Will The Undertaker retire after Wrestlemania XXX?
One thing I’ve always pushed back on is predicting when a worker will retire. The Undertaker is 48 years old and has a good amount of miles on his body. However, every time people think he’s done he comes out and steals the show at Wrestlemania. There was some concern about facing Brock Lesnar this year but Undertaker has agreed on his opponent and is a lock for the show this year. Rather than trying to predict when Undertaker will hang it up, realize you are witnessing history every time he performs.
Will WWE Network subscribers have to pay for on-demand content or is it all part of the package?
There are no plans to “upsell” WWE Network subscribers with the on-demand content. The $9.99/month subscription with a 6-month commitment will cover all of the expenses the subscriber will endure for access to the service.
Do you see Bray Wyatt winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the future?
I’ll remind you I don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future, however, I can tell you the future looks bright for Bray Wyatt. He’s a guy that received high marks during his time in developmental between his run on the main roster as Husky Harris and the repackaging of his character. Everyone, including John Cena, raved about his work and felt he had a lot of potential. We’ve begun to see some of that potential realized with his mysterious promos and his stellar pay-per-view match with Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble. As I stated in Monday’s Premium Mailbag, I was frustrated with people that were judging Bray’s in-ring on his Ring of Fire Match against Kane at last year’s SummerSlam. That match wasn’t supposed to be about in-ring work but rather the spectacle of the flames, which were awesome. The naysayers were just looking for a reason to be overly critical of the product and I tried as hard as I could to push back on the notion that Bray couldn’t work. My prediction is that Bray is a key player in WWE going forward and the sky is the limit.
Is Christian now a heel?
Everyone wants to know the roles of the Elimination Chamber challengers and based on this week’s Monday Night Raw, Christian is a heel. As I stated on Twitter during this week’s show, I prefer the “dangerous” version of Christian. He’s talented enough to be a heel or babyface but I feel he’s more effective as a heel. Some fans have begun to bail on Christian out of frustrations regarding his health but as we saw on Raw, he still has it.
Was there a particular reason why there was so many backstage interviews on this week’s Raw? Or was it just a case of it been a way to build up the Elimination Chamber match?
WWE put on an urgent effort to promote the Elimination Chamber on this week’s Monday Night Raw and as I noted, it was necessary. There was enough good content on this week’s broadcast for a really solid two-hour broadcast but the three-hour format watered it down. Nonetheless I feel the goal of building the pay-per-view was accomplished.
From the Ask WNW vault…
January 2014: Earlier in the week you partly attributed Dolph Ziggler’s recent “demotion” to his injuries. With all that we now know about concussions and their long term affects, couldn’t WWE get accused of fostering a culture where performers feel forced to return from head injuries too quickly or else face similar “punishments” to those received by Ziggler? - Remember when Fandango suffered a concussion last summer? While many were praising WWE for their quick and prompt response by removing workers from cards at the first sign of a concussion, one backstage source expressed concern. I was told WWE being quick to remove workers that experience concussion symptoms could mean fewer people coming forward if they were to suffer a head injury. Dolph Ziggler’s concussion, the result of an errant Jack Swagger kick, came at a horrible time. Following a long wait to become World Heavyweight Champion, the reign was quick and largely forgettable. However, injuries are part of the business – they always have been and they always will be.
Would you say that Batista’s return to WWE has been a flop so far?
Batista’s return to WWE has been a disappointment so far. While this may surprise some of you, I’m actually a fan of Batista. I think he’s got a great look and sufficient work and I love the fact he proved haters wrong in landing a major movie role. The timing for his return was just bad because of the way WWE was refusing to protect Daniel Bryan. Batista ended up getting in the crossfire and is almost the poster child for the way things used to be. With the rise of talent like Daniel Bryan, the WWE fan base has sent a message. That message is overall ability supersedes looks. Again I’ll state, I think Batista’s work is fine but it’s just the perception his look brings. It also doesn’t help things that he won the Royal Rumble and Bryan wasn’t even an entrant. We have more on Vince McMahon’s reaction to Batista here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
With all signs currently pointing to Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena at Wrestlemania XXX, that must mean The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber will be a blowoff match. How do you feel about this? Would you rather see a rematch between the two factions (possibly with some sort of gimmick) at Wrestlemania, or Bray vs. Cena?
