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Big Return At SummerSlam?, WWE Referee Draws Unnecessary Attention, Cena's Elbow, DVR & Ratings

The following is today's edition of Ask WNW. Ask WNW is the most popular feature on the website where Richard Gray answers four questions daily, Monday through Friday. To submit your question for the next installment of Ask WNW, click here
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Is it possible that Batista returns at SummerSlam because he was mentioned in John Cena's promo on this week's Monday Night Raw?

Anything is possible but Batista isn't returning at SummerSlam. Batista has been filming his role as Drax the Destroyer in the 2014 feature film "Guardians of the Galaxy." Let me be clear - this is a huge movie role for Dave. Prior to landing the part, I always said Batista would be back in WWE. While that could still happen, in his words, landing the role really justified his decision to leave WWE.

Who is the blame for the blown finish in Natalya & The Great Khali vs. AJ Lee & Big E Langston from this week's WWE Raw?

This was a talking point backstage at this week's Monday Night Raw and the talk only grew louder following the social media response of referee Marc Harris. There were three parties involved in the match finish - AJ Lee, Natalya and the referee. AJ didn't tap quickly enough but the referee should have called for the bell to cover. As you can see here on YouTube, the match ending was a disaster. Look, mistakes happen and I don't like to play the blame game. The blown finish was unfortunate but it should have ended there. It didn't. Harris drew more attention by blasting critics on social media and taking the time to continuously defend himself. This is where workers get themselves in trouble. Social media is a great thing at connecting with the fans but it can also be a bad thing if misused. In my opinion Harris took a bad situation and made it worse. He should have let it go in the ring and not taken the time to address it on social media.

What's going with John Cena's elbow?

Have you seen it? Cena's elbow is in bad shape and we're told there are plans to perform surgery on it after SummerSlam. I'm not clear on exactly what the procedure entails and if it will require Cena to take time off but I think everyone needs to be careful about assuming he's dropping the WWE title at SummerSlam. WWE is being cautious with Cena and pulled him from his scheduled match against Alberto Del Rio at last Sunday's WWE live event in Oakland as they didn't want him bumping before the pay-per-view. Many are predicting that Orton "cashes in,” especially with him noticeably absent from the card. We’ll see how WWE handles it on Sunday.

I always DVR Raw, Smackdown, etc so that I can fast forward the parts of the show that I don't want to see. How do the ratings work for instances like these? For example, if a large portion of the viewing audience fast forwards through a certain segment, will that be able to affect ratings to the extent that company officials would notice?

WWE gets the DVR viewership numbers a few days later but from the data I have seen, the majority of viewers in the United States watch Raw during its live airing or within two hours. The viewership/ratings numbers we post are the numbers compiled by Nielsen during the show's first run timeslot. Given the fact that viewers treat Raw as a "destination program" where it's watched in its first run time slot, these are the numbers WWE uses to analyze its performance.

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The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Thursday, August 15, 2013. Remember questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. Check out the Ask WNW archive at this link.

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