WWE Network Is $9.99, A Flag Match, Presumptuous To Call Reigns A Future Main Eventer?, Limiting Lesnar

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What are your thoughts on the constant $9.99 mentions regarding the WWE Network on Monday Night Raw? I know they were scripted and even funny at times but by the end of the night, it seemed more annoying than anything else.

The biggest thing to come out of this week's episode of Monday Night Raw was the constant 9.99 mentions. I already wrote about how the promotion proved WWE is desperate for Network subscribers. Yes, the mentions were scripted and meant to be funny but they were complete overkill. This is typical of WWE too. Remember when they first went PG? Vince McMahon himself admitted they took it too far (I heard Vince say it directly). Or when they first got heavy into Twitter or invested in Tout.

WWE is known for effective promotion; however, they also have a bad habit of taking things a step too far. In my view, the people in the United States that are going to buy the WWE Network (the hardcore fans like me and you) already have it. Now WWE must use the pay-per-views to sell new subscriptions. However, it's pretty hard to sell the pay-per-view [SummerSlam] with no John Cena or no Brock Lesnar two weeks from a main event match at a "big four" pay-per-view. Even further, we're talking more about 9.99 then we are the pay-per-view.

I also feel inclined to point out that in the midst of all the 9.99 mentions, they never mentioned exactly how to signup. This week's Raw was an utter failure and the shameless WWE Network promotion was a big part of that.

In light of Rusev vs. Jack Swagger at SummerSlam, what exactly does a flag match entail?

The objective of a flag match is to capture your opponent's flag. For example, the American flag will be behind Jack Swagger and the Russian flag will be behind Rusev. It will then be up to Swagger or Rusev to capture the opposing flag before the other does. Whoever captures the opposing flag first, wins the match. The speculation is this match will prevent Swagger or Rusev from actually getting pined, thus preserving some momentum from the undercard program.

Update: I've been informed the object is to capture your own flag, not the opposing flag. So either way, the winner walks away with a flag (whether its the flag of their opponent or their own).

Don't you think it's a bit presumptuous for some fans to hail Roman Reigns as a future main event star?

No, I do not believe it's presumptuous to say Roman Reigns is a future main event star. One of things fans do is evaluate talent. We do it in sport, in life and of course in pro wrestling. It doesn't take much to see there's "something different" about Roman Reigns. The way he carries himself, the way he looks, the way he talks, etc.  That's not to say just because someone appears to be a future main event talent means they will be one either.  However, it can also get frustrating when workers that appear to be more talented are continuously underutilized. That's not exclusive to pro wrestling either.  It's the player that has they're playing time limited or the co-worker no one listens too.  The bottom-line is we all evaluate talent and it's up to the "powers that be" to also recognize this talent and utilize it to the betterment of the product.

Considering WWE is paying Brock Lesnar millions of dollars for limited appearances, why are his appearances so short and infrequent?

WWE scripts Brock Lesnar in a manner they feel will leave the viewer "wanting more." There has to be a medium for delivering Lesnar without overexposing him, while at the same time making it seem as though it's a "big deal" every time he gets into the ring. This is also one of the reasons why he has not worked in matches on television or at live events. I have already criticized WWE for no John Cena or Lesnar at Raw this week as I feel at least one of them was needed to hype their SummerSlam program. They're both, however, scheduled for Raw next week in Portland, Oregon.

From the Ask WNW vault…

December 2012: Do you think ratings in WWE would go up if the company developed a new concept or match type that had a significant built to it? - There is no secret concept or superstar return that will instantaneously boost ratings. Sure, there are plenty of “quick fixes” but the most important thing in raising ratings is creating compelling television that people want to watch. WWE is expecting The Rock’s return to give them a major boost in the early part of next year but it’s up to them whether or not they’ll be able to carry the momentum. There’s a clear initiative in wrapping up the year in creating new stars hence four developmental workers being put in prominent roles on television.
Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, August 6, 2014.

You can submit a question for the next installment of Ask WNW at this link. If you have problems with the form, you can send your question to [email protected].

Want more Ask WNW? Check out the Ask WNW vault & Premium Mailbag!

  • kurt

    Roman reigns has “it”. When he got the chance to do a solo promo. ..he stepped up. The cool as a cucumber intensity works. As long as mcmahon doesn’t change his mind on reigns push, you have a main eventer in the making. I think he can hold his own in the mean event scene and the rough patches will get honed as he progresses. He isn’t ryback, jack swagger, tensai, etc, of whom they threw out there and tried to make stick, reigns garnered his popularity naturally. Maybe one day mcmahon will realize you just can’t force it just because someone has the look you drool over.

    • David C

      Reigns has had completely the opposite of what you described.

      Over the past year he was increasingly used as the guy for the hot tag. He was the guy to get the pops back up and he had two of the very best to work with and learn from. He was the guy for the finish.

      Then as soon as things started progressing in recent months they’ve carefully mentioned Reigns at every point possible. Almost to a point of saturation for me.

      His ring work is mediocre and his reliance on his 4 signature moves is for me a little boring to watch. I can watch his matches and predict almost everything that’s coming.
      Mic work is improving but he looks at times a little lost. I don’t believe the words that come from him.