If WWE goes forward with the plan to do Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena at Wrestlemania XXX, they could always do Erick Rowan & Luke Harper vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose. I’ve heard Roman Reigns’ name come up in singles matches, although one proposed opponent was actually Ambrose. The first time I heard the plan of Cena vs. Wyatt, I was completely against it. However, after seeing how ready Bray is to take the next step in his work at Royal Rumble, I’m for the match. Bray Wyatt could use the opportunity to really help his career – the real question will be whether or not WWE has enough confidence to put him over Cena at the biggest show of the year.
Am I wrong or does the hype surrounding the match between The Shield and the Wyatt Family seem to be bigger than the Elimination Chamber match itself?
There is a lot of excitement about The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber and I think the build has been brilliant. I’m not sure the hype completely overshadows the Chamber match, considering the winner will go on to headline Wrestlemania XXX but it is at the least a close second. WWE has a big opportunity to showcase six up and coming stars with Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt potential future headliners.
All I’ve been hearing on sports shows is people talking about who they would put on their Mount Rushmore in sports. Who is on your Mount Rushmore in wrestling?
I’ve had this question before and I even brought it up in a media appearance last month. It’s a hard thing to do but if I had to choose four names for my pro wrestling Mount Rushmore it would have to start with Hulk Hogan. I know there are a lot of stars that came before him and equally good arguments to go with them but Hogan is the reason we have pro wrestling in its current form as a staple of mainstream entertainment. He helped usher in the pro wrestling boom of the 1980s and again in the 1990s. Regardless of what you think about Hogan, there’s just no getting around it. After Hogan, I go to the most successful era in pro wrestling and that is the Attitude Era. The Attitude Era took the foundation laid by Hogan and brought the business another step forward. Steve Austin and The Rock are responsible for leading the charge. Like with Hogan, there are others that preceded it and others that participated in it but it was Austin and Rock that led the charge. That leaves us to today where WWE has become more than a professional wrestling company and now an entertainment juggernaut. They are less than one week away from making history with the WWE Network and now have a grasp on the business like we’ve never seen before. No one has played a bigger role in setting up WWE for this success than John Cena. John is as hardworking as it gets and has been a phenomenal face for the WWE brand as they went from a TV-MA adult wrestling show to a family friendly entertainment empire. That leaves my wrestling Mount Rushmore with Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock and John Cena. This is going to be controversial and I am by no means trying to slight any worker by excluding them. However, I am taking the biggest faces and putting them together to create what I feel are the four people most responsible for where the business is today. Let’s keep in mind this is also a change from my Mount Rushmore in November 2012 as I am replacing Undertaker with John Cena. This is not only because of Cena’s career over the past couple of years but also where he has taken WWE as they launch the WWE Network.
Do you think Willow the Whisp will have success in TNA?
My opinion on Jeff Hardy bringing Willow the Whisp to TNA Wrestling hasn’t changed since last week. I think the gimmick creates a renewed interest in Hardy and the fact it’s been well-received online makes me optimistic. Jeff is already a top guy in TNA so he’s going to be a top guy no matter what but this should help add to the intrigue of his talent. I am able to confirm that Hardy is under TNA contract through February 2015.
What’s your prediction for The Shield vs The Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber on Sunday?
Based on the fact WWE is teasing dissension in The Shield, I have to think The Wyatt Family is the favorite going into the pay-per-view on Sunday. I see the dissension with Roman Reigns costing The Shield the match but everything hinges on where they want to go for Wrestlemania. Given the fact Bray Wyatt is penciled in to work John Cena, he must be protected. With that being understood, WWE will have to make a decision whether to break Roman Reigns away from The Shield at Elimination Chamber or extend the inevitable breakup to Wrestlemania. I would be surprised if The Shield go over based on those factors.
Does anyone know if there will be commercials on the WWE Network? Either before, after, or during any show. If there are, that’s the game changer for me.
WWE gave the following answer to that question in their Network Q&A - “Most WWE programming on WWE Network is commercial-free. However, there will be limited promotional content and advertising within and between select programs.” Limited commercials do not bother me in the slightest given the price tag of the WWE Network. There are commercials on the pay-per-views that carry a much heftier price now, so what’s limited commercials for $9.99/month?
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