Replacing Stephanie McMahon, Why Monday Night Football Can’t Be Blamed, HHH’s Regime, How WWE Handles Weed

If the ratings and buyrates continue to fall to the ground should Vince McMahon remove Stephanie as Head of Creative and appoint someone like Paul Heyman or even a returning Vince Russo?

Stephanie McMahon is EVP of Creative but let’s be very clear, things start and end with Vince McMahon. He’s been giving Stephanie and Triple H more responsibilities in the day-to-day as they move to succeed his leadership but he still has the final say. I’m not saying that Stephanie’s position is in title only but Vince is still very hands on with the product. Even with that being said, Stephanie isn’t going to lose her position as she is at the top of the chain of command. The decline in viewership and pay-per-view buy rates will likely trigger a response, which will probably end up with Vince himself returning to television.

I’ve noticed that everybody wants to blame the very low ratings Monday night on story lines, however, they had a very good advertised undefeated game on Monday Night football with the Saints and the Dolphins so wouldn’t that be the real reason for the killer
ratings?

This week’s Monday Night Football game between the Dolphins and Saints drew an average viewing audience of 13.7 million viewers, which was actually down from the 13.9 million the Broncos and Raiders did the week prior. Last week, Raw did an average viewing audience of 3,739,000 viewers so it wouldn’t be accurate to put the slide on WWE’s top competitor. The fall competition is stiffer which is why it’s important for storylines to be their most intriguing. For whatever reason, the corporation angle is not resonating and WWE has a problem heading into the pay-per-view on Sunday.

With Triple H taking the throne from Vince in the future, do you think we would see a better overall product?

I like the aspect that Triple H brings to the table of being a former worker. He can relate to the boys in a way that I think could be very beneficial to the company moving forward. So far, I’ve been pleased with his brainchildren, which include the revamp of the company’s developmental system. He’s certainly the right guy for the job and more than qualified to take the reigns from Vince McMahon.

With WWE’s Wellness program, what kind of contract does RVD have knowing that he is a huge marijuana advocate and user?

There are a couple of things to consider. First, if a worker tests positive for marijuana, they are disciplined with a $2500 fine but not a strike towards the three-strike program. The fine was originally $1500 but was raised when workers continued to rack up the fines for positive marijuana tests. Another point to consider is that if a worker has a valid prescription, they’re excused for the positive test. There are some exceptions with a few substances being banned outright but marijuana is not one of those substances.

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  • eskymi

    I believe the reason that the Corporation angle is not working is cause for the first 4 or 5 weeks it was all one sided. The faces were beaten down, they were humiliated and it just was too much heels over faces.

    I think even when the good guys made accurate comments, such as HHH was abusing his position, or he was screwing people, it was Triple H saying that he just gave them an opportunity and they couldn’t handle it….

    I think if someone would have taken down Triple H, like Austin used to do to Vince, and it was back and forth each week, or at least the faces got in a few licks it would have been all right.

    But how many times can you hear “it’s good for business” without a face saying something like, “what would be good for business Triple H is I came into the ring and kicked your ass….”

    • Xavier

      This current angle is about as Attitude Era as we’ve seen in a very long time and everything that the IWC has wanted for years (Powerful Heel Stable, Internet Darling getting the top push & No John Cena). That’s why it cracks me up when people say this angle is “not working”, this is what we the internet asked for. It’s true what they say, be careful what you wish for.

      When you really think about it, this angle is a lot closer to The Rock vs The Helmsey-McMahon Regime angle then it ever was to the Austin vs McMahon feud. People seem to forget that the Helmsey-McMahon regime in 1999/2000 was booked the exact same way. From the the time Steph turned on Vince at Armageddon 99 all the way up until the moment the Rock finally beat Triple H for the title at Backlash 99, the Helmsey-Regime was constantly getting the upper hand on guys like The Rock, Mick Foley, Jericho & Kane. That regime even used the Radicalz (Benoit, Guerrero, Saturn & Malenko) or even The Big Show (who’s also in heavily involved in this angle) sometimes to throw in front of most of the babyfaces as obstacles This current angle is pretty much the exact same thing. I also wanna add that ratings at that time competing against Monday Night Football were in constantly in the high 5s/low 6s.

