Jay's Ways - WWE/AEW FAQs
Submitted by Justin Watry on 06/26/2019 at 02:11 PM

This is my reader feedback column from May 2019. No cuss words or insults allowed.

Dean Ambrose/Jon Moxley Promo

John: This is one of your better articles...write more like this and less tooting your own horn

Caught me on a good day I guess. Appreciate that. Plenty of more Dean Ambrose/Jon Moxley talk on recent episodes of The 411 Foresight Wrestling Podcast. Be sure to listen, subscribe, and review! Links at the bottom of the page.

Holli Keller: Great Column Darling

Dom Perignon: Read that in Freddie Mercury's voice

Same here. Movie of the year in 2018 if you ask me...and I see A LOT in theaters, so take that for what it's worth. The show must go on.

Ken Wood: This is the "Dean Ambrose" I always wanted to see. I think this has been coming since the match against Lesnar. He had ideas and nobody cared. Instead we got that terrible match. You could tell how much he was holding back during the Austin interview. This has been a slowly brewing thing and I'm excited to see where it goes.

Agreed on wanting to see a 'new' Dean Ambrose. Whatever Jon Moxley does, I am interested right off the bat. That Twitter promo was awesome. I will slightly disagree on the Brock Lesnar WrestleMania 32 match. Sorry but WWE was not going to allow a chainsaw to be used. That was reportedly an idea thrown out there. Or blood. Um, no. If Brock was indeed already training for a UFC return and was already planned to win, then you were going to get a disappointing quick brawl. We got what we got. Not the best showing from either guy but definitely the right finish. Dean Ambrose was just fine, winning the WWE Championship a few months later and beating other top stars clean during that time period.

Sakamano 3000: Got me there...I have not been following you on Twitter.

You can follow me on Twitter at @JustinWatry - lots of cool insider stories, column ideas, story line teases, and ramblings on there each and every week. Tidbits you won't find anywhere else. 

Mark Schoeman: Just a counterpoint and if I'm dead wrong, that's absolutely fine...but I see the same "evidence" but have a very different read.

I think it's a huge misread of WWE to see Dean as an underachiever. I mean if it was Cena's spot or bust, then fine...but he was a top guy, just not THE top guy. The stuff we as adults saw as goofy, was Dean playing to the audience that made him the most money: kids...the audience that made Cena and Reigns the top stars, making the most money...even if the adults hated them. He said over and over again in interviews that he had his full of the "starving artist" with critical acclaim and was focused on making the most money...and money was the cause of his recent discontent.

The plan was for Ambrose to trade in all his post-Shield work, all the merchandise and licensing royalties, and turn heel in order to finally work with Reigns. Being tight, I imagine they had been planning this for years...and right after they take those first steps, Reigns gets sick. Suddenly the plan that was meant to close Mania for the title is gone, along with the money...and the money sacrificed turning heel in the first place.

Find me another instance of a talent whose exit was treated like Ambrose. WWE announces his departure months (!!!) in advance, they acknowledge it on TV, they do a network special for his last match, and the big one as it pertains to the the interview Cole did with the Shield, where Ambrose goes anti-WWE, anti-Vince (the million dollar man didn't get what he wanted...). The expensive video, with the sets, the production, the effects is merely a continuation of that interview.

Lets assume WWE is ready to shoot AEW in it's crib and wants Ambrose back to where he was happy financially, So the pitch is simple: Dean gets to work a day a week the next 5 months, taking top indie pay and rest up. Meanwhile the tease is he's certainly AEW bound and every news item is him being the ultimate hardcore fan babyface, trashing WWE. So now we've arrived at AEW's TV debut in October and the internet just knows Dean is going to go full-Lex Luger and show up in the main event...and it doesn't happen. Week 2 arrives and now the internet is certain, this is debut week...and nothing. Then the very next SD, now on Fox, Ambrose comes through the crowd to save/attack Reigns and Ambrose is back to where he was just a year prior. Happy, renewed merchandise appeal (those ant-WWE obsessives will buy all his gear) and back on the path to close Mania with Reigns, his best friend.

Great comment as always Mark. The only problem with your perfect scenario (that I love for the record) is this is not a WWE story line. Been reporting that since January on all my platforms. As I've been talking about for four months, this is not some big master plan behind the scenes. Dean Ambrose left, and Jon Moxley is back.

Previous Q&A

Acolyte Of Glorious La Parka: I am one of those who runs right to Watry articles just to read the comments. He must be the X-Pac of this website.

I thought I was the Roman Reigns or John Cena of 411mania? Missing the X-Pac comparison, unless it means being under rated and has more famous friends.

Afronin: Wait...what was the name of that podcast again?

