WWE Loaning Money, Ricardo Rodriguez Is El Local, WWE's Creative Mess, My Mount Rushmore

Following up on one of your comments for clarification, does WWE loan money to workers for surgery?

Yes WWE will front money to workers for surgery, however, they expect repayment in these situations. I have heard stories of particular workers remaining under contract but unused just so WWE could garnish their downside to get their money back. Due to how delicate the matter is when it comes to pay I would rather not name names.

Can you see El Local (Ricardo Rodriguez) getting a push in either Raw or Smackdown?

From what I understand the El Local gimmick is being used on WWE's secondary programming and at live events as a character marketed towards children. I haven't heard of a push on either Raw or Smackdown but anything is possible. One thing about Ricardo Rodriguez is he can work despite being used as Alberto Del Rio's ring announcer. Even Del Rio has said Ricardo won't be with him forever so I think he still has a future in WWE when he finally breaks away on his own.

Don't you think is very predictable that CM Punk will defend his belt at Royal Rumble against The Rock? Especially because Dwayne is the reason why Punk turned heel.

The Rock is not the only reason WWE turned CM Punk heel, however, the plan is and has been to do Punk vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble. This is one of the reasons why I have been so against programming Ryback with Punk because they have to try and keep Ryback's streak alive without Punk dropping the belt. Scenarios have been pitched over the past few months about having Punk drop the title only to regain it before Royal Rumble but that was before Ryback's mega-push was given the green light. It will be interesting to see how they book Survivor Series with Ryback needing a big win after last month's loss, Punk needing to keep the belt for a dream match against Rock and John Cena needing to remain strong after returning from injury. Back to your question, it is very predictable and it wouldn’t shock me if it changed but can you think of a better scenario?

If you could put four of greatest wrestlers on a Mount Rushmore type of tribute, which four would you put up there? Mine are Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Steve Austin and The Rock.

I have always shied away from this question because it can be widely debated, however, since WWE unveiled their Mount Rushmore I guess I'll give it a shot. The problem with WWE's Mount Rushmore is it doesn't feature The Rock. The problem that I see with yours is it doesn't feature Undertaker. How can you have a Mount Rushmore of wrestling without the most successful wrestler of all-time and the top WWE gimmick of all-time. Hulk Hogan has to be included because he took the business into two wrestling booms. Steve Austin changed the business forever so I'm scrapping Flair from yours and Cena from WWE's model. My Mount Rushmore is Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin and The Undertaker. We can argue all day long about including Flair, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Edge, Cena, Bret Hart, do I need to keep going? It's very difficult to pick four but those are my four.

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  • Rayner Chee-bai

    My Mount Rushmore should be like these: CM Punk, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and RYBACK.

    • mathew30

      are you high or just VERY very young

      • I’m gonna go with both.

        • alex

          Or he is joking?

      • William Shatner

        Don't feed the troll…

    • Chip Walker

      My Mount Rushmore would consist of Vince Russo, Eric Bishoff, Kevin Nash and Ho Kogan! Then I would buy a rocket launcher and blow it to smithereens!!!!

      • XKonn247

        Get Michael Moore to do it; Team America style.

    • Mike

      Not sure if trolling… or just stupid.

      • Ken

        Why you no know what you not sure of?

    • H.M.

      Aren`t you the same dude that hates Ryback? Lmao it`s so clear that you`re trolling xD

  • craig

    seems crazy that if you are injured in a wwe ring you have to pay for your surgery.

    • William Shatner

      Any worker with any sense would surely pay into some sort of health insurance though. At least I would if I was in that line of work. Common sense. If your employer doesn't provide health insurance then you arrange it yourself.
      Maybe the WWE should offer health insurance, maybe not, that's another argument for another time, but it currently doesn't and every performer knows that so it's on a perofrmer to sort that himself. Anyone who doesn't is really kinda stupid. Arguing the point is fine and good but you have to look after yourself first in this world. No one else is going to do it for you.
      Not that they deserve to get injured of course, but if they do get injured and don't have private health insurance and have to pay out of their own pockets it's their own fault if they end up in debt or whatever.

