Breaking Up The Shield, TNA Red Flags, Future Of Divas, Raw Burnout, From The Vault

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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Total Divas Cast

There's always so much outcry for more tag teams and for those teams to have longevity. But it seems to me whenever a real good/great team comes around and is impressive, wrestling fans and journalists can't wait until their demise and eventual break up. Why can't Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins go on to become multiple time tag team champs? Why do we need to put an expiration date on their time together?

I haven't been clamoring for the breakup of The Shield; in fact I've pushed the opposite. While the faction is nearing their one year anniversary, they've handled a scaling back and are back again in the limelight. Let's also not forget they were show stealers at WWE Battleground and this week's Monday Night Raw. As for the outcry, there are a couple of things to consider. First, there is a segment of fans that are never going to be pleased. They push for one thing, it happens, and they push for the opposite. This is why sometimes readers perceive me as being "hypocritical" when I push back from the IWC. I am very much a member of the IWC but I am not part of the overly critical fan base. One of the reasons I started this website was I felt there wasn't a journalist out there that gave the business a fair shake. It was clear they were anti-McMahon and anti-big business. There's nothing wrong with being either of those things, it's when a writer loses objectivity that it becomes obnoxious. Second, we have to remember that every character - be it singles, tag team or faction - has a shelf life. It's very important not to overexpose a character or a tag team or a faction past this life because it leads to apathy and eventual outrage. There aren't many tag teams like The Dudley Boys that remained relevant for a decade but as we've seen, even they had a shelf life. If workers are around long enough, they'll eventually to do something different. Yes, I do think there are a group of fans that aren't going to be pleased no matter what but we also have to remember that nothing lasts forever.

Do you think fans will order Bound for Glory to see what happens or will they order because they're simply TNA fans?

TNA is just hoping people order Bound for Glory, regardless of their reasons. I've heard from readers that think the show is too predictable but the fact of the matter is, anything is possible and no plan is concrete until it happens. In my opinion TNA is fighting an uphill battle with the show as they've been dealing with a decline in viewership along with alleged financial issues that seem to have more attention than the pay-per-view itself. The fact TNA is canceling live events and TV tapings headed into their biggest show of the year is worrisome. I want TNA to succeed and am hoping for a turnaround but there are red flags everywhere.

Given the recent success of Total Divas and subsequent expanded attention on the Divas, do you see WWE hiring more experience and technically sound wrestlers to bolster the in-ring work?

I actually see the exact opposite. There is more attention on the Divas with the success of Total Divas but it's not because of the in-ring work. It's because of a show that focuses on drama and romance, things that have nothing to do with what happens once the bell rings. I'm not saying everyone on the show can't work because that's not true, however, as we've seen with women like Eva Marie, WWE's focus is outside of catering to you and I as pro wrestling fans. WWE wants women they can use to cater to E's audience, which is a case of demographic expansion.

What's the reason for all the filler content on WWE Monday Night Raw? I understand the myriad of injuries but when Raw went three hours, I thought we'd see more angles, not less?

WWE has too many hours of television each week. Yes, they're making more money with the extra hours but everyone else is burned out - from the writers to the wrestlers to the fans (watch how viewership plays out throughout the duration of Raw). Sometimes less is less but sometimes less is more and I honestly feel WWE has given their audience too much content. No one was excited about Raw going to a three-hour show; in fact writers were ready to quit when they found out. We've seen the heavy turnaround in terms of a creative head and I absolutely think it's due to the exhaustive workload each week.

From the Ask WNW Vault…

October 2009: CM Punk did not drop the World Heavyweight Championship at WWE Hell in a Cell because of backstage heat. There were plans for The Undertaker to win the belt for the past several weeks. The rumors got started because of Punk's backstage detractors, which only gained steam when he started dating Amy "Lita" Dumas. Punk has his fair share of people that do not like him, but management still views him as one of the untouchables.

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