I've noticed WWE bringing up Tensai's initial WWE run before he went to Japan. Has WWE given up on trying to pretend the past didn't happen?
WWE has acknowledged Tensai's initial run in the company as Albert (and A-Train) since he was brought back in the revamped gimmick earlier this year. I don't know what made them decide to acknowledge it other than the hope that fans would move past the "shave your back chants." Whatever the reasoning was, Tensai has failed to get over and has seen his push significantly scaled back. It's widely believed the monster push of heel Big Show was originally slated for Tensai. As for this being the new WWE precedent, I don't see that as being the case as the company clearly makes up the rules as they go along and it all depends on the situation.
Could you see Panda Energy selling TNA to Vince McMahon?
From time-to-time we have readers that email in and ask about the possibility of Vince McMahon acquiring TNA Wrestling. I could see Vince being interested in the tape library but do not see him being interested in investing in a company that isn't close to competing with him. Jeff Jarrett is trying to bring on a new investor as we have full details at this link.
Has Jack Swagger been released from WWE?
Jack Swagger was on the road with the Raw crew this weekend and has not been released from his WWE contract. Swagger, who the creative team has no plans for, put over WWE United States Champion Santino Marella.
When is Ted DiBiase going to be returning to WWE television?
Ted DiBiase's return to WWE television is considered imminent as he returned to the ring at live events last month. I haven't heard if he is booked for this week's WWE Raw, however, he is in town and will be signing autographs with Kaitlyn in San Antonio today from Noon until 2 PM at the National Guard Armory.
I feel ever since John Cena did not successfully cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase the match has lost prestige. What are your thoughts?
If it would have been an up and coming worker that did not successfully "cash in" the Money in the Bank briefcase by winning the title, I would have been very critical of WWE's booking of the match stipulation. Given the circumstances, along with the fact it was John Cena, I do not feel the prestige of the gimmick was hurt. Cena is going to be a main event star and as you can see, will still be challenging for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam.
Was Alex Riley's win on Raw a one time thing or is this a turnaround for his career?
The way WWE booked Alex Riley over Dolph Ziggler on this week's Raw was more that Dolph lost the match than Riley won it. Chris Jericho even mentioned on commentary how long it's been since Riley has gone over in a match. A win certainly doesn't hurt Alex Riley, however, I'm not sure his win was meant to be anything other than Jericho distracting Ziggler.
This week's WWE Raw was advertised as "Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night" but he was hardly featured. Why was this?
The real "Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night" took place after this week's WWE Raw went off the air as we have a live report here and footage available here. The entire gimmick was done as a way to get Shawn Michaels involved in Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam as WWE is always looking for ways to use Shawn in non-wrestling capacities. There was actually talk about Lesnar taking out Shawn on Raw 1000 but it was cut during one of the many re-writes.
Do you think Chris Jericho's current program with Dolph Ziggler is going to be his last before taking another hiatus from WWE and who do you see going over who in the storyline? My money is on The Showoff.
Chris Jericho's program with Dolph Ziggler is his final before taking another hiatus to tour with Fozzy. The correct way to book it would be for Ziggler to go over as a "passing of the torch" but I'll also be the first to admit that I am not high up on Jericho as a babyface. Jericho is talented enough to play both but I have a hard time buying him as a babyface given how great he is as a heel.
With growing concerns from WWE talent about the pay and compensation they are receiving; can you see a union for professional wrestlers forming in the future?
We get questions from time-to-time about a pro wrestling union with the issue really being brought the the forefront after the Benoit tragedy, however, I don't see how it would be possible. Performer's contracts in WWE are signed as independent contractor agreements, where the workers agree they are not classified as employees even though the company stipulates very specifically when and where they can work. Former workers have challenged the contracts in court, however, they are iron clad in terms of validity and enforcement.
When will Dolph Ziggler "cash in" his Money in the Bank briefcase?
WWE is currently programming Dolph Ziggler with Chris Jericho, which will hopefully culminate with a SummerSlam bout between the two with some type of "passing of the torch" from Jericho to Ziggler (as Jericho is slated time off to tour with Fozzy). I would look for WWE to play up Ziggler as the Money in the Bank winner before any real attempt to "cash in" takes place despite continuing teases due to how quickly they had John Cena "cash in." I'm hopeful Ziggler is able to get over as a top heel in the program with Jericho that will lead to a World title reign in the future.
What's the latest on Alex Shelley? Many believed he was supposed to sign with WWE but there haven't been many updates on him for a while. Is he still set to go?
Alex Shelley to WWE fell apart with TNA's lawsuit they filed against WWE and Brian Wittenstein where they alleged contract tampering. The last I heard, Shelley was looking to take time off from the wrestling business and had enrolled to take some college classes.