      While I think this angle has been fun I also think this angle goes to show that worked during the Attitude Era won’t work today it’s just a different time now.

      • Robert Olley

        People have forgotten the regime because it wasnt that memorable. This storyline isnt close to the attitide era its not risque its just a few heels beating up the main faces

        • Xavier

          Dude, it’s pretty much the exact same angle they ran with Triple H/Steph, Rock, Foley etc etc in 99/00. Foley like Cody Rhodes got fired, Big Show was involved in the angle as well, Replace Bryan with The Rock (Who was the top face in that angle as well kept constantly getting screwed over by the regime), Triple H/Steph were running things just like they did during that angle as well, Instead of The Shield replace them with the Radicalz. So tell me how “that’s not even close”? That pretty much seems like the same angle if you ask me. And you say that regime wasn’t that memorable, are you kidding me. Ratings were thru the worth during that time. That’s also Triple H’s best heel run in the company (which was great) and it was also the angle that drew all kinds of heel heat for Stephanie McMahon as well.

          • Jake

            Xavier, if you don’t work for WNW you should. Your insights are right on the money, and all of your points are thought out and well informed.

          • Matt

            get a room!!!

        • David Jr.

          Go back and look at the ratings. You’ll see the ratings for the McMahon-Helmsley regime were some of the highest in WWE history even higher sometimes than Austin vs. McMahon.

      • AlaminoCasino

        I disagree with it not working today. Why wouldn’t it? It’s pretty socially relevant right now. Our whole government is shut down, so of course we all feel a little sentiment towards the man. The reason why it’s not working is because we have no reason to care about Daniel Bryan getting the title. They already gave us the payoff, twice. When they stripped DB of the title after NOC, that’s when I felt he lost all his momentum because now its like “hey, they will probably take it from him again”.

        Honestly, they should have done this storyline when Punk left with the title. He’s way better than DB on the mic and they could have brought in Colt Cabana, Luke Gallows, and maybe someone else when the going got tough for punk against the corporation. Instead, HHH buried him at that years Night of Champions and we got that awful Kevin Nash storyline.

        I think it needs to be a little more realistic, I mean I go from watching The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Weeds. The Office, Parks and Rec, etc to watching wrestling and the writing level difference is crazy. There have been some episodes of the office and parks and rec that were rated tv-14, and I’d say they’re family shows. Instead of pretending like people don’t cuss and and other things that warrant a tv-14 rating, maybe WWE should be honest with their biggest audience (kids) and let them know sometimes the world isn’t so PG.

        • Xavier

          I agree somewhat with what your saying. Bryan beating Orton for the title only to ave it stripped did take some sail out of this angle. I could of seen this working with Punk as well, only problem is that Bryan is more over now then Punk was then. Bryan truly has that underdog vibe to him, not so much with Punk. But I disagree about using guys like Gallows & Cabana. Those two guys just aren’t that good.

          As far as the whole TV-14 thing goes, It really doesn’t make a difference right now if WWE is PG, TV-14, NC-17 or whatever, ratings would still be low. You gotta remember that ratings were started to fall in 02/03 when WWE was TV-14.. Vince made the change to PG because of 1.) The Benoit tragedy and 2.) The safety of the wrestlers. When you have guys blading in the 2nd or 3rd match of the night or when you git guys going thru tables, getting bashed in the head with chairs or guys getting bodyslammed on thumb tacts and ratings are still dipping and no one in the audience is reacting to it anymore then you really have to take a step back and ask if it’s worth the risk of your wrestlers getting hurt. The product was becoming so over saturated with chair shots, blood, nudity etc etc that it lost it’s shock value. Making the move to PG for awhile was the right move.

