Fastlane's Crowd; Frustrating Finishes, Sting's Silence, What Has Ambrose Done Wrong?, Reigns vs. Bryan

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.

In my opinion the Memphis crowd for WWE Fastlane was extremely flat and didn't create much of an atmosphere, do you think WWE will consider this and not run there in the future?

WWE Fastlane did an announced attendance of 13,263, so they’ll definitely be back to the FedExForum in Memphis, TN. As I explained in Richard Reacts, the crowd was awful and came across very bad on the WWE Network feed. At least one person that attended Tweeted me and told me security and event staff were very strict, instructing people to sit down and watch their language. Perhaps this played a part in the crowd coming off as subdued but I completely agree with your assessment.

One reader questioned if WWE preferred the rowdy Philadelphia crowd at Royal Rumble over the subdued crowd at Fastlane. WWE — or more specifically Vince McMahon — probably doesn’t care as long as he’s selling out arenas. But when the crowds are bad like they were at Fastlane, the performers in the ring have to work twice as hard to get their matches over.

Would you say Sting and Triple H tried to recreate that speechless moment that Undertaker and Triple H had in the past?

The art of silence. While explaining the “speechless moment” you mentioned, Vince McMahon said silence is a very important tool if used at the right time. Part of what made Sting “The Icon” is the mystique of his character. A character that you didn’t know what he was thinking or what he was doing, you just knew when Sting showed up that things were about to go down. At Fastlane, Triple H kept talking and talking and Sting responded like only he could. I thought the segment was well executed and enhanced the build to the match at Wrestlemania 31.

Specifically referring to your question, I don’t know if it was a situation of Hunter and Sting trying to recreate a past moment or Sting playing the character he made so famous. If I had to guess, the latter is the case.

You can watch Vince McMahon talk about using silence as a technique at this link.

You referred to the moment Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns shared after their match as a 'cosmetic stopgap' on Twitter, what did you mean by that?

I wasn’t referring to the ‘hand-shaking,’ but the program itself. Daniel Bryan was programmed with Roman Reigns for WWE Fastlane to ease the backlash from the Royal Rumble. We reported numerous times here at Wrestling News World that WWE officials were never actually considering taking Reigns out of the Wrestlemania 31 title match against Brock Lesnar. If anything, they talked about adding Bryan to it (which appears to be out of the question now).

As it turned out, the Fastlane main event worked. The match was outstanding, Bryan proved why he’s the best worker in the world and Roman Reigns shut his haters up with what was his best individual performance to date. The Reigns detractors will accuse that “Bryan carried it” but I disagree with that assessment. Anyone that works Daniel Bryan is going to be put in a position to succeed because he is so good but Reigns more than held his own, he impressed.

The reason I said the program was a ‘cosmetic stopgap’ is because it was a temporary way of easing the Rumble backlash, while on the way to Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania. It probably also helped build Reigns’ confidence, which should help him next month.

What has Dean Ambrose done wrong?

Dean Ambrose hasn’t done anything wrong, other than succeed at everything WWE has given to him. They just haven’t a long-term plan for success in place for him so he’s been thrust into this program for the meaningless Intercontinental Championship against Bad News Barrett. Those that went into their bout at Fastlane expecting a class, came out disappointed. Those that expected a gimmick to extend the program out, got just what they expected. Ambrose hasn’t won on pay-per-view since June and WWE missed the opportunity to take him to the next level with their directionless booking.

But I don’t want to stop there. Why is Kane pinning Dolph Ziggler and Goldust pinning Cody Rhodes in 2015? Just mind-boggling decisions from a company in desperate need of new stars.

Where is Mark Henry?

Mark Henry is out dealing with an undisclosed injury. We ran an update on him earlier on Monday with a video promo that he cut at Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling show. You can watch it at this link.

From the Ask WNW vault…

May 2013: Why does it seem that the WWE Intercontinental Championship doesn’t hold the same importance as it used too? - Some will argue the Intercontinental Championship isn’t as prestigious because there are two World title belts and while I think the number of titles certainly plays a factor, it comes down to the company’s vision for the belt. A title has prestige when it means something. The problem is when the titleholder is put under clean in a non-title match; no one takes the belt seriously. The counter point to this is, “well this shows anything can happen.” My response is why not just change the belt? My steps in restoring prestige to the Intercontinental title are eliminating the US strap and no longer booking the IC champ to go under in a non-title match. The strap could then be used to help elevate an up and coming worker.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Tuesday, February 24, 2015.

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