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Is there any specific route to take if I want to apply to WWE as a creative writer?

I actually cannot remember a time where WWE was not looking to hire a new Creative Writer. The job listing is posted at this link. The following requirements are expected to get hired:

  • BA/BS in Film, TV, Drama, Media Studies, Communications or equivalent
  • Minimum of three to five years writing and production experience in network television
  • Professional TV staff experience in drama and comedy a plus
  • Writing and directing reality television a plus
  • Experience in all aspects of live TV production a plus
  • Highly creative (a prolific idea generator)
  • Plugged into pop culture and trends
  • Able to work closely and effectively with talent, writers, and producers throughout the creative process
  • Strong understanding of WWE's audience (demographic and psychographic) a plus
  • Must live in New York City/Stamford, CT area or be willing to relocate there
  • Knowledge of WWE shows, talent, and storylines
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work in a team environment
  • Flexible travel schedule (extensive travel required)

Rey Mysterio's character is completely stale even for a babyface. I would love to see Mysterio turn heel. What are your thoughts?

Rey Mysterio's character has almost been as untouchable as that of John Cena because the fact he is a character that can be marketed towards children. Mysterio masks sell very well to the company's younger audience and that is one of the reasons for teaming him with Sin Cara. The team of Mysterio and Cara gives them two kid-friendly masked characters to market towards children.

Can you give any reason for Mark Henry being absent this long. I know he suffered an injury a while back, but hasn't he recuperated fully by now? Also, do you know of any plans they might have for him upon his return? (heel or face)

Mark Henry underwent shoulder surgery last summer and has been recuperating from it. I don't know the specifics but Henry has said he is the healthiest he has been in years yet has cautioned in his recovery he wasn't "out of the woods yet." Mark has done WWE promotional work during his time off and even spent time in London at the Olympics. Recently, Henry was in the news for serving as a pallbearer at the funeral of Michael Clarke Duncan. I haven't heard new plans for his return, however, his contract is coming up and WWE was looking to re-sign him. So far, the two sides haven't reached a new agreement. We have more on Henry's contract negotiations at this link.

With Sting's latest comments about wanting "one cool thing" with The Undertaker, what will it take for Vince McMahon to realize that this match could possibly be the BIGGEST draw in company history until that point and get a possible small contract done? I personally think Sting could possible draw more in a 6-month span than Lesnar will do for the 1-year span and they gave Lesnar a huge payday!

This isn't on WWE or Vince McMahon, they've tried to sign Sting, including getting very close a couple years ago for Wrestlemania XXVII, however, it was Sting that chose to remain loyal to TNA and Dixie Carter. Given the success of Wrestlemania XXVIII with The Rock and SummerSlam with Brock Lesnar, Vince is very high up on part-time talent but the window is closing on a WWE dream match for Sting. With that being said, Sting is under TNA contract and even if he chose to explore his options, there is currently a hiring freeze of TNA talent to WWE because of ongoing litigation.

Why did Christian not make a second appearance for TNA at Bound for Glory weekend? Wasn't this the reason WWE was holding him off television?

We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com last Monday that Christian's scheduled appearance at the inaugural TNA Hall of Fame Ceremony was "in doubt." He ended up not appearing and while we haven't heard the reason why, it would be naive to assume it didn't have to do with TNA's ongoing litigation against WWE. Vince McMahon had issued a directive that Christian was not to be featured prominently on WWE programming until after he appeared with TNA. After we ran the report, word got out that Christian had shoulder surgery. We believe this was done to show WWE wasn't acting in bad faith and it was actually an injury that had sidelined Christian. The procedure was outpatient and generally seen as a scapegoat.

It's set. CM Punk vs. Ryback for the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell. What are your thoughts?

