Evolution Blown Off, Not Subscribing To WWE Network, Proof RVD Isn’t An Afterthought, WWE Creative Tests Us

With Triple H back in his suit and Batista gone, is Evolution still together?

WWE brought Evolution back to help to help sell shows after Wrestlemania but the consecutive defeats by The Shield and Batista “quitting” was the company’s way of writing them off television. Now, it’s back to The Authority using Kane as muscle, Randy Orton as their face and Seth Rollins as Plan B. Obviously WWE could reintroduce the faction at some other time but I like how the rub was transferred to The Shield before breaking them up.

With constant WWE Network issues such as PPV’s lagging, lack of a library for Raw and Smackdown, inconsistencies with the debuting of new programming, and more do you see WWE coming anywhere near the number of subscribers they need by SummerSlam, or actually losing subscribers after the initial 6 month period.

Some of the issues you mentioned with the WWE Network are not actually issues. We’ve heard of there being some technical glitches but they are far from widespread. I’ll admit I had more issues with Extreme Rules than I did Wrestlemania and more issues with Money in the Bank than I did with Extreme Rules, but none were to the point where I couldn’t watch the broadcast. It is concerning there seem to be more issues, when one would think it would be the opposite. I’ll go out on a limb and speculate that WWE “ramped up” their capabilities beyond what they needed for Wrestlemania to assure there weren’t any issues and have scaled back since in order to find a medium that works that isn’t overly expensive.

As for the lack of a library for Raw and Smackdown, both seem pretty in-depth to me. Granted, not every episode is there and users have to wait 30 days from the initial airing but just going through it, there seems like more than enough content to go back and watch.

However, I’m not going to pretend everything is fine either. I believe the WWE Network is not selling at the rate the company was hoping and there is more of a push to get people signed up. WWE will announce how many WWE Network subscribers they have in their next quarterly report, which I anticipate some time next month. I don’t want to speculate much further until those numbers are available but I know WWE is focused on getting people to subscribe.

Removing my writing cap and putting on my fan cap, the WWE Network is a must-own. You get all of the pay-per-views with original programming and a complete tape library. There are some concerns with quality but I’m telling you, the issues on my end have been few and far in-between. I will gladly take the minor hiccups as opposed to paying nearly $55 each month for a pay-per-view, in addition to all the added content. I’ve also found I enjoy pay-per-views more because there isn’t such a large financial commitment.

You mentioned how Chris Jericho would only come back to WWE if there were firm creative plans in store for him. When you consider that Chris Jericho and Rob Van Dam had somewhat comparable careers in WWE in their initial runs, how has Jericho managed to maintain so much control over his career so that he is always involved in something relevant, even when he is putting others over? RVD, by comparison, became an afterthought within months of returning last year and since returning again this year has been even less relevant.

When given questions such as this, I like to get a little bit of data. So I went over to ProFightDB.com (a must-visit for any wrestling fan that wonders about match outcomes) and researched WWE wins and losses for both Chris Jericho and Rob Van Dam in 2013. My data included matches on live television, taped for television or live on pay-per-view. I also included gimmick matches (such as the 30-man Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank ladder match) and tag team matches, so these aren’t just their records in singles competition. Running the data, Jericho’s WWE record in 2013 was 19-18 (19 wins/18 losses) and RVD’s WWE record in 2013 was 19-9 (19 wins/9 losses).

The reason I did this is because I feel RVD and Jericho are very similar. Both are accomplished veterans coming back to work short-term deals because they love the business. Neither RVD nor Jericho seem to care about putting someone else over but they don’t want to do it as a glorified enhancement talent. Without knowing the win/loss records, you believed Jericho was more prominently booked than Rob Van Dam when in fact his win percentage is much higher.

The work of Erick Rowan and Luke Harper is phenomenal. Are they the best tag team right now in your opinion?

I have to go with The Usos as the best tag team in WWE right now. They work really well together and are exactly what made tag team wrestling such a staple of the business many years ago. Rowan and Harper are great, however, I grade Harper above Rowan.

After watching Big E vs. Rusev [from Money in the Bank] again, I feel that they both have stale gimmicks, especially Big E. However, I think they’d be a great heel tag team. Do you think Big E and Rusev would be better suited as a tag team?

Are you a WWE creative team member testing me for the inevitable? I still remember Brodus Clay & Tensai and am currently watching Curtis Axel & Ryback. Sure, book them in a tag team together. That’s what we expected anyway.

