Big E Lost, Brad Maddox An Endangered Species, Fair To Call WWE Network A Failure?, Lesnar vs. Reigns

What are your thoughts on the direction of Big E?

Big E is completely lost out there and I think it’s no fault of his own. The creative team doesn’t have anything for him and he’s doing everything he can to be relevant. While carrying the stereotypical “Vince McMahon look,” Big E has shown shades of being able to carry a match. Many readers even thought Big E vs. Rusev at Money in the Bank, which had the potential to spell disaster, was a decently worked match. However, until WWE gives him something else, there’s not much to be optimistic about.

After watching the latest Brad Maddox video of him stuck in a cave, I feel this is possibly a discreet way of WWE repackaging him as a new character, or even making him a new member of the Wyatt Family. What are your thoughts on this?

I don’t think WWE has anything to do with Brad Maddox’s videos and don’t think it’s a stretch to say he’s on the “endangered species” list. If WWE were behind the videos, one would expect to see them promoted. They haven’t touched the videos and I don’t see a future storyline for Maddox. WWE is making a lot of budget cutbacks and it’s not the time to be under contract without a direction, however, Maddox is smart enough to do everything he can to keep fans talking about him.

Is the American contingent of WWE fans jumping the gun on calling the WWE Network a failure?

It’s jumping the gun to call the WWE Network a failure, however, it’s a fair point to say it’s not been as successful as the company had hoped. We haven’t seen official numbers since the day after Wrestlemania 30 in April, so I don’t want to speculate about subscribers but I truly believe WWE hoped they could announce over 1 million subscribers the day after the pay-per-view. WWE has repeatedly said the WWE Network will be profitable and at a steady state at 1 million domestic subscribers, however, many analysts do not believe that to be the case.

Is there a plan to do Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 31?

I’ve heard the rumor about WWE doing Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the title at Wrestlemania 31, however, it’s far from a sure thing. I know The Rock desires a match against Lesnar if he chooses to come back so there’s that. Additionally, I believe it largely hinges on how Roman Reigns progresses over the next few months. He wasn’t ready for such a high profile match this year but will he be ready next? Only time will tell but it’s safe to say everyone that’s anyone desires a match against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31, especially after he ended The Undertaker’s streak.

From the Ask WNW vault…

December 2012: If Kaval would have been properly utilized would he have still left WWE? - Kaval left WWE because he didn’t like it – from the politics to the travel schedule. He also felt the company wasn’t behind him and ended up requesting his release. This is something that bothers me with newer talent. In this business a worker has to work through low points to get the high points. Take The Miz for example. He was one of the most hated guys in the business, constantly ribbed, even to the point of not being allowed to get dressed with the rest of the roster. He didn’t quit, continued to work hard and is now in a good position. WWE isn’t for everyone but in order to “make it” a worker has to be prepared to handle tribulations. For more on Kaval and his release, you can read his comments at this link.

Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

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  • K!NG

    even netflix had its issues in its initial first 6 months i dont think its a failure but a work in progress

    • Avalanchian

      What helps netflix is the variety of different movies/shows to bring people in. You gotta be a wrestling fan for the WWE Network to work for you.

      • K!NG

        yeah i think wwe knows there not going to get non wrestling fans to buy the network problem is the people who watch wrestling aren’t buying the network as much as they thought they were.

      • Bob’s Diner

        That’s exactly it; movies and tv shows appeal to all walks of life – you have a limitless audience that consistently spend millions going to the movies and on dvds, etc. WWE only had about 600,000 people actually willing to pay for their product in the first place – and even then, only about a third of them did it on a regular basis

        • Guest

          Um…that was within 2 months. They will DEFINITELY reach their goal of 1 million by the end of this year. Probably at 800,000 by now. Then they got the additional 500,000 to 1,000,000 international fans that will join in 2015. So thats 2 million subscribers in 2 years. Thats what I call a success!