It is the 411 Foresight Wrestling Podcast. Available on YouTube, Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, and all your favorite streaming outlets. Finn Balor to Smackdown Live, Buddy Murphy moving to the main roster, AEW's television deal soon to be announced with Turner, and many other tidbits were discussed BEFORE you read about it elsewhere on the internet. Exclusive junk in there each week and fun discussion - old school and current wrestling. Subscribe and give us those Rob Van Dam five star reviews now!

Wild Card Rule

BrianIsPeachy: I knew this was Watry before I clicked

Well, that explains being one of the first clicks and leaving the first comment. You sure showed me!

Jaybird: Crucify me if you must... I'm enjoying 2019 Watry!

It is still the same me, but I have made a few tweaks in 2019. Can anybody spot them?

Wheeljack84: I think it's time to bury the brand split. It's not even alive anymore.

Wanna know a funny story?

I wasn't even on board with the 2016 brand split happening with the WWE Draft. After the Shane McMahon/Vince McMahon/The Undertaker fiasco about who was running which show, I was fine with the WrestleMania 32 match and conclusion. Shane lost, shook Vince's hand the next night and was willing to walk away...but then he got to run RAW for one night. Okay, cool. Nice surprise for the post-WM crowd. It was a huge slap in the face to the entire story line but whatever. One night only, as long as it meant one night only. Nope, then we got the Stephanie McMahon power struggle, and the rest is history.

The rosters actually looked good. Raw had Mick Foley and Steph running the show and got Brock Lesnar, The New Day, Seth Rollins, Charlotte, Roman Reigns, the new Universal Title, Finn Balor, and a whole host of goodies. Smackdown Live had Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan running the show as fan favorites and got Dean Ambrose as WWE Champion, John Cena, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Becky Lynch, The Miz, and everybody's dream boat Baron Corbin. Actually felt like a fair draft in my book, so I was sold. I changed my tune and welcomed the separate rosters once again.

Problems began creeping up pretty quickly though. New belts had to be created, new pay-per-views were added, and in less than a year, all my initial concerns came back. WWE has powered through it to their credit but have obviously relaxed on the idea. Heck, it was only after ONE WEEK in which a Smackdown LIVE star showed up on Raw, when Randy Orton gave Brock Lesnar an RKO out of nowhere! Anyways, back to the original comment from Wheeljack84...

I would not be against the brand split once again coming to an end. Whether it is an issue with television ratings, pressure from USA Network/FOX, or all the hours of programming while trying to keep NXT strong. It can be a mess. I know we all love to be fantasy bookers and live in a perfect world, but WWE has to change on the fly and do what is best for business. If that means sacrificing a few story lines to keep their billion partners happy, who cares? Big deal. Continuity on a scripted TV show can always be over looked. Losing out on a major TV deal can not.

Pmac: If they had defined and explained how The Wild Card Rule worked and why it needed to exist, then maybe it would have worked. As it was, they half-explained it and never told us why it was a necessary story element. Without solid logic, it just looks sloppy and lazy.

I tend to ask my girlfriend what she thinks of certain things for a 'casual fan' perspective. I know my thoughts, and nine times out of ten, I can pretty much guess the online reaction to things as they are happening. No real use digging into that. For her though, it is through a different lens. Her point of view of the Wild Card Rule was Vince McMahon was making it up on the spot and taking credit for something Roman Reigns was doing on his own anyways (showing up on whatever show). That was how WWE had scripted it. Believe it or not, the entire point of the Wild Card Rule was Vince McMahon took credit for an idea others had presented and was adding to it in a sloppy manner as the night progressed (Lars backstage segment). He was being portrayed as a boss not totally in charge. Life imitating art? Maybe but again, if reports are true, this demand was thrown onto Vince just as much as it was to us.

Saffin: I didn't think it was quite as bad as everyone was saying. A lot of things made sense and built things. The wildcard rule felt forced but I think it will play into a wider ''Vince is losing it'' story, especially after the Lars interaction. The thing that nearly made me switch off was the opening promo. It just felt like ''great, here we go again'' and the match that followed was no better.

Pretty much. It still stuns me that Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, AND Bobby Lashley are on the same brand. Unreal none of those three left Raw.


Michael Adonis: I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Billions of dollars, a shiny new set, and a slot on TNT is wonderful. All that matters is creating something people will not only watch, but keep watching. At one point WCW had all of those things and more.

Correct. In the beginning of May on the 411 Foresight Wrestling Podcast, I mentioned that the debut episode of AEW on TNT will draw about three million viewers. Laugh all you want, but TNA also did big numbers for their January 4th, 2010 Monday night debut on Spike TV - against Bret Hart returning to WWE Raw for the first time in over a decade mind you. Sure, they Impact Wrestling Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Jeff Hardy, and others, but the competition was fierce. Still, for a live debut wrestling show - viewers tuned in for one night. After that, it all went downhill. Therefore, I am saying three million viewers for AEW's debut episode before settling in around one million viewers. Maybe high hopes? On TNT, live in prime time though, you need high hopes.

