Breaking Down Royal Rumble Scenarios, Impact A Disappointment?

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.

With Randy Orton likely to get a massive pop when he returns, would it be good for WWE to have him win the Royal Rumble, beat Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania and then have Seth Rollins “cash in” on him?

This scenario would certainly take people by surprise and reintroduce Randy Orton, who is reportedly dealing with a deviated septum, in a big way. However, I have not heard it discussed and would label it as unlikely to happen.

First, we have to realize WWE is at least thinking about the possibility of Brock Lesnar losing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Royal Rumble. As we reported last week here on Premium, WWE is faced with the possibility of Lesnar leaving after Wrestlemania 31 and they’re not going to want him as champion one day and completely gone the next. Strategically, it could be better for him to hit his head a couple of times on his way out the door.

Second, I’ve been told and reported that Vince McMahon and Triple H have agreed on Roman Reigns as the winner of the 30-man Royal Rumble match. I fully expect Reigns to win it and challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 31, with the most likely champion being Brock Lesnar.

I’m already on record in writing that I believe the story of total redemption should be for Daniel Bryan but that does not appear to be the plan. This is the scenario that I ultimately prefer.

Finally, I’ll just be happy when the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is off Brock Lesnar. I don’t know if WWE trolled us or is just that clueless but having Cena say on Raw he’d win the title and take it home is exactly what we’ve dealt with since August. It’s been bad for the business and has negatively impacted the overall enjoyment of the product.

Will this year's Hall of Fame ceremony be shown on the WWE Network?

As far as I know WWE hasn’t officially announced that this year’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will broadcast on the WWE Network but I can’t envision a scenario where it would not air live in its entirety on Saturday, March 28, 2015. Stay tuned for the official announcement but I would consider this likely at press time.

Do you think Adrian Neville will debut in the Royal Rumble match or is there any other NXT star you see possibly entering the Rumble?

I would be fine with Adrian Neville participating in the 30-man Royal Rumble match. WWE fans got their first look at Rusev last year, so why not use it to introduce Neville to the main roster? His work is the most impressive thing about him and he could offer some fun spots to garner attention to him. With that being said, I haven’t heard of his possible inclusion but certainly wouldn’t mind that to be the case. As for other NXTers in the Rumble, I’m “chomping at the bit” to see the main roster call-ups of Finn Balor and Hideo Itami. Again, I haven’t been told the names of any NXT stars entering the Rumble but I’m ready to see them on main roster television as soon as possible.

With TNA's debut on Destination America being a ratings disappointment, do you believe this could be attributed to the lack of accessibility to the network?

I expected Impact Wrestling to see a big drop in viewership, so I didn’t consider the debut of 359,000 viewers to be a disappointment. Adding in what the show did on a repeat and it’s approximately a 50% drop from what they garnered weekly on Spike TV.

Destination America has about half the clearance that Spike TV has so it only makes sense that Impact will get half the viewers. I believe it’s going to be an uphill climb for TNA but it does seem they have a network that has invested heavily in them. Hopefully for their sake they will be able to grow the network and their brand as a pro wrestling program.

The days of even thinking about competing with WWE are over for the foreseeable future. However, there’s nothing wrong with TNA as a smaller alternative. The same is true for other programs such as Lucha Underground and what Jeff Jarrett is doing with Global Force Wrestling. Ring of Honor is another program that’s available for the fan looking for something that isn’t WWE related.

From the Ask WNW vault…

July 2009: My question is about Sheamus, I thought he looked great last night and in my opinion he has a very bright future in the WWE. What are your thoughts on him? - I'm a fan of the Irishmen gimmick and think Sheamus has all the talent in the world to become a main event caliber superstar. I like how WWE is utilizing ECW as a place to bring him up and get him over with the television audience before moving him to Raw or SmackDown. Sheamus is a talented in-ring worker although you couldn't tell much given his squash last night. Another interesting fact about Sheamus is he wears SPF 80 sunscreen to keep his skin as white as possible. That is dedication.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Thursday, January 15, 2015.

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