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Making Orton A Priority, Midcard Belts, Next For Lesnar, Need For More PPVs

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.

Do you see Randy Orton getting back in the hunt for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the near future?

We reported exclusively here on Premium on September 15, 2014 that Randy Orton hasn't been happy with his booking lately and approached WWE officials about taking some time off towards the end of the year. With the company decimated at the top of the card, they've been trying to cater to Orton in attempt to convince him to stay on without time off. One of the ideas was for Orton to co-headline Hell in a Cell against Roman Reigns, however, that plan was nixed due to the incarcerated hernia that will keep Reigns out for "several months." However, it's been evident on WWE television the company is focused on keeping Orton in the main event. This is also why he was the worker to write Chris Jericho off television as random as that program was thrown together. As for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, it's absolutely possible he gets back in the mix of things, however, WWE has to get Brock Lesnar back on TV. He's missing in action and according to Cena, no one can beat him.

Since the Intercontinental Championship is basically meaningless, what if WWE brings back the Hardcore or the Cruiserweight titles?

You aren't the first person to suggest this, I just fail to understand the thinking behind it. If WWE can't utilize the mid-card titles they have, why should we believe more titles would solve the problem? The Hardcore and Cruiserweight titles were eliminated for a reason; they were useless. Let's not even get into that WWE has never had great success booking cruiserweights and a Hardcore title would be very difficult to book under the company's PG directive. At this point I want to see more focus on the titles they have as opposed to any idea to introduce more belts.

Who do you believe is next to feud with Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship?

I have no idea the direction WWE plans to go with their World Heavyweight Championship. In the days following Night of Champions, I explained how John Cena shouldn't have interrupted Seth Rollins' "cash in" attempt but should have went after him after he won the title. This would have solved WWE's quandary of a part-time champion, created a meaningful Fall program and released WWE of the burden of Brock Lesnar's part-time status. Critics talked about how that's not Cena's character and it's hustle, loyalty and respect and he's going to go after whoever. However, Cena took a different angle in this week's kayfabe interview with Michael Cole. He explained that Rollins should have let him win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and he would have gladly gave Rollins the first defense at it. Cena talked about how no one can beat Brock Lesnar and Rollins is an idiot for doing what he did. He went on to explain that he doesn't believe Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Kane or Randy Orton can be Brock Lesnar. So basically, if Cena can't get it done, no one can. How do you book from that? On Monday, I examined possible challengers for Brock Lesnar to help keep Lesnar unstoppable and the title fresh on the way to Wrestlemania 31. However, it seems the new thinking is just hold Brock off TV and talk about how dominant he is. We'll see how it plays out but apparently the new hot item to have is the MITB briefcase, even though Lesnar can't be defeated.

With the WWE Network completely changing how the company views pay-per-view, do you see them potentially dropping some B level events in order to have more time to build storylines between events?

At one time I believed a good course of action would be for WWE to eliminate some of their B-level shows to make their pay-per-views more meaningful, however, my position has changed. Now the WWE Network hinges on original first-run programming. That means there has to be more pay-per-views, not less. The company is already doing that with the NXT Takeover shows but the last thing they need to do is start eliminating shows that give people a reason to subscribe to the WWE Network. This is also why the company feels they have more leeway in terms of non-finishes in pay-per-view main events. All shows are included for $9.99/month so there is no longer a feeling of "there has to be a clean finish" because the show is $54.95. The WWE Network also provides the company with more opportunities to build shows and create hype, the biggest obstacle is engaging the viewer.

From the Ask WNW vault…

November 2011: How will the WWE Network change WWE broadcasting and will it be available outside the United States? - The WWE Network is going to alter the business in that it’s going to be the first network of its kind. The current WWE television deals for Raw Supershow and Smackdown will remain in place throughout their duration. Vince McMahon feels it’s important these deals remain intact because they are great to create awareness for the forthcoming WWE Network. If Wrestlemania XXVIII is broadcast on the WWE Network, it’s going to alter the pay-per-view model, which I feel is outdated. A lot of readers want to know of the international plans for the WWE Network and so little has been confirmed about how the network will gain clearance in the US, it’s anyone’s guess as to what happens internationally. WWE is committed to international expansion and they aren’t going to leave out these valuable markets.

Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, October 3,2014.

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