Ryback Trying To Get Fired?, What Over-The-Top Means, WWE Network Not PG, Ryback Using HHH's Lilian Garcia Joke & The Time Mick Foley Called Him On It, Sin Cara, WM At No Extra Charge

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Is Ryback trying to get himself fired from WWE with his bizarre behavior on Twitter?

For a main roster worker in WWE to actually get fired today, they would have to do something "so egregious" that an immediate termination was unavoidable. Otherwise, they'll be taken off the road and paid the duration of their contract and it will not be renewed upon its expiration. As for Ryback's behavior on Twitter over the weekend (stories here and here), I'm not sure it's anything more than him "working as a heel." The problem is I'm not sure he's getting the right kind of heat. Ryback is keeping himself in the public eye, while also hushing the talk about the spot that caused Dolph Ziggler's concussion and the joke about Lilian Garcia [from last week] but the response I've seen isn't good. The behavior underscores a point I made in October, where I explained why Ryback was not ready for the main event. If it's attention he's seeking, then mission accomplished. Anything else and he's failed miserably.

Will Dish Network carry WWE Network?

No. I've answered this one a lot but some people still do not understand so to explain, let's dig a little deeper. The WWE Network is launching as an over-the-top service, not as a traditional network. What does that mean? Over-the-top content is the delivery of video and audio over the Internet without a multiple system operator being involved in the control or distribution. One point you're going to see me make a lot as we approach the launch of the WWE Network is why I think this is absolutely the right move. I posted the following on Facebook over the weekend:

There's a point you're going to see me make a lot as we approach the launch of the WWE Network. The best thing for the consumer is the fact it's going to be an over-the-top service. I know, it doesn't work for everyone. However, the prices are going to be lower and distribution is going to be wider.

My biggest concern was WWE struggling to get clearance on cable and satellite, only to fail to attract people to it (Oprah Winfrey's Network is a good example of this). If the biggest issue you have is an Internet connection or a connected device, these are both issues that you have the power to fix. Cable and satellite companies would have the ability to control distribution and set their own prices.

Bypassing them is the best thing for the consumer and it's why my opinion of the WWE Network has done a complete 180. The service is revolutionary and as long as there are not issues with performance (such as lagging), WWE will have hit a grand slam.

With WWE being able to control their programming through the WWE Network, could we see Monday Night Raw revert back to a TV-MA or TV-14 show?

WWE's core programming will remain on cable as the company is nearing a monumental TV licensing agreement in the United States that is going to increase the amount they make in television licensing fees. If the deal that NASCAR got is any indication (10 years worth $8.2 billion), WWE is about to land a deal that is going to make them more dominate than ever before. Because of this, WWE will not be altering the rating of their core programming. The WWE Network does make the company completely independent of television networks, only increasing their leverage in negotiations with them. Now, WWE will no longer be at the mercy of the networks and will no longer be at risk of losing everything by losing a television deal. As for the WWE Network, there will be content that is rated outside of the core PG initiative but it will air in select time slots with the appropriate advisories. WWE Network will also include parental controls for those with children.

In Friday's Ask WNW, you said you weren't offended by Ryback's Lilian Garcia joke, you just felt it was unnecessary. The joke, apparently started by Triple H regarding the face of Garcia, essentially means that one of the higher ups in a multimillion dollar company is "bullying" a female employee based on her looks. How can WWE promote anti-bullying behavior for children while such a high-ranking company official apparently condones such sophomoric behavior?

The Lilian Garcia joke is one apparently started by Triple H and has been a talking point for years in the WWE locker room. In 2010, Mick Foley publicly denounced Hunter for using the joke, stating that he didn't understand why someone in Triple H's position would not only condone such behavior but why he would get satisfaction from demeaning someone like Lilian Garcia. Garcia responded, thanking Foley for standing up for her. I by no means condone the joke nor do I find it funny. One of the lowest things a human being can do to another human being is tease them based on looks. I also understand the other side of this that it's just a joke and everyone in their life has been given a little grief from time-to-time. Given the fact that Lilian Garcia is a beautiful woman, it's not as mean spirited as it could be if it wasn't someone as blessed with the looks of Garcia. However, make no mistake about it, this type of humor is categorically opposed to WWE's Be-A-Star anti-bullying campaign and I'm sure Triple H wasn't a fan of Ryback bringing it back up on live television. Vince McMahon is known for having a sophomoric sense of humor, however, I wonder what he thinks of the public image this gives his company. We can poke holes in the WWE anti-bullying campaign all day long but I've come to accept the campaign for what it is. Be-a-star is more about creating an acceptable image to the public rather than highlighting how things actually work on WWE television or behind-the-scenes.

Have you heard anything about Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde - the original Sin Cara?

Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde isn't expected back in WWE as the company is moving forward with Hunico as Sin Cara. There really isn't much more to say other than it just didn't work out and WWE liked the gimmick's marketability too much to discard it. WWE has apparently chose to let Luis sit at home until his contract runs out rather than terminating him. Public releases of main roster stars is something that Triple H no longer wants to do unless it's unavoidable for public relations reasons.

If the WWE Network is successful, do you see WWE including Wrestlemania 31 and Wrestlemania 32 at no additional charge? I feel that Wrestlemania XX will be one time deal to start
up the network.

Wrestlemania 31Everyone is waiting for the "bait and switch" because the WWE Network seems too good to be true. All 12 live pay-per-views, exclusive first-run original programming, on top of the largest and most appealing pro wrestling tape library on the planet for a meager $9.99/month with a 6-month commitment (billed monthly). However, the fact the WWE Network logo is incorporated into the Wrestlemania 31 logo tells me the show is going to be a staple of the network to entice people to signup. Even if the price of the WWE Network doubles (which I don't expect it to do any time soon), it would still be significantly less than the current going rate to buy the pay-per-views on their own.

From the Ask WNW vault…

September 2013: How can WWE promote Ryback and Triple H as bullies alongside their Be-A-Star anti-bullying campaign? - There has been a lot of discussion about the characters of Ryback and Triple H playing the roles of antagonists that bully in light of WWE’s commitment to eliminate bullying. I will admit there is plenty of hypocrisy in the anti-bullying efforts; however, I am not bothered or “offended” by the characters of Ryback and Hunter. In order to have a protagonist you have to have an antagonist. There has to be a villain for every hero. Villains have to do villainous things to make people buy into their characters. It’s essential that wrestling fans understand the difference between what is make believe and what is real-life. Now on the same notion, there are roads that shouldn’t be traveled. For me, it’s a case-by-case basis. One program I found particularly disgusting was the Piggy James stuff from several years back. Yes, this was “part of the show” but I hated the message it sent.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Tuesday, January 14, 2014.

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

  • thepowerserge

    Even if there were a “bait and switch” with the WWE Network and they indeed doubled the cost, $120 per year is still a steal when compared to the average cost of cable these days. Besides, even at that rate, a full year of WWE programming costs as much as 2 pay per views on any of the providers at present. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m curious now…

    • Curious about what?

      • Xavier

        What exactly did Triple H say about Lillian Garcia’s look?

          • Xavier

            Wow! That’s completely out of line on Paul’s part. Lillian is a very beautiful lady and very classy as well so I don’t understand why he would feel the need to say something like that. He’s really the past person he should be talking about someone’s physical facial features considering the large amount of mass his noise takes up on his face, just saying.

          • TheCoolOne

            “I’m gonna call Hunter ‘Paul’ so it makes me look cool!”

          • Xavier

            I’m gonna call myself the “TheCoolOne” because I’m really a douche

      • thepowerserge

        Just meant to say my interest in the network is piqued. I may begin to consider ordering it given all the programming and how it’s being marketed.

  • David

    I think the network is a great idea and I’m excited. The key will be the ease of getting it to people’s tv sets. The other devices are all a bonus but that will be the key. Their challenge comes for people without a high speed internet connection. Satellite internet and cell phone can be expensive with a lot of data and I see that as the biggest challenge with scaling it large enough. Thats why I was surprised at the response of Directv. Cable operators will lose out more on ppv buys than the satellite companies. I have a Roku box so I’m set but WWE needs to get the network on every possible device. Ive never been optimistic about watching long amounts of programming on computers as a business model. I hope they are successful. The on demand options will be far better the route they are going as the cable vod can be tiresome to navigate sometimes. I am excited about the smaller Fios bill coming my way after not having to pay for the ppv every month.

  • Steve pritchard

    I’m so over Cryback! This guy just needs to disappear . There’s lots of other superstars with more talent than this tool that don’t get the praise or media coverage . Vince May like his look. But outside of that he’s total garbage .

  • The Bops

    The Network is a homerun. I have a PS3 currently. What product do you recommend using other than that, factoring in affordability and performance? (question open to anyone)

    • Jesse Sherwood

      Well, if you have an iPad or Android tablet, those are certainly options, as well as the Xbox 360.

      • ron

        Maybe some tips here PLEASE. How or what do I need to get the picture from my Android phone or tablet to my TV screen?

        Any help or tips would be appreciated?

        • Snap

          As I don’t have any of those particular devices, I’m not entirely sure it would be possible. The only thing I can think of would be connecting them to your TV via USB to possibly being able to use it as a source.

          The PS3/4 and Xbox would be the best platform for watching it on your TV, because then you would be able to take advantage of HD via HDMI connection.

        • Jesse Sherwood

          Well, you can find video output cables to link your tablet to your TV on sites such as Amazon or Newegg, but I not used these sorts of things myself since I have almost all of the major gaming platforms. I’d also assume WWE will be looking at platforms such as Roku to stream it on.

