Latest From CM Punk, Lesnar Rushed Into Title Picture?, Wyatts Going Under, Why WWE Doesn't Tape At MSG

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I just watched CM Punk's short red carpet interview with Chris Van Vliet and he seemed to take a page out of Chris Jericho's book with his "never ever ever" coming back. If he's not coming back, why do that?

CM Punk told Chris Van Vliet there was no chance that he returns to the ring and then had some fun with the Twitterverse. If we've learned anything about the wrestling business, it's never to say never even when the wrestlers themselves say that. Bret Hart returned to WWE and hugged Shawn Michaels on live television. That one moment from January 2010 should have eliminated any use of the word "never." As for Punk, I'm glad to see he's doing well. He'd been banged up for far too long, the miles were showing on him and now he seems rejuvenated and happy. Not many have the financial stability and the courage to walk away in their prime. Will he be back? Time will tell but for now, it's time to stop chanting "CM Punk" at shows and realize he's doing things his way.

Is WWE rushing Brock Lesnar into the title picture?

After beating The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXX and ending the iconic streak, where else is there to book Brock Lesnar? Even a feud for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is a step down, so I don't think bringing Lesnar back and putting him in the biggest program they can is rushing anything. I understand many are skeptical about Lesnar, a part-timer, going over John Cena at SummerSlam and holding the title until Wrestlemania but I'm told if that's the direction WWE goes in, they will handle it appropriately.

Is there a reason why The Wyatt Family is always going under?

The losses of Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper & Erick Rowan at Battleground were surprising but part of a bigger plan. WWE wants to extend Bray vs. Chris Jericho through SummerSlam, so it's not about the battle but about the war (a similar line that was used in Bray's promo on Raw). As for Harper and Rowan, their loss wasn't so much abut burying them, as it was further legitimizing The Usos as the company's top tag team. Jimmy and Jey Uso have seen their stock skyrocket based on their in-ring work and the crowd's response to it.

Why does WWE do live events at Madison Square Garden ? Why not hold Raw or a PPV there?

WWE rarely tapes television or pay-per-views from Madison Square Garden in New York City because it's expensive. Jim Ross stated on his podcast that they would run million dollar shows at the Garden but lose money because of the cost to tape there. He said the shows were so expensive, the best they could do was break even. This is why WWE more often than not runs live events at Madison Square Garden as opposed to television or pay-per-view.

From the Ask WNW vault…

December 2012: What’s your Mount Rushmore for WWE Divas? - I used to hate this question for WWE wrestlers but when I included it, a great discussion ensued. Everyone is open to their own opinion but my Mount Rushmore of WWE Divas would be Tammy Sytch, Trish Stratus, “Sensational” Sherri Martel and Mae Young. Tammy Sytch created the modern day Diva, Trish is my pick for the top women’s wrestler in the history of the business, while Sherri and Mae created opportunities that paved the way for them to be successful.

Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

You can submit a question for the next installment of Ask WNW at this link. If you have problems with the form, you can send your question to [email protected].

Want more Ask WNW? Check out the Ask WNW vault & Premium Mailbag!

  • 1molly23

    WWE could book Lesnar a one-way ticket to somewhere he’s never been…what do you say creative?

    • wwe rules

      the undertaker’s streak was NOT iconic. it was PRE DETERMINED AND GIVEN TO mark calloway by vince McMahon. It has as much merit as Goldberg’s 200 straight winning streak: they are both fake.
      a streak is iconic only if it is “real” like the 1972 dolphins perfect season or the 1972 lakers 33 game winning streak or rocky Marciano’s perfect boxing record.

      • League of Legends Player

        Pretty skeptical for a person named is ‘wwe rules’

      • Venom

        If that’s your mentality, I’m not even sure why you’re a wrestling fan to begin with. You’re stating the obvious wrestling is predetermined yet it’s something we all enjoy to watch and debate on. Yes it’s planned out but not everyone gets to be world champion or undefeated streak.

        • wwe rules

          I enjoy pro westling as entertainment. it is just weird when people act like the business is sacred or legitimate. for example, bret hart left wwe in 1997 for a job in wcw in which he would be getting a huge pay increase yet he assaulted vince McMahon just because McMahon took a wwe owned “prop” away from him.

          • Tom Mayer

            If you don’t get it now, you will never get it. It’s not something that needs to be explained to you. While you make great points, not everything has to be disregarded because it is fake.

            It’s part of the mystery of the business, similar to the way that magic shows are scripted. Just because it’s an illusion doesn’t make it any less important to the fans or the wrestlers themselves.