          • AlaminoCasino

            I see what you’re saying. The only reason I said HHH buried Punk was because of how quick it was. Dude went from being a pretty solid heel to a face in a span of of about 2 weeks before MITB, then at MITB (I know they were in Chicago) he got such a huge pop. He was super over and then boom, here comes HHH out of nowhere having a match with him? And come to find out it was all because Kevin Nash sent the text to himself? WHAT!? LOL. Punk was over so huge right then, just about as much as DB is now, and they just halted it out of nowhere and made ADR cash in? And the whole walkout thing. Why are they not walking out on Triple H right now? The “working conditions” they were complaining about then are worse now. And I understand thinking Gallows and Cabana suck. I actually think Gallows isn’t that good, but hey at least he tries. And while some people don’t like Colt, you gotta give it to him, he does a good job keeping himself relevant without wrestling in a major organization. His AOW podcast is pretty good.

            I’m not talking about shock value when it comes to ratings. There is no blood in a TV-14 Parks and Rec episode. It just has somewhat adult situations as opposed to constant kiddie BS and saying “butt” instead of “ass”. To some people, that may not matter, but as a writer myself, it comes off as contrived and scripted. It’s hard to write consistent story-lines for a PG product. WWE needs to understand that they are not just competing against the NFL and MLB. They are competing against Breaking Bad (well, were until this past weekend) Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, everything that is out on TV right now, they are competing against. But they don’t seem to understand that, at all.

          • Xavier

            I can agree to that, you make some very solid points. But we are still only about 8 weeks into this angle so I’m sure the picture will become more clear as this whole thing progresses. It’s also Important to remember that Cena, Sheamus, Mysterio, Henry & Kane are out, so we have to take into account that creative is limited in what they can do at the moment because of the roster being a little thin on top babyfaces. However I will say that creative has done a great job of getting Cody Rhodes & Goldust over in a big way. The McMahon-Rhodes stuff has been compelling. I’m really looking forward to the tag match this Sunday more so then any other match on the card at NOC.

          • AlaminoCasino

            You are right, this angle still has legs and could go in many different directions after Battleground. I also agree that creative has done wonderfully with the Rhodes’ family storyline. I think everybody involved is doing great. On top of the story being great, I think their match will be match of the night on Sunday.

  • TheBigKing1

    I noticed that he didn’t answer the question as far as RVDs contract. I’m still a little confused. I know it was a part time contract, but I thought it was 3 months on/3 months off, or something like that. Then somebody said his contract expires soon and WWE wanted him to sign a new 1, but he didn’t as a this writing. So that confused me. Then somebody said, they were dogging him because he didn’t sign a longterm contract…which makes a lot more sense. But now I’m just confused on his contract status all together. So what is it Richard? If you don’t mine stating.

    • Robert Olley

      I think richard may not know the exact contract status as hes said that before lik cm punks a few years ago.

  • _JIM_

    RVD lives in Cali if I’m not mistaken. So he can easily get a prescription for medical marijuana and not be affected by any sort of drug testing as far as weed is concerned. More and more states are going that route with the medical marijuana. So it’s going to be easier and easier for people to get by drug tests if they are a pot smoker. Which is a good thing IMO. Since the marijuana laws are so extremely out of date and way to extreme in a lot of cases.
    I’m surprised that the corporation angle isn’t doing better than it is. It’s the first bit of interesting writing that WWE has put out in a long time as far as a long term storyline goes. I think they soured quite a few people in the beginning when Bryan was constantly getting beat down and screwed over with no help from anyone else on the roster. If things were a bit more even, or if Bryan had some help, I think that would have gone a long way in keeping peoples interest. I also find it odd that CM Punk, who is supposed to be the most outspoken wrestler on the roster, has had absolutely zero to say about or to do with this angle. He hasn’t even been asked about it in an interview. If he’s so outspoken and this is something that is supposedly affecting everyone on the roster, then why has he been so silent and uninvolved? I get he’s involved in a different angle, but it honestly makes no sense for his character to not at least have something to say about what the company is doing to Bryan. With a couple tweeks the angle could run for awhile, but it needs to make more sense in a few areas to be more realistic. When Austin was in the same situation the whole roster seemed to be involved in some way. Or at least they all seemed to be aware of what was happening to Austin. In this new angle Punk is basically oblivious to the whole thing. Which is kind of weird.

