an injury, that caused the quick finish but that doesn't appear to be the case.
What will happen with The Rock vs. John Cena now that their Wrestlemania match is over?
The Rock is advertised for tonight's Raw Supershow so I expect it to be addressed on tonight's show. Going forward, I am really hopeful for some character progression for Cena as a lot of people are thrilled he got pinned clean, however, it is worrisome that The Rock is near the end of his latest WWE run (before Wrestlemania XXIX next year) and Cena has to go forward as the loser. I'll elaborate much more in my Richard Reacts to Wrestlemania XXVIII feature coming later today.
What are your thoughts on John Cena following his "Once in a Lifetime" match at Wrestlemania XXVIII?
Most fans were thrilled to see John Cena get pinned clean by The Rock at Wrestlemania XXVIII and while I was happy to see a clean outcome, the finish was worrisome. I maintained throughout the build to Wrestlemania it was going to be very difficult for The Rock to go over Cena clean if he wasn't returning to WWE full-time. He isn't returning full-time and it sets a dangerous precedent going forward. Prior to Brock Lesnar returning in the final segment of last night's Raw Supershow, Cena was delivering one most robotic, boring promos of all time. There HAS to be some type of gimmick transition for Cena following his loss to The Rock. Promising he's not going to lash out at the fans and "the better man won," makes him look incredibly weak and way below The Rock. The return of Lesnar saved the closing segment but the promo highlighted the monotony of Cena's character. We've literally SEEN ENOUGH and it's time for something to happen.
Is Vince McMahon going to exploit the Daniel Bryan situation and turn him into a top babyface or will he buried in favor of Sheamus?
There is no way to accurately predict Vince McMahon's mindset but part of me feels like he was patting himself on the back last night. Sheamus' 18-second squash of Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania has caused Bryan's stock to skyrocket and McMahon's pupils probably dilated to dollar signs last night. While I was very unhappy with the booking of the World Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestlemania but it has actually made the fans care more than they probably would have if they would have gotten a significant amount of time. Think about it this way, as good as the match could have been, was there any way they were going to top Cena/Rock, Jericho/Punk and Undertaker/Triple H? I'm not defending Vince McMahon but there is a method to his madness no matter how insane it seems at times.
What is The Rock's future with WWE going forward?
The Rock finished up his latest WWE return on last night's Raw Supershow. He is not in the plans going into the WWE Draft and will not return in the immediate future. There are plans to utilize him at Wrestlemania next year and possibly an event before then but he's not a full-time WWE superstar.
With WWE promoting The Rock vs. John Cena as "once in a lifetime," I feel like it's a bit ironic because Rock vs. Hulk Hogan was pretty much billed as the same thing. How do you feel the Rock vs Cena compares to Rock vs. Hogan?
The Rock vs. John Cena was bigger because it had a full year build and featured both workers still in the prime of their careers. Hogan vs. Rock was billed as a tremendous match but wasn't even the main event at Wrestlemania X8 (the show was headlined by Triple H vs. Chris Jericho). WWE has a way of "overlooking the past" or even forgetting it when it benefits them for obvious monetary purposes.
Following Wrestlemania 29, what will happen to The Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels?
I haven't heard the latest on The Undertaker's status but prior to his Hell in a Cell match against Triple H at Wrestlemania 28 on Sunday, WWE had already begun looking at ideas to use him next year at Wrestlemania 29. The way the match ended on Sunday, it was done so it could have "ended" his career but that has been nothing more than speculation. Triple H was backstage at TVs this week, working just like always. Hunter signed a new performer's contract at the beginning of the year that runs through March 2016, so he isn't hanging up the boots quite yet. Shawn Michaels is retired and returned only to be the special guest referee for the Wrestlemania 28 match. There are no plans as of this writing for him to return to the ring in any capacity.
Is it just me or did the Lord Tensai gimmick fall flat on Raw Supershow? The crowd was hot all night then when he came out they were chanting "shave your back" and "boring." What were your thoughts on his debut?
The Lord Tensai gimmick didn't see to draw much of a response from the live crowd or the TV crowd based on responses in our Comments Area. It looked like WWE was going to give the gimmick significant build and I was surprised to see Bloom re-debut so early. With that being said, I haven't seen enough to have an opinion. When Brodus Clay debuted as the Funkasaurus people were up in arms. I said I was surprised about the gimmick but I was going to wait and see what happened. Clay is now over like rover so it's important to give a gimmick some time before judging it either way.
Do you think the "YES! YES! YES!" chants will continue? Or is it just a Florida thing?
Daniel Bryan is very over in the state of Florida so it will be interesting to see if the chants continue throughout the country. There doesn't seem to be plans to turn him babyface but I'm told the squash at Wrestlemania was about revamping his character without AJ. That seems to be the direction but we'll have to wait and see about future reactions.
What is the backstage opinion of Brock Lesnar returning to WWE?
It's the same song and dance. There are those happy to see Brock Lesnar return while others are extremely critical of another part-timer coming in for a big payday. One thing I find interesting is that John Cena and Lesnar didn't get along the last time around and now they are working together. It should be an interesting story to follow both in and out of the ring. If you want my opinion, I welcome any star that draws and think anyone that complains about it should figure out how they do it.
