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ASK PWTORCH STAFF for 6/14: Why do wrestlers still call audible spots in the ring? Should Triple H manage Seth Rollins and stop wrestling? What tape libraries does WWE not own yet? Is WWE prepping Cena for a heel turn?

Jun 14, 2014 - 7:54:56 PM
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Pro Wrestling Torch was established in 1987 by Wade Keller. One of the primary traits PWTorch has been credited with over the years is assembling the best and most diverse staff of columnists with broad knowledge, but also areas of specialty where they have a particularly strong grasp of history. Every day PWTorch.com presents that team of writers answering your questions, some of which are fact-based and others of which are opinion-based. Either way, we've got you covered with Bruce Mitchell, Pat McNeill, Sean Radican, Greg Parks, James Caldwell, and Wade Keller. Collectively they have over 80 years working for the Torch, writing about wrestling and studying industry history and trends.

If you have a question you'd like us to respond to, send your question to askpwtorch@gmail.com. I, along with the Torch staff, will address your questions in this feature and also the “Ask PWTorch: All-Star Panel” edition which is also published most days here at PWTorch.

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PWTorch reader Matt from Brisbane, Australia asks: Hi guys. What are your thoughts of Triple H transitioning into a more of a manager role for Seth Rollins? As much fun as it is to sometimes hate on Hunter, he's absolutely a tremendous star who Rollins could learn a lot from and it would take the pressure off Triple H in terms of keeping ring shape, etc. I think there's a good amount of heat there to transfer to Rollins. Would he make a good manager? Would he be willing to build someone up on the mic other than himself? Your thoughts?

PWTorch assistant editor James Caldwell answers: Interesting thought. WWE set that up a little on Raw, but I have bad flashbacks to A.J. Styles playing Ric Flair, Jr. in TNA. Now, that was TNA and this is WWE, but the idea is you want fans excited and interested in Rollins, not wishing they were seeing Triple H. The manager needs to take a subservient/enhancement role, but Hunter is a bigger star than Rollins, so he would inherently overshadow Rollins and draw attention away from Seth in a managerial role. I think they're better off with Hunter, Rollins, and Orton on equal footing - for now - until Rollins breaks off on his own.

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PWTorch reader Cody B. asks: Let's say WWE eventually releases all of its library on the WWE Network; what significant recorded wrestling footage does the WWE NOT own? Are there any promotions or wrestling tape libraries out there worth the WWE paying to get, besides TNA, ROH, New Japan.

PWTorch senior columnist Bruce Mitchell answers: They're in negotiations with Jerry Lawler to buy the Memphis footage. They seem to have a claim to Georgia Championship Wrestling footage by buying WCW and there's a lot of air able first generation high-quality copies out there of that - and it was the “Monday Night Raw” of the late-‘70s/early-‘80s. The Continental Wrestling Federation was sold multiple times, which makes ownership rights hard to ascertain. The Global Wrestling Federation footage is probably owned by ESPN, and it sucked besides. Portland Wrestling might be a real possibility.

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PWTorch reader Jack M. asks: There are times John Cena is so lame, I think WWE is possibly trying to make him so hated that a heel turn would be a huge deal like that "Bash At The Beach moment" that turns the tide of the current product and provides a boost to the overall ratings. Could that be happening?

PWTorch audio host Travis Bryant answers: Cena is still garbage juice and quite possibly the corniest top guy of all time. If/when he turns heel, he'll still be the lame-ass, corporate Cena, just with a black hat.

PWTorch senior columnist Bruce Mitchell answers: Cena's heel turn is anything but inevitable. His character, whose effectiveness as a revenue producer has been damaged lately in part by some of what you described, drives more money to the company than any other still. Damaging that ability and hurting the children he does charity work for thereby damaging the image of the company, in exchange for what?

PWTorch editor Wade Keller answers: WWE is not going to turn Cena heel until two conditions exist: (1) They are sure they have a replacement top babyface who is starting to beat Cena in key categories such as merchandise sales, house show attendance increases, and other metrics; (2) Cena is clearly on the downswing in key metrics and they believe as a heel he could pop business. Those conditions simply don’t exist right now.

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PWTorch reader Ric D. asks: For whatever reason, clearly audible move/spot calling happens quite frequently these days and nothing takes me out of a dramatic match like hearing "reverse, clothesline me" seconds before a game changing reversal and clothesline. Would it be feasible for wrestlers to implement coded language to obscure this and has this ever been done before? I understand that fans who really wanted to crack the code would inevitably do so but those of us who don't want to know could at least ignore it more easily.

PWTorch assistant editor James Caldwell replies: The majority of wrestlers have gotten better about this in the HD era, but John Cena has regressed for some reason. His spot-calling is embarrassingly obvious at times. I don't know if it's because he's working with newer guys he's not used to wrestling in the ring or what the reason is, but he's been chief offender for about a year.

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