Chaos At Raw Impacting Careers, Changes To NXT Announce Team, Will Dominik Make It In WWE?, Why AEW Fans Should Embrace Celebrity Involvement

I do not think it’s unreasonable to say this week’s WWE Monday Night Raw left a lot to be desired and after reading about the last-minute re-writes, what is the solution? Every single week it seems like things are chaotic from the start and in the end, quality is impacted.

There were a lot of re-writes as Vince McMahon got to the show late and made several changes. It was his 75th birthday. This was going to be a difficult – if not impossible show to book – because it was meant to feature SummerSlam fallout, build to Payback and continue newer aspects such as Raw Underground and Retribution. I agree it gets old that things are always like this and one of the best remedies I can think of is to shorten the show from three to two hours. But that will only change if Vince is willing to give up on the increased TV revenue for the extra hour of TV. In other words, it is unlikely. The biggest cause for concern is what we talked about yesterday in Keith Lee. It seemed like his debut was more or less just thrown together and it did not translate well. He is aware of the criticism and is telling fans he will handle it, but that’s a tall order when you oppose Vince McMahon, who does not view NXT success as main roster success. The last thing you want to see with the debut of any highly touted NXT prospect is an underwhelming debut. Another thing I do not understand is the insistence to do another pay-per-view in WWE Payback directly after SummerSlam. That’s a tall order when you just done building to one of your biggest shows of the year. Hopefully we will get a reset next week and Keith Lee is not lost right out of the gate.

Any word on Mauro Ranallo with it looking like he will be replaced by Wade Barrett tonight on commentary?

Mauro Ranallo traveled home due to a family issue. There are no other details at this time and it is important to respect his privacy. I understand people are probably concerned with his mental health given his history but there is nothing to suggest right now this is anymore than a family issue. Certainly we wish Mauro the best and will look forward to Wade Barrett calling the action, even if it is just a one off.

Will Dominik Mysterio “make it” in WWE?

Dominik Mysterio is green, there is no question about that but he has had world class training under Lance Storm, Jay Lethal, Konnan and his father. He did a great job at SummerSlam and when he did that Frog Splash in memory of Eddie Guerrero, it was hard not to get choked up. It is not fair to compare Dominik to Rey at this stage of his career, so I am glad he is holding off on wanting to do the Prince Mysterio gimmick. I don’t know his future after this angle with Seth Rollins but he has the size and athleticism to be great. He might not stick this time but he is in a good position to have success.

Should Cody vs. Shaquille O’Neal happen in AEW, do you see anything there? Does that interest you in the slightest?

Wrestling fans should always embrace celebrity involvement, regardless of promotion. It is important in AEW’s case as they are trying to become a mainstream alternative to WWE. I was for Mike Tyson coming in and will embrace any celebrity they want to bring it. No, it is not something that is going to move the needle like Dennis Rodman skipping practice during the NBA Playoffs to appear alongside Hollywood Hogan on Nitro but it is something that has the potential to attract casual fans. Some wrestling fans are so consumed by the business, they forget about the casual viewer. Celebrities such as Shaq are known around the world and can help bring fresh eyes to the product. Once those fans are there, AEW can win them over with their quality. AEW has the money and resources but they have room to grow. If Shaq wants to face Cody, Tony Khan needs to find a way to make it happen.

The next installment of Ask WNC is scheduled to run on Thursday, August 27, 2020.

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