Shark: Not only keep watching, but put money into as well. Buy PPVs, buy tickets and merchandise. Impact had a growing audience, but that audience would never put money into the product. I came across a lot of fans who would actually brag about streaming an Impact PPV instead of buying it.

Exactly. If their money will NOT be coming from Turner television, it needs to come from pay-per-view buys, live event tickets, and the like. With a $50 price tag for Double Or Nothing, that worries me. Hopefully, the B/R Live App helps with finding its' footing and compromising with a much better price. Touring is their next revenue stream. So far, so good on the sold out buildings. Of course, that is a special event every few months. Comparing apples to oranges when dealing with weekly touring for a TV show. Time will tell on that end if the momentum can be sustained every single week, year round.

Maddox: Am impressed they haven't taken any shot at E. Every company seem to wanna do that.

I have been very positive about All Elite Wrestling. I say that as somebody who has never seen a Young Bucks match or a single match from Cody Rhodes during his independent run. I could not care less about them. The promotion and all that though? They have been making the right moves, and I can not deny that. However, the second a Jon Moxley or Jim Ross comes out and starts ripping WWE in a 'shoot promo' I will groan and slowly lose interest. The devoted Elite followers will all drool and love every moment, but it was tiresome a decade ago. Stop. Focus on your own product and own stars. Be elite, be be elite. Not bitter.

WWE MITB 2019 Review

Reid50: You are correct in regards to Bayley. If the WWE really decides to get behind a talent the fans love, magic can still happen. I’m still not a fan in regards to the pushes or lack thereof for other but it’s possible to resurrect a character to the top.

This is why any column or online report about a star being BURIED(!!!!!!!!!!) or forever done is garbage, click bait, and flat out used for shock value. It takes five seconds of effort. I remind you Jinder Mahal went from losing to Mojo Rawley clean on Smackdown Live to WWE Champion within a month. A stretch obviously but true. Bayley has done nothing on her own for the past year or two. In a matter of two matches, she is Womens Champion again and having the live crowd go nuts for her. Talent always rises to the top, but writing can push that along. Any time, any place.

AG Awesome: Big props to the bumps taken in the men’s MitB match. I had some “sympy” pain at times watching it.

Finn Balor, especially. Dude took a beating and deserves a week or two off. Go home, rest up, and come back for your IC Title defense against Andrade at Super Showdown. Brutal stuff. Makes it even more impactful then when Brock Lesnar simply skips to the ring and wins. For everyone upset about the guys busting their butts only for Lesnar to win without doing anything physical - THAT WAS THE POINT!!! Congrats, you understood the story WWE was telling.

Jon Moxley/Talk Is Jericho

Yohannes Setiadji: Most of the commenters here don't. They saw Watry's name, click on it, scroll down to the comment section and bash on him.

Thank you. I have done nothing but praise All Elite Wrestling (so far) and Dean Ambrose's jump to the new promotion...but yeah. Reading comprehension.

Mushroom: You liked the podcast, but you don't like Dean looking out for his own best interests. What kind of contradictory writing is this?

Fitting username. I have been writing about Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley) leaving WWE since January. Not that anyone will believe me, but I had that news Royal Rumble weekend. After listening to the Talk Is Jericho podcast, guess what? My timeline held up, as usual. No works. no conspiracy theories, no back and forth, no contract offers. He was 100% gone. I would suggest reading my past columns and/or following me on Twitter. Nothing contradictory at all. Again, fitting username.

MoMoney1985: I agree that Dean/Moxley handled himself like a pro and completely honoured his commitments unlike others. Much respect to him for that. He got a decent send off in return too

I'd say better than 'decent.' Main focus on television following WrestleMania 35, his own send off WWE Network and tons of wins along the way. As a guy leaving the company and said as such to officials months earlier. Fairly rare in this industry. I'd assume a lot of that did indeed come down to him handling everything like a professional. Finish your advertised dates, show up to work and do the best you can. Too bad others can't understand that...

Jim Lahey: Biggest news coming out of this report is Justin using the word "crap".

Hey now, crap is one of my words I use often.

egomaniac247: Well done Justin, this was a pretty well rounded review.

Appreciate that. Like the CM Punk/Colt Cabana interview, history will be on my side. It may take awhile, but my track record speaks for itself. Happy for Jon Moxley and excited to see what he does next.

411 Foresight Wrestling Podcast

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