MAILBAG: How Many REAL Superstars Does WWE Have?

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SEScoops Mailbag for September 28th

(please submit YOUR questions to [email protected])

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.

Keep those questions coming to [email protected] and remember to include your name!

  • Botcher

    Anybody else remember the GTV segment where Val Venis was standing at a urinal next to Big Show and he looks over to him and says “And they call you the big show?”

    I forgot WWE used to be funny.

    • pwnez

      The only thing funny nowadays is Bryan and Kane. Santino isn’t even an option IMO.

      • Elgwyn

        I also think Titus and Darren are funny too. If they could at least get a decent airtime. PTP are just like Bradshaw and Farooq in their APA days but wackier.

        • TheKillingMoon

          Comparing the PTP to the APA is an insult to Ron Simmon’s and JBL’s legacy as a tag team. PTP try too hard to be funny but they’re not.

          • BrahmaBullRKO

            Well that’s your opinion. I find them funny. Not hilarious, but enough to entertain me. But I certainly wouldn’t compare them to APA.

          • http://twitter.com/4everTheKid Haven?A

            I find PTP funny. Plus Tidus has improved big time since he 1st join NXT

          • morrisonfanone

            What about the 3 Man Band. Now that’s stupid. And Drew McIntyre in all that leather looked like X-Pac.

      • morrisonfanone

        Neither’s Ryder.

      • morrisonfanone

        Dude, neither is Ryder.

  • tiran66

    Why do people still think that the PG era is Linda’s fault? I agree that her political aspirations do play a part in WWE staying PG but there is a much bigger reason. MONEY people. WWE is PG because they make more money as a kid friendly company. If and when it is more profitable to go edgier then Vince will go edgier, it’s that simple.

    • GodsLoyalSon

      Don’t bother explaining it because they don’t get it. Some still believe that Cena is SOLELY responsible for WWE going PG.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4OF2JDUTXED6KFOPHEVMJ2ZYBA raVen

      not true.
      in their current time slot most of their “target audience” is asleep halfway thru the show.
      check the breakdown. males 18-30 are still the largest audience.

  • BrahmaBullRKO

    I disagree wholeheartedly with the fourth guy, at least on the part about Kane and Bryan being boring. I think their segments so far with the Anger Management and them being the tag champs have been some really great stuff that has given a huge boost to the credibility of the tag division.

    • pwnez

      Bryan is one of the most entertaining guys in the WWE. Talking and wrestling wise, he is great. I would like him to become a top babyface eventually.

      • Swag Daddy

        When you have a guy like Bryan who’s an all rounder working with an experienced veteran like Kane who does practically anything WWE has you know it’s going to be gold.

      • Jayden53092

        no he needs to stay as a Heel. he was terrible as a babyface. he was so stale and his promos were bad. ever since he turned Heel he is my second favorite wrestler on the roster. chris jericho is my first. kane is my third and christian is my fourth.

        • Fister

          He already is a face, although he plays the part of a heel still. All of his recent matches have been against heels. I personally like his character this way.

    • mrchopper

      Me too. I normally really like the Mailbag, but there’s a lot in this I’m finding issue with. The question about stiff matches wasn’t that hard a task, was it? There’s been plenty of stiff matches Solomonster could have mentioned. He just doesn’t seem into it this week.

      Also, for Jimmy H – As far as I know, developmental talent don’t have a massive amount of overheads. They have houses/living accommodation provided for them near to the training centre(s) and have little travelling to do. At least, I’m pretty sure this is the case for NXT talent. However, it can get pretty lonely rattling around an apartment on your own in between getting chucked around in a ring/gym/hall all day.

  • eclipse4d

    How many real/believable superstars? sigh.. Cena,Orton,Punk and Sheamus(i guess).When i hear those names,i know they can take pretty much everyone in the back(in storyline). All of these guys are well established and decorated to the point where it wouldn’t hurt them,if the suffered a big lose or two….or three. My problem is WWE like’s to over push these guys,most of the time. Cena’s push as thee guy,with or without the belt is a big problem. Having him as some unbeatable angel of the kids,who can’t lose a legit match to someone on his current roster is terrible and with his injury,there’s really no believable guy on raw..except a HEEL CM PUNK. If WWE kept Punk a tweener or face and have Punk get 1 or 2 LEGIT wins off of Cena,instead of 3 or 4 shady/cloudy/bs wins, in Punk’s “meaningless” title reign,they would have a legit face to carry the load while Cena takes a break. Orton’s been putting over guys like Henry,Sheamus and Del Rio,while still a being a force on Smackdown. I except him to eventaully get the title,but it’s nice to see him help make main eventers along the way. If there was one ONE guy that could’ve ALSO got a huge rub off of Punk was Daniel Bryan.The yes chants are way over and Bryan was having classics with Punk. I wish WWE would’ve capitalized on Bryan and let him run with belt,for 1 or months,before giving it back to Punk. It’s annoying to see Del Rio go over Orton and see it ruined by Sheamus constantly beating him. Yes, that rivaly is pointless,but i believe it would be a lil more watchable if Del Rio got the belt from Sheamus..proving that they’re both capable of beating each other. I wish WWE would pull the trigger on more guys and expirement,but most of all.. i wish they would juss elevate the rest of their roster and make them beliavable. It feels sooo one sided,right now.