          • Bob’s Diner

            You are joking right? No way they are anywhere close to 1 million right now

            And 1 million international fans???
            You are living in a dream world – they barely get 2 or 300,000 international PPV buys for WrestleMania. Tell me, how does that equate to 1 million subscribers? especially when PPVs are cheaper outside of the US??

          • J Vomkrieg

            A PPV in NZ was very cheap. 9.99 about 5 years ago. It has gone every 2nd year since at wrestlemania first to 14.99, then 19.99 and from the last wrestlemania to $24.95. The NZ dollar is about 88 US cents, so pretty close to 1 to 1 these days.

            If PPVs still cost $9.99 I wouldn’t touch it. But now they are up to 24.95, I will order it the day it becomes available. Full year for the cost of 4-5 PPVs seems pretty good value to me.

          • Bob’s Diner

            No doubt – and I get that. Heck, I’m the same as you, very keen on the idea of it. I do think, though, that they won’t be getting quite the huge amount of international subscribers that some fans seem to think. Up to a million??? Not in my lifetime.

            I’m curious to see what happens with the UK, because WWE only just signed a new agreement with Sky over there which included all the PPVs. Must read to see if it said live, because that will certainly impact what they can put on the network.

            Vince should have just kept his yapper shut with this hype of 13 million fans in the US alone. I saw an interview with Dana White this morning and they discussed the WWE network compared to UFC Fight Pass and he talked about how they started with low expectations so they’ve been able to watch it grow – while WWE did the exact opposite with the network

          • Batman

            Oh, the WWE will go down a TREAT here in the UK. When the only way to watch WWE is to fork out in excess of $60 a month, and THEN you need to pay PPV costs on top. ALL PPVs, too. Used to be you’d get some for “free” [if it counts as free when you're dropping $60 a month anyway], but now you have to pay extra for all. What’s a PPV? Another $15? $20?

            So up to or more than $80 a month for WWE. AND the problem with that $60 a month is it’s a sports package. If you want the wrestling, you have to pay for the golf, soccer, rugby. Everything. There are people I know that DO pay it, just for the wrestling. They, and I, would gladly pay for the Network.

          • Bob’s Diner

            That’s not my point; my point is, the goal was 1.5 million worldwide – not 1 million worldwide. They are not going to get 1 million people outside of the USA buying the network. Look at the amount of people that buy the PPVs on a regular basis.

            People keep thinking ‘Oh if they release it in the UK they’ll hit that 1 million mark’ but that would be failure, because 1 million was the goal for the US alone. Worldwide goal is much higher.

  • daz

    i feel that wwe just hasn’t advertised the network properly. Things get added to it every week and nothing gets mentioned on raw,they should be bombarding fans at every opportunity they can and explain what content is available on there, they should be spending big on billboard adverts around major cities and they should have adverts on television and advertise at big sporting events and maybe even sponsor sporting teams,just to get the fact that the network is there and what a bargin it is. hardcore fans know about it but casual fans need to be coaxed into signing up. you cant just sit back and wait for people to sign up, you need to hitting them from every angle there is

    • Ricky

      True, all they do on Raw is plug the Pre and Post Show. They should plug the older stuff like ECW, WCW and WCCW, as well as NXT. They do none of that, how are people suposed to subscribe if they don’t know what they are getting?

      • Mike Elliott

        They do plug NXT. They need to plug everything else though.

        • David F

          like for example when RVD or Jericho is on mention they are from ECW and plug the fact fans can watch it on the network

  • Bob’s Diner

    That Motley Fool article repeated the ludicrous WWE claim that they have around 13 million WWE fans in the USA. It is no wonder their expectations aren’t being met for the network when you look at numbers like that.

    It is doing about one would realistically expect it to do; the number of subscribers it currently has is about the same as the number of people in America that typically bought WrestleMania each year (WrestleMania 29, for example, did 662,000 domestic – pretty much what the network is doing). I can’t imagine why WWE thought this would bring in double that or how investors are so stupid to just believe the hype and not look at facts and figures for themselves.

