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Lesnar vs. Cena Again, Ryback Drama, Punk Upsetting People, Ending The Streak

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.

Would you agree that if WWE goes ahead with Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena at Royal Rumble that it has to be some sort of match like a Steel Cage or Last Man Standing Match because I don't think anyone wants to see the two of them in another singles match.

This is one of the reasons I’m surprised WWE didn’t go ahead and blow off Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena at WWE TLC in a couple of weeks. It didn’t give them a lot of time to get the story told but given the prolonged nature of this program, time isn’t really what it needed. The TLC stipulation would have been perfect and could have been an excuse for either Lesnar or Cena to take the loss.

Now, it’s my hope that WWE goes through with a swerve and ends up doing Lesnar vs. Cena vs. Rollins in triple threat at Royal Rumble (which has come up, as we've reported here at Wrestling News World). If not, it seems like they are going to be backed into a corner when it comes to blowing the program off before the start to the Road to Wrestlemania. Perhaps Vince McMahon opted to push the match back to get a further gauge on whether or not Lesnar is going to re-sign with them. After all, that is going to play a major factor in how he’s booked going forward.

Do you think the back and forth between CM Punk and Ryback is a work?

No, the verbal exchange between CM Punk and Ryback isn’t a work, it’s a shoot and I think both are in the wrong. First, I think Punk is in the wrong for singling out Ryback in the first place and as I’ve stated before, I’ve never been a fan of a name calling. We reported numerous times that Punk wasn’t happy working with Ryback and a lot of other workers had concerns about their safety working with The Big Guy. I was somewhat caught off guard when Ryback said he didn’t know Punk was talking bad about him behind his back.

I didn’t feel Ryback should have used a WWE media opportunity to respond either. Many people saw nothing wrong with what Ryback said and feel he should have the right to defend himself. Both are true and valid points. The reason I don’t think Ryback should have responded is because Ryback has already had a push aborted because of perceived behavioral issues. In short, we received complaints from mainstream media outlets that interviewed Ryback during his original push and it was so bad, they actually reported their issues to the WWE office. Further, I don’t see how Ryback gains anything by responding to CM Punk.

Promote TLC. Promote Smackdown. Stay in-character. Vince McMahon loves it when talent go kayfabe heavy, so why even risk losing another opportunity? In fact, there are already rumblings the higher ups in WWE are cooling on Ryback again due to concerns over his in-ring work. I want Ryback to succeed, why wouldn’t I? Sometimes I just question some of the things workers do from a Public Relations standpoint.

Again, I’m not OK with Punk doing it in the first place but Punk has nothing to lose. Punk is a made man and even after everything he said, he could call Vince McMahon up and walk in with a fresh new contract. Why? Because he’s a top draw and would make Vince a lot of money.

In my opinion, CM Punk is acting like the kid that gets beat at a sport and takes his ball and goes home. While he’s whining and complaining, he doesn’t seem to realize what an incredible position that he was in.

You aren’t alone in your thoughts and I think CM Punk drew a lot of heat for refusing to accept Vince McMahon’s apology and continuing to talk bad about the company when Vince seemed to take the high road. Even if Vince was just pulling a publicity stunt, he probably was, he was very professional with his response.

While I completely understand Punk seething from injustice and extremely upset about the blatant double standard in WWE, the fact of the matter is that he made more money than most people will make in a lifetime while working there. It’s the same way in professional sports. Athletes are held to a higher standard than a normal human being because of how much they earn doing what most can only dream about.

It’s extremely difficult just to get hired by WWE, let alone climb to the top of the company, hold the WWE Championship for 434-days, work The Undertaker at Wrestlemania and sell more merchandise than John Cena! But it’s easy for us — as outsiders — to say that’s living the dream. We haven’t walked through what Punk walked through and because of that, our judgment is clouded through our own perception.

I’m not saying we should feel sorry for CM Punk. I am personally very grateful for all he gave with his career and I thought it was brilliant. Now, he’s said his peace and I wish we could all just move on.

What was the purpose of The Undertaker losing at Wrestlemania 30 and not bidding farewell the next night on Raw?

There are a couple of notes to make in regards to The Undertaker after Wrestlemania 30. For one, he suffered a severe concussion in his match with Brock Lesnar and had to be transported via ambulance while the pay-per-view was still going on. He was held overnight and while he was released that afternoon, I can’t imagine he was feeling like making an appearance in that type of environment less than 24 hours after suffering a major head injury.

Further, the end of the streak was the biggest surprise of all-time. Literally, we had no idea. We hadn’t even heard any whispers about the possibility of the streak ending. Now, word allegedly escaped while the show was rolling but beforehand, it was as definite as it gets in pro wrestling the streak would remain in tact.

As for why it was done, multiple sources close to Undertaker have assured me he didn’t want to retire undefeated. Yes, Vince McMahon had the final call and will always have the final call for as long as it’s his company but Undertaker saw Lesnar as a guy capable of handling the pressure of ending the streak.

According to sources, it had gotten to the point where Undertaker felt a tremendous amount of pressure performing at Wrestlemania, knowing the streak was a major part of the show. Whether or not the streak ended has little to nothing to do with him competing again and now that it’s over, Undertaker no longer has that burden on his shoulders. I know there have been reports that claim Undertaker had to be “talked into it,” but I’m told that isn’t true. I’m told Undertaker didn’t want to end his career with the streak in tact because he’s old school and so many people had “done the honors” for him.

It’s entirely possible that Undertaker comes back and works next year but it’s also possible that he never works again. However, one thing is for sure, the weight of the streak no longer rests on his shoulders and he can go out as one of the most respected workers of all time after passing the torch.

From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2014: What do you see being the end result with Seth Rollins and his Money in the Bank opportunity? - It’s my hope that Seth Rollins comes out of it as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. John Cena (2012) and Damien Sandow (2013) failing to successfully “cash in” has begun to alter the perception of the briefcase. Maybe not so much Cena but the abysmal booking of Sandow since putting him over in the match itself is worrisome. The same could be said for Dolph Ziggler, even though he won the title. It’s unfathomable how WWE gets in this situation. They have an exciting and entertaining concept but hold it down to the point of irrelevance. It’s exactly what they’ve done to their secondary titles. I felt WWE had a great opportunity to put Rollins over at Night of Champions but they chose to leave the title on Brock Lesnar. The biggest cause for the Money in the Bank contract failures can be attributed to a lack of long-term planning. Anyone that wins the contract should have a long-term plan for success as a potential main eventer in place. To not do that is to WWE’s own detriment.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, December 8, 2014.

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