Boosting WWE Network, Fandango Fizzles, Ultimate Bryan Comeback, Bella vs. McMahon

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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One of the things that I believe the WWE Network could use is more live programming. With WWE already running several live events per month, why not television them on the WWE Network?

Live programming is what drives the WWE Network and it's a known fact that live shows such as pay-per-views and WWE Main Event outdraw anything else that airs. With that being said, your solution of airing live events is much easier said than done. First of all, WWE would have to alter their format of live events as they will often repeat a card from city to city in order to provide local fans with programs that are on television and they are familiar with and give the workers a chance to practice for upcoming televised matches. If that was sorted, the main problem with this and why I don't see it happening is the expense. It's expensive to produce events for television and airing live events on WWE Network would be so expensive it wouldn't be worth it. There are multiple things to consider, including getting the production and camera team from city to city along with equipment without getting into the extra time and effort it would take to setup and tear down. The burden would simply not be worth it. However, I agree one of the ways to make the WWE Network better would be to add more original programming.

It seems that Fandango was Vince McMahon's project with people humming his theme song and doing his dance moves, now it seems like he is booked under, similar to what Damien Sandow is doing. What happened to his push?

It's safe to say the luster has worn off of Fandango and he's nothing more than an enhancement talent at the present time. We see this all the time and it's not just with him either. There are workers and gimmicks the WWE office has high hopes for but they're unable to get over. Fandango had plenty of opportunities including a win at Wrestlemania against Chris Jericho and a catchy theme song that caught fire. However, he was unable to use those opportunities to separate himself from the many other gimmicks. Not everyone can be Bray Wyatt and it ultimately comes down to how the crowd responds to a gimmick to determine how far they are able to go.

Tell me this doesn't sound great. Brock Lesnar beats John Cena at SummerSlam, only for Daniel Bryan to get healthy and defeat him for the title at Wrestlemania 31. An amazing comeback story, do you agree?

It's a great scenario and an amazing comeback story, I'm just not sure it's realistic at this point. Brock Lesnar is heavily favored to go over John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. In fact, I feel it would be a crucial mistake if that didn't happen. However, it's far from a sure thing and we should take the plans one show at a time. I think many fans would love to see Daniel Bryan benefit from the rub that Lesnar was given by ending the streak, however, he has to get healthy first. Currently, Bryan is out of all creative plans as he deals with injury issues. I can tell you a match that Vince McMahon wants to do at Wrestlemania 31 is Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock. I know this is likely to be contentious but I can confirm it's something Vince wants to do.

The Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella feud kind of reminds me of Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler feud at Wrestlemania a few years ago: not a bad idea and well built up, but receiving way too much attention for what should only be a middle of the card feud. Do you agree?

I think Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella holds more weight to Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler because it's essentially a Daniel Bryan spinoff. I don't think fans really cared who "won" between Cole and Lawler but I believe there is legitimate interest in Brie -- as Bryan's wife -- and Stephanie -- as part of The Authority. With that being said, I don't think we can go into Stephanie vs. Brie [at SummerSlam] expecting a stellar wrestling match. Their segment on this week's Raw was entertaining and it's my hope that can translate to something worth seeing at SummerSlam next month.

From the Ask WNW vault…

July 2012: With Raw moving to three hours do you see Smackdown doing the same? - I posted this question for any WWE writer or producer that may be reading just so they could have the assurance that things could be worse. I don’t see Smackdown expanding and I have my doubts about how long Raw’s expansion to three hours will last. Monday’s are already extremely chaotic and adding an extra hour of live TV doesn’t have anyone excited (not even the majority of fans that read this website). Think about it for a second. The WWE writers and producers have to hammer out a three-hour live show with very limited preparation time. Two hours were stretching things thin and the extra hour has hurt morale and I’m told many are going to try and “gut it out” but could quit due to the added pressure. The ultimate factor will be how the first hour does in the ratings and that will be an uphill climb this fall with the return of Monday Night Football.

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