From the Ask WNW vault…

September 2012: Is there any particular reason WWE had Daniel Bryan stop with the “Yes, Yes, Yes” chants? After all, it’s the main reason he got over. - No, no, no! WWE tinkered with turning Daniel Bryan babyface but ultimately wanted him to remain heel. The logic behind “no, no, no” is simple. Chant the opposite of what the fans are chanting to get heat on him. Because Bryan plays his character so well, it worked to perfection. I disagree the “yes, yes, yes” chants were the main reason he got over, he got over because of how well he plays his character not any particular chant.

Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. Ask WNW will not run on Friday in observation of the 4th of July. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, July 7, 2014.

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  • Mike McCarthy

    Richard’s answer to the last question is hilarious, laughed for two minutes straight.

    • http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/ Richard Gray

      Haha, I was hoping you would like that.

      • Bob’s Diner

        It was aweseome

  • ImissHer

    Richard, in regards to the Jericho/RVD questions I think you missed the point. The questions wasn’t so much about wins/losses (although the data you pulled is very interesting) it was more about programs. Jericho when he returns is always in a featured program that is very entertaining. As RVD when he returns, doesn’t really ever get put into any programs, there really is never a feud for RVD. He is just put in battle royals and 6 man tags and such. The fact that RVD isn’t put into any programs makes his runs forgettable.

    I think that is what the question was really about.
    Correct me if I am wrong.

    • http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/ Richard Gray

      In 2013, Rob Van Dam had 2 World Heavyweight Championship matches and 1 WWE United States Championship match. Compared to Jericho, who had 2 IC title matches, which were his only title matches.

      • Namine

        Those werent big programs though. Realistically rvd hasn’t had a single program that’s been worth remembering since he returned. Even Jericho vs Fandango had more to it than any of rvds mini feuds/fill in fights. And a program with the Wyatt family is 10x better than a shot at the championship with basically no build up. Are you intentionally miss-reading the question?

        • Mike McCarthy

          That’s at the fault of Alberto Del Rio, they were in a world title feud together which is more than anything Jericho had. If you weren’t satisfied the blame goes to Alberto Del Rio’s inability to get his stale character over. The matches they had were outstanding but the fans don’t care about ADR.

        • tony

          I agree, it’s not about the wins/losses or title matches. Its the programs and feuds they are involved in. Regardless of the opponents, Jericho was used in a more predominant role last year and currently is already this year. RVD is almost there on a weekly basis just to bring a little nostalgia.
          I like both but perhaps Jericho is just using his voice more when pitching ideas or he just connects better with the audience.

      • Sandeep Agarwal

        Richard, i agree with the person who asked the question. RVD’s run has been forgettable. He has not been in any major feud. And in that case, the question remains unanswered. How has Jericho been able to remain in the spotlight even though RVD had a better record as you pointed out? I think it may be because Jericho gets to speak more and his promos are much better. Also, when he is not in WWE, he still manages to be in news because of his band/twitter posts/podcasts.

  • Bob’s Diner

    I’m pretty sure with the way Batista quit, they want him to return as a babyface and actually get over. I’m not sure if it is him, HHH or Vince, but someone seems to think they need him badly as a top babyface. Maybe we should all cheer him when he comes back so we can finally get an interview where he doesn’t cry about the fans not cheering him

    • cory zepperi

      I’m pretty sure Richard reported that it was Vince that wanted him to be a babyface.

      • Bob’s Diner

        No, he reported an interview where Batista ‘claimed’ it was the office that wanted him to come back as a babyface… yet in the next paragraph – and EVERY other interview since he returned – he complained about the fans not cheering for him and being negative. Like I said, clearly someone thinks he should be a top babyface, whether it is him, Vince or HHH. And I believe the way he left was just another way to try and make it happen.

        • Venom

          It does make more sense though if someone were to come in to promote a movie, it’s better to do it as a face. Whether fans accept him as a face it’s up for debate. It’s still a possibility. Had lets say we went back to last summer when the Sheild were the authority’s muscle and beating up on Daniel Bryan after summerslam and Batista came in and made the save the fans would accept him as a face. If he then challenged Orton for the title, they would boo him again but would be okay if he faced off against Triple H. Kind of like a WM rematch.

