Beth Phoenix Leaving WWE, Backstage Fallout Of Alberto Del Rio Unmasking Sin Cara On Raw, Full Details On Major Tension Between Vince McMahon & John Cena, Lesnar Delivers, Christian Has Surgery, Vince McMahon's Unbelievable Reaction To Raw Rating, Senate Campaign Criticism Cancels WWE DVD?, Kelly Kelly Released, Ask WNW Archive

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Why does WWE change John Cena's ring gear so often?

The short answer is it sells. Every time WWE introduces a new John Cena t-shirt design or color, take a moment to scan the audience. You'll see it all over the arena and this is the reason WWE refuses to touch his character.

What has happened with Crimson in TNA?

Crimson is still under contract with TNA Wrestling, working in Ohio Valley Wrestling (TNA's official developmental territory) and occasional live events. TNA spent a lot of time building him up as a dominant superstar, giving him a 470-day undefeated streak only to end it and send him to developmental. I can't explain the logic other than they wanted him to get seasoned, as he is the current OVW Heavyweight Champion.

Do you think that Vince McMahon would do a show like Hard Knocks for the WWE? Now that its called entertainment and most watchers know its not real, then why not pulled curtain back and show us fans how the day-to-day operation works.

When I first read this question I immediately recalled "Rowdy" Roddy Piper's interview on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" in 2003 where he made controversial remarks that led to WWE ceasing to use him. Vince has generally welcomed documentary type shows to follow WWE so I don't see why he wouldn't welcome the publicity. Vince would make sure viewers only saw what he wanted them to see but I don't see him shying away from publicity as long as it's not negative in nature.

Is there any chance Brock Lesnar works another match before the end of the year?

I was told right after SummerSlam it was likely that Brock Lesnar would work Survivor Series in November but I have heard little since. Lesnar still has plenty of dates on his WWE contract and given The Rock is confirmed for Royal Rumble, it seems likely to happen. With that being said I do not have any new information on a possible opponent.

Why did WWE have The Miz job to Ryback in under three minutes on Raw?

If you've been keeping up on Richard's Backstage Blog then you read here a couple weeks ago that Vince McMahon was ready to take Ryback to the "next level" despite concern from most workers and officials. As we saw at the conclusion of this week's Raw, it's happening and WWE is ready to start feeding Ryback in the main event. Some are speculating Ryback is the backup plan to work against Punk should John Cena not be able to go but one thing is clear, he's getting ready to get his push at the top. Check out my report from a couple weeks ago for some interesting details that will prepare you for the major push.

Is Beth Phoenix being booked as a jobber because she plans on leaving WWE?

As I discussed in Monday's YouTube report, WWE has made sure Beth Phoenix has "hit her head" several times on the way out the door. Obviously they've known for awhile Beth's contract was coming up and she wasn't intending to re-sign so they wanted to send her out as cold as possible. It seems harsh but it's the way the business works.

With Jeff Hardy's contract with TNA Wrestling reportedly coming up soon, do you see a WWE return in the near future?

Anything is possible, however, TNA's ongoing litigation against WWE has prevented WWE from signing TNA names. When the lawsuit is cleared up there are going to be some "chips to fall" although I don't know if Hardy will be among them. It will depend on WWE's interest at the current time and will likely hinge on their belief on whether or not Jeff has moved on from past problems that have caused him to have two Wellness strikes (that would return with him).

What does being a "mark" mean?

A "mark" is someone that believes a wrestling storyline is real. Generally, marks get legitimately upset at the heels and have a genuine love for the babyfaces. While we're at it let's take a look at some commonly used wrestling terms:

  • Shoot - off-script or legitimate
  • Work - scripted, contrived, preplanned
  • Mark - uninformed wrestling fan that legitimately believes storylines
  • Smark - informed wrestling fan that understands storylines are contrived

It seems likely that WWE wouldn't have put so much pressure on John Cena to return to action so soon after surgery if the stipulation for the main event of the next pay-per-view was not already predetermined. Do you feel this demonstrates a knock against having stipulation-themed pay-per-views, particularly Hell In A Cell? Might WWE be better off scrapping the Hell In A Cell PPV and going back to only using the match sporadically when it is warranted, for example HHH vs. Undertaker?

