Why don't wrestling journalists ask more “real questions” at press conferences? Is it because they want to keep their access to the people in power? Or maybe they are on the payroll of WWE  or AEW, and thus don't want to risk their meal ticket?

Well, in the opinion of Matt Camp on his Wrestling Matt Show, who used to host The Bump for WWE before he was let go, the reason is largely because WWE doesn't want them to ask tough questions, with the post-show media scrum simply there to serve as a fun capstone to the night, instead of a place to break actual news.

“Let me tell you about WWE and a little insight because something that will definitely come up again, this weekend, whether it’d be because of King and Queen of the Ring or because of Double or Nothing, are these post-show press conferences and I know that these post-show press conferences have been quite the lightning rod of conversation. When they were brought back, and if I’m wrong on this, correct me but I think I’m right about this. When they were brought back for WarGames 2022, Survivor Series in Boston, I had done a show there. Kayla (Braxton) and I had done The Bump and Michael Cole called me and said, ‘Hey, if you’re still available –’ and I was — ‘Can you go do the Kickoff?’ ‘Sure, I’m there,’ and when I was there, I knew about the press conferences, so I went to the Head of WWE Digital, and I said, ‘Hey, I know you’re doing the press conference. I would like to be part of the press conference as media’ and I put ‘media’ in quotes because you guys know where I worked,” Matt Camp explained via Post Wrestling.

“I worked at WWE. I was state media, and I said, ‘Listen, I just wanna cover the show as a credentialed press member.’ Obviously, none of that is that real or anything. It’s a scripted show, everything about it is scripted. They just wanted to have this post-show press conference. So, I said, ‘Can I just go in there and ask a question?’ ‘Sure,’ and I talked to a name who has come up in the wrestling world a lot more… I talked to Chris Legentil, who we know now, I think very important in WWE in P.R. and he kind of gave the heads up of, ‘Hey, you can do this. Yeah, we’d love to have you ask a question.’ You know why? Because I was a reliable person to ask a question. I wasn’t gonna say anything crazy, I work there. Nothing crazy was going on at the time. Not like as it’s been the last few months where Triple H has fumbled and stumbled at some of these questions about the lawsuit or about Drew Gulak or anything like that. This was a pretty quiet time all things considered… Sami (Zayn) wins the match for Bloodline and all that stuff. I just wanted to ask about the show, and I remember asking (Paul) Heyman a question and asking Sami a question. I’m sure you can go back and watch this footage.

“So I’m just asking a question. I wanted it to be part of something that we put on The Bump. We never end up putting any of this stuff on The Bump. Take that for what you will. But I wanted to just be part of the show. That’s all I looked at this as. It’s a press conference about something that is scripted. We’re gonna ask questions for the most part of the media that was there, because you’re talking about, ‘Well how’d you feel about this?’ And there’s a gray area of kayfabe and what’s real and story, and you were getting some real emotions out of people like Sami Zayn. Paul kept it very on the level, but Paul’s always been very good at finding that gray area. Bringing that reality to a scripted (setting) and that’s how it started, and I remember the media that was in there, and I’ll tell you this, just to give you an idea of why I think we see the ‘media members’ get criticized is after I was done, one of the media members came up to me and asked for a picture. Happy to do so, but I don’t think you’re giving off the right message to WWE, or maybe you are because that’s exactly what they want. They want fans in there, they want people that want to be part of the show, that don’t want to mess with their part of the show.”

Interesting stuff, right? But wait, it gets even more interesting, as Camp had plenty more to say on the subject.

Triple H and WWE don't want tough press conferences.

Discussing the matter further on his Wrestling Matt Show, Matt Camp delved into the hybrid work/shoot nature of doing a post-show media availability session for WWE and how differently some wrestlers and some media members handle the situation.

“The press conference is part of the show. Does Triple H come out at the end and go, ‘We set all these –’ yeah, sure, that’s the real part. But they want this just to be an addendum to the end of the show, we wrap things up and we let people speak a little bit and show their excitement and for the most part, they want softballs, right? That’s why there have been criticism of some of these questions, so I did that a few times. Probably five, six times…” Matt Camp explained.

“Now listen, if WWE wants to have these press conferences and they’re going to invite press in — I was state media. I’m trying to ask good questions to create good content. I work there. I know other people went there for that, and they would high-five each other that they were covering it. There is a phrase that I’ve lived by for a very long time in my life, ‘Act as if you’ve been there before.’ It’s from a movie called Boiler Room. It’s a great movie. But you have to present yourself in a certain way, and if you’re gonna come in there talking about your nickname or trying to be buddy-buddy or making jokes, that’s not what the media does. If you wanna be taken seriously and if you wanna just be part of the show, you can be part of the show, because that’s what WWE wants when they get those questions at those shows. They want you to be part of it. They don’t want you to push. I think they could do a better job of prepping Triple H on these so he’s so he’s not saying, ‘Well I didn’t read the lawsuit’ or, ‘I don’t wanna talk — this guy’s not credible… If he’s prepped better, that stuff doesn’t happen.”

As someone who has been credentialed for both AEW and WWE shows, the prospects of doing media for either promotion are very weird because of the nature of professional wrestling, with the results pre-scripted and performers doing semi-shoot promos while in character. Still, that doesn't stop WWE from being ready for the occasional tough question from more mainstream publications, as if you open performers up to have questions asked, they can't control what will be asked unless someone like Camp or Byron Saxton is asking the questions.