Part Time Talent Working Wrestlemania, Bringing Back Titles, CM Punk/Daniel Bryan, Xavier Woods

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
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Undertaker & Brock Lesnar

In Wednesday's installment of Ask WNW, you wrote about Vince McMahon being desperate to bring in big name talent for Wrestlemania XXX. It's only been the last few years that McMahon has built the show largely around part-timers or ex-stars making a one-time appearance. Before that, the Wrestlemania cards were always made of the existing talent. If the storylines were there, do you think it would be possible to put together a great show centered around the likes of John Cena, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Sheamus, one that could rival past years in terms of buy rates?

Vince McMahon has changed his position on part-time talent, mostly due to the success the company has seen in bringing back stars such as The Rock and Brock Lesnar. Because of this success, it's changed the priority of bringing back stars. Yes, WWE could still put together a great show centered around their full-time talent but there's been a shift in philosophy for Wrestlemania. The company already has The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar so even if no other deal is made, these are names that are still going to be on Wrestlemania XXX.

Since WWE are unifying the WWE and World Championship do you think WWE needs to bring back old belts like the Hardcore or Cruiserweight?

While WWE is pushing hard in storyline there will only be one champion after WWE TLC, we need to be careful operating under the assumption the titles will in fact be unified. It seems imminent but if the booking of the past several pay-per-views is any indication, there is no reason not to expect a screwy finish involving The Authority. As for WWE bringing back past titles, I'm against it. The company can't utilize the titles they currently have so there's no reason to add more to the mix.

What are your thoughts for the programs of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan? I'm not that interested in these programs and feel it's only being done to try and elevate the Shield and Wyatt family. Both Punk and Bryan deserve something more major leading into the major part of the PPV year for WWE.

I didn't like the tag match at Survivor Series where CM Punk & Daniel Bryan opposed Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. There wasn't enough build and the members of The Wyatt Family haven't accomplished enough to warrant such a match. As for this new direction where each are opposing different factions, it's exactly that - a new direction. I'm willing to see how it plays out but there has been a shift when the plan at one time was to end up in a Punk vs. Bryan program at Wrestlemania XXX.

What's the deal with the Brodus Clay/Xavier Woods program? Are they thinking about turning Clay heel and getting him away from the Funkasaurus gimmick?

The stuff between Brodus Clay and Xavier Woods is just an undercard program to introduce Woods to the WWE audience. WWE is clearly teasing a break away for Brodus Clay but it hasn't happened yet.

From the Ask WNW vault…

April 2011: How many buys do TNA pay-per-views buy? Do they make a profit? - When TNA was considering stopping pay-per-views and airing three-hour live specials on Spike TV they were drawing less than 10,000 buys per show. This is a tremendous loss and makes it impossible to make money. Buy rates climbed up following the Hardcore Justice show they did last August so it was determined to continue to run on pay-per-view. TNA is not a public company so they do not release their buy rate numbers so it is impossible for me to give you exact numbers as they are kept secret. However, we can look at some of the percentages for conversions and I'll give you some numbers to think about. A well-watched edition of WWE Raw does an average audience of around 5,000,000 viewers. A well-watched edition of Smackdown does close to an average audience of 3,000,000 viewers (last week's Smackdown featuring the send-off for Edge did an average viewing audience of 2,982,000, a very strong number). The average pay-per-view buy rate for the three WWE pay-per-views in quarter four of 2010 did 197,000 buys (click here for the breakdown of numbers). Last week's TNA Impact did an average viewing audience of 1,540,000 viewers. There are several variables to factor in when considering how well a pay-per-view does but hopefully those figures will give you an idea. It should be noted that Wrestlemania is a different animal as WWE's goal is to do at least 1 million buys each year for their biggest show of the year but it's a mark they've missed over the past few years. The numbers for this year's Wrestlemania XXVII are not yet available.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, December 6, 2013.

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