    The real problem is WWE NEED it to do higher because it has killed their PPV revenue. That is where the real failure is

    • J Vomkrieg

      Fanbase would be a hard number to get accurate figures on. It’s certainly more people than the regular number who watch RAW. I considered myself a wrestling fan even when i didn’t see a WWE show for about 10 years. (WWE In NZ went to pay TV and I was poor at the time being a student and then working low paying jobs)

      There is probably a good number of casual fans who occassionally watch, or have fond memories of watching the shows when they were younger. Their numbers could include people from the hulkamania era who haven’t watched pro-wrestling since Andre the Giant retired.

      Now, whether or not any of that casual fanbase would want to pay a monthly sub for the service is a completely different story.

      • Bob’s Diner

        I hated when Raw moved to Sky. Wasn’t it Sunday nights on 4?
        It was awesome. And all the boring bits were edited out ;-)

        But yes, I think you get what I’m saying; it’s all good and well to say you have X amount of fans – but they actually have to be spending their money on this to make it work. I could be wrong, but the numbers indicate to me that they really aren’t grabbing the casual fan in the US. Though they did just announce they are adding this Monday Night Wars show which coincides with the free week offer, so I guess they are trying a strong effort now to get people interested before they have to announce the next round of numbers

        • J Vomkrieg

          Man, it’s so long ago I have no idea what channel it was on :) You originally from NZ?

          Yep agreed, fanbase may be huge, but its a casual fanbase. WWE network is not for the casual fan, it is for the dedicated fan who want’s a substanial amount of WWE programming in their viewing.

          • Bob’s Diner

            Still in NZ :-) Crackup – I had no idea you are a New Zealander too!
            I still remember when we were like 3 months behind and got the edited PPVs for free. I also remember when Nitro got moved to like 2am on Sunday morning…If you were a student when it moved to Sky that probably makes us around the same age, too.

            I was listening to an interview with Dana White this morning and he was discussing UFC Fight Pass… it just made me realise how much the WWE Network is not about growth, but more about servicing the current fans. Sometimes I wonder if the company is just stuck with their heads looking back at the past

          • J Vomkrieg

            You involved in NZPWI at all? My significant other was a writer for them

          • Bob’s Diner

            No I’m not – I did once read an interview with Bret Hart by someone from NZPWI though… Do you recommend my involvement?

            I really should get out and see a show, actually…

          • J Vomkrieg

            They occasionally have some good content on the site, my partner was the TNA recapper for a few years. It was the only time we really watched TNA, it was kinda horrible watching it implode :)

            They are also always looking for content writers, people to do columns about wrestling.

  • Donny

    I think the Network would be doing better if they had some kind of password block, I know so many ppl that share user names & passwords, make everyone pay! its worth the price. i agree they need a new campaign to promote it is a must!! There are so many ways to make this bigger than it is, ITS the greatest thing for wrestling fans ever

  • http://Johnaguilera.prosite.com/ John Aguilera

    Don’t remind me of Taker’s streak being ended. I was there and witnessed it happen :/

  • James

    I think Big E should start a stable with Kofi Kingston, R-Truth and Xavier Woods. Have them say WWE holds back all their black performers and doesn’t give them a chance. I think it would put all 4 of them in the spotlight. I think it would be entertaining. Way more entertaining than a Santino/Emma or a Sandow segment

    Big E vs. Triple H ???

    • GezUK

      They kind of did that with R-Truth a couple if years back with his little jimmy heel persona, stating it was a conspiracy that he was not in the main event.