            That’s the foundation of prestige, you don’t have to tie real-world competition to the mix, just entertainment and respect.

          • Venom

            Bret was doing Vince and WWE a favor. Richard can correct me if I’m wrong here. But Bret had a 20 year contract and Vince was losing money and asked Bret of they can get out of the contract and see if there is an offer at WCW. So giving his 30 day notice, Bret had creative control put in. Was it the right thing to do to break tradition in losing on your way out? No. Undertaker didn’t want to do that either. But Vince broke the agreement. Just like Hogan had creatove control in leaving TNA where Dixie literally had to go on the floor and big him to stay.

            Bret probably could have sued Vimce for breaking the creative control contract but since he punched him they didn’t go that far.

            Nobody wants to be deceived on the job like Vince did to Bret. I know from experience. I worked for a small company and the employer put a job posting and was interviewing people after business hours without me knowing. I realized my work station was tampered with when I showed up and at the end of business day I was fired. Worst feeling in the world and I wanted to punch him out. Especially when he was telling me about the projects I’d be starting that day that was due in a week or 2. I felt so deceived I wanted to punch him out.

          • wwe rules

            I understand and sympathize with your situation. however, in bret’s case he was going to wcw where he was going to be getting twice his wwe salary for less work.

          • Venom

            It’s still the same thing. Yes, he was leaving for more money. But he left at Vince’s request. He was doing him a favor and since he did that he added creative control. It’s a signed agreement that Vince signed. You can’t fault Bret if Vince signed the agreement. You can fault him if there was no creative control clause and Bret refused to lose. That was a different story. But it was something Vince agreed and signed.

            Think if it as Hogans Bash at the Beach where Jarett laid down and had Hogan pin him. Cause Hogans creative control was to win the match. So they let him win and after leaving anything else Russo did was “fair game”.

            Either way the who,e Montreal incident could have been avoided had Bret lost the title here Survivor Series or lost it to anyone else. HBK would go out of his way or get “injured” so he can forfeit a title instead of losing it. So Bret didn’t want to lose to him. I think Vince knew what he was doing cause as Bischoff would say controversy creates cash.

          • Tom Mayer

            People are quick to forget that small business owners are as deceitful and dirty as large corporations.

            I’ve had similar experiences in the past.. I hope I don’t ever become one of them, though I pride myself on being pretty straightforward and honest. Money and trying to protect yourself and your business when EVERYONE is out to get you can change a person though.

          • Venom

            Getting fired, while sucks, isn’t as worse as feeling humiliated by your employer like myself and Bret. You feel like you’re part of a family while working there and suddenly that family betrayed you. Kinda like a gf telling her friends she’s planning to break up with you and you’re the last person to find out.

            I know this is getting off topic but the op of this thread brought up the Montreal Screwjob and I had to explain why Bret had every right to be upset. Plus, this is a warning to any employee out there to web search jobs in their position. You can see your company is looking to hire someone in your job category and could be trying to replace you without knowing.

      • Tom Mayer

        I agree but I also disagree.

        Do you honestly think two decades ago, Vince McMahon had an Undertaker WM streak in mind? It was one of those things that “took on a life of it’s own” by mercy of coincidence of booking over the years. It wasn’t until his 10th WM win they really started even talking about a streak, let alone marketing it as a selling point for WM.

        • wwe rules

          I am just saying that undertaker was Undefeated at mania because McMahon ALLOWED him to be undefeated. anything that is predetermined is not iconic or legitimate. Mcmahon can take roman reigns and script him to win at mana for the next 15 years if he wanted to do it.
          the reason why Goldberg became a pain in the ass to deal with in wcw and wwe is because he started to believe his own hype. he was stupid enough to believe that he was actually beating people instead of accepting the fact that bischoff was allowing him to win those matches.

          • Tom Mayer

            Goldberg became a pain in the ass to deal with because he had no respect for the business. He had the look that WCW wanted for the time and they rocketed him to the moon without realizing what he’d be like when the rocket ran out of fuel.

            It wasn’t that he started to believe his own hype, it was because he always had his own hype. They pushed him through the WCW training house far too quick because they wanted someone to compete with WWF’s Austin.

          • Venom

            Actually, while Goldberg may have resembled Austin, Bischoff apparently said Goldberg was actually inspired by Ken Shamrock. Notice the gloves and the “spazzing out” they would both do. Sometimes acting like they’re in the zone and then doing that weird spazzing out thing.