          I’m just saying there are ways if turning anyone face. You just have to pair him with the right person. Same with Cena. He gets booed but if you put him in a promo woth Vicki or Steohanie McMahon and he’s insulting either or the fans would cheer.

          • Bob’s Diner

            Well, yeah totally – they just made the big mistake of thinking fans would want him back and going for the title. Clearly that was not the case. I don’t think him coming back to battle Seth Rollins will set the world on fire, though. I think realistically, there isn’t that much room for him at the top of the card; you’ve got Cena, possibly Lesnar, Rollins with the briefcase and Reigns on the path to being pushed through. Plus Wyatt is proving himself as a top heel, possibly Orton in some fashion and Daniel Bryan if he can come back. That’s a pretty solid mix of established main eventers with a stack of up and comers – just feels like a waste to skip any of these people to add in Batista.

            His real problem, in my eyes, is that when he returned was right when we were starting to see this build of the newer talent. Then it was pushed aside to make room for the old guys; all of a sudden, you had Batista winning the Royal Rumble, New Age Outlaws as tag champs, Orton as WWE Champ, HHH & Stephanie taking up half the show – he was just the final straw and the fans seemed to take out their frustrations on him

          • Guest

            Agreed.

        • Guest

          Um…the office is included as Vince and them. Who cares anyway.

          Batista didnt care whether he was a heel or face, but when he’s a face amd he’s being booed, thats a problem. Faces suppose to be cheered. So he was honest and said that he was taken back. 1 reason why I ALWAYS liked and respected Batista, is because he is always real and honest. I respect that. He couldve easily lied, but he kept it real…so i respect that.

          • Bob’s Diner

            How do you know he didn’t lie? He just passed the blame on to people in the office – it was all their fault. Oh and the fans for not doing what they were told.
            But nothing was his fault at all

          • Venom

            I think Batista is a little hot headed. He flipped off the fans at Royal Rumble and such. I think he was put in a bad situation and he got frustrated. I mean I’d you’re doing your own thing. Fans want to see you back. After 4 years you cave in to get booed is frustrating.

            That’s why I agree he came back at a bad timing. He should have come back and feuded with a well established wrestler who had “done it all” and needed a fresh person to feud with. While doing that the new blood are in the main program. Heck, I would have accepted when Mark Henry was a full heel and putting people in Hall of Pain and then Batista showed up.

          • Bob’s Diner

            They could have given him Cena’s role against they Wyatt family – would have then left Wyatt some room to move up after the feud. I just get the feeling that wouldn’t have felt big enough for him; I doubt he would have returned without a promise of the main event at WrestleMania.

            But like I said in my initial post, I just want him to move on from complaining about the fans – here we are 6 months later and it still bothers him. ‘People complained because I was wearing blue. They chant for Daniel Bryan all the time’. It’s just laughable

          • Venom

            I think Batista is similar to Michael Jackson. Anytime MJ did something like grow a beard the media would be all over it in a negative way. He wears blue same thing happens. I’m guilty of it too as I thought the arm pads were ridiculous on him. It’s like he borrowed them from Sin Cara.

            He doesn’t necessary need to face Wyatt at mania. I think best scenario he was at rumble and he and Del Rio have a double elimination and feud at chamber. Then somehow feud with Triple H for mania. Keep Wyatt vs Cena and have Bryan vs Orton. I mean he did plant the seed I believe that in all their matches Triple H never once beat him.

          • Bob’s Diner

            Good point – they almost could have used him as sort of help for Daniel Bryan…
            Oh well, we’ll see what they try with him next time.

            The blue was only so funny because he looked so completely different to his teammates. Had he been on his own, it might not have looked so ridiculous

          • Venom

            Yeah I guess he didn’t get the memo. I can’t remember, did Batista ever wear black later on in his career? He always wore blue, orange or red with crappy tribal designs. Even when he wore black they had bright yellow designs.

            I think helping Bryan when he was outnumbered. But I would have hated if Bryan needed him to win title.

            One thing I don’t like of an established top of the card wrestler try’s to be pass the torch for a young blood as I never see it as passing the torch. When HHH and Stephanie were unveiling to Cena the cover of the new video game and he had this look on his face saying how it’s not right. I thought he was going to say Daniel Bryan deserves to be on the cover. That would annoy me storyline wise.

    • JR Texx (Jamie)

      He’s a future hall of famer, and with his last run people are not going to like him, so it is possible that they want to get him to retire where people actually remember his last run being a good one…

      but that’s just a guess.

