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CM Punk's Promo, Del Rio As Champ, Spoiling Title Changes, The Rock's Contract Status

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.

How much of a "green light" did CM Punk have in his promo on this week's WWE Raw? It seems like some of the things he said would have put him in the company doghouse.

We can confirm the majority of CM Punk's promo on WWE Raw was approved beforehand, however, there was a part that was a legitimate shoot. We have those details available in a Backstage News article at this link. If you're not a Premium Member you can signup now at this link. Punk's promo was very well received and he got high marks from almost everyone.

How is it that The Big Show is supposed to look like an unstoppable force and he gets beat by Alberto Del Rio on Smackdown? Is he injured?

I was very surprised when Brooks Oglesby texted me late Tuesday night to inform me that WWE put the World Heavyweight Championship on Alberto Del Rio. It wasn't long after that my phone started blowing up with my contacts in WWE telling me the title change wasn't in the preliminary drafts of Smackdown. Given the fact the show hasn't aired and I haven't spoken with anyone this morning, I have no other information as of this writing. Some readers are speculating Del Rio is the "stopgap" for Dolph Ziggler but that's all speculation at this point.

Why is WWE spoiling title changes before they air on television?

When WWE spoiled the Intercontinental Championship change a couple weeks ago I attributed it to being a holiday and the company was trying to give viewers an incentive to watch. I noted at the time it would not be wise to change a major title on tape but here we are and they have done just that. There is no way I can explain the reasoning other than they want viewers to believe anything can happen at any given time. The fact they are already promoting Del Rio as champion tells me WWE understands with the internet it's going to leak out so they may as well and use the major change as a promotional mechanism. This kind of goes back to when Tony Schiavone spoiled that Mick Foley would be winning the WWF Championship that night on Monday Night Raw and viewers left WCW Nitro in droves to see the change. Obviously, the WCW brass were hoping for the opposite.

What is the status of The Rock's WWE contract? Is he on a verbal agreement with Vince McMahon like he was last year or is he under contract?

It's interesting we have made so much of Brock Lesnar's multimillion-dollar contact with WWE for limited dates, however, not much is written regarding The Rock's contract status. I would assume Rock is under more than a "verbal agreement" and there is something in writing to protect both parties. I would also venture to say Rock isn't working for cheap and is being paid well for his services. WWE doesn't want stuff like this leaking out for obvious reasons.

Remember questions with proper grammar and spelling stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW will run on Thursday, January 10, 2013.

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