One Of The Top Divas Matches In WWE History, Weak Payback Lineup, Sandow Ridiculousness, A Storyline WWE Won't Do

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I don't know about you but I feel that the Women's Championship match at NXT Takeover was one of the best Diva matches in the history of the division, what are your thoughts on it?

Charlotte and Natalya had a fantastic match at NXT Takeover. To be honest, I was actually a bit surprised. We all know what Natalya is capable of as the best female in-ring worker in WWE but how about Charlotte? I knew she had been getting high marks but she raised her stock more than anyone else on the show. Of course this is a candidate for one of the best bouts in the history of the Divas division. When was the last time a Divas match went 17 minutes on the main roster? Nattie and Charlotte proved, like Emma and Paige proved at ArRIVAL, give these women a chance and they will shine.

Without a championship match, and with the two main events being rematches, the card for Payback looks weaker than the average WWE "pay-per-view". Do you think the choice not to rush to a decision over the WWE Championship (opting for a dialogue segment instead of, say, a match for the vacant title) was made easier by the existence of the WWE Network? In other words, with the focus having shifted from buy-rates to long-term subscriptions, is there less pressure than before for each individual event to be "must see?"

WWE's entire business model is changing with the WWE Network and I do believe there is no longer a sense of urgency that a show must-sell. The company punted their pay-per-view model (which accounted for 17% of their net revenue in 2012) in favor of the WWE Network and it's still very much in a state of transition. However, WWE was dealt a stiff blow when Daniel Bryan was in need of neck surgery after investing heavily in him coming out of Wrestlemania. I mentioned in Thursday's Premium Mailbag how this was yet another drawback of unifying the WWE and World Heavyweight titles. Two world titles forced WWE to have two main events at every pay-per-view, now we're seeing just what I feared in a shrinking main event scene. All and all the Payback card is weak. John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt should have been blown off by now and Evolution vs. The Shield doesn't need a followup (the younger team already won in a gimmick match). The rest of the bouts are TV bouts that wouldn't sell a show on their own. Nonetheless I expect most WWE Network subscribers will be watching, so I guess we could argue WWE doesn't have to put quality cards on their pay-per-views anymore to attract an audience.

Why has Damien Sandow been relegated to this awful "regional heroes" gimmick?

It's safe to say the WWE creative doesn't have anything for Damien Sandow so they're going with comedy. I hoped the worked shoot promo he did earlier this month was a sign of bigger things to come but that hasn't been the case. As is the case with Dolph Ziggler, who we talked about on Wednesday, it ultimately comes down to who Vince McMahon sees as a viable headliner. All Sandow can do at this point is continue to take advantage of every opportunity that he's given.

What do you think of the idea of WWE using the current financial loss in a storyline?

WWE has shown they are more than capable of turning real life situations into storylines (example: The Yes Movement), however, I don't expect them to go anywhere near the issues regarding investor confidence. I was actually surprised Vince McMahon even admitted they were "disappointed" with the new domestic TV agreement with NBCUniversal. Investor confidence and a positive public image are essentials for the company and they're doing everything they can to stabilize following a rough month.

From the Ask WNW vault…

November 2011: How will the WWE Network change WWE broadcasting and will it be available outside the United States? - The WWE Network is going to alter the business in that it’s going to be the first network of its kind. The current WWE television deals for Raw Supershow and Smackdown will remain in place throughout their duration. Vince McMahon feels it’s important these deals remain intact because they are great to create awareness for the forthcoming WWE Network. If Wrestlemania XXVIII is broadcast on the WWE Network, it’s going to alter the pay-per-view model which I feel is outdated. A lot of readers want to know of the international plans for the WWE Network and so little has been confirmed about how the network will gain clearance in the US, it’s anyone’s guess as to what happens internationally. WWE is committed to international expansion and they aren’t going to leave out these valuable markets.

Remember questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. Check out the Ask WNW archive at this link.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, June 2, 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].

