SEScoops Mailbag for December 10th
(submit YOUR questions to [email protected])
Q: You said previously you were unsatisfied with Michael Cole and his heel persona with the angle seemingly having no real direction. Maybe it isn’t part of a storyline. Maybe they just realized that a lot of people disliked Cole and it made more sense to turn him into a jerk to give the announce booth some dichotomy and give the audience a reason to dislike him. Bobby Heenan and JBL were very good at this. The announce teams have always been more interesting with different personalities and the lack of this type of character makes the commentary seem stale in comparison. Just a thought. – Christopher A.
A: I have no problem with having an old school face/heel dynamic in the announce booth. Here’s where I have a problem with your argument. You say Bobby Heenan and JBL were very good at this, and they were. In fact, Heenan was the best. However, both men were active performers at one time and merely carried those personalities over into their commentary. Michael Cole is NOT a performer. He’s not even the color guy, he’s the “voice” of WWE as their primary play-by-play announcer, the man that we’re supposed to listen to when he tries to sell us on buying the next pay-per-view. If I hate this man, why should I listen to what he says? If they’re going somewhere with this and can make money off heel Michael Cole, then that’s fine. But so far, there’s no indication they have an actual end game (unless he replaces Alex Riley as manager for The Miz) and the way he switches from heel to face is both confusing and unproductive. If you want dichotomy in the announce booth, let CM Punk do his heel shtick (or better yet, let Jerry Lawler do it like he used to do) and let Cole play the role of Monsoon/McMahon/Ross. At the end of the day, it’s stupid that we’re arguing about getting the announcers over when we should be talking about getting over the actual talent. A good announcer would not BE the story, they would sell the story.
Q: Why does the WWE keep releasing good, young superstars? They release MVP, Caylen Croft, Luke Gallows, Vance Archer and Matt Hardy (not young, but has his release even been confirmed?) What could be the purpose of this? – Mark V.
A: Talent deserves some of that blame, as well. Of the names you mentioned, MVP and Matt Hardy both requested their release from the company. WWE did not want to let them go. Of course, they wouldn’t push them either, but they didn’t want them to leave. I think Gallows deserved better and as for Croft and Archer, they were never really given a chance. The purpose of these cuts is primarily budgetary and it’s not always fair, but life is not fair.
A: You would be correct, sir. Of course, WWE now acknowledges their characters as being childhood friends and not brothers, which is completely ridiculous.
A: I’d book it as CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kaval under traditional “3-Way Dance” elimination rules, not the silly way WWE does Triple Threat matches. As for how I’d book it, give them 15-20 minutes and a finish and let them work their magic.
Q: Who was the “murderer” of Mr. McMahon when his limo exploded? I never found out because of the Benoit tragedy. – Ricardo M.
A: Chris Benoit basically murdered the Mr. McMahon angle. After that, it was dropped and they never bothered to reveal who the culprit would have really been. It’s one time I actually agree with dropping a stupid storyline and not giving us a payoff. Better to move on and forget it ever happened.
Q: I was just wondering what the chances are that we will ever see The Ultimate Warrior making an appearance in any capacity for WWE? I never thought I’d see him in the Raw opening and it happened. He was a big part of WWE history. Has there been any contact between him and Vince since the Hall of Fame interaction a while back? – Chuck Rall
A: I’m not aware of any dialogue between the two sides since the Hall of Fame stuff a from a while back. For some background, WWE reached out to Warrior about being part of last year’s Hall of Fame class and there was direct contact between him and Vince that sounded somewhat positive, especially when you consider how litigious the two sides have been with one another in recent years. Warrior even spoke publicly as rumored abounded and sounded open to the idea, but claims Vince never bothered calling him back to follow up. The fact is this, WWE recognizes that they’re running out of big names to put into the Hall of Fame (big names willing to go in, anyway) and they definitely want Warrior in there. It’s simply a matter of the two sides coming together on money, most likely, and I do believe he will eventually go in and we will need subtitles for his acceptance speech.
Q: I was thinking back to just before the Hardys started their feud last year, how did Jeff survive the fireworks? – Harrison M.
