MAILBAG: Did Vince McMahon Sabotage The ECW Brand?

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SEScoops Mailbag for December 30th

(submit YOUR questions to [email protected])

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Q: If John Cena was to suffer a career-ending injury tomorrow, who do you think Vince McMahon would slide in as the new “face” of the WWE? – Shane

A: Ironically, we received this question a full 5 days before Cena was injured at a house show in Wilkes-Barre, PA on Tuesday. Thankfully, it sounds as though the injury is not serious and certainly will not threaten his career, but it does show that even “Super Cena” can be one injury away from doom. So what might WWE do if that were to happen? I see them slotting in another main event star like Randy Orton or Triple H into his spot before elevating someone new. Those are very big shoes to fill and while it would be great to see a John Morrison or Daniel Bryan given a chance like that, it’s not WWE’s style. Frankly, I don’t blame them. It would be nice to see them take a risk, but you have to go with your proven hand.

Q: Was Vince McMahon buying the original ECW his master plan to get rid of ECW? The new WWE-ECW failed miserably, so could Vince have done that on purpose seeing how much potential the original ECW could have had now with WWE going PG? Did he want to destroy the original ECW on purpose? – Rory B.

A: Vince McMahon is not Leo Bloom (look it up). Resurrecting the ECW brand with the intention of watching it fail is still among the more preposterous things I’ve ever heard. ECW was transformed into a nutered, PG version of its former self because Vince thought it was the best way to make money off it. That’s why they started doing ECW house show touring, but eventually merged it with the Smackdown shows when it didn’t draw well. He wanted it to succeed, as did SyFy and Bonnie Hammer of NBC Universal, but it didn’t. It was a poorly-conceived idea. As much as Jesse Ventura may hate to hear this, there was no conspiracy.

Q: If I remember correctly, when Nexus first formed, Wade Barrett said they had a “higher purpose” and there was a “bigger picture” that was to be revealed. What ever happened to this storyline? I can only assume it had something to do with the anonymous GM. Do you believe Nexus will disband before we hear what their “secret goal” actually is? Just seemed like they had something huge planned and might have dropped the whole angle. – Michael C.

A: This was sent in before CM Punk was revealed as the new leader of Nexus, so I don’t think they will be disbanding for a while. It breathes some new life into a stale storyline. Frankly, I’m still waiting for David Otunga to reveal why Nexus attacked and buried The Undertaker at Bragging Rights. Perhaps we will still find out, but WWE changing or dropping parts of their storylines isn’t anything new.

Q: Was Santa Big Show flattening that chair on the live Smackdown planned? I couldn’t really tell because there were so many references made to his weight within that story he told. – Ryan B.

A: I don’t believe it was, which makes it that much funnier.

Q: Why did WWE and Jonathan Coachman part ways? – NateOB

A: Coach was offered a position as an anchor for ESPN, which had always been a dream job for him. He got his start as a local sports anchor in Kansas City before coming to WWE. I don’t think he ever planned on WWE being his permanent destination, though he was well-liked by Vince McMahon and left the company on seemingly good terms. I say that with some doubts because when Vince appeared on ESPN News last year to discuss the Stan Kroenke controversy, he was actually interviewed by his former employee and totally blew off The Coach.

Q: I’ve heard rumors that Batista will be returning to WWE soon, and I am assuming it will be around the time of WrestleMania. Based on him appearing at the Slammy Awards, as well as being mentioned on a Raw segment by CM Punk/John Cena, do you believe we will see Batista return and become an active wrestler again? Or will this just be a one time appearance? – Nolan

A: Batista appeared at the Slammy Awards? My cable must have gone out during that segment (probably did, Cablevision bastards). I assume you are referring to clips of Batista being shown during the Slammys as he was nominated for two different awards. By no means is this a sign of his imminent return to WWE. In fact, rumors even greater than the rumors you’re hearing suggest that he continues to train hard for his MMA debut and may have his first fight with the Strikeforce promotion as early as this March. He’s been filming a movie in the interim, which was one of the reasons he chose to leave WWE (he was very upset when he was removed from his planned WWE film and replaced by Triple H, a move that was made when Big Dave would not renew his contract).

Q: The NXT show, are all matches scripted, like who will win or lose??? Also, for the Royal Rumble, are all wrestlers told who will win??? And does TNA and WWE‘s way of fighting differ, like is one fake or real, lethal or non-lethal, brutal or non-brutal??? – Marshmiller, Zimbabwe

A: Yes, the NXT rookies are aware of who will win or lose their matches in advance. Only the wrestlers who need to know who is winning the Royal Rumble are told, it’s not something they publicize to everyone for fear of word leaking out. For example, the belief is that only Vince McMahon, Triple H and John Cena himself knew that Cena was entering the 2008 Rumble as #30. As for your last question, I can tell you that Monday Night Raw can be quite brutal some weeks, while TNA Impact is almost always lethal without the aid of alcohol or a tranquilizer.

Q: I remember when Daniel Bryan had his first match against Mr. Ziggles, he kicked him in the head so many times, it was only one of many reasons why those two gave such a great performance they had them do it again the next night. But ever since then, I have seen Daniel Bryan only kick people in the chest. Do you know if WWE doesn’t want him to do that again, or was it Bryan’s choice? – Joey

A: It may well have been something WWE asked him not to do, but I never heard any stories about it. Now that you mention it, during one of the three matches Bryan had with Dolph Ziggler (it would have been either their Bragging Rights encounter or their final match on Smackdown), I recall Bryan nailing Ziggler with an absolutely wicked kick that seemed to knock him a bit loopy. Perhaps that was the catalyst for stopping the head kicks, if in fact that is what happened.

Q: Randy Orton has been in WWE for a long time, so why hasn’t [he gotten] a DVD like Rey Mysterio who has been in the company for the same amount of time as Orton. What is wrong? – Dallas

A: Chris Jericho was in WWE for nine years (not including the two years he left for his last break) before he got his first DVD treatment this year. He did have one VHS release early on in his run, but that wasn’t a DVD set. There’s no rhyme or reason for it. I’m positive Orton will get a 3-disc set all to himself within the next two years. As an aside, WWE could do all of us insomniacs a great service by first releasing a DVD set made up exclusively of Randy Orton promos.

Q: With the news of Samoa Joe re-signing with TNA the story line comes to mind where he got thrown in the back of a van by guys in all black and masks. I can’t help but try to remember what ever happened with him getting “Kidnapped” right after Hogan and Bitchoff arrived in TNA? I don’t remember if they did or didn’t say who it was. And if they didn’t what really WAS suppose to happen? – Jeremy

A: I think I may have answered this in a previous mailbag, but no, we never did find out much about the kidnapping. Maybe Joe staged the whole thing himself in order to get the hell out of TNA, which has done everything to kill his character dead since the program with Kurt Angle. Of course, that doesn’t explain why he just re-signed a new deal with the company. Can you say Stockholm syndrome?

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