  • Splat

    The John Cena and Bray Wyatt feud is the most I have been interested in anything Cena has done in along time. That said it’s all going to be for nothing with Cena wins Sunday…

    • Gio

      After Extreme Rules I lost interest in this feud because I bo-lieve that Wyatt had to win clean to prove his message is spreading, not have Cena get scared back into the ring by a little kid. For me to have as much interest as possible in this match, Cena must become this monster and somehow lose clean to Wyatt thus proving that Wyatt will go to the ends of the earth to spread his message. After on raw Wyatt must not refer to himself as a God anymore to me personally, that killed the storyline

      • Guest

        The god thing was good…because thats essentially what he was becoming if these idiot fans are getting brainwashed by him and his message.

        So because of how fans reacted to it, it only made sense for Cena to end him, and end the crap message he’s spewing to the masses.

    • Guest

      Its only right for Cena to put an end to this Bray Wyatt cult brainwashing crap.

  • Mike McCarthy

    I think the move to delay the WWE World Title decision to Payback is genius. Anybody that wants to know what’s going to happen will likely purchase a subscription.

    • Avalanchian

      Or simply wait til Raw and see the highlights of it.

  • Braxton

    The last Evolution/Shield match wasn’t a gimmick match. It was just a straight-up 6-man tag.

    • Technically but it was essentially an Extreme Rules match based on the action all over the arena.

  • Winnipeg

    Hey, wwe still needs to sell ppvs in other countries just not the states.

    • Bob’s Diner

      But as their current business model shows, they don’t really care too much about international fans. Hence there are all these things on the network only that we don’t get to see, such as preshow matches

  • Gary Robert

    Richard, the WWE title and the “shrinking title scene” have nothing to do with making a PPV view noteworthy. Matches, despite what people seem to think, do not garner more intrigue because the WWE Title or World Championship is on the line. Not anymore. What makes matches interesting is the story line. Having two titles is senseless. The whole point of each of those titles is to signify “the best” and “the champion.” The WWE is ONE entity now and there should be ONE title. If RAW and Smackdown were separate then it makes sense to have a champion of each brand, but no longer.

    • AB

      Completely agree. A shrinking main event scene isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either. A bigger main event scene where not everyone involved is a true main eventer waters things down and dilutes the importance of the heavyweight title, especially when there’s two belts.

    • GOR

      RAW n SD shoud be separated again. Maybe the superstars shoudnt be so exclusive.
      But combining whole rosters together seems to have cauzed lot of confusion n fear for the creatives. As a result they r just creating individual matches without proper story-lines. As long as every1 on the roster gets a match, their job is done n they r happy. This is y there r no proper story-lines in the mid-card.
      Separating the roster (informally) will change this. It will force creatives to look more into details. n they wont be buisy with writing things for same main-eventers twice a week. so they can focus on mid-carders.
      This is what is best for business !

  • Venom

    I actually said that when the Network press conference was released. While I think the service and price tag is an amazing steal, I also has the fear the quality of shows might go down since theoretically WWE got their money up front 6 months in advance. Even when the 6 months are up people will still renew it. I can go months without watching Netflix and I still pay for it.

  • Jay El Bee

    First off I don’t know how anyone can say Payback looks weak, on paper it already looks better than Extreme Rules was. And second I think I’ve mentioned this before but the main event scene is not shrinking, in fact it’s a lot larger than it was 6 months ago when there were still 2 titles around. Right now there are 8 guys involved in main events angles (12 if you count the Usos, Harper & Rowan) and that doesn’t even count Kane or Bryan, although to be fair if it wasn’t for the WWE title that wouldn’t be considered a main event angle at all.

  • Lebron James

    Charlotte might be the best Diva in the entire company. Her skills are flat out amazing.

  • GOR

    Bray Wyatt should stop cutting a promo at every show/twice in a week. This is making his promos look repeatative, common n boring.