WWE Changes Their Mind On Part-Time Talent

Chris JerichoIf you missed Chris Jericho’s recent interview with Mark Madden that I posted here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, you really need to go check it out. Jericho, always a good interview, provided some good insight to an informed host. Madden has been around the business for years, pens an online column and even worked for World Championship Wrestling.

There has been a major change in WWE’s philosophy or more specially, Vince McMahon’s philosophy over the past few years. Vince used to be “all or nothing” when bringing in talent. There were the exceptions (such as Shawn Michaels), but for the most part, if one wanted to work in WWE, they had to agree to work the WWE schedule. That meant live events, TVs and pay-per-views. Those that just wanted to come in to a work limited number of television tapings and select pay-per-views were by large part shunned.

As the business has changed, so has Vince McMahon. Jericho highlighted this change in his interview.

“I think the company has kind of changed their ways as before you had to give 100% of your time to the WWE… and now I think they are happy to have a guy like me come back whether it’s for a month or six months or whatever it can be.”

Brock LesnarBrock Lesnar made history last year when he agreed to a multimillion dollar deal to work through Wrestlemania 29. WWE recently renewed his part-time contract for another two years through Wrestlemania 31.

The word making rounds is The Rock will work past Wrestlemania, although upon last check, he’s not being advertised for Extreme Rules as he was previously. Triple H, obviously under completely different circumstances, has a part-time performer’s contract of his own.

However, one thing Jericho didn’t say, but perhaps implied, is the philosophy doesn’t extend to everyone. In his quote, Jericho stipulated “a guy like me,” in which I take to mean top level names.

We heard John Morrison contacted WWE officials about coming in for a six month run beginning at Royal Rumble in January but Vince wanted at least a two year commitment. Clearly, he’s not willing to bend the rules for everyone and wanted to make an example by not caving to Morrison.

In the end people will ask me if I’m for or against these types of deals. My answer? I’m for having the most entertaining talent possible. The Rock, Triple H, Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho and The Undertaker help Wrestlemania. Complicated to book, even harder to build but at the end of the day they increase interest.

Triple HThe problem WWE has in bringing in part-time talent is what to do when they’re gone.  While temporarily quelling the problem by renewing part-time deals, there’s going to be a time when new names are going to have to step up.  There are those that are waiting to break out but it all comes down to taking an opportunity and running with it.  Triple H is clearly focused on his future as the WWE boss by building up the developmental system and making sure they have as much talent as possible.

Talent development over the next five years will be a critical part of WWE’s success and is the reason for the new facilities in Orlando  Florida (now under construction).  It’s Hunter’s baby and the more prepared workers are, the better chance they have for success.  I’m ready for the next breakout star and hope we see them sooner than later.

What’s your take?  I would love to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons to part-time talent in WWE.  Do the names I mentioned in this piece increase your interest like they do mine?  Or do you think WWE is better suited to push the full-time talent they have?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

  • Rusty

    I am all for the part time talent, I was literally going to stop watching wrestling after the last Wrestle Mania asover the last couple of years it was just getting repedative (besides Cm Punk) but then Brocks music hit on the raw after Wrestle Mania and I was like a kid again counting each day until the next episode. I love the way they have booked Rocky but I was hoping to see Brock having matches with people like Sheamus, Orton, Ryback and the dream match against Cm Punk. Not saying I dont like what there doing with HHH & Brock I just dont see the point in 2 part timers always fighting eachother when they could be helping the rest of the talents to become bigger and better especially for when the part timers arent gonna be there I dont see how HHH vs Brock can be good for the buisness in the future and with HHH talking about making new stars it confuses me that he would rather put himself in fueds with Brock

    • Richard Gray

      The real turning point for me (the fan, not the writer) was Wrestlemania XXVII. Triple H vs. The Undertaker saved it. Orton/Punk and Edge/Del Rio were both good but the rest of the show was pretty below average. Had we known at the time it was Edge's last match maybe I would have given the show a higher rating than I did. My thoughts are still online at this link – http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/wwe-news/richar…. However, my point is the card didn't carry a whole lot of interest and really lacked, even with The Rock as guest host.

  • Michael

    I’m all for part-timers, as long as they are booked right. I’m sorry, but I didn’t think Lesnar was such great shakes the first time around and this “build” for him and HHH is boring me. HHH, as always, is gold on the mic, but Lesnar’s complete lack of mic skill, coupled with the run-ins and little ring time is just boring.

    • Ellen

      You are so right! Thank you.

  • The ignored monster

    I think the next breakouts stars are all ready here in the shield. I see all three of them as main event potential stars. Just imagine if over the next year the shield slowely desintigrated as team like Evolution did, leading to a Reigns vs Rollins vs Ambrose match for the world title at Wrestlemania 30 next year.

  • Anthony

    I am for and against part time talent. It all depends on how they are used. I am looking forward to HHH V. Lesner, but only because of the story telling ability oh HHH. Other than they’re scuffle on Raw when Lesner bled, the whole build has been boring. The Rock Cena build boring, the Punk Taker build will soon become boring. I have no problem using part time guys if your using them to enhance your full time guys. If you don’t than your simply putting all your marbles in one bag that you already know isn’t going to carry your company. Instead put those marbles into bags of the guys that make or break your bottom line long term. I notice many criticize and yell at TNA for doing exactly what WWE is currently doing, investing everything in the guys that are part time, yet TNA gets blasted for it and WWE gets a free pass.

    • Brandon

      While you are right in that it is somewhat ironic and downright hypocritical to blast TNA for doing the same thing that WWE is receiving some praise for, there is one major difference. Brock, Undertaker, Rock and Triple H may be past their prime, (although I would argue that Brock never actually reached his prime and if he worked a full schedule could become even more polished) they can all still deliver great matches. This isn't the case in TNA. With the exception of Kurt Angle, TNA's homegrown talent delivers the majority of their "stellar" work.