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.