I have read and heard your opinions on current superstars learning from "part-time" wrestlers for when they comeback but don't you think it's unfair for them to take a backseat to part-timers?
There are a lot of full-time workers that feel it's an injustice for people like The Rock and Brock Lesnar to be able to return for a guaranteed main event spot and big payday when they are the ones on the road 300 days out of the year, working very hard for their spot. I will be the first to admit it isn't fair, however, this is a business and it's all about money. Word began to make rounds yesterday that Wrestlemania 28 did 1.9 million buys. If that's true, the results don't lie and WWE will be very, very pleased with the number. This has become somewhat of a paradoxical point of view for me as I am for WWE bringing in part-timers as long as they draw while criticizing TNA for doing essentially the same thing. However, my argument is that if TNA did it and it grew their audience then I would have no problem with it. What bothers me about TNA is they were growing with their own talent and brought in people like Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff and they haven't made much of an impact.
With Brock Lesnar returning to WWE do you expect Paul Heyman to return in some way?
Paul Heyman was not part of Brock Lesnar's deal to return to WWE, however, he has worked very closely with WWE in the past when it came to Lesnar. I don't know if he ends up coming in or not as there are some probably pushing for it. I would be for Heyman coming in as an on-screen character but him and Vince McMahon seem to butt heads too hard when trying to work together.
I will be the first to admit I've never really liked TNA but I'm curious why WWE stars leave for TNA. Take Ric Flair for example, wouldn't he be better off in WWE?
There are two types of situations where workers leave WWE for TNA. The first are workers that are released from WWE or in their eyes are underutilized. These workers want to remain relevant so they go to TNA where they are still able to be seen on national television. The second situation are workers that are not interested in working the hectic WWE travel schedule and enjoy being able to work a select number of dates in beautiful Orlando, Florida while still getting paid. Ric Flair's situation was different because he had retired as an in-ring performer in WWE but was retained as an ambassador for the company. When he began to get the itch to return to the ring, WWE wasn't interested. Not only that but I don't believe he liked having to book all his outside appearances through WWE so they ended up parting ways.
What show were you watching in the Monday night wars - WWF Monday Night Raw or WCW Monday Nitro?
During the inception of the new World order and heel turn of Hulk Hogan I was glued to WCW Monday Nitro, flipping over the USA Network during the commercial breaks. When the WWF turned things up with DeGeneration X, Steve Austin and The Rock, I found myself watching Raw and flipping to Nitro during the commercial breaks. I never recorded either show so it was always a remote game, however, my viewing pattern followed the pattern of many that of course ultimately saw the WWF win the war.
What are the chances for The Undertaker to be in the Hall of Fame next year? Is he going to retire now that he is 20-0?
WWE is playing up the fact The Undertaker is "finished" because there is nothing left for him to accomplish. You can watch a compelling video of WWE stars discussing his outstanding Wrestlemania 28 bout against Triple H at this link. Behind-the-scenes I can confirm WWE is already making plans for Undertaker to work Wrestlemania 29 next year in New Jersey. I don't know where Undertaker stands on working/retiring but the company is making plans like he will work. As for the Hall of Fame, I haven't heard any names mentioned for induction next year.
I know a lot of the boys dislike Brock Lesnar and The Rock based on issues highlighted in yesterday's Ask WNW but at the same time I feel like Brock & Rock have earned this type of treatment. It seems like to me the boys in the back don't know what it means to pay your dues. What are your thoughts?
I do not feel it's an issue where the boys don't understand what it's like to "pay dues" as one could argue there are boys in the back that have "paid their dues" more than both The Rock and Brock Lesnar. It's a situation where Rock and Brock (I love how that rhymes) are very rare and talented individuals that still draw. There is obviously a lot of jealousy and resentment towards guys that can come in part-time and earn huge 7-figure salaries for minimal work while the boys working 300 days a year are making significantly less. My argument is that it's up to the "full-timers" to step up and force WWE to take notice of them and there won't be a need to highlight part-time talent. With that being said I can also understand how frustrating it would be to hear Lesnar is reportedly getting $5 million for a limited amount of dates over the next year. However, from a fan's perspective, I want the most entertaining programming and I welcome the addition of Rock and Brock.
Do you ever see WWE holding Wrestlemania abroad? I would think Wrestlemania in England would be huge.
We get this question a lot and while I have heard WWE has looked at parts of Canada to hold Wrestlemania, the big detractor on holding it in England (or anywhere in the UK) is the time difference. As popular as WWE is internationally their top priority is still their core United States fan base. I love the fans over in the UK as I feel they add a unique aspect to WWE programming and would like to see WWE bring back a pay-per-view held across the pond but I would not be in favor of Wrestlemania due to the aforementioned time difference problem.
You mentioned that you found it ironic that Brock Lesnar was working with John Cena because in the past Lesnar didn't like Cena. Why?
I do not know the specific reason Brock Lesnar didn't like Cena but it's clear in many circles they didn't get along. Lesnar was a main event talent while Cena was still "coming up" and I don't know if Lesnar saw Cena as a threat or just didn't like him personally. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out but it's very different now as Cena is the face of WWE and no one is going to push him around.