      His look can’t be faulted and it’s truly his strongest assett.

  • Mysterion

    Off topic. And I’m honestly sorry about the bitch but the new look mobile site is atrocious. Why was it changed? The comments look horrible and are stupidly difficult to type out now. It’s just an eyesore. Sorry. :-/.

    • Tom Mayer

      If you use Chrome, what I do is hit the Chrome Menu button and Request the Desktop Site. I totally agree with you, it’s like Windows 8 Tiles. I don’t see what is so wrong with having a normal Responsive WordPress theme.

      • Mysterion

        My other slight, and in all honesty spoiled, gripe is I’m a premium member. Doesn’t that mean no ads? So why is this what I’m seeing on a premium article?

        • Tom Mayer

          Agreed, while I don’t have much of a gripe since I haven’t been a premium member for a year and a half, that definitely would put someone off. That and the now $8.95 price tag :p

        • The ads will be off hopefully by Thursday. We’re working on it.

    • The design was changed just to annoy you. No, not really. Have a little patience.

      • Venom

        Any updates on getting it fixed for original iPad to just view desktop version? I’ve never liked any mobile first responsive website. I guess I’m old school.

        • Not yet. We fixed a major issue earlier today and are now working towards properly boarding the Premium site to remove the ads. We hoped to have this finished by today, however, it’s going to take a bit longer.

          • thepowerserge

            My only gripe about the mobile site is that I wasn’t expecting ads. I thought we paid for no ads, regardless of the format.

          • Jesse Sherwood

            It’s an error we are encountering with the new format. Richard has stated that it should be resolved by Thursday.

      • Malboja

        Also missing titles for the articles
        It’s harder to find the story’s I want to read like ask wnw
        And it seems like there are twice as many adds
        While I love the content of this site the new format sucks

  • Lance UpperCutt

    I felt the HHH saying 9.99 all the time was funny and a dig at Vince but then they started to beat a dead horse that had been beaten to death .

    Also Richard one question – the question from the vault today was it insired by JBLs comment about a kendo stick match?

    • David F

      If only HHH had HBK and they would have made fun of 9,99 even more like when they were selling DX merch. I actually liked the hype videos of Brock v Cena. WWE does great job in producing video promos. My problem is alas Brock being champ part time status now until Wrestlemania. I just dont like it when champ is not on TV in fall. I would rather have Brock hold title from Royal Rumble until Wrestlemania like Rock.

  • Rachel Miller

    Why does Brock Lesnar wrestle only on PPVs and not on RAW or SmackDown?

    • K!NG

      Lesnar equals $$$ so they dont want to give his matches away for “free”

  • Ty

    “I also feel inclined to point out that in the midst of all the 9.99 mentions, they never mentioned exactly how to signup.”
    So you would like to see a play by play every week like we saw for the WWE App? I’d rather not.

  • K!NG

    Reigns is a future main event guy and is as over as one. I however think Ambrose is the best face wwe has right now. He has that edginess to him and un-predictability much like steve austin did.

  • Anon

    The constant mentioning of the 9,99 was close to begging in my opinion. Things have to look bleak if they resort to such embarrassing tactics…

  • jesse jenkins

    flag match is when you capture your own flag not the opposing guys

  • Bob’s Diner

    Roman Reigns is a future main-eventer and I don’t think anyone can argue that. I, personally, would like them to give him more time to improve in every area. However, I think it is obvious to everyone that once he got called up to the main roster their goal was always going to be to make him their next John Cena.

    If it doesn’t win the title at WrestleMania 31 I think we can lock it for 32

    • Padres4life

      good luck to Reigns when DB comes back.

      • Bob’s Diner

        The WWE are set in their ways – no matter how over Daniel Bryan is when (IF) he comes back, they are going to push Roman Reigns

  • jdl

    Reigns is not a guaranteed future main eventer. That can’t be said until he is actually in the main event and he proves to be a draw. As things sit he’s only popular because he’s pretty and buff. He hasn’t learned how to cut a promo yet, his in ring work is among the worst in the company and he has absolutely no ability to call a match. He has the potential and is steadily improving, however he is not ready to be in the main event, and won’t be for quite some time. He needs, bare minimum, six months of steady improvement before he’s ready to be treated like a main eventer.

    That said we can’t call him a future main eventer, as plenty of people who were given that title fizzled, or took their toys and went home before they could pull the trigger. He has all the tools, but until the gun is loaded, hammer cocked and a target chosen we can’t make any assumptions.

  • monty

    going international will help the network big time. whether people like it or not but $9.99 is a steal. You order one PPV per year than just pay the damn $9.99 and get 6 PPV’s instead of 1

    international numbers will put USA network numbers to shame.

    also Richard this is nothing new, we the internet wrestling fans cheer for someone and get them a huge push only to turn on them within months after they become the champ. Its like we never stop to enjoy what we achieved as a wrestling community, same thing happened with DB push. The moment he became the champ people started saying he was over rated

    soon people will call RR the next cena since he also has like 5 moves

  • DanfromOz

    Thanks for answering my question bout the flag match.