    • JR Texx (Jamie)

      Big E has a future, the rest I don’t think they have much have one, so sticking Big E with them is just asking for trouble

  • Adam

    Maybe from a monetary stand point the network may seem like a failure at the minute, but from a viewing stand point it definitely is a must for wrestling fans old and young. Like everything new there’s teething problems but as it rolls out worldwide I think the money will start rolling in. I live in Ireland and got the network on day one and have being completly satisfied with it, I jus think for WWE to see the improvement they want with the network they need to roll it out worldwide sooner rather then later.

    • Bob’s Diner

      Again, people are missing the point – if it isn’t making the money they expected in their largest market, how can it do ‘even better’ by going into other countries? It makes no sense.

      • Guest

        What are you talking about? They said that they will be good once they reach 1 million BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR. Did you hear the BD?? The year isnt up yet…we STILL have several months to go. Would they have liked to be at 1 million by now?? Of course…but that didnt happen as they expected.

        But you can stand there and say it was unsucessful…because unsucessful is them not breaking even at 1 million by years end. Period!

        • Bob’s Diner

          The goal was 1 million domestic, 1.5 million worldwide.
          Neither are going to happen.

          Honestly, wait for the next round of numbers to be announced; if they weren’t worried, we wouldn’t be seeing them offer another week for free right now. WrestleMania was THE selling point because it is their biggest event of the year and it sold exactly as I expected – because WWE have a limited audience. It isn’t because the network is terrible or WWE sucks or anything stupid like that. I support the WWE network. I just don’t support this notion that it is going to bring in millions of fans because there are only a finite number of WWE fans out there. And this network is not aimed at growing the fanbase, but rather as a service to the current fanbase.

      • Adam

        Yeah that’s definitely a fair point, but in America everything is so readily available WWE wise, most other countries it’s not, as far as live events, merch, meet & greets etc same goes with televised shows, raw for example is only available on paid premium stations then u pay extra for the PPV it always has being. so YouTube has being the only resource we have had to see old WWE programming so for that reason alone I think it will do well worldwide. Plus there’s still 5 and a bit months left to the year so they have ample time to reach there mark which I think they will.

      • Batman

        Global market can be huge. Look at recent Hollywood films. Their “largest market” was always seen as America, their own country. But now look at takings from China. There is money elsewhere to be spent and taken.

    • DanfromOz

      How did you score it internationally? Live in aus but want want it.

      • Adam

        It’s pretty easy man, use a website like unlocator.com, that’s what I use it’s cheap round €6 a month depending on the package u choose an it works perfect. Use borderlink.com and get a fake United States address and phone number, then purchase the network using them details u got from borderlink and pay for the network using PayPal as it won’t give away your location like your credit card will and that’s all there is to it, use the unlocator guides to set it up on your devices, I currently run the network on my ps3+4, iphone and iPad. Unlocator will also give u access to American Netflix and things like that.
        Ps… When purchasing the network don’t accept the free trial this method won’t work with the trial so jus go straight to purchasing it. Hope this helps, any problems jus ask.

  • Padres4life

    I have a feeling Bryan will end up facing Lesnar….No offense to Reigns, but Bryan is far and away more popular than the guy and the fans picked him to be the guy……so WWE going against that spells further disaster and they need to keep the fans happy, and keeping Bryan at the top of the card does that….I dare them to drop him when he gets back….get well soon DB.

    • cory zepperi

      I like Bryan, but I doubt they would have him main event Wrestlemania two years in a row.

      • David F

        Bryan will certainly have big match at WM 31 Personally Rock should face Bryan. Bryan could protect the Rock in ring and it will be stellar match. Rock v Lesnar will be snoozefest

        • cory zepperi

          I agree he will have a big match. I just don’t think he will close the show next year. Rock v Bryan would be awesome, People’s Champ v People’s Champ.

        • Bob’s Diner

          Not to mention The Rock got so badly injured against someone safe like John Cena, I imagine he would leave WrestleMania in pieces after a match with Brock Lesnar

        • flex brown

          Watch summerslm 2002.