        • Xavier

          This ^^

      • 1molly23

        Thanks for your comment – you’re most welcome to your opinions, i’m just not sure how they fit into the Lesnar comment. I realize ‘Taker allowed Lesnar to end the streak – it was ‘Taker’s choice. Lesnar is big – agile beyond belief for his size, he works stiff – pretty much carelessly with little to no respect for his fellow superstars. He has zero mic skills – and has the best in the business mouthpiece Paul Heyman to make up for that. Pretty much if Brockie doesn’t get his way he walks. I’m just sayin’…

        • wwe rules

          wrong. McMahon is the guy who ended the streak. he saw that taker was getting too old to work anymore so he wanted another wrestler to get the rub of beating him.
          McMahon has kept mark calloway employed since 1990 so caloway would always do what McMahon wanted him to do in a wrestling match out of respect and loyalty for 20 years of employment.

          • Venom

            I think the plan was for Undertaker to go over and 3 hours before the show the plan was changed. I remember reading it was Takers decision. Even looking at the highlight of their WM match, you can see Brock wink at Taker as a thank you.

          • Xavier

            Taker hand picked Lesnar as early as 4 years back too be t be guy to end the streak. Richard even reported that here. It was 100% Taker’s call.

          • Bob’s Diner

            I think it is dean/matt/all the other names he uses again. The terms he is using are a dead giveaway (not to mention the unrequited love for Vince McMahon)

      • CJ Blaze

        I’m at a loss for words…

  • JC

    Surely WWE could charge more for fans to attend a TV taping than a live event? Or does MSG charge WWE more if the cameras are there? There is no excuse not to hold it on PPV though… it would sell out straight away and they’d recoup arena rental in PPV buys or Network subscriptions

    • Venom

      What ppv buys? It’s only $10 a month.

    • Bob’s Diner

      No they charge less for a TV taping because they want to make sure they get as many fans as possible in the building. That’s why WCW used to paper the events in their dying days and TNA just are free to watch – you want the cameras to catch more people and make it look exciting.

  • Spyke

    It’s due to the big-spending, over-taxing Democrats that run NY and NYC. Whenever there’s an issue in this country, government usually has something to do with it.

    • Tom Mayer

      Oh yes let’s go political on a topic where it is simply corporate greed. It could never be the most simplest thing.

      • Jesse Sherwood

        Sadly, this is a case where you are both right. NY taxes live televised event revenue at a very high rate and MSG expects a bigger cut from WWE when they are broadcasting live.

        • Yep, Jesse hit the nail on the head. And I actually see the hefty NYC TV taxes on WWE as a way to get into their pockets from all the breaks and loopholes they exploit everywhere else. McMahon has had lobbyists for years, pushing deregulatory practices that absolve him of responsibility and widen his profit margin.

          • David F

            probably why WWE doesnt use United Center in Chicago also because too expensive. shame though I would love see live RAW there

          • Tom Mayer

            During the Monday Night Wars, some arenas would sign exclusivity contracts with WCW and WWF. WWF/E signed with Allstate Arena (Rosemont Horizon) and United Center signed with WCW. Given the fold of WCW in 2001, I think it has more to do with Allstate Arena offering the site at a reduced rate to keep coming back there at this point.

          • Yes, that’s why. Cheaper in Rosemont.

          • Mysterion

            Still funny how a rookie like Tim Hardaway Jr from the Knicks makes more money than a top level wrestler like Orton.

          • Xavier

            I dint think its funny or surprising honestly. The New York Knicks are probably worth 10x more then the WWE is.

          • Tom Mayer

            I haven’t watched the NBA since the 90’s Chicago Bulls era.. So to me, I don’t see how they could be worth as much, as I’m of the mindset where I don’t know how they could have attendance and ratings that they did in the 90s..

            But then many people feel the same way about the WWE that don’t watch it/anymore, so I guess it’s a bit of ignorance of the situation.

          • J Vomkrieg

            According to Forbes, the Knicks are worth about 1.4 Billion and WWE is just dropped down to 880 Million from a peak of more than a billion. WWE is about the same value as the Boston Celtics, the 5th most expenive NBA franchise.

          • Tom Mayer

            It isn’t just MSG though, It costs upwards of $30,000 a day to record anything at Rockefeller Center, even with a simple camera phone.

            With a place of such rich history, I don’t know how people could be so greedy.

            Want to capture a moment at such a historical place? Too bad, go enjoy your vacation with your family somewhere else.

          • Venom

            I know back in 2007 when they filmed Love Guru at the Air Canada Center it cost $25,000 a day to film the hockey scenes there. Some days they would film for 18 hours straight with no breaks.

  • DW

    Those first two questions were not my favorites. But meh. Richard I have a good question for you(not really). Do you watch Botchamania? Probably the funniest thing I’ve ever seen connected to wrestling.