A: Sorry, but I literally laughed out loud at how this question was phrased. What you’re referring to is the angle shot on Smackdown where Jeff was coming out for a match and while doing his pre-match posing routine (a/k/a having a seizure) on top of the ramp, his fireworks went haywire and lit him up like a Christmas tree. Obviously, it was all staged and very well-coordinated by their pyro people. Jeff had also wet himself down with water, as he usually does, before coming out, which would help keep the flames from actually burning his skin. Ironically, Jeff was the unfortunate recipient of a fireball to the face not too long ago in TNA at the hands of James Storm, a stunt that did not go exactly as planned and as a result, Jeff suffered burns and had his eyebrows singed. I really wish they would stay away from angles involving fire because it’s not worth the risk.
Q: When Tara said in her interview that more WWE stars will be going to TNA in the future, that made me wonder. I know Christian jumped ship from WWE to TNA, then back again, and so did R-Truth. Recently, it seems more ex-WWE stars have been jumping to back to WWE, but I was just wondering if it was likely in the future near or far that any TNA stars would try to make the jump to WWE? – Kieran A.
A: All due respect to Tara, she’s full of shit when she says their crew is so much more at ease backstage than it is in WWE. There has been much talk about how unhappy many folks are in TNA right now, for a variety of reasons. Now, I’m not saying you don’t have unhappy people backstage in WWE as well, you do for sure (as evidenced by people requesting their release), but TNA used to be a place where a WWE guy could go and be far less stressed and far more happy, but that’s not the case anymore. Booker T was very happy when he arrived in TNA and it didn’t take long for his demeanor to change. Mick Foley has openly voiced his displeasure with TNA in recent interviews and how he does not see himself staying when his contract expires next year. As for TNA stars coming over to WWE, it’s certainly possible, but I haven’t heard of anyone in particular coming over in the near future. With Samoa Joe’s contract expiring, it looks like he is likely going to renew with TNA, which is a shame because while I don’t have full confidence WWE would know what to do with him, there’s potential there for him to get over huge. He used to be a hot commodity and has cooled off tremendously because TNA doesn’t know what to do with him and he’s not a priority under the Bischoff/Hogan regime.
Q: Recently, I watched a tribute video for The Eliminators and wow, they had something there, but then Saturn got hurt and left ECW. What I’d like to know is what tag teams were close to being in the discussion of greatest ever, but never got the chance to reach their full potential either due to injury, management breaking them up or holding them down? – Andrew Betts
A: This is an impossible question to answer. Plus, if they were already in the discussion of greatest ever, they likely either reached their full potential or came close. Edge and Christian may be a good example. They were a very successful, entertaining team for well over two years before WWE broke them up. Obviously, they each went on to success as singles stars, but should they have been kept together longer? JeriShow is another example. Here’s a team that nobody thought would work as well as they did, but they got the act over, made the Tag Team belts meaningful again and then broke up. Who’s to say that Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas would not have earned the distinction of world’s greatest tag team (hell, that was their name!) if they were pushed harder and kept together. There’s simply no clear cut answer.
A: Vince may be high on a lot of things (well, maybe not as much as RVD), but I don’t think ROH is one of them. Which is not to suggest that he hates ROH or is unaware of its existence, but it’s not a priority for him. Others in the upper hierarchy of the company definitely monitor ROH. Personally, I think it would be an excellent idea to partner with ROH in some capacity and would be a win/win for both companies. I know Vince does not want to have anything to do with another wrestling company that has TV, which ROH does, but it’s available in far fewer homes than either WWE or TNA. For WWE, they have the ability to scout and use some great talents, while ROH gets to use WWE performers on limited shows and boost their business a bit, not unlike the arrangement Vince made with Paul Heyman and ECW in the mid-nineties.
Q: Just watched Raw and saw Miz searching for a table. When he pulled up the ring skirt on the entrance side, there was a bucket full of drinks on ice. What gives? – Ryan Begley
A: I’m fairly certain it’s there for the ring crew and announcers, if they should need a drink at any point during the broadcast. That, or they just want to be prepared if Steve Austin should randomly show up and demand a beer. Wouldn’t want to make him angry.
A: It wasn’t that they waited around over 20 years before acting, it was that in their eyes, Vince McMahon violated the 1994 agreement they had in place regarding international use of the WWF initials. As for Trish Stratus, WWE was made aware of her modeling and fitness work and offered her a contract. She had been a wrestling fan as a child and obviously had some aptitude for it as she went on to become one of the most successful female performers of her generation.
Q: When will WWE stars face TNA stars? – Richard Agosto
A: Either when they defect to TNA or vice versa. That’s about the only way that’s ever going to happen.
Keep those questions coming to [email protected] and remember to include your name!