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By Dave Scherer on 2012-11-07 09:59:00

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I have what could be considered a "strange" question for you. As far as you know, when did it become the "norm" for wrestlers (and other performers, such as announcers/refs, for that matter) to have written contracts with their companies? In the territory days, champions (like Flair) would travel from promotion to promotion, but were always loyal to their home base. Were these just "handshake" agreements for the wrestler to not take a title and run to another company (and in return, their company treat them well), or were legally binding contracts being done (similar to TNA now, where a wrestler can take bookings with company approval) and just not as publicized, as they became with the later days of WCW?

Back in the old days, promoters largely worked together and policed things in house.  Obviously, the NWA Title was controlled by the board so it wasn't something that could be screwed with.  Vince's dad had the respect of the fellow promoters so it wasn't an issue for his belt either.  When Vince Jr. went national, that is when contacts came into play.

Let me preface this by saying I did not order the PPV, and do not intend to order the replay. With that said, per your description of the event as it unfolded, was the Ryback/Punk finish the worst case scenario realized? Ryback, undefeated and REGULARLY stacked TWO GUYS on his shoulders as a finisher, lost to a low blow and TWO GUYS holding him down? As you wrote in your coverage, he didn't even receive a GTS. When was the last time in a PPV main event that had a finish where a wrestler essentially lost to a low blow and nothing else? And CM Punk looks weaker and weaker after this screwy finish. I didn't watch it, but did it at least come off like Punk was pulling out all the stops, or was he just--as you wrote--strictly going through the cowardly heel schtick? To me this was the worst lose-lose scenario come to fruition. Punk wasn't allowed to put Ryback up and through that glass ceiling while not gaining any character strength in the process himself.

Hey, a nut shot will take down anyone.  Seriously, if you doubt that take one.  The way I see it, I didn't want to see Punk get decimated and I didn't want to see Ryback lose (and I don't count that as a loss).  He stood tall on top of the cage at the end.  It was a crappy finish to pay 45 bucks for though.

Just read a question where you said you'd like to see just one main title (WWE/Heavyweight) and one mid-card title (IC/US). Surely it would be better if they unified the WWE & WHC titles (preferably keeping the WHC) and promoted the IC & US titles as the main event on TV shows, making the relevant champion exclusive to that show, with the World Heavyweight Champion appearing on both Smackdown and Raw in the build up to each PPV main event?

You really think if WWE combined the top two titles that they would drop the WWE name?  No way Jose.  Give WWE's inability to protect the US and IC champs (see Miz getting killed by Ryback the week before HIAC and then we were supposed to care about him being in a title match at the PPV) I have no faith in your plan working.  I think it's better to have one top title on each show and be done with the junior belts.

Watching hiac, and as they were going through the card, they showed WWE 13 gameplay. My question is, if Ryback wins the WWE title, what happens to WWE 13? Ryback is NOT in the game. 

If he would have won, I guess they would have made a character for him and pushed everyone to download him asap.  I am not a gamer though so I am not sure how all that works!

What are the odds that Kane and Daniel Bryan either defend the tag team titles against each other to have one unified champion or maybe they try a "pseudo-Freebird rule" where one member can defend for the both of them as a way to one-up the other?

Odds?  For WWE creative?  That is a fool's errand!  But personally, the way I see it going is that at some point, Bryan will realize Kane has had his back and will save him at some point, turning face in the process.

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11/6/2012 9:59 AM

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With all the talk of Punk not looking like a "strong" or "credible" champion, I have to say that I don't have a problem with Punk working as a chickensh*t heel - it draws heat and he's great in the role. Ric Flair made a career of being a cowardly heel champ and his willingness to look like a wuss who could only win by cheating is what elevated guys like Sting and Luger from mid-card to superstars. That said, WWE has done a poor job of using Punk to that effect thus far - but is it really so bad in principle to book him as a cheating coward? It's a textbook old school heel character in my book.

I don't have a problem with a guy being booked as a "cowardly heel" as long as he does it as a way to sucker someone in.  Flair did it for years, he begged off so he could nail a nut shot and then beat someone up.  They just book Punk as a guy who is a coward, period.  It can definitely be done but it has to be done properly.

Ok, so WWE is looking to push 3MB as a comedy act that gets over with a younger demographic. What gets me is that WWE already had a comedy act that got over with a younger demographic: Zack Ryder. He was incredibly over and did it all on his own, in effect handing Vince a money maker on a silver platter. But Vince didn't get it, he mangled it, and ultimately killed it. It was infuriating, and when I look at 3MB it's the first thing that comes to mind. What's your take on this?

The big difference is that he took WWE leaders' advice and tried to make a name for himself, and it worked.  They didn't do it for him, so despite what they say about wanting guys to step up and break out, when guys do it or achieve it in a way WWE didn't intend (see Alex Riley, Daniel Bryan's YES, CM Punk being turned into a sugary babyface after his shoot promos, etc.) they seemingly always destroy what got over.  It's ridiculous.

So does WWE seriously expect us to buy a Pay-Per-View based on what projects to be a Cena vs. Ziggler grudge match, a US Title Match, a Divas Title match, a World Title Match, a Traditional Survivors Series match, and probably a few random last minute fill the card matches? Mind you WWE is essentially saying that the two other male titles are essentially irrelevant because they are not included in that monster of a Survivor Series match.

Well, they hope you will pay for it anyway.  Honestly, is this that much worse than the lineup for HIAC?  It is what it is in WWE these days.

Do you think that Joseph Park could be the leader of Aces and Eights?

Anything is possible but I think it would be ridiculous if they made him the leader.  Totally ridiculous.

I've had the opinion for a while now that Vince's warped definition of "elevating" young talent is by merely putting them into a program with a top guy (usually Randy Orton) only to have them lose. Do you think this opinion is valid? In recent months Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler and before them Cody Rhodes & Kofi Kingston have been put in programs with Orton only to emerge in a worse standing than they were before the feud started. Do you think at some point Vince will realise you can't make young guys without big wins against established guys, or should we expect similar booking for young guys before some of them win MitB and get hot-shotted into Title reigns like Swagger did? On the same sort of concept, given Daniel Bryan was booked similarly after winning money in the bank to what Dolph Ziggler is now (losing to all and sundry), do you think that despite marking them as a prospective World Champion for some inexplicable reason Vince feels the need to test certain guys (again) before they cash in?

I honestly can't give you my opinion on Vince's process with young talent because what he does makes absolutely no sense to me almost all of the time.

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