This match is impossible to book. If CM Punk goes over, the entire "feed me more" gimmick is dead on arrival. If Ryback goes over, CM Punk is no longer a viable opponent for The Rock [at Royal Rumble] and Ryback is unproven as a main eventer, much less the WWE Champion. I heard there was talk of utilizing Brock Lesnar to program against Ryback if they went with this match but this would create a similar problem, as Lesnar vs. Ryback would be impossible to book. Just as Ryback has begun to turn the corner, WWE has backed into one that is going to be hard to get out of.

With WWE Saturday Morning Slam being marketed towards a younger audience, and many kid-friendly fast-paced superstars, do you think WWE could bring back the cruiserweight title, restricting it only to the show?

As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, there was actually a plan pitched to revamp WWE Saturday Morning Slam into the "cruiserweight show" originally tapped for the WWE Network. The show would be built around Sin Cara as the top name and feature the return of the Cruiserweight Championship. Whether or not it happens depends on the program's success and the ability to expand to a full hour on the CW Network.

How is Sin Cara seen backstage now? Obviously, he has had his fair share of botches, but he is one of the guys that really draws me to the show. Is he still considered a pet project to Triple H? Surely the projected match between him and Rey Mysterio at Wrestlemania must signify some sort of confidence in him?

Despite all of the Sin Cara detractors, he has a spot in the company because of his marketability towards WWE's younger audience. Read the question above and you can all but see Vince McMahon considers masked workers as a marketing paradise on a show geared towards children. So while there is and has been considerable heat on Cara, the PG initiative has clearly benefitted him.

Since The Great Khali worked this week's Saturday Morning Slam tapings, does that mean he is fully recovered and ready to return on the ring full time?

Yes, The Great Khali is medically-cleared to return to the ring after having surgery to remove a tumor from his pituitary gland. Any time someone has surgery it is serious but brain surgery is especially serious and Khali did return ahead of schedule. There is no way WWE would allow him to work without complete assurance from his physician he was healthy. Khali had the surgery performed by Dr. Joseph Maroon, who also serves as WWE's Medical Director, so the company has overseen the entire process.

Why would WWE book Ryback vs. CM Punk instead of John Cena? Isn't this lose-lose?

I don't have 100% confirmation but it would appear that John Cena is not ready to return following his elbow surgery. I gave my reasons here in Ask WNW why I felt Ryback vs. Punk is impossible to book and talked even more about it here in the Premium Mailbag. Booking Ryback period is going to be difficult, which is one reason I don't like "undefeated streaks," but it's especially hard with him being unproven as a main event talent.

It seems that WWE is always looking for new stars to build up. Every now and then, the creative team comes up with good gimmicks such as Ted DiBiase Jr.'s trust fund gimmick or even Kaval debuting as The One World Warrior, an old nemesis of Rey Mysterio. However, the creative team seems to drop the ball before the gimmick scratches its potential. What are your thoughts?

If there is one job I would never want it would be working as a member of a wrestling creative team. They never get enough credit yet are the first to take criticism for just about anything. The writers and producers can only do so much in terms of scripting a gimmick and planning out a match. It's up to the worker to take advantage of the opportunity and get over to the point where they will be in demand. Ted DiBiase has had some opportunities but none have resonated to the point he probably would have liked. Kaval is a different situation as he hated life on the road and didn't feel he was going anywhere in WWE. In short, I look at the writers and producers as catalysts to good gimmicks but not the sole focal point of their success.

Is there any chance that WWE will run a break up angle between Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara where one turns heel on the other which would lead to a match between the two at Wrestlemania?

Initial plans for the team of Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara were to book them together only to end up feuding them as your questions suggests, however, I do not know where those plans stand as of this writing. There was a lot of hope, especially from Triple H, that Cara would be the heir apparent to Mysterio but it was quickly realized that's much easier said than done.

When a WWE worker makes a non-wrestling appearance (e.g. autograph signing, media appearances, etc.) does the company instruct them to appear in or out of character?

