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Daniel Bryan A Top Star, Providers Helping WWE By Not Carrying PPVs, My Top 6, Early MITB Predictions

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

Being that Daniel Bryan is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, where does he rank now with the decision making in the locker room? Does he have the same amount of influence as John Cena and Randy Orton now?

Daniel Bryan is very high up on the pecking order backstage in WWE, however, he's not known for being vocal. Bryan is known for his humility and going out and letting his work speak for itself. I did hear that he put in a good word for KENTA (who is rumored to be WWE bound). Let me be clear that Vince McMahon knows Bryan is valuable to the company and holds him in high regard. Has he replaced Randy Orton as the "1b" behind John Cena? I think that's a bit premature, however, Bryan is a "main event player" until further notice.

With cable and satellite providers dropping WWE PPVs, I see news reports that WWE may be somewhat concerned, but couldn't this actually work in the favor of the company and push people into signing up for the WWE Network?

This was a point brought up in Thursday's WWE investor conference call as it was mentioned that Dish Network is pointing customers that inquire about WWE pay-per-views to the WWE Network. So here's the scenario. A customer calls Dish and asks why they can't order a WWE pay-per-view for $54.95, they're told to go to WWE.com where they can subscribe to the WWE Network for $9.99/month where the pay-per-views are included. It seems like a no-brainer, however, we have to note that more people ordered Wrestlemania 30 on a traditional basis than expected, pointing to the fact WWE's audience hasn't been as willing to adapt as they thought. I will stress to all of you that it's a much better deal to subscribe to WWE Network than it is to order the pay-per-views on a traditional basis.

I know you usually don't like doing these sort of questions because they can be debated all day long, however, if you were to set up your own promotion and had unlimited funds, what six wrestlers would you start your roster off with and why?

Unlimited funds and six wrestlers. This sounds like a situation where I would be able to go directly at WWE. If I had to pick solely from the current pool of non-committals I would start with The Rock, CM Punk (assuming he doesn't re-sign with WWE in July), Chris Jericho, AJ Styles (assuming he could get out of his NJPW deal), Sting (assuming he could back out of his WWE deal) and Steve Austin (accepting the fact he couldn't wrestle, thus I'd limit his exposure). If I had to pick from the current guys in WWE, I would pick the top names starting with John Cena. I would then follow with Daniel Bryan, Triple H, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar and probably Hulk Hogan (accepting the fact he couldn't wrestle, thus limiting his exposure. I would also keep him as far away from the creative process as humanly possible. Honestly, I don't even think I would let him in the building until the creative meetings were over). I'm sure I could come up with other combinations but I'd want the biggest draws. Who wouldn't?

With Money in the Bank only a couple of months away, who do you think should win it, how would you have them cash it in?

WWE Money in the Bank is one of my favorite shows of the summer and the match itself is one of my favorite gimmick matches. I would probably go with Bray Wyatt or Cesaro at this point. Both have a huge upside where they could use the opportunity as the "next step." WWE wouldn't be just starting with either as they've already done that so a situation where they would "cash in" wouldn't be underwhelming. I would have either hold the briefcase until SummerSlam, where they would successfully "cash in," carrying WWE into the fall with a fresh new top name.

From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2012: When a WWE worker makes a non-wrestling appearance (e.g. autograph signing, media appearances, etc.) does the company instruct them to appear in or out of character? - WWE workers have a lot of freedom in media interviews but there are directives that come down from the office. Obviously the company doesn’t want stars leaking storylines and generally speaking, they want the focal point of the interview to promote the product. We’ve seen it all – from Randy Orton completely shooting on Kelly Kelly to Sheamus constantly remaining in-character during media appearances. John Cena is known for focusing on the product in-character and is seen as the best promotional mouthpiece they have. Speaking from experience, when I’ve done interviews with workers alongside radio anchors, the radio station has met with company officials to let them know to keep it clean. My biggest pet peeve with interviews (and why I don’t do many of them) is workers using them to put themselves over rather than actually answering the questions. Kind of like what we saw with the Presidential debate on Tuesday night, where the candidates would be asked a question, but skirt around it to get to their approved campaign rhetoric.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, May 5, 2014.

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