Has WWE backed themselves in a corner with the Daniel Bryan stipulation at Wrestlemania? If he doesn’t go over Triple H, the crowd is going to turn. If he does, isn’t the outcome obvious?
I would be surprised if Daniel Bryan didn’t go over Triple H at Wrestlemania 30 because as you mentioned, the crowd would turn hard if he didn’t. Could you imagine the negative reaction Batista vs. Randy Orton would garner after Bryan did a job to Triple H? The only way to get out of that would be some type of elaborate swerve. The obvious outcome has Bryan going over Hunter and being inserted into the title match later in the night. After that, all bets are off. If I was booking, I’d put Daniel Bryan over for the title and give him his payoff and Wrestlemania moment, however, that’s far from a guarantee. WWE booked themselves in a corner the moment they denied Bryan entry in the Royal Rumble match and remained intent on giving Batista a spot in the Wrestlemania main event. I feel a lot better about Wrestlemania now that Bryan is getting his opportunity. This has been right in front of WWE for over a year now, so it’s nice to see the company finally listen to their fan base.
One of the biggest problems the WWE Network had trouble with at launch was streaming issues related to an overwhelming amount of traffic. Do you fear that with Wrestlemania being not only the biggest event of the year, but also the first PPV to air on the network that these issues could reemerge and cause problems for subscribers trying to stream the event?
Throughout all of the early issues with the WWE Network, there haven’t been widespread issues with the live stream. There were login issues and issues streaming the video-on-demand library but we actually heard very little about problems with the actual live stream. WWE has been preparing for Wrestlemania by testing as much live programming as possible. In fact, NXT ArRIVAL was actually the first *live pay-per-view* and a show that gave WWE the opportunity to test their capabilities. That show was not without error as my stream went out for just under five minutes. My biggest concern with WWE Network is issues regarding buffering/streaming so it would be a major problem if they had issues during Wrestlemania. However, WWE has to be aware their Network will be at max capacity [for Wrestlemania] and will need to make preparations for such. I know here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com we make special arrangements for Wrestlemania because we know our servers are going to be at max capacity during the show. I would expect WWE to do the same and am not overly worried about it.
I believe a lot of Sting’s legacy in pro wrestling is rooted in the fact that he is one of the few wrestling greats to have never worked for the WWE. Do you see Sting’s legacy being significantly tarnished if he does sign a deal with WWE?
I do not see how Sting working for the largest and most successful professional wrestling promotion in the world could be a bad thing. I guess there could be concerns about the way WWE books him but TNA booked Jay Lethal over Ric Flair after he came out of retirement and I don’t think his legacy has been tarnished. Sting could be completely finished with pro wrestling and retire as one of the all-time greats, however, I don’t see anything hurting that legacy either. His place in history is etched in stone regardless of what happens next. Everyone wants an update on his status but we do not have one as of this writing.
With WWE putting so much effort into the WWE Network and the network pushing Main Event as live programming, do you see Main Event eventually eclipsing Smackdown as WWE’s second biggest show?
No, Smackdown is still and will continue to be WWE’s “second” show. Ion Television does not have exclusive rights to carry the first run airing of WWE Main Event, thus the company is able to show it first to WWE Network subscribers. It didn’t hurt last week’s viewership as the numbers actually went up. WWE wants to have as much live programming as possible, if anything else to use to test their service before Wrestlemania XXX in April.
From the Ask WNW vault…
December 2012: With WWE bringing Ric Flair back to Raw do you think it’s a message to TNA they will do what they want when they want? - I don’t think Ric Flair appearing on Raw was as much a shot at TNA as it was Triple H getting his buddy back where he wants to be. Flair and Hunter are very close and Flair made it clear he wanted to return to WWE. The reason he went to TNA in the first place was there was no interest in using him in WWE and Hulk Hogan talked Ric into doing it. With that being said one very important fact that we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com is that Flair is not under WWE contract. The hiring freeze in regards to former TNA talent remains intact and because Flair hasn’t signed a new WWE contract, TNA cannot allege that WWE used information divulged by Brian Wittenstein to sign their talent. Flair hasn’t kept it a secret that he has enough pull in WWE to get them to “creatively” pay him without putting him under contract which is exactly what we saw on this week’s Raw.
The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, March 14, 2014.
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