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New Day, Punk’s Comments Hurting AJ, TNA’s TV, Ziggler vs. Lesnar

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.

With the debut of The New Day this past week on Smackdown, how is the faction being received backstage? In my opinion it looks overworked, obviously based on stereotypes and it feels as if they're doing it for a kids program. If WWE wants to take this faction seriously they need to add more edge, and it doesn't have to be the nation all over again but it can be something similar and still entertaining.

The plan as of the middle of last week was for The New Day to be over the top babyfaces and eventually turn them heel. Yes, they are playing to stereotypes but it is getting attention on Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. I didn’t get a gauge on how the faction got over after their debut but I’ve been told previously this is a brainchild of Vince McMahon.

I want to give The New Day a little bit of time before I judge it. Their televised debut was scheduled for this week’s Raw but obviously bumped up to last week’s Smackdown. We didn’t get to see much other than the energy we’ve come to expect from Kofi Kingston. Some people are already crapping on the faction but that’s nothing more than typical IWC knee-jerk reaction. The Nation of Domination was great but it still took some time. Let’s have some patience and see where this goes.

You can watch a video highlight of the faction's debut on Smackdown at this link or embedded below:

Why would CM Punk allow his wife — AJ Lee — to continue working for WWE, when it’s a company he clearly despises?

I would venture to say that AJ Lee doesn’t need permission from her husband to work for WWE. I know my wife sure doesn’t need my permission to follow her dreams and accomplish her goals. I do think CM Punk put AJ Lee in a crappy position but as I discussed in the latest Premium Mailbag, I’m sure they talked about it before he went public.

So far, Punk’s status with WWE has not impacted her run in the company. In fact, when WWE thought they had a chance at bringing Punk back, they basically catered to her. AJ does have the support of Vince McMahon and that goes pretty far. However, I am sure it will be awkward for her backstage as Punk’s comments have sent ripples throughout the company.

It’s safe to say Punk isn’t a fan of WWE and has lost his passion for pro wrestling but that’s not to say AJ Lee feels the same way.

I have DirecTV. What channel will Impact air on and when will it return with first-run episodes?

Destination America is channel 286 on DirecTV. It is not available on the Select, Entertainment or Choice packages as you have to have either the Xtra, Ultimate or Premier package to watch. What I do is keep my package on Select and scale up as I need it. I just have to make sure that if I’m DVRing a program that my package is on the correct level before it airs. That would be my tip to fellow DirecTV subscribers. As for when TNA is coming to Destination America, an exact date and timeslot has not been announced but it will be some time next month. Meanwhile, there will be continued “Best of” type content airing on Spike TV in the Wednesday night timeslot at 9 PM/8 CT. We previewed those shows at this link.

At the end of the day, do you believe there is a huge upside to Dolph Ziggler vs. Brock Lesnar? I find it to be a feud the fans would be highly invested in. Ziggler gets the best out of everyone he matches up with and I believe Lesnar would be an amazing pairing.

Dolph Ziggler is getting an outstanding opportunity and is in the process of a pre-Road to Wrestlemania elevation. Time will tell whether or not it sticks but as I’ve stated on a couple of occasions, his booking will be very important over the next month.

One of the hot topics heading into Wrestlemania is, who gets Brock Lesnar? The match Vince McMahon has wanted is one against The Rock but we haven’t even confirmed him for the show yet. It certainly appears the plan is to do Lesnar vs. John Cena at Royal Rumble next year, so his program for Wrestlemania should follow that. Let's also keep in mind whether or not Lesnar chooses to re-sign with WWE will play into his booking at the show next March.

I don’t know if Ziggler will be elevated enough by then to be considered a viable opponent. If Cena doesn’t go over Lesnar, his next opponent almost certainly has to be a part-time talent. If Cena — the face of WWE — can’t get it done, who are we supposed to expect has a chance? The idea of elevating someone like Roman Reigns to face Lesnar at Wrestlemania seems out the window to me, especially considering the inactivity of Lesnar as WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

From the Ask WNW vault…

April 2012: Has Brock Lesnar taken John Cena’s place as “face of the WWE” already? - WWE is building Brock Lesnar as John Laurinaitis’ “face of WWE” in storyline but he’s not really the guy in the company. Lesnar is looked at as a special attraction just like The Rock. WWE is glad to have him but are not relying on a part-timer to carry business. The top guys in WWE are still John Cena, Randy Orton and CM Punk.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Tuesday, December 2, 2014.

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