MAILBAG: How Many REAL Superstars Does WWE Have?
SEScoops Mailbag for September 28th
(please submit YOUR questions to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Q: How does the developmental talent in [NXT] survive on the low salary they receive and are they able to work outside of WWE whether having a regular job or doing indie shows? – Jimmy H.
A: They make it work because it’s their passion. It’s no different than minor league baseball players, who often live off lower wages with the hope they will one day make it to the big leagues. If you want something bad enough, you do whatever it takes. But it’s not as if these guys are living off table scraps. I believe some may have jobs outside of wrestling, but they are not allowed to do independent shows.
Q: Since Raw and SmackDown pretty much share the same roster, does it seem plausible that WWE would turn the Draft into [one] that sees [each brand] picking NXT stars to move up to the main roster? – CJ Carter
A: Plausible, no. I don’t see WWE doing it. They would rather build each person up with their own unique character or storyline. But if they ever wanted to take things in a more sports-like direction, I think this would be a hell of an idea. The two flaws in this plan is that there are a finite number of NXT stars they can choose to move at any given time without depleting their developmental roster, and you aren’t going to have that many guys who are truly ready to make that jump to the main roster at the same time. I think each brand choosing 3 NXT talents would work.
Q: In your opinion, what are the “stiffest” WWE matches ever? – Robert G.
A: It depends on your definition of “stiff” matches. Wrestlers get “potatoed” in matches all the time, but I don’t know that you’d call that stiff. Are we talking shoots? You won’t find too many of those in WWE aside from those Brawl For All matches back in 1998, which saw a bunch of guys get injured as a result. Daniel Puder, the former Tough Enough winner, took a stiff ass kicking at the start of the 2005 Royal Rumble match to the point where it was uncomfortable to watch. Of course, John Cena took a beating from Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules earlier this year, which included an elbow to the head that opened him up hardway.
Q: I don’t know if it’s just me, but WWE is lacking [star power]. The Cena/Punk feud seems to get more drawn out as time goes on. I’m not saying that upcoming stars like Ryback or Damien Sandow should get the strap right away, but WWE just seems stale. The segments involving Kane [and Daniel] Bryan are boring. I honestly believe WWE is drowning due to lack of “Superstars”. Punk is a great heel champion, but the loss of Chris Jericho put a damper on things. Even though Jericho didn’t have a title, he has that Superstar quality most of the wrestlers are lacking. Am I wrong? If not, when do you think things will start to pick up? – Eric from Berlin, CT
A: Without a doubt, WWE is lacking in star power. In fact, never in its history has it been so thin on true Superstars, as you might say. In the last few years alone, they’ve lost Shawn Michaels, Batista and Edge with Chris Jericho, Triple H and Undertaker playing part-time roles at best. They went through a period for several years after dumping OVW as a developmental territory where they simply were not churning out the type of talent they had years earlier and it’s recently come back to bite them on the ass. NXT is now stocked with loads of talented guys who can be big stars tomorrow, what about today? That is the problem WWE is now faced with. Cena remains their biggest star and the closest thing to a mainstream celebrity that they have. Guys like Punk and Bryan are great, but people don’t necessarily see them as “big” stars, which is why they rely so heavily on bringing back guys like Rock and Brock Lesnar to boost PPV buys. It’s going to take time to find those next big stars, but I do think it will happen at some point.
Q: Do you have any idea where the whole GTV angle was going? I remember it lasting about 4 weeks or so. The only segment I remember was the one with Stephanie McMahon and Test. – Derek Fox
A: Goldust was supposed to be revealed as the person behind GTV at some point. As with other angles over the years, it was dropped without explanation. So I guess it was really just some random pervert who got tired of peeping on everyone. The disturbing part is that he (she?) is still out there.
Q: My question is regarding Linda McMahon’s senate run. Will she win or vice versa? If she loses will she go for it again? If she wins/lose will WWE become more edgier or more like Disney channel? – Dez
A: Yes, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that Linda will indeed “win, or vice versa” in this election. It will be one or the other. But in the end, I think she will fall short again, and when she does, don’t expect WWE to suddenly allow swearing and blood on its programming again. People hoping for a Linda defeat so that WWE will end the PG era are in for a rude awakening.
Q: Do you think WWE will ever get out of this PG Era? – Jesse W.
A: Make it stop.
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