    • AlaminoCasino

      Agreed that it is weird that Punk hasn’t said or did anything.

      • Steve pritchard

        At least not while on the air. He helped bryan after raw went off the air. Plus they probably think he will steal bryans momentum and theyre probably right . I think they will probably work him in the storyline closer to survivor series or after.

        • Rus

          Its only a matter of time before they put Punk in the story line and if anyone thinks he wont be apart of it and probably a major part in it there fooling them selves especially with Survivor Series around the corner and Royal Rumble after that, or do you expect them to put him in the story line for Battleground lol

          • Steve pritchard

            I wouldnt mind him being in the storyline at battleground. But it would derail the momentum bryan currently has . I just dont like ryback ! I think he’s very sloppy with his ring work and his mic skills are just boring. This heyman thing will likely stretch until survivor series. I see him in the corporate angle after that . But yeah i have no doubt he will be in this storyline before royal rumble . You can bet on it.

  • art123guy

    “For whatever reason, the corporation angle is not resonating and WWE has a problem heading into the pay-per-view on Sunday.”

    For whatever reason? How about this angle has been done to death? How about it only puts over the McMahons? How about everyone is tired of the McMahons? If you say “for whatever reason”, you really haven’t been watching wrestling for very long.

    • iwc

      i hate this angle becuz bryan isnt champion. if bryan was beating the shield, hhh and orton all the time then i would luv this storyline. bryan should be winning all the time. im tired of the mcmahons 2, vince needs to fire hhh, orton, steph and all the other guys who arent internet darlings and then sell it to heyman. hes a real promoter and has done more 4 wrestling then mcmahon ever could.

  • smark calloway

    nostaljack is being surprisingly quiet..i wanna hear what he has to say

    • nostaljack

      Ryback sucks andI hate Cena injury updates. And that’s what I got to say about that

    • Nostaljack

      Okay… I’m quite surprised “The Corporation” thing isn’t working. I think Triple H and Stephanie has both done a *fantastic* job getting it across. Yeah, Big Show got a little blubbery at first but it had a purpose. If your ability to support your family is being threatened and your pride is being sliced and diced, that’s likely how you’d react. Randy is doing an unusually non-robotic job of getting his part in this across too. His work has been stellar. Daniel Bryan has proven an excellent underdog. He’s shown himself to have a tremendous amount of spunk and he’s far better on the mic than I ever thought he’d be. He got himself over with one word repeated over and over again. Doesn’t get much better than that.

      The only thing I can figure is maybe John Cena really does matter *that* much. The kids love him and he’s over with a lot of people. Beyond his lack of appearance, I’m not sure why this isn’t over.

  • Armando

    I have been a long time wrestling fan, I have it recorded on my DVR, but I paused it to watch what was going on with our country. I think this is why viewership was down this week for Raw, I hardly watch CNN, but I was glued to the T.V. I did feel this week Raw Show was good. I think no matter how good the show is, viewership will always be down this time of year, It is the fall T.V. season, Monday Night Football, but now there is a series news event happening, where America is watching. I feel people tend to comeback right around the Royal Rumble, then causal fans get excited for WrestleMania Season. Here is my Monday Nights and you can tell me the effects it has on Raw, I DVR raw, watch How I Met Your Mother, Flip to Football during commercials, Watch 2 Broke Girls, Flip to football, watch the new t.v. show Mom, flip to football, then I watch Raw and Fast Forward through the commercials and recap segments.

