How would you rate Wrestlemania 30 from top to bottom?
I plan on recording a podcast later on Monday to give my complete reactions to Wrestlemania 30 but I’ll give you some sweeping reactions. Daniel Bryan got his much-deserved payoff and WWE did the right thing by giving him his big Wrestlemania moment. I love the fact the Andre the Giant Battle Royal was used to elevate an up and comer and the opening segment of Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock couldn't have been better. Plenty of people will complain about John Cena going over but it's what I expected and I'll break it out down later.
What did you think of Mr. T's Hall of Fame speech?
Mr. T provided some unintended humor to the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony but his speech showed WWE officials they need to screen Hall of Fame speeches, especially from outsiders. As I stated in Richard Reacts to Wrestlemania 30, I felt Mr. T was rude for going so long with his speech. He is a worthy WWE "celebrity wing" inductee and I'm glad he loves his mother and is proud of his faith. However, to speak for that long at an event where he was a guest, was disrespectful to the legends that rightfully earned that time. Ultimate Warrior, Jake Roberts, Scott Hall or anyone else earned the right to go up there and talk for as long as they wanted. However, a guest should be more courteous. It was not the time or place to deliver a bizarre sermon/eulogy.
Do you feel that the Hall of Fame should be a closed event? Every time the camera would go to someone the crowd would cheer even if it was at the most inappropriate times (and sometimes confusing the person talking.) At some times it really ruined the mood of a speech when a chant would start and the presenter was trying to figure out what was going on. I think it would come off much better if it was at a theatre invite only broadcast on the network.
It's very much an honor to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, however, let's not forget it serves a dual purpose and is a commercialized event where WWE profits. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony always sells out and provides WWE a grand opportunity to give fans a reason to spend the entire weekend in the Wrestlemania host city. I thought the crowd at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was great this year and they weren't disrespectful to any of the legends. So to answer your question, absolutely not. The WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony should remain exactly how it is and I enjoyed watching it on WWE Network.
Given the way Raw ended, will Evolution possibly reunite to face The Shield at Extreme Rules?
I could easily see WWE doing Kane & Evolution vs. Daniel Bryan & The Shield at Extreme Rules next month, however, creative plans have not been finalized. I was told on Tuesday that Vince McMahon has always been against using the old WarGames match concept that WCW used but if there were ever a situation where it was fitting, this would be it. Extreme Rules is usually a show where Wrestlemania programs are blown off and this would be a neat concept to keep the momentum going.
What's the latest on WWE raising the subscription price for WWE Network?
There's a report being pumped out that after WWE announced the WWE Network has 667,287 subscribers that they were thinking of raising the subscription price. Say that out loud and you'll easily understand that doesn't make sense. WWE is committed to getting 1 million people signed up for their Network by the end of the year. This is the benchmark they must reach in order for the service to become profitable. One of the reasons why the low $9.99/month price was launched was because the thinking was people would sign up without even thinking about it. WWE plans to raise the price of the WWE Network eventually but I do not see that taking place until they reach their goal of 1 million subscribers. It's also important to realize the 667,287 subscribers they had as of Monday will have the opportunity to opt out in August so they'll continue to want to give fans every reason to continue to be a part of the service.
Do you think the whole CM Punk issue is a work? The fact that WWE haven't moved his profile to the alumni section of dot com makes me hopeful that he may return at any moment.
The situation with CM Punk is not a work. I know there are conspiracy theorists that are going to dispute that no matter what anyone says but I can tell you it's 100% a shoot. As for CM Punk's profile on dot com, he's still under a WWE Performer's Contract and will be until July. The plan with Punk since Vince McMahon was unable to get him back for Raw in Chicago in March was to leave him alone and hope he gets the itch to come back on his own.
Why did WWE let new Diva Paige from NXT take the title away from AJ Lee? Is Vince McMahon trying to stick it to her because of the CM Punk situation?
Vince McMahon has done the exact opposite. He's high up on AJ Lee and wants her as happy as possible because of her connection to CM Punk. This is why she was put over at Wrestlemania XXX after already securing the longest Divas Championship reign in company history. As for Paige coming in and going over, WWE "turned the page" on Monday night and gave a big rub to a top-level prospect. In my opinion it couldn't have been booked better and I expect big things from Paige.
What is The Rock's status with WWE after his appearance at Wrestlemania on Sunday? One more match?
When The Rock first came back to WWE in 2011, it was to appear at Wrestlemania over the next three years. That deal was fulfilled with the hosting gig followed by the two matches against John Cena. He wasn't in the plans for this year's show but there is a chance he could return next year. I'm still gathering details but will have more on a potential main event involving The Rock at Wrestlemania 31 next week.
While covering the death of The Ultimate Warrior, Nancy Grace attributed Owen Hart's death to steroids and Colin Cowherd blasted CM Punk for what an unverified Twitter account Tweeted to him. What's wrong with the mainstream media when it comes to pro wrestling?
Television and radio personalities such as Nancy Grace, Colin Cowherd, Skip Bayless, Bill O'Reilly, Rachel Maddow, etc. are entertainers, not reporters. Their job is to say things that people will care about. It doesn't matter if the response they garner is positive or negative, it just matters they get a response. Not only do they not have to report the facts, they often spin things to the point where it's nothing more than subjective conjecture. In the recent cases of Nancy Grace and Colin Cowherd, they had a point of view and they were going to reenforce it, even though they didn't care enough to do a simple Google search. It's unfortunate that such erroneous material can get spread to the masses in such an irresponsible manner but it happens every day. The only difference in the Warrior coverage is this is something we know and care about. I'm sure there are plenty of other issues we aren't as invested in, where the wool is pulled over our eyes, like the millions of sports fans that now believe CM Punk weighed in on Ultimate Warrior's death. If there's one thing I learned in covering the Chris Benoit tragedy several years back, it's the mainstream media cares more about viewers and less about the facts. It's all about ratings and nothing about telling the actual story.
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