          • ron

            Roku is what my wireless engineer at work recommended. I am the Director of telecom services for CSX railroad but as I got promoted I haven’t engineered anything or touched a piece of equipment in 10 years. lol I get to spend all of my time managing budgets and people while my people get to play with all of the new technology.

    • RJR

      The PS3 will also be my main platform for watching WWE Network, but I will absolutely be downloading it for my Android phone, my tablet and my PC. That does bring up an interesting question though…

      Netflix only allows you to use the same username/password on so many systems/sources. I wonder if WWE Network will do the same thing, to protect other people from using information that isn’t theirs? My guess would be yes, because what’s to stop one person from signing up and then giving their user information to 10 of their friends?

      If this has already been addressed, I must’ve skipped over that piece of information.

    • David

      The easiest solution is a Roku box. It’s under $100 depending on the model and it’s an easy interface with lots of options. It has Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and tons more including sports packages. It connects with an HDMI connection and some of the services offer full 1080P streaming. It’s probably the easiest option without going out and getting a gaming system.

  • Venom

    My concern for the network is the quality. If you have to pay $60 in advance then technically wwe made their money upfront. It’s like the end of the Monday night wars all of the sudden. The quality of wwe was amazing when they had competition but with wcw and ecw gone the creative team went on vacation. So if wwe already made their money upfront, then they might not put too much energy on good storylines.

    I know some might think I’m crazy for thinking that but think about it. It’s obvious Vince/wwe don’t think about long term. Proof is the money Brock Lesner is making. All they care about is the money wrestlemania brings but has Brock or any of the part timers made an impact on the product in the long term? RVD and Chris Jericho came back for a short term to put people over and nobody cares about fandango, ADR and sadly Dolph Ziggler.

    • Jesse Sherwood

      Sorry, but you are mistaken on the assumption that you have to pay the $60 up front. WWE put out a clarification that to get the $9.99 price point, you had to lock in to the price over a 6 month commitment. They will bill you at the $9.99 on your card each month of the contract. So you do not have to pay the whole amount up front.

      • RJR

        Think of it as a gym membership. They contractually lock you in the exact same way, but don’t expect you pay the full 6-month membership fee upfront.

      • Venom

        Ok so does that mean after 3 months you can decide to cancel it? What if I get it in February (I can’t since I love in Canada) can I cancel it in may or do I have to have it for 6 months even though they’re only billing me monthly? Cause even if your not getting charged the full $60 there is still a contract stating they’ll get $60 in a 6months total. Not that $60 is a lot I think the network is an amazing deal. I’m just saying if they already know much money they’re getting in a 6 months window the quality of ppvs and shows might not mean much.

        • Jesse Sherwood

          Well, most recurring billing such as this has few repercussions for cancelling early, but I have to stress that everyone should read the EULA/TOS when they subscribe, as WWE could legally put a early cancel clause. I do get your point, however. If WWE gets 2 million subscribers in the first month, what is to keep them from giving us shovelware PPVs for the 4 months after WM30? In my eyes it is simple. They will need to keep the quality up if they expect to keep those subscribers. If they don’t, they risk financial instability.

          • Venom

            It is better business to make the quality of shows better to get more fans to subscribe in the future and/or keep their subscription. However, when they won the Monday night wars and were the only game in town it was also in their best interest to do quality programming to keep those fans. Now most ecw and wcw fans not that there wwe a huge number have moved on.

            Even if the quality of programming sucks I doubt fans will not get it since its only $10 a month and using myself as an example I have Netflix and I can not use it for a month or 2 and not care cause it’s cheap. I think the price of the network is great I just fear from a fans point of view the quality and build to shows might not be good. And if shoes suck the network sounds like its also created for fans who want to watch the older stuff. The ones that left after the attitude era.

  • Koge

    Could the “WWE Network logo” incorporated into the WrestleMania logo also mean that WWE is eventually going to change their main logo? I think it would be odd for WWE to have to separate logos and the “network logo” clearly seems to stand for “WWE”, not “WWE Network”. There could also be a transitional period with both logos considering they remade the WWE title belt just last year and would need to redesign it because the WWE logo is a large part of the design.

  • Scott Davies

    Lets play a shot game. For every time you hear “WWE Network” or “WWE App” or “Anything Ryback does bad on” on Raw take a shot

  • Tim

    So for the wwe network do you have to do a minimum of 6months subscription.

  • Tim

    Triple h is a joke. A mediocre wrestler. Who slimed his way to a corporate job. So he can continue to soak up the light.

    • Anthony

      Thats bullshit, man. “Mediocre wrestler”. He’s one of the greatest superstars and one of those guys that have helped kick up a few knotches during the monday night war against WCW. Call me a fan of the attitude/tv-14 era but after everything, guys like myself personally I had great respect for the guy. No, I am not kissing anyone’s ass. I just respect him.

  • ashley

    Yes dish network WILL have the wwe network app if you have the hopper you will be able to subscribe to it!