  • Hercules Rockerfeller

    I just really hope they don’t blame Daniel Bryan for this since this trend if bad ratings and low ppv buys have been happening ever since Cena left. Which is ridicules because Summerslam didn’t do that great of a buy compared to last years. But the problem here really lies with their ridicules storyline if evil bosses and crying giants and illogical storylines about being broke despite working for a multi-billion dollar company. Not to mention having their top baby face get killed every single week 7 straight times! Then vacating their top title because “it’s best for business” what a load of sh!t! With TNA’s downward spiral to a possible foreclosure and WWE’s really bad storylines, this has got to be the worst period to be a pro wrestling fan. So much to frustrate about with no light at the end of the tunnel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Danny.Rocks.Mountain.Tops Daniel Vollmer

    I think people are turned off because everyone wants to see Bryan win the title and they won’t buy the ppvs now because he’s been screwed too many times. so why bother you know? they just need to make him champion and have him keep the belt for awhile…this screwing him over stuff is not what people want to see.

  • ldb

    You can hate on me, but wwe just doesn’t connect being this PG. If they advertised SCSA next week and let him go wild he would out draw everybody else

  • Rus

    These comment sections have really started being crowded……….. anyway do they only get a fine for smoking pot but get suspended for smoking synthetic pot, wtf???

    • Jesse Sherwood

      First, thanks for the comment Rus! The comment areas being crowded isn’t a bad thing, as the debate between fans is always an interesting affair. As for the fine for pot but a suspension for synthetic, synthetic pot has had a few deaths attached to it, as well as the chemical makeup of it as it burns is equal to inhaling burning plastic. I’m not saying that pot shouldn’t be treated the same way, but the synthetic stuff is much more dangerous.

      • Rus

        Just mind blowing why anyone would touch the synthetic stuff unless they were actually wanting to go on a holiday. Would be interesting to see how many got fines for smoking the real thing

        • Jesse Sherwood

          I agree. I’m willing to bet at least 1/4 of the locker room has at least received 1 fine.

  • Jay El Bee

    The Corporation storyline has been doing fine, they just need a better face than Daniel Bryan to oppose them.

  • Avalanchian

    Let me see I’m a big football fan and so are my friends. Do my friends want to talk about fake entertainment the next day or do they want to talk about football. Sometimes something just has to go on the backburner for the common ground among a clique.

  • Lebron James

    The Corporation Angle isn’t going well so far because of horrible bookings and nothing new is happening. The Shield has been decimating lower mid card guys, Orton destroys irrelevant wrestlers, and Bryan has okay matches with the same guys every week. They need to create some new top guys out of this story line, or at least involve new wrestlers. They also need to create or acknowledge an actual faction. So far there is no name for this new regime besides the fan given Corporation name. There’s so much going wrong. They could use guys like Ziggler, Cesaro, Barret, Bray Wyatt, McIntyre, or even guys from NXT like Zayne and Ohno. The WWE needs to step their game up. The same shit every week isn’t go to intrigue anybody. I literally skipped over every match on RAW this week. Use your talent to their maximum potential.

    • Lebron James

      Oh, and how could I forget, please add in CM Punk into the mix. He’d add an extra level of intensity that Bryan can’t.

  • mjames1273

    A lot of the IWC won’t like this, but a big reason this angle isn’t drawing the interest it should is Daniel Bryan. I think he’s an incredible talent and deserves great things, but he just doesn’t have the ability to carry this angle. I think they got a false sense of popularity from the reactions he generates. The crowds go wild, mostly because of “Yes, Yes, Yes”. The problem is, you take away the Yes chants, and he’d have nowhere near the reaction. Crowds turn into puppets when there is something popular to chant. They are still chanting “what”.
    DB just doesn’t have the presence or mic skills needed. He’s not a face of a company. He’s one hell of a wrestler, but not a guy who can carry the main face roll. The IWC loves him, but what drives ratings higher isn’t the IWC who are watching regardless, it the casual guy and they just aren’t getting as into DB as everyone thinks.

    • Rus

      wow are you apart of the corporation, that’s all HHH has been saying for months

  • MrOldSchool

    Relax this angle has NOT started yet !!! All the players do NOT have the correct name tags yet.