ASK-A-WAI: Questions Thread

Anthony from Melbourne

Perhaps a touchy subject but can a wrestler particularly in the current WWE system generate good heal heat?

I ask because some recent examples really shine a light on how hard it is for a wrestler to get proper heat in todays wrestling.

There is a fine line of being politically correct and generating heat, take for example Action Andretti who sexually belittled Tay in his first promo against JAS, that may have worked a decade ago but these days it come off as inappropriate.

I thought the last real heel of the modern era was Bully Ray until MJF come along, he is not afraid to go hard at the fans as well as his opponent, referencing things like your mum, obesity, being misogynistic, etc. but are these things politically correct or socially acceptable?

MJF is an example of a modern day heel who can to tow the line of being politically incorrect while still not being offensive to the point of creating a scandal. To me it seems you can’t be completely socially acceptable or you won’t truly generate heat for a prolonged period of time.

Lacy Evens had yet another mishap with her re-re-re-debut when she refused to hi-five a fan who had a disability but is that a step too far, or a good way to generate heat?

It seems WWE won’t allow wrestlers to belittle fans, unless its their home town sports team of course, which really restricts their ability to generate heat.

Roman Reigns was able to finally generate some serious heat after beating the Undertaker but he was unable to sustain heat and as good of a character he is now, it will be the same after his Sami feud is completed, people are already worried the fans will turn on Cody at mania.

The loss of kayfabe is also a big factor but even fans that appreciate Bully Ray or MJF will still boo them, why can’t other heels manage the same?

Sorry for the length, the TL;DR version:

How can wrestlers effectively generate sustained heat without crossing the line?

When you guys travel do you book separate rooms? I would imagine that spending so much time together normally you need your own space? Is there anything you guys differ on when it comes to travel i.e hotel specifications?

Thanks guys
Amit, London

Thought your review of the Mutoh retirement match was great. From the My Way opener to Chono and Mutoh looking like kids on the playground, it was a cinematic-type experience.

Can anyone else in Japanese wrestling do a Mutoh retirement tour, as successfully? Does anyone left have that connection to multiple generations and such a place in the sport that their retirement could bring out multiple 10 000+ crowds and a 30 000+ Tokyo Dome crowd? Is the next one who could do something like this a Tanahashi? Or are there potential retirements before him like Akiyama or Nagata that could draw and have the wrestling media swept up? Or, is Mutoh really that much bigger than anyone else remaining and only he could really do this type of retirement successfully?

Imran from Huddersfield

After Elimination Chamber, do you envisage a scenario where the WWE can build up Sami Zayn for another huge title match somewhere later this year in Montreal where he does win the big one… or do you think it really was lightning in a bottle at Elimination Chamber and that magic will be nearly impossible to find again?

Hello John and Wai,

Me as a hockey fan, I always enjoy listening to Jeff Marek’s podcast “32 Thoughts” and the way he breaks down every team in the NHL and it’s insane how much hockey history and knowledge he retains in his head, he’s a pure encyclopedia. Unfortunately, he was before my time of listening to The LAW but when and why did he eventually decide to leave the program? Was it just a matter of he wanted to cover hockey full-time and he found the opportunities to do so? And did he always have a soft-spot for it when you were working with him?

Hey John and Wai, Raymond from Macau here.

I hope I am not the only Macau fan of your Patreon, cos you guys are awesome. Hope one day I get to call in and talk to Wai in Cantonese, then look into John’s confused face, that would be my Brandon from NJ moment.

Since I am not familiar with how contract works in the US, so wanna ask you:

Recently it is rumored that Kenny Omega’s contract was frozen due to his timeoff for injury. Do wrestlers usually get paid during his timeoff, or is normally there is a certain max. period of injury leaves that they are being paid, while if it exceeds that period, they are no longer paid, like how sick leave works in a 9 to 5 job? Or is it a case by case scenario, that anyone could be handled differently base on his contract’s terms and conditions?

Thanks a lot.

Sal from California

I’m watching the Revolution media scrum from Sunday night and I have one question for you both:

If you were there and MJF pointed at you and screamed “take a pickle!” what would you have done?

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Suren from Portland

Do you have any particular preference on where we listen to the show? My go-to has always been listening on a podcast player (Pocket Casts) but since y’all started doing live shows on YouTube, I’ll usually watch there. That said, on the rare occasion that I am listening late, do you have any preference on one over the other? I know, it’s a very arbitrary question but I’d love to give you numbers wherever it benefits you best.

Thanks, as always, for all your hard work and great content.

Roy from Rhode Island

I asked a question a few months ago about what your respective thoughts were about whether wrestling companies should have wellness policies/PED testing policies, from a company perspective.

What are your own personal perspectives on PEDs in pro wrestling, either from a “level playing field” perspective (less applicable in pro wrestling compared to sports like MMA), or any concern for performers’ health, given historical precedent. We frequently see wrestler physiques drastically change even now, and this aspect doesn’t seem to be discussed much (in general).

Luk from Quebec!

Should the most over performer in the company be the world champion?

And something non wrestling-related,

What is something about being a father that has really surprised you so far?

Let me preface this question by first stating three very obvious points. You guys have an incredibly busy schedule, classic PPVs can be very long and booking guests can be difficult, but…

Could we ever seen the return of some of the old guest reviewers from the Review-A-Wai days? I would love an old WCW review with Jordan Breen. A PWG show with Todd Martin. An XPW episode with Damian. An old WWF show that Mouth and his friends took a road trip to be in the crowd. An episode of RAW that Alex Greenfield help write. Maybe even a first time appearance of Jeff Marek. An Archivist can dream.

Tony Khan is not a very good speaker or actor. Do you think AEW programming would benefit from a GM character who can make matches in storyline and push announcements? The Shazam/Winnipeg/International Championship promo was a mess. You could go the Adam Pearce route with a Pat Buck or BJ Whitmer or some veteran backstage who even has a little bit of presence to deliver these announcements, or you could go a big character route with a Kurt Angle or a Jeff Jarrett, for instance. Either way, do you guys think AEW could benefit from such a character? If so, who would an ideal choice be? If not, do you think Tony should take improv classes?

After the last episode where John was so impressed with such great questions that really puts pressure on me… best I could come up with, what song is stuck in your head right now?

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Roy from Rhode Island

Hi Guys,

Around the time of the 2018 Crown Jewel show, you both talked about how you view and cover wrestling through a journalistic (rather than a fan) lens, and likened it to journalists in other fields that have to cover difficult subject matter at times. That said, we’ve lived through a particularly controversial period recently, with things like the Saudi shows, Speaking Out and Vince’s scandals amongst others.

Does covering so many issues like this ever cause any kind of burnout? Particularly given (as you both have pointed out) there is often so little real impact for those involved, given the nature of the wrestling industry. If so, how do you deal with this?