      • flex brown

        Roman reigns tho ???? Wat a joke thats why i watch tna

  • Guest

    I know The Rock wants to work with Lesnar and his cousin Roman Reigns before he hangs up his pro wrestling career…but I hope its The Rock vs Brock Lesnar first…if Lesnar signs another 2 year contract with the WWE.

    Then the year after, you can possibly have The Rock vs Roman Reigns.

    The Rock vs Brock Lesnar WM31
    The Rock vs Roman Reigns WM32

    Book It!!!

    • JR Texx (Jamie)

      sounds good to me.

  • Guest

    And as far as the Network, you cant call it a failure until the year is up. They could/should reach their initial 1 million goal by the end of this year. They have PLENTY of time. I still havent joined yet(because of my internet issues)…but that can change as early as this week. Different reasons why some people havent joined yet. I just stated mine…others have theirs. Its not like they dont have the fans to make it happen. So Im sure they can do it.

    Dont forget the international fans too. They should be getting it within a year from now too. So WWE will probably hit 1 million by or before the end of this year…then 2 million total by the end of next year. Now isnt that success?

    • Bob’s Diner

      “Its not like they dont have the fans to make it happen. So Im sure they can do it.”

      They don’t.

      Here are the facts (I’ll use US figures to make this easier):
      4-5 million people watch Raw
      Of that, only 600,000 purchase the biggest show of the year
      Further from that, only approximately 200,000 were buying the other PPVs every month

      In April, 667,000 had subscribed to the network. That is bang in line with the amount of people that were purchasing WrestleMania every year. Which includes the 200,000 die-hards who were buying the monthly PPVs.

      So where does this extra 400,000 come from? I just can’t see WWE convincing 400,000 people to spend money on their product when they weren’t willing to do so before. Maybe half of them will, but not all.

      This also doesn’t include the amount of people that will be cancelling their subscription once the 6 months is up because they only signed up for WrestleMania…

      • JR Texx (Jamie)

        can’t forget about rest of the world.

        • Bob’s Diner

          I don’t. I was just using the US numbers because that is what is impacting the network right now – and if the international market follows with the trend, you will only see an increase of a few hundred thousand when it is available worldwide

          • JR Texx (Jamie)

            It’s possible that rest of the world will take up to a million, but I don’t see it going much higher.

  • flex brown

    Hold on roman reigns in the main event at wrestlemania…..come on we cant all be puppets and that includes the people that run this website ever since the royal rumble everybodys on his jock all of a sudden and i jus dont see it personally i think dean ambrose is leaps and bounds better than roman reigns but watever i think i really starting to give up on this generation of fans nobody can think for themselves anymore

  • Vic Jose

    WWE Network will grow with time, even Netflix didn’t become as big as it is over night, it took time.

  • monty

    i think the network will be fine with international launch. WWE should really look in to launching this stuff in India, wwe is huge over there. But i think have wwe network in europe will have big time

    wrestling is bigger overseas than it is here in states IMO

  • Yves

    Maybe they can think of Triple Threat Match as a singles match or any title match but the idea of The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar sounds more epic.
    Or The Rock vs. Roman Reigns in WrestleMania 31 sounds awesome too but the thing is I really want to see The Rock against Brock Lesnar just like it was in SummerSlam 2002.

  • JR Texx (Jamie)

    Rock Vs Lesnar, Rock wins so it doesn’t look as bad on Lesnar after a win over The Undertaker, then Roman Reigns beats The Rock for the title.

    I don’t think it would look good for Lesnar to drop a title to someone who is still up and coming after beating The Undertakers streak.

  • Tim

    For the brad Maddox thing. I could see wwe being behind it. If they promoted it. It wouldn’t feel real, that brad was actually stuck in a cave.

    And, as for the wwe network thing. I wish they’d put the while catalog of raw and smackdown up. As well as nitro and thunder. Then I’d be more invested in the network. Of course any current wwe fan, has to have it. Because it pays for itself alone with the pay per views.