With Brock Lesnar in the midst of the biggest push of his career, do you see WWE being crazy enough to blow the opportunity? Wouldn’t you say it’s essential he go over in several of his upcoming matches?
One of the reasons why I was initially against Brock Lesnar ending the streak was a lack of confidence in WWE creative to handle booking him forward (my stance has since changed). While Brock is 5-2 since returning to WWE in 2012, I cannot get the loss to John Cena in his first match back at Extreme Rules 2012 out of my mind. That was one of the worst creative calls in WWE history. It still boggles my mind why WWE chose to put Lesnar under to Cena when he came in as the hottest name in pro wrestling and MMA circles. Moving forward, it’s imperative that WWE books Brock with the upmost confidence and protects him to the fullest extent. Yes, I believe it’s absolutely essential that he goes over in his next several programs and eventually provides a payoff to an up and coming talent that has the potential to be a megastar. In short, I believe Brock Lesnar needs to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion by Wrestlemania 31 next year.
Do you see Rob Van Dam getting on final run as WWE World Heavyweight Champion?
Anything is possible but I do not see Rob Van Dam getting another run as WWE World Heavyweight Champion due to the short-term nature of his contract. His new deal calls for him to work through SummerSlam, so he’s very much a short-term option. Vince McMahon is high up on RVD and I expect him to be booked as an upper level mid card talent.
Am I the only person that thinks it’s bad the satellite providers – Dish & DirecTV specifically – are not carrying Extreme Rules? Is WWE prepared for the financial loss?
WWE knew they were facing the possibility of losing their traditional pay-per-view partners when they announced the WWE Network. Luckily, most providers carried Wrestlemania 30 and the show did a surprising 400,000 traditional domestic buys, however, that will certainly not be the case with Extreme Rules. The company is willing to sacrifice their pay-per-view business – 17% of their net revenue in 2012 – with the launch of WWE Network, which is why they hope to be at 1 million subscribers before the end of the year. Given the fact that both Dish and DirecTV postured about such a move before Wrestlemania, it’s not a surprise to anyone in WWE. What’s of more concern within WWE is pay-per-view bonuses for talent, with many fearing payouts for Wrestlemania are going to be lower than years past. I’m currently working on a story and will have more shortly.
Where is Evan Bourne?
Evan Bourne is still under WWE contract but there are not plans to use him as of this writing. The last we wrote about him was in February when he was training at the WWE Performance Center. I can tell you he told the office he was ready to go for SummerSlam last year but was told that he wasn’t needed. I honestly do not know if there are plans for him to come back or not. As someone that enjoys his work, I hope to see him get another chance.
When you get down to it, what do you think accounts for the obvious but egregiously misguided fact that Triple H thinks Batista is/was a bigger draw than CM Punk?
The situation is complex and involves more than just Triple H’s opinion of CM Punk compared to his opinion of Batista. Obviously Hunter and Batista are closer than Hunter and Punk but then again, there’s more to it than that. The initial plan for Wrestlemania 30 was to do Punk vs. Triple H and Batista vs. Randy Orton. Who’s getting screwed there? Not Punk, not Batista but Daniel Bryan. Since Punk bolted WWE, everyone has been trying to “think for him” and make accusations based on conjecture. It’s not completely unfounded conjecture, however, we still haven’t heard from the man himself. Until Punk explains what happened, we really don’t know. Punk is a huge star and solidified his status as such three years ago, however, as we’ve seen, WWE is bigger than any one name. Can we even say Punk “stuck it to WWE” by bolting?
When Undertaker decides to retire from wrestling, do you expect WWE to give him a proper farewell as they did with Ric Flair? I believe Taker has been around long enough to deserve that treatment.
There are new comments out on Wednesday that Steve Austin made to Power Slam magazine where he thinks Undertaker’s match against Brock Lesnar [at Wrestlemania 30] should be his last. I thought that was pretty much a given based on the streak ending, however, I was told just days after [Brock vs. Taker] that was actually not the case. My source informed me there was still a chance of Undertaker working the show next year in a match against Sting. That would provide the payoff for a “proper sendoff” that you suggest. At the end of the day it comes down to Undertaker’s health and desire to work again, something I gave up on guessing a long time ago. Undertaker remains in the same year-by-year situation he’s been in for a while and until he says differently, all we can do is wait.
Do you think Brock Lesnar has lost a lot of the momentum he gained by defeating the streak at Wrestlemania by not appearing on television since? WWE has always assumed the fans have short memory so I’d have thought they’d want to capitalize on it as quickly as possible before we stop caring.
I actually look at Brock Lesnar not having a program directly after beating Undertaker at Wrestlemania 30 as a good thing. Let me ask you a question. What program is going to be big enough for Lesnar after beating Undertaker at Wrestlemania? WWE now has a “Lesnar card” they can play when they’re in need of a big boost, so they should hold it until the time is right. Extreme Rules is obviously going to be a letdown from Wrestlemania, all shows are, so it’s a wise move. This is a situation where Lesnar actually benefits from being a part-time talent. While WWE relies on their audience having a short memory, no one is forgetting about Lesnar ending the streak anytime soon.
If Jeff Jarrett still owns good percentage of TNA but is about to start Global Force Wrestling, is this a problem for TNA and will it have any major affect?
Jeff Jarrett still owns 29% of TNA Wrestling and him starting his own promotion is a major problem. Jarrett already has a number of *his touches* that he had with TNA on the new product. Kevin Sullivan, former TNA producer is involved, Hermie Sadler is on the board and they’ve officially announced a working relationship with AAA in Mexico. It’s not stopping there either as they want to tape TV at Universal Studios and are negotiating a national television contract. Last but certainly not least, Jarrett has a great relationship with a lot of the names TNA let walk, so there is a very good chance of GFW establishing a great roster right out of the gate (we listed 12 names here). TNA had enough problems before this and I can tell you with 100% certainty they were very worried about Jarrett teaming with Toby Keith to start another promotion.
Being that Daniel Bryan is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, where does he rank now with the decision making in the locker room? Does he have the same amount of influence as John Cena and Randy Orton now?
Daniel Bryan is very high up on the pecking order backstage in WWE, however, he’s not known for being vocal. Bryan is known for his humility and going out and letting his work speak for itself. I did hear that he put in a good word for KENTA (who is rumored to be WWE bound). Let me be clear that Vince McMahon knows Bryan is valuable to the company and holds him in high regard. Has he replaced Randy Orton as the “1b” behind John Cena? I think that’s a bit premature, however, Bryan is a “main event player” until further notice.
With cable and satellite providers dropping WWE PPVs, I see news reports that WWE may be somewhat concerned, but couldn’t this actually work in the favor of the company and push people into signing up for the WWE Network?
This was a point brought up in Thursday’s WWE investor conference call as it was mentioned that Dish Network is pointing customers that inquire about WWE pay-per-views to the WWE Network. So here’s the scenario. A customer calls Dish and asks why they can’t order a WWE pay-per-view for $54.95, they’re told to go to WWE.com where they can subscribe to the WWE Network for $9.99/month where the pay-per-views are included. It seems like a no-brainer, however, we have to note that more people ordered Wrestlemania 30 on a traditional basis than expected, pointing to the fact WWE’s audience hasn’t been as willing to adapt as they thought. I will stress to all of you that it’s a much better deal to subscribe to WWE Network than it is to order the pay-per-views on a traditional basis.
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