Chaos At Raw After Set Catches On Fire, Randy Orton Returns, AW Embarrasses WWE With Dated Kobe Bryant Joke, Top Matches Confirmed For SummerSlam, WWE Star On "Endangered Species" List Following Public Comments, Does CM Punk Have Heat With Jerry Lawler?, Details On A Top WWE Star The Company Has No Long-Term Plans For, Jericho's Departure Date, WWE Investor Scolds McMahon Over WWE Network, McMahon Admits They Took PG Too Far, Panda Energy Tired Of Funding TNA Wrestling?, Why TNA Is Fighting WWE In Court, Ask WNW Archive & All The Big News From This Past Week


Was CM Punk's attack on The Rock a heel turn or just a statement?

There has been talk for the last several weeks of turning CM Punk heel so when he attacked The Rock to conclude last week's 1000th episode of Raw I figured it was the company pulling the trigger. After speaking with my sources, I was able to outline the premise of the heel turn and wrote a detailed article here on Premium. Some people pointed out the fact Punk didn't work as a heel on this weekend's live events but that means nothing. Live events are outlined several weeks in advance and are not always indicative of what is going on with current story lines.

I was wondering why WWE would have both Sheamus and CM Punk on tour with Smackdown?

WWE booked CM Punk to tour with Smackdown in place of Randy Orton. Punk is seen as number two behind Cena so the thinking was to separate the two as the main draws of the company. With Orton returning, he's scheduled to begin touring again with Smackdown and Punk going back to Raw. Orton's first tour as the "face of Smackdown" is next week's loop in Japan.

Why is Brock Lesnar part-time or what does he do when he's not working for WWE? He obviously doesn't have UFC commitments.

Brock Lesnar despised the travel schedule in WWE and left because he hated life on the road. When he negotiated his return, he wanted as much money for as few dates as possible. Given his drawing power, Lesnar was able to work out a lucrative deal like we've never seen before. One thing everyone needs to understand is Lesnar is not engaged what-so-ever with what's going in WWE. He's there for the money and will do whatever they want to collect his check, even if it involves going through with ridiculous stunts to try and "work the Internet."

I thought bringing The New Age Outlaws and Sean Waltman back to D-Generation X for one night was great but where you surprised to see Waltman involved given his personal problems ? Also do you think he may have been intoxicated I thought he looked very awkward and out of place.

Sean Waltman is friends with Triple H so I wasn't surprised to see his involvement. As I've previously reported, Waltman would probably be a hired employee if it were not for issues that make him a "risk" for the company. As for Waltman's state at Raw, I don't know what his condition was and refuse to speculate.

Were you surprised that Randy Orton was not immediately placed into a storyline on Raw? Do you think he'll have a match at SummerSlam?

WWE wanted to bring Randy Orton back on the live show and give him a chance to work. While his stock has fallen due to heat from his second documented WWE Wellness Policy violation, there are preliminary plans to book him in the top of the card. Orton is advertised to appear at this week's Smackdown taping so perhaps he will get a storyline there. I would be surprised if Orton were left off the SummerSlam card.

With his feud with CM Punk behind him, what is next for Daniel Bryan?

Based on what WWE did on this week's Raw it appears WWE is rehashing the program between Daniel Bryan and Kane, perhaps for a match at SummerSlam. As is the case with Orton, both Bryan and Kane are advertised for this week's Smackdown taping so we should get further clarification of the direction WWE intends to take after the show is taped.

Can you explain why even though WWE Raw is now an hour longer they still can't find time to slip in one Divas match?

We have had a lot of readers email in and ask about the Divas and there is no way I can explain the thinking behind not featuring even one Divas match. WWE doesn't highlight their Divas based on in-ring work and some would probably point to AJ's increased role on television as the highlight from the Divas.

Do you see Damien Sandow getting a massive push in the future?

WWE officials are high up on Damien Sandow and I'm a fan of the gimmick. I can't help but see Hunter Hearst Helmsley when I look at Sandow but he has a long way to go before he reaches that level. As for a monster push, it depends on the reactions he draws from his current push before being elevated.

Since Bret Hart and Vince McMahon have been able to have a working relationship for the last few years, why hasn't Owen made the Hall of Fame yet? He has enough credentials to make it and was one of the best in-ring workers from 1993 until his tragic death in 1999.

It's hard for me to answer questions that relate to Vince McMahon's mindset because with Vince you never know, however, I don't think it's Bret Hart that has caused Owen Hart to be a Hall of Fame snub. Owen's widow, Martha Hart, filed and won a wrongful death lawsuit against WWE after his death and still has pending litigation against the company over unpaid royalties. When WWE uses the likeness of Owen Hart they have to compensate Martha and that doesn't seem to be a desirable thing to do after they have paid her millions.