What are your thoughts on CM Punk as a heel? In my opinion CM Punk is a good heel but a great babyface and role model.
I have noticed quite a few readers already crapping on CM Punk's heel turn, however, it's far too early to judge. I'm going to give it some time to see how it plays out before I judge one way or another. Punk is a talented guy capable of working as both babyface and heel so my advice to you (and anyone else ready to judge) is to have patience with it.
Can you explain TNA's lawsuit against WWE and what it means for both companies?
TNA Wrestling filed the lawsuit against former employee Brian Wittenstein and WWE, alleging that Wittenstein provided WWE with confidential information and trade secrets while he was an employee earlier this year. Prior to the lawsuit being filed in late-May, WWE contacted TNA to let them know that Wittenstein had provided them with confidential information. TNA believes WWE was using the information to obtain Ric Flair (and other wrestlers with expiring deals) and that WWE delayed Wittenstein's termination by three weeks after obtaining the information. As for what it all means, do not expect WWE to hire anyone that worked for TNA while Wittensten was an employee there until the lawsuit is over. WWE has the money and resources to tie the case up in court for years so who gets hurt is anyone that has worked for TNA that would like a shot in WWE. TNA's objective is to not only show their roster is of value but that it cannot be poached by WWE when more money is offered.
Do you see WWE going back to being WWF now that the lawsuit World Wildlife Federation filed (now World Wildlife Fund) has been settled?
I do not know the formalities behind WWE's settlement with the World Wildlife Fund other than WWE no longer has to blur out the old WWF logos. I do not see WWE reverting back to their old name, even if they are allowed to use it, due to the amount of money and resources spent on brand awareness.
What were your thoughts on Kevin Nash's disrespectful comments about Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero?
Kevin Nash has the right to say whatever he wants although I, along with most, disagree with what he said about Benoit and Guerrero as champions. It's funny how upset Nash has the ability to make people but I think it all boils down to the fact he's bored. Nash is sitting around with plenty of money in the bank, looking for something to entertain him. Remember in June when Nash Tweeted he was running Raw only to say social media was his PS3? Nash's comments keep the emails, Tweets and texts coming and he finds them extremely entertaining.
Which match would you like to see go on last at SummerSlam? - Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar or CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show?
Given the fact CM Punk vs. John Cena headlined SummerSlam last year, I'm in favor of Triple H w/Shawn Michaels vs. Brock Lesnar closing the show. We could argue about the titles holding precedence over the part-timers but the fact of the matter is Lesnar vs. Hunter is a bigger match and I'm more interested in it than anything else on the card.
Why was John Cena the first to not win the WWE Championship after winning Money in the Bank? Was it for the future, so the writers are no longer obligated to make the winner the champ? By having Cena be the first, it seems it would be easier for them to have others lose in the future.
I can't give you a firm explanation as to why WWE made John Cena the first Money in the Bank winner that failed to successfully "cash in" but it will be interesting to see if the company puts him over for the title at SummerSlam. If that's the case, the fact he didn't successfully "cash in" at Raw 1000 is a moot point. WWE clearly tried something different with the Money in the Bank match this year, having one comprised of all top stars and former title holders. Traditionally the match has been used to elevatelavate mid-card talent like many are hoping with Dolph Ziggler.
Is Randy Orton not on SummerSlam because of his Wellness suspension or is there just not a spot for him?
Randy Orton claimed earlier in the week he won't be working SummerSlam. It's one of those things I'll have to see to believe, however, if he is a SummerSlam snub it's certainly punishment for his second documented WWE Wellness Policy violation. SummerSlam is treated as WWE's second-biggest pay-per-view of the year and carries one of the heaviest paydays for the workers on it. Taking the big payday from Orton could be the final part of his punishment for the failed test.
Reflecting on Kevin Nash's Grantland.com comments I looked over the WWE roster. Big Show, The Undertaker, Kane, The Great Khali and Mark Henry are all the wrong side of 39 and there aren't many "big men" left on the roster. Is the era of the big man drawing to a close?
The wrestling business has clearly changed with more of an emphasis put on Wellness and the lack of stars with the "bodybuilder" look carrying the company. It also seems the WWE is like the NBA in that it has shrunk with fewer big men than years past. My view on it is, give me someone entertaining over someone with shock value any day. I would much rather Daniel Bryan or CM Punk, who are both capable of working great matches and carrying a feud, than someone that has an extraordinary look but is painful to watch do anything. I am not reading too much into Nash's comments because I honestly think he was looking for shock value to get people talking about him.