Ask PWTorch ASK PWTORCH STAFF for 7/5: Will Cesaro eventually wrestle Brock? What did Sandow did wrong anyway? Should WWE be careful about how wrestlers are portrayed on NXT if they plan to promote them to main roster? Is Cena the ultimate company man?
Jul 5, 2014 - 6:12:37 PM
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The PWTorch All-Star Panel features an array of contributors answering your questions who have worked in various facets of the pro wrestling industry, plus PWTorch contributors join in. You get an unmatched mix of perspectives including first-hand insights from people who have worked in the ring and behind the curtain.
PWTorch reader Mark T. asks: Do you guys think that Antonio Cesaro and Brock Lesnar will end up wrestling, set up by Paul Heyman turning on Cesaro so he can make his babyface turn and end up in an angle at Summerslam with Brock?
PWTorch columnist Greg Parks answers: I'd like to eventually see Cesaro's babyface turn come against Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar, leading to a big match with Brock. However, Summerslam is too soon and Lesnar will have other things to do by that point. But I think most people are predicting that Cesaro will eventually turn face and have a match with the other Paul Heyman Guy.
PWTorch senior columnist Bruce Mitchell answers: We've talked about the potential in program like this in depth on the VIP Bruce Mitchell Audio Show ((www.PWTorch.com/govip). Cesaro has the strength and skill to really hold his own against the monster Brock Lesnar and get elevated into the championship picture.
PWTorch reader David asks: After watching this week's NXT, I have a question about the recent call-ups to the main roster. Should WWE be careful about using those workers (such as Xavier Woods) on the development roster? With the Network, there's more access to NXT and watching guys like Woods return and immediately lose looks like a setback. On the other hand, RVD, Cesaro, etc. look like big name stars when they're on the show.
PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill answers: If you see a main roster wrestler putting guys over on NXT, that's usually a sign that Creative has no real plans for that wrestler. Yes, WWE could protect those wrestlers, but they won't.
PWTorch senior columnist Bruce Mitchell answers: They should be careful about how they use the workers they believe have a future as main eventers. You only get one chance to make a first impression. As for guys like Xavier Woods who fill roster spots on both shows, it's not that important.
PWTorch columnist Sean Radican answers: There's still a small fraction of WWE's overall audience watching NXT even though it’s on the WWE Network now, so although NXT is accessible to WWE Network subscribers, it's overall viewership is nowhere near Raw or Smackdown. Furthermore, I don't think WWE is concerned about protecting Woods given how he's portrayed on TV.
PWTorch reader & VIP MEMBER Adam A. asks: Love the VIP stuff. I can't wait for more old PPV audio roundtables to go up. It occurs to me that one reason WWE has stuck with Cena - other than his success - is his immense value as an employee. Consider virtually every other “top guy” Vince has had: Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, The Rock, Hunter, and Undertaker. All of them but Taker was, for one reason or another, a challenge to employ. (Rock wasn't a bad guy at all, but he wasn't always there after WM17.)
Cena has very little to no backstage issues that I've ever heard of. He works an outrageous schedule, is a fantastic face of the industry and has steadily improved as a worker. He draws consistently and has developed a strong niche with the crowd. (I should note: I am not one of the fans that pines for the Attitude Era.)
Has Vince ever employed a “top guy” who was as easy to have around and as dependable as John Cena?
PWTorch columnist Greg Parks answers: Maybe Bruno for a while, though he and Vince had their famous falling out. It's a little unfair to compare that to Cena, because we haven't seen what happens to Cena after his in-ring days. But yeah, it's one reason of many that WWE is so resistant to turn Cena heel when some think it's the right call. He is the face of WWE and can be trusted to represent the company to the outside world in the best fashion possible.
PWTorch editor Wade Keller answers: I think John Cena is Vince McMahon’s favorite top guy to work with yet. Bret Hart was great and reliable and, as Vince put it, “a super trooper,” but Bret never drew quite like John Cena has. Cena is pretty much built from the ground up to be the guy Vince was always hoping for and looking for. Of course, it helps a lot that Cena has nowhere else to go. That has given Cena super-duper extra incentive to be ultra professional for Vince. If WCW was throwing big money around, Cena might’ve given Vince some of the same headaches other top acts have. There’s always a chance some day a bunch of stories will get out that Vince and Cena have butted heads a ton of times and always argue, but there’s zero hints or leaks of any such things.
PWTorch reader Jacob W. asks: Thanks for the great feature. What the hell has happened with Damien Sandow? After his unsuccessful, yet highly entertaining, cash-in against John Cena, it seemed like the general consensus was that it was a coming out party for Sandow. Now months later he's been relegated to a comedic impersonator. What did he do to deserve this? He didn't need a character overhaul. He could have just become a more intense version of the intellectual savior of the masses. It's quite a shocking fall considering how high everyone was on him after his showing against Cena. He seems to have all the tools to be top-of-the-card/upper-mid-card heel. What are everyone's thoughts?
PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill answers: Several months ago at a Smackdown taping, Damien Sandow snagged the last chocolate brownie in catering, and Vince McMahon never forgave him for it. (Okay, I don't know the real answer, but I haven't heard a better explanation.)
PWTorch senior columnist Bruce Mitchell answers: I think they see Damien Sandow as a guy who can fill time as a comedy crank on a three hour show, and they don't know or care about how damage they're doing to his future career prospects. Hey, it's a buyer's market now.
PWTorch columnist Greg Parks answers: It's the same question that is on the minds of many fans. He didn't injure anyone, he didn't mouth off to the media, he didn't rub anyone backstage the wrong way (that we know of). You mentioned his Raw match with Cena, which should've been a springboard for him. Sandow had really done well with the gimmick he was playing, so why WWE felt the need to stray from it is, again, an unsolved mystery. At any time, there always seems to be someone on the roster who is treated like this that deserves more, but for whatever reason the company feels the need to bury. Maybe it's just Sandow's turn.
PWTorch editor Wade Keller answers: It’s important to differentiate between thinking a wrestler is getting buried because management is down on them versus thinking a wrestler is getting buried because management is actually pushing him in a good-faith way based on what they believe their strengths as a performer are. I’m not so sure there’s an answer to why management is burying Sandow because I’m not sure they management thinks they’re burying him. I think they see Sandow as versatile and currently filling a certain role that WWE always likes to have in the mix. The question is whether Sandow can get through this stretch and end up with management’s belief that he can built into something more serious and credible later. Sandow is very good at what he is doing now, but obviously there’s more money in him being portrayed as a more serious act and a more serious in-ring threat. If he does what he’s asked and does it well, and if fans have an affinity for him at the end, there’s a good chance management will recast him and rebuild him. I’m not sure he can ever be Brock Lesnar in terms of credibility, but if management likes him when this comedy impersonation stretch is done, they will probably try to give him a make-over and a more serious push. In short, I’m not sure so sure if Vince McMahon wouldn’t be surprised that so many people think Sandow is in the dog house and being buried. He probably thinks he’s giving a ton of TV time to a wrestler whose comedy chops he is impressed by and is thus featuring on national TV every week.
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