    • I love Botchamania. Have watched it for years.

      • DW

        This makes me love you so much Richard! Thanks for the reply!

  • Draven

    I watched the AP awards last night and punk looked really happy and very well rested it was good to see him enjoying life if he indeed does not come back i wish him the best of luck. It was just really cool seeing him on that show he was really funny.

  • Splat

    Brock better not only win but win clean. If he can beat Taker at freaking WM clean then he can beat Cena at SS clean.

    • The Game

      And if Lesnar doesn’t win clean are you gonna riot? Or never watch again?

      • Splat

        Yeah, my friend Mark and I will stop watching…

  • Rachel Miller

    Another question is that why does the WWE hold PPVs in cities like Chicago, Boston, and St. Louis more often compared to cities like Seattle and Denver? Is it because the Allstate Arena, the TD Garden, and the Scottrade Center draw more than the KeyArena and the Pepsi Center? Thanks!

    • Tom Mayer

      Probably answered your own question there, bigger markets.

      • Rachel Miller

        Well, the 2011 Over the Limit PPV in Seattle drew only 6500 people compared to the 2012 Royal Rumble PPV in St. Louis which drew almost 19,000 people.

  • Roy Monday

    The fans can chant what they want, that makes the show more entertaining. I think very little of you telling the fans to stop with the CM Punk chants. If it wasn’t for the fans Daniel Bryan wouldn’t have gotten where he has. The fans made that happen. Truth be told the fans show the WWE who they want to be pushed. The sad fact is that it’s up to the WWE to listen to them or not to listen to them.

    • Tom Mayer

      I just ignore people who bash Punk, call him a quitter, or blahblahblah at this point.

      People are going to do what they want to do. They go to the show with their hard earned cash, and if they want to chant Punk’s name, they may do as they please.

      I look at WNW as an opinion-based wrestling themed news media, and like most news media, they will try to program you to think a certain way. I learned long ago to block this sort of thing out. If Richard feels they should stop chanting, that’s his opinion, but I think people are fine doing whatever they please.

      • Venom

        I agree. I don’t even think fans chanting CM Punk are doing that to bring him back or to even call out the company. I notice they really only do it in AJ Lees matches and I see it more as a tribute to Punk as in “we’re thinking of you” kind of way. Almost like its part of AJs package.

        • Bob’s Diner

          They should chant “Mrs Punk” instead. I think that would be much more appropriate

          • Venom

            It would be more appropriate but I doubt any of these fans believe them chanting will bring him back. And as Snap wrote, eventually these chants will go away.

            One person asked, and I don’t remember if it’s this site or another site, if Punk comes back he’ll be greeted with open arms by fans or not. I think wrestling fans, while having a good memory unlike creative, they’re the most forgiving fans. They forgave Edge and Lita for their unfaithfulness, wrestlers who went from ruthless villains to bayfaces, or any wrestler who trashed the company and then came back.

          • Bob’s Diner

            That may have even been me – I was often surprised at how much the internet turned on him for leaving. Others assure me it is really only this site. I don’t get it; it is 100% apparent he came to some sort of agreement with Vince McMahon, because they’ve continued to sell his merch, promote him on the Network etc etc without a single disparaging comment (except for a couple from HHH and Stephanie – who were never exactly CM Punk fans in the first place). The dude looks much better now than he has in years so power to him.

            My only concern about the CM Punk chants is where they are used. When people were chanting them during Daniel Bryan segments, they were very misguided – that was basically telling the office that ‘Hey, we don’t really care about this guy – we care more about a guy that doesn’t even work here anymore’. It doesn’t undermine AJ Lee because we all know the deal there so I’m fine if they’re during her segments. Like Snap said, it is related to that person. Chanting CM Punk during a Cesaro match? Not so much…

        • Snap

          Kinda like how Chavo and Rey would get “Eddie” chants after Eddie died. I mean, there’s no possible way they could be expecting Eddie to come back after his untimely passing, but those chants eventually went away, I can see the Punk chants being similar.

      • opie

        I think Richard’s point is that it’s just not constructive to chant for a guy who’s been gone for about six months. It’s not like you’re sending Vince McMahon a message by chanting for Punk — he never wanted Punk to leave in the first place.

  • Vic Jose

    I still don’t understand, how does it cost so much to tape in MSG?

  • BigMike

    “Handle it appropriately”….. Handling Brock appropriately IMO would have been to not let his overrated ass back in WWE, only in it for money because he cannot go back to UFC, he was KTFO of that promotion, and he crawled with his tail between his legs back to WWE, and they should have slammed the door in his face