The gimmicked pay-per-view has nothing to do with John Cena's return timetable and WWE already has a backup plan in Ryback should Cena not be able to go. The gimmicked pay-per-views are done to give viewers a reason to order them. Rather than hinging on name value alone, WWE surveyed fans years back and determined there was substantial interest in certain gimmicks that would motivate pay-per-view buys. I like the way WWE has done the pay-per-views by not overkilling the gimmick by only highlighting them in main events.

When do WrestleMania 29 tickets go on sale?

As we broke here on (with the help of WNW reader Kevin Eperjesi), tickets for Wrestlemania XXIX will go on sale Saturday, November 10, 2012. There should be a presale earlier that week and we'll have details before it happens.

With CM Punk being "a Paul Heyman guy", can we expect a future tag team between Punk and Brock Lesnar? After the closing segment of this week's Raw with Ryback I thought it would be an awesome idea if WWE make a match CM Punk/Brock Lesnar vs John Cena/Ryback. Are there such plans?

For the record, are you suggesting you would be for a Brock Lesnar vs. Ryback program? There is an update you need to read here on Richard's Backstage Blog. This scenario would present several problems in which I do not see a plausible outcome.

When Linda McMahon's campaign for United States Senate ends (win or lose), will this end WWE's focus on PG, politically-driven (to avoid talking points for Linda's campaign) programming and a beginning of more risqué/attitude-like content?

There is a short answer to this question; no. Vince McMahon has remained committed to PG programming because he feels it gives WWE more opportunities to spread their product across a myriad of platforms. The best hope any wrestling fan can have is that Linda McMahon won't win the race and throw in the towel to her political career.  However, given the fact she has spent tens of millions of the family fortune, I'm not sure that is something she would be willing to do.

Do you ever see Batista returning to a WWE ring?

I expect Batista to return to WWE for a retirement tour but we know it won't be this year. Meanwhile, Dave has focused on his acting career and is aspiring for success in Mixed Martial Arts. His first fight is scheduled for October 6, 2012 against Rashid Evans.

With WWE coming out with new shows on the CW Network (WWE Saturday Morning Slam) and ION Television (WWE Main Event), were these shows originally slated for the WWE Network and will they just scrap plans for the network entirely?

WWE has been planning on these new shows in addition to the WWE Network for several months. We do have an article about how content originally taped for the network could end up on the CW Network Saturday mornings. For more information on that, click here. The company continues to release minimal information regarding the impending WWE Network and it has most investors beyond frustrated. The latest I can tell you is there are no plans to nix it and the company is still looking for clearances. As of this writing it doesn't look like the network is going to be here by the end of the year but that's conjecture based on what I know about the project.

Did you know that some bookmakers actually take bets on WWE PPV matches? Did you know this and have go ever considered making money on the outcomes of matches?

I'm aware that people do place bets on pro wrestling matches, however, whenever I get an email from a reader looking to do it I always urge them to reconsider. Some of my friends in the business do place bets, however, I won't do it because of the rate things change. If you're looking to "get in on the action" in terms of sports betting, stick to the sports where the outcomes are not predetermined.

Given the fact SummerSlam did 350,000 buys and Extreme Rules did 250,000 buys, are we going to see Brock Lesnar in WWE beyond Wrestlemania XXIX?

Brock Lesnar's stock has once again skyrocketed after the company reported the preliminary SummerSlam buyrate that flew past their optimistic projections. The company was already looking to re-sign him past Wrestlemania and the most recent number will only increase their desire to get a new deal done. I have the latest backstage information on Lesnar and contract negotiations here on Richard's Backstage Blog.

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