      Re: Mount Rushmore… I'd have Hogan, Rock, Austin, Taker, Flair, Vince, Bisch, and Zack Ryder. Yes, I know that's eight and Rushmore only has four faces, but that's four faces NOW. Who's to say what'll happen in the future? Maybe in a few decades someone will start carving Dubya's head up there? Failing that you could always do Harvey Dent style carvings, half and half. They'd still be recognisable.

      Ryder? That was an internet email-in vote.

    • Fernando

      That's what you get for living in a country without public healthcare.

      • Richard Gray

        That's about to change my friend

        • Chip Walker

          That’s right! OBAMA is gonna change this country! He spent the last 4 years cleaning up 8 long years of Bush’s mess! Now it’s really time for the CHANGE!!! Whoooohooooo HERE COMES THE CHANGE EVERYBODY!

        • Fernando

          For your health's sake, I certainly hope so, Richard.

  • SRP

    I agree with your Rushmore, Richard. I’d say Cena’s biggest lasting contribution to the industry to date is the spinner belt. He’s popular and does great work with Make-A-Wish, but he really hasn’t done anything to drive or change the industry like your 4 have.

  • gary

    Lou Albano, Bruno Sammartino, George the Animal Steele, and Andre the Giant. That is unless wwe has done away with all mention of WWWF. Maybe Bruno, Hulk Hogan, Austin and Cena if we just do champions.

  • Ernest Bethea

    Richard, you're not gonna believe this, but your Mount Rushmore and mine are exactly the same with Undertaker, Austin, Rock and Hogan… but that's only "version 1.0"

    • eric

      wow, maybe you and richard should start dating

      • Richard Gray

        I'm married

        • mjledesma


        • GODSENT83

          Didn’t stop cena lol

        • William Shatner

          Since when does that stop people? I'm sure he won't tell if you don't.

          • eric

            Everyone would cheat if put in the right situation

          • Mike

            you sound like Ted Dibiase with, "Everyone's gotta price". But I strongly disagree with you.

          • William Shatner

            I actually wouldn't.
            If I was truly so attracted to someone else that I'd consider disrespecting my wife like that it would mean that I had serious marital problems already and likely didn't lover her as much as I once did. If that was the case I'd rather come clean, divorce, and take my chances after that, and maintain my decency, honour, and self-respect.
            Cheating's a coward's way. Too scared to take chances without having your wife as a backup in case things don't work with the mistress.

            Now if my other half suggested a three way (with another woman, never another dude) that wouldn't be cheating…

  • james

    my mount rushmore would be maven, balls mahoney, josh matthews , and sean waltman

  • ou812

    My Mount Rushmore …..4 DOINKS!

    • William Shatner

      Dink, Wink, Pink, and Stink?

      • ou812

        Doink Luke, Doink Butch, Doink Month, and Doink Mabel. Survivor series 1993

        • ou812

          Doink Mo I mean

  • Doug

    mine would be Bruno Sanmartinno, Hulk Hogan Brett Hart, and Steve Austin. The main faces of the wwwf/wwf/wwe during there respected era's……. HBK is my all time favorite wrestler but he wasnt the face of the new generation Brett heart was. so it was hard for me to leave him from this

  • JonnyVC

    Haha blue meanie, gillberg, great khali & nottasenate Linda (in her comotosed state) … Job done I win!

  • amaan

    my mount rushmore is steve austin, hbk, undertaker and the rock

    • Ace

      I dont get why people are hating on this. This seems like a pretty good selection for a top 4.

  • Ellen

    Hopefully ADR won't be with "us" forever either!

  • My Mount Rushmore is Mick Foley, Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind.

    • ou812

      How about Oz, Vinny Vegas, Diesel,and Kevin Nash?

  • Dave Barton

    It all depends on if its "wrestling's" Rushmore or "(W)WF/E's" Rushmore. And even then, it'd be so hard to limit it to just 4. But if I had to for WWE…

    Bruno, Hogan, Austin, Cena. They were the 4 most consistent mainstream/crossover figures in WWE's history, imho. And even then, I feel like Andre & Rock should be included.

    • GODSENT83

      LMMFAO you really don’t think most consistent mainstream crossover I’d the rock???

  • PFElton

    My Mount Rushmore of WWE:
    Hulk Hogan, the Icon who destroyed the NWA on one end just to take WWF to the brink a decade later and easily the best known ever.