  • pwnez

    How many real superstars?…not many, not many. CM Punk is the guy who jumps out at me right away. You could also include Cena and possibly Daniel Bryan seeing as how he is moving up every single time we see him.

    This is WWE’s fault too. Give talent enough time so they can show off what they got.

    • felixrt

      CM Punk is the guy who jumps out at you right away, yet you say “you could also include Cena”? What an odd attitude considering that Cena’s a bigger star than Punk.

      • pwnez

        CM Punk is the better wrestler, his promos is better than Cena’s and his popularity has increased although he is still not as big as Cena. Cena has been a mega star for years while Punk has become much bigger as of late. Both guys gather great crowd reactions, whether it’s cheers or boos.

        • felixrt

          Regardless of who you think is more talented between the two, we’re talking about stardom here, and like you said about Punk, “he is still not as big as Cena”.

  • RandomNirvana

    Maybe they don’t have as many super stars is because these days they hire young fresh new talent, instead of hiring talent that has actually been around and has some rep. Like TNA, They get superstars from WWE that have fan bases. Just a thought…

  • thaShowstoppa

    WCW Saturday Night with Cactus Jack vs Big Van Vader has to be one of the ‘stiffest’ matches to watch, Foley took some big shots there.

    • mrchopper

      He broke his bloody nose and the match before, his frickin’ ear came off! I’d say that was pretty stiff!

  • Celticfreak

    I am having a problem with this, “we dont have stars, we dont have stars!” “everything is boring! boo hoo!” Thr Ryder or riot nation worked hard to get the long island Iced Z to get to the dance. but now that he is there, people are saying tone it down or you cant be champion, that being a “gimmick” is Bad! isnt TAKER the ultimate GIMMICK? WWE has a problem that is not in whole the “SUPERSTARS fault, THE WWE needs writers. WRITERS that know the subject matter. and belive in the sport. A good writer that can bring proper drama to the stage, someone who can write for sheamus, punk, Kane, Trips, and has the balls to tell vince or steph, “I want to make a new tag divsion!”

    • Celticfreak

      Good Writers can help pull greatness out of good wrestlers!

    • morrisonfanone

      No one has those though. No one wants to upset the boss and his family.

  • GodsLoyalSon

    I agree that WWE needs more star power but here is that all important question; who should get it? Ziggler and Miz jump out because they have huge potential at being great babyfaces while Damien Sandow and Cody look like they can dominate the main event heel rile greatly. Ryback is another one that looks like he’ll a top draw by next year and Barret looks like he can be an easy replacement for any of the big names that could leave soon. All of them are great and hold a logic position in running WWE in the near future but which one of them should get there first?

    • Stranger

      I think the way to make someone a big draw is to book his matches to where he gets victories over guys who have already been elevated. How did Cena become what he is now? How many legends has he defeated? He beat Triple H and Shawn Michaels, two years in a row in the main event of Wrestlemania. Other big names they had him defeat consist of Big Show, Edge, Jericho, Kurt Angle and so on.

      Now that WWE has been lazy, hesitant, and playing it safe for all these years they have lost majority of their big names and are left with an injured Cena and Orton doing a film. Either way, you need MANY big names on your roster, not just the same 2 or 3. This is something WWE has moronically overlooked for YEARS. Another issue is their lack of knowing what a “star” even is. They’ve failed so many times because they generally look for guys with huge bodybuilder physiques. People want entertainment, not to see how big a guy’s muscles are. CM Punk is the most recent example of a guy who can make the entire fanbase go nuts with one promo because it came from his heart and he wasn’t holding anything back. Obviously, people react to that. If they want to make Ryback the next star, it’s going to be a huge challenge with the limited roster right now. It isn’t that they don’t have the right pieces (as the guy who answered these questions implied), it’s that they insist on NEVER allowing anyone to look like they can take Cena out. Look how Lesnar looked against John at Extreme Rules… when have you ever seen that? and even Lesnar took the job to Cena!

  • DigitalWWE

    CM Punk, Cena, Orton are pretty much the only big names in the company right now. Just because you main event does not mean you are a superstar and that is the category I put Bryan in. I like him but he is not on the level that Cena and Orton are on as much as it pains me to say it.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4OF2JDUTXED6KFOPHEVMJ2ZYBA raVen

      simply, Punk/Bryan haven’t ever had the super hero style booking cena and orton have had since day 1.
      with the smallest push Punk and Bryan were able to get over. that in itself proves that punk/bryan are bigger stars than cena/orton

  • juan

    wwe is a joke everything went downhill ever since that bullshit PG crap started people who vote for linda are idiot wwe fans of her I hope she does lose GOPS are war starters

  • Mr_DJ

    The whole GTV thing, I remember hearing it was supposed to be Tom Green for the “big reveal,” which was suggested by Shane McMahon, but was shot down by Vince simply because he didn’t know who Tom Green was.

  • morrisonfanone

    I’ve been saying since they decied that all Superstars would be on both shows, that the draft was pretty much dead. Which is a shame, because I found that I was more interested by the draft episodes because, I never knew what was going to happen and I loved that. I’m sad a draft won’t take place. It could be a way to get some younger talent on main rosters.