WWE workers have a lot of freedom in media interviews but there are directives that come down from the office. Obviously the company doesn't want stars leaking storylines and generally speaking, they want the focal point of the interview to promote the product. We've seen it all - from Randy Orton completely shooting on Kelly Kelly to Sheamus constantly remaining in-character during media appearances. John Cena is known for focusing on the product in-character and is seen as the best promotional mouthpiece they have. Speaking from experience, when I've done interviews with workers alongside radio anchors, the radio station has met with company officials to let them know to keep it clean. My biggest pet peeve with interviews (and why I don't do many of them) is workers using them to put themselves over rather than actually answering the questions. Kind of like what we saw with the Presidential debate on Tuesday night, where the candidates would be asked a question, but skirt around it to get to their approved campaign rhetoric.

What are the creative plans for Dolph Ziggler? It seems since winning the Money in the Bank briefcase, he's been forgotten.

Dolph Ziggler gets Ryback after beating Zack Ryder on this week's WWE Main Event. I hate the way he is being booked, especially in the match with David Otunga against Ryback on this week's Raw. Ziggler's in-ring work has been as good as anyone in the company and it's unfortunate to see him being used to put Ryback over. I'm hoping WWE wants him "under the radar" before surprising the audience by "cashing in" his Money in the Bank briefcase.

What's the latest on Velvet Sky?

As we noted on Sunday, Velvet Sky is believed to be close to agreeing to a new contract with TNA Wrestling. The company worked hard to keep her from walking this summer and it appears they are close to getting a deal done.

I've read that you (along with others) feel WWE is making a mistake pushing Ryback in the main event for the WWE Championship this soon. But didn't WWE do the same thing with Sheamus? My question is if it worked for him then why don't you believe that it could work with Ryback as well?

I am diametrically opposed to the notion that Sheamus over John Cena for the WWE Championship at WWE TLC in December 2009 worked. Sheamus ended up developing into a main event talent but his title win was one of the most underwhelming in WWE history. The move received positive marks because it was over John Cena but I didn't like it. I'm all for the element of surprise but strapping an unproven worker is a risky proposition that I'm not sure the reward outweighs the risk. I didn't buy Ryback at all when he debuted but the character has grown on me as he "turns the corner" in terms of getting over. However, to take him from working indy call-ins to the WWE Champion and expecting the audience to be interested, seems a bit much. The gimmick needs more time and Ryback needs more seasoning. Neither of which are going to happen as Vince is hell bound on pushing him at the top but I fear the long-term outlook is not being considered.

Why does WWE Raw still run past 11:00 PM with it being three hours?

The time that Raw runs over is called the "overrun." This is time WWE is allotted from the USA Network to allow final segments to play out. The length of the overrun varies but is done for a multitude of reasons but there wasn't a plan to cut it by moving to three hours.

Does TNA actually know who is going to be revealed as the later of Aces & 8s or is this an anonymous GM situation [like we saw in WWE]?

The plan earlier this month was for Bully Ray to turn on Sting at Bound for Glory and be revealed as the leader of Aces & 8's and go on to challenge Jeff Hardy for the TNA Championship. With Devon returning, plans have changed, however, I can confirm that was the talk at the beginning of the month. It seems TNA wants to keep people guessing to keep intrigue in the angle.

Now that the match has been set, is it a possible storyline that CM Punk could lose the title to Ryback but have Dolph Ziggler "cash in" his Money in the Bank briefcase and win the title?

Dolph Ziggler's Money in the Bank briefcase is for the World Heavyweight Championship, remember John Cena won the briefcase for the WWE Championship title shot (that he lost on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw). As I noted here in Ask WNW, I have been less than pleased with the booking of Ziggler.

Why did WWE put Kofi Kingston over The Miz for the IC title on Main Event?

As we spoiled here on Richard's Backstage Blog, WWE put Kofi over The Miz for the title on Main Event to draw attention to the show. This is also why the company put it out on dot com before the match aired, to show their viewers that "anything could happen" on the new series. We were the first and only publication to provide the match outcome four days before it was taped.

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