    Shawn Michaels, for simply being the best and being loyal after all these years.

    Steve Austin, for his unprecedented merchandise sales and for turning the corner against (my dearly missed) Monday Nitro.

    And Vince Russo. GET IT?!

  • pocco

    Mine would be Evad Sullivan, TL Hopper, Lodi & Van Hammer.

  • Mark3man

    Is have bisch, I know he has has press but I re

  • Mark3man

    Is have bish, I know he had has press but I reckon he‘s as much the reason behind the 90‘‘s boom as anyone.
    ultimate warrior, as a kid he was the one I wanted to see, I never wanted Hogan to win, and warrior was the reason I started watching.
    Triple H
    and cena. people might not like him but he is the reason a lot of people watch nowadays.

  • Einar

    Andre the Giant…

  • HugeRockStar

    What is the point of having Punk hold the title over a year just to drop it to the Rock who will drop it to Cena again. They wonder why they’re short on stars.

    • John

      Should CM Punk hold onto the title until Royal Rumble then he will become the longest reigning WWE champion since 1973 ! I don't think him dropping the belt to The Rock, following a record setting reign, is hurting anybody.

      He has to drop the title eventually, and whether you like it or not, CM Punk headlining Wrestlemania as WWE Champion won't sell 1m+ PPV buys.. The Rock will.

      • HugeRockStar

        True, just in this day and age holding the title that long is so rare it would be a good rub for a new guy to win it off Punk, the Rock doesn’t need it what’s it say about our stars when nobody can beat Punk for over a year and then Rock walkes in and wins it in one match, just to dissapear again after losing it to Cena. And then what? Who does Cena have left to main event with?

  • Mike L

    Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon.
    Austin: Biggest Draw in the History of Wrestling.
    Taker: Greatest Gimmick of All Time.
    Shawn: Best In-Ring Performer Ever.
    Vince: The man behind them all.
    An argument can be made for Hogan and Rock, but Hogan's greatest accomplishment was his second run with WWF in 1984. In AWA, his leaving was the beginning of the end for them. In WCW, he was one of the biggest reason's why they died. And TNA hasn't turned around, like he said it would, are they better than WWE right now, yeah, on both story and bell-to-bell, but unless they get more eyes to their show, the Hogan Experiment fails. As for the Rock he is one of the greatest draws, talkers, and workers of all time, but there are better talkers, right now, there are better workers, right now, and there are guys that I feel, if they just gave them a shot, could change they buisness into the right direction. That's just my opinion, sorry if it sounds like a rant.

  • JoMamma121212

    Taker, hart, Austin, shawn

  • Dave Barton

    Jess McMahon, Toots Mondt, Vincent J. McMahon, Vincent K. McMahon.

    Vince, Linda, Shane, Steph.

    Young Vince, WM-era Vince, Attitude-era Vince, Cranky Vince.

    Terra Rizin, Jean-Paul Levesque, Hunter-Hurst Helmsley, and HHH.

    Andre, Big Show, Great Khali, Giant Gonzalez (well, 3 out of 4 being former World Champs ain't bad).

    Liberace, Muhammad Ali, Billy Martin, and Mr T. (WM1 celebs)

    …really, I could go on & one with different themes for a WWE Rushmore.

  • barryanoland

    Richard: Just to clarify . . . Were you saying that Undertaker had the best gimmick and was most successful. Or were you dividing those between Taker and Rock? No strong opinion either way–just curious.

    • Richard Gray

      The Rock went on to have more success than anyone else after his success in wrestling. Undertaker had the most successful gimmick in WWE history.

  • Rubber Neck

    My Rushmore is Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Mil Mascaras, and Edge.

  • Jitters84

    So Richard, in laymens terms, because they are independent contractors, if they are injured they still have to she’ll out for surgery? Do you know if they are injured in the ring, is the same?

    • Richard Gray

      They wave WWE of all liability the minute they sign on the dotted line.

  • William Shatner

    Terra Rizin, Jean-Paul Levesque, Hunter-Hurst Helmsley, and HHH. — No Puppet-H? I'm shocked.