Who are the Aces and Eights and when will they be revealed?

There are four names I can confirm have taken part in the group. Those names are Mike Knox, Luke Gallows, D-Lo Brown and Wes Brisco. D-Lo isn't expected to be a full-time member and the rumored name to be the leader of the group is Jeff Jarrett. As for when their identities will be revealed, I'm under the impression it's imminent.

Is CM Punk still the number two behind John Cena with Randy Orton back?

I heard prior to Randy Orton's suspension that CM Punk had surpassed him as the number two guy behind John Cena and when Orton was suspended, that position was sealed. However, from what I'm seeing now, I do not believe WWE has given up on Orton and may in fact just have been trying to scare him. WWE had replaced Orton with Punk on Smackdown live events but with Orton back, Punk is back touring with Raw and Orton is already working in the top of the card in Smackdown (as he was expected and as we had reported).

It seems that every dark match main event after Raw features John Laurinaitis. What is the reasoning behind this?

WWE is trying to squeeze every bit of heat they can out of the John Laurinaitis character. Vince McMahon was very pleased with how Big Johnny got over and they've used him in dark match main event situations and at live events. Once described to me as one of the most resilient people in the business, Laurinaitis was able to keep a job as a WWE official as a producer after essentially being forced out of running Talent Relations by Triple H.

Is it just me or is Kane's character ridiculous? In the past few years he's gone from putting The Undertaker in a vegetative state to playing trombone with Santino, back to being a disturbed monster... now he's a face again? Do you find the frequent switches make it hard for fans to care about him one way or the other?

It's interesting you mentioned Kane as I was just told this week by one of my sources how Kane is an example of the writers being "burned out,"  floating the character with no direction. To his credit, Kane is a reliable veteran that can work as a babyface or a heel but he never got over to the point where he could carry things as "the guy." As a result he's worked in the mid-card and in the main event, having a decent amount of success in both but it does become confusing to keep up with.

When Chris Jericho finishes up with WWE in a couple weeks, is he finished for good?

I am under the impression that Chris Jericho's WWE contract is out of dates after SummerSlam. Based on what he told, he intends to leave before then. The door will always be open for Jericho to return but it would be great for Dolph Ziggler to go over in their program and would be somewhat of a "passing of the torch."

How much time do you spend a week or in a day getting information about what's going on in WWE and TNA?

I work 12+ hours most every day, with the exception being Saturday's or non-PPV Sunday's. Time off is important but it's very important to me to keep my readers in the know all the time. There is a tremendous amount of information thrown at me every day and it's my responsibility to sort through it, follow-up on leads and post detailed and accurate information. I pride myself in giving readers an experience that is better than anything else out there but I couldn't do it without your support.

What has happened to Jack Swagger?

Jack Swagger hit a snag during his run as World Heavyweight Champion with behavioral problems backstage and has never been able to recover. As of mid-July there were no creative plans for him.

What's up with Matt Morgan? I haven't heard or seen anything on him in months. Is he returning to TNA or headed back to his WWE roots?

Matt Morgan has fulfilled all of his contractual obligations with TNA Wrestling and he certainly wants people to believe he's headed back to WWE. I have heard WWE has interest in Morgan, however, the ongoing litigation is blocking TNA stars with recently expiring deals from signing. I have more about how the lawsuit is hurting talent in a story at this link.

Can you see Wade Barrett returning to face Randy Orton at SummerSlam?

Wade Barrett is advertised for next week's Smackdown tour in Japan. He hasn't worked since dislocating his elbow on Raw back in February. A program with Randy Orton is possible but I can't confirm it's going to happen at SummerSlam.

What were the plans for The Nexus?

The original Nexus ran its course with WWE getting every ounce of momentum they could out of the faction. Once that was finished it was revamped with CM Punk as the leader but meant to be much more mid-card in scale. Once that ran its course, the faction was split and the members went their separate ways, some finding success with others getting "future endeavored." Given the success of Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett and Skip Sheffield, it's safe to say the original faction was very talented as I have gone on record numerous times in saying that if the group created one star it was a success.

WWE seems to really be leaning towards Daniel Bryan vs. Charlie Sheen at SummerSlam but is that really a good idea considering Sheen isn't very dependable?

If anyone could get anything out of Charlie Sheen in the ring it would be Daniel Bryan but I would be surprised if WWE tried to do a celebrity match due to the unreliability of Sheen. If they are able to get a deal done, look for Sheen to be involved in some type of role that would feature him as a ringside bystander. For more on Sheen, SummerSlam and Daniel Bryan, read this article on Richard's Backstage Blog.

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