  • T-Zone

    You could try a simple Google search of WWE “show name” streams or downloads. The shows are so popular , it’s difficult to miss one. Alternatively forceful rush of water.

    • AJ Punk

      I’ve tried that. I prefer streaming to downloading though

      • Brandon Ceielo

        Is there any way of private messaging on Disqus? Either that or follow me on Twitter so I can link. (Sorry, I hate missing shows and streaming is the only way I can watch stuff anymore, when I actually have internet which is rare nowadays.)

        • AJ Punk

          Sent you a tweet

  • 1molly23

    DVR?

  • outkazt09

    I think once WWE increases the subscription plan, we will see more content as far as RAW after it airs live, Monday Night Nitro library, better stability and among other short comings.

    • John

      I don’t currently have access to the WWE Network anyway, however the lack of WCW Nitro episodes would be a major issue for me.

      • Venom

        I can’t imagine watching old raw/nitro in order since they first aired. But I can see myself going back in time and watch certain eras like when Scott Hall first showed up up to bash at the beach.

        • Bob’s Diner

          I’ve actually been doing that for the last few years – started at the first Nitro onwards. Good times

          • Venom

            i think with WWE, sometimes TNA, 24, Ink Master, Tattoo Nightmares and most importantly Big Brother Canada and Big Brother USA + majority of the Big Brother podcasts its hard to add old shows on the network!

        • Justin

          I definitely would watch Raw in order from the beginning.

  • Jay El Bee

    Have you ever tried Dailymotion, I believe someone usually uploads Raw there within 24 hours after the show happens.

    • AJ Punk

      I’m looking for a stream available sooner than that. About 6 hours. 24 hours will have been spoiled by someone by then

      • Guest

        Thats what it is. He just put the 24 hour window just for the sake. Key word is WITHIN…not IN 24 Hours.

  • Guest

    As far as Big Es gimmick being stale…hmm…idk…but it looks like ge’s going toward a preacher/preaching gimmick, which Im looking forward to….if he’s going all the way with it. I dont think a heel turn is necessarily needed for him at this time. But I do question why his pop kinda went down for him once they dropped the Langston from his name. I still wanna pop big for him once that song hits…then you know its on.

    As far as Rusev, hes definitely not stale yet…but I think what the writer was saying was their gimmicks given to them could be kinda stale after a while…and that I agree with.

  • Padres4life

    since the last part mentioned DB, does anyone think that DB’s spot is threatened long term? Does anyone think that he can come back and actually be better than ever? I’m concerned that them pushing Reigns means that they got news that DB isn’t coming back at all….I wish they’d tell the fans that….Pushing Reigns to the top at WM 31 should tell us that DB is not in their plans at all moving forward and its disturbing because we got so invested in him, they might never have a guy that over again for a long while..Not even Reigns.

  • Robert Olley

    If wwe would hurry themselves up and get the network in other countries they probably would get the amount of subscribers but at the rate it’s going i know of at least 200 people here in the uk that aren’t going to be signing up if it’s not here by the end of 2014

    • Bob’s Diner

      Your logic is flawed; if they can’t get the number they wanted from the states, they aren’t going to be confident of getting the even much higher number they wanted worldwide. The next few months are going to be the big test; they’ll want to see how many people cancel once their 6 months are up.

      • Avalanchian

        As with a couple of my friends that got got the 6 month deal they aren’t going to renew. They watched lots of old matches and such to relive the memories, but now it just doesn’t really offer anything they want. You can always find some place to watch the PPVs live.

    • Justin

      200 people? I don’t buy it. Did you take a poll?

  • Gary Robert

    The Shield getting any “rub” from beating Evolution was pretty much pointless as they were disbanded in such an uninspiring way just after that. If you’re going to give a wrestler or team a rub, they should stay together to build off of it. That’s the point of the rub.

  • Justin

    Just about everything isn’t a “must-own.” I’ll consider getting if it adds almost ALL of the Raw episodes.

  • Steve pritchard

    I Don’t get the hate for wwe network? You get all the ppv’s for $10 a month. And a back catologue of programming. That should keep any wrestling fan entertained forever. Yeah ppv’s are a little laggy but like Richard said. It didn’t stop me from watching the broadcast . If your a wrestling fan I highly recommend the wwe network .