  • Bigdaddychuck

    Hogan has to be there because without him there is no wwe wrestlemania he was the main draw for the first 6.. Undertaker and Austin because they helped bring wwe to new heights… The fourth I would say Andre The Giant..

    • Mario

      So far, of all the ones I read, this is my favourite one , good arguments .

  • Richie

    4 Paul heyman faces!!!

  • Andrew

    I’m predicting punk will hold the WWE title from now until past Wrestlemania. You heard it here first

  • Jason

    The Four Horseman. Duh.

  • Matt

    Vergne Gagne, Jim Crockett,Ted Turner,Vince McMahan Jr. Those should be the monument to wrestling.

  • Man, my Mt. Rushmore trumps all of yours. Bastion Booger, Hornswoggle, Big Show, and Maven.

  • Ricky Valdez

    Taker Bret Shawn hogan

  • Bogusstang

    The original shiek, the grand wizard, crazy luke graham and the taskmaster kevin sullivan.

  • Jbreed

    Here's a scenario. Ryback dominates the SS match but John Cena, CM Punk and Paul Heyman all work together to finally take him out of the match and in the end John Cena wins by pinning CM Punk. After the match Ryback destroys all three of them and is the last man standing in the ring. TLC rematch at TLC PPV, Ryback gets taken out of the equation by Brock Lesnar and Cena pins Punk with help from Mick Foley to retain. The Rock/Cena rematch takes place at the RR (a rematch is gonna happen so let's get it over with at the RR). The Miz (who was really the guy in the hotel room with AJ) wants to return The Rock's favor from WM 27 when Rock helped Miz retain against Cena, and interferes to cost Cena the title. CM Punk wins the RR match by eliminating Foley and this all sets up The Rock/Punk, Lesnar/Ryback and Cena/The Miz with AJ in his corner at WM 29. Punk and Ryback feud for the next few months and Ryback wins the title sometime next summer. Maybe at SS.

  • Jbreed

    Mount Rushmore:
    Hulk Hogan, who turned the wrestling industry into a mainstream phenomenon.
    Steve Austin, who resurrected the company from the dead.
    John Cena, who's merchandise sales have kept the WWE afloat for the past ten years.
    Vince MacMahon, who like somebody already mentioned above, is the man behind it all.

  • bryan

    Brooklyn Brawler, Papa Shango, Isaac Yankem, Shockmaster

  • Wally

    My Rushmore:
    HHH, HBK, X-Pac, Chyna!
    DX B!TCHES!!

  • Kevin

    Your reasoning, Richard, is why my "Mount Rushmore" of professional wrestling would have to be the "Rocky Mountains" of professional wrestling. There are too many excellent performers to narrow it down to just 4. As you stated, you have to include Hogan and the Undertaker; these 2 are icons in the highest sense of the word. I think Flair and Michaels also have to be included, as does Stone Cold. Most definitely, the Rock would have to be there; he brought a whole new level of intensity to the game. Triple H is debatable, but could be included; Bret Hart is in that same boat. There are any number of others who could be included as well.

  • _JIM_

    My Mt. Rushmore of pro-wrestling would be as follows: Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Austin, and The Undertaker. I was very close to wanting to add Sting in there instead of "Taker", but I I just couldn't do it. Even though I was a way bigger fan of NWA / WCW's programming and preferred it over WWF/E's, I just couldn't neglect Undertaker's accomplishments. Sting did carry 2 organizations on his back during his career and never received the attention that he deserved for doing so. So Sting would be my honorable mention or the guy that I would put on there if I was able to have a fifth head on my Rushmore. I didn't include The Rock because I don't think that he deserves to be on there with 4 life long workers. I'd even put Sting on there before I put Rock on. Rock left the business at the prime of his career to go do movies while the 4 I did put on my Rushmore spent their entire careers in pro-wrestling. I don't think that someone deserves that kind of honor when they obviously would rather be doing something else with their life. It's not like he was forced to retire due to injuries like Austin or even Edge. He chose to leave on his own accord. Hogan, Flair, Austin, and Undertaker spent their whole careers in the business because it's what they loved to do, and if I had to bet, I'd say Austin would still be working matches today if not for his neck injuries.

  • Henry

    The ultimate Rushmore: Doink, Eugine, Great Khali and Garret Bischoff