Rollins' MITB Shot, Rumble Main Event, Bad Raw Writing, JBL's Dig, Reigns The Face?

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.

Does Seth Rollins being included in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Royal Rumble count as a cash in? If he loses is he still the Money in the Bank briefcase holder?

As things currently stand, it looks as if Seth Rollins earned a “bonus” shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Royal Rumble as the kayfabe payoff for him “restoring The Authority to power.” What I’m wondering is if Rollins doesn’t go over, if he’ll “cash in” during a restart. WWE never clarified the status of the Money in the Bank briefcase on Raw but based on the way the change/addition was announced and worded in the official match preview, the title shot at Royal Rumble seems extra for Rollins.

No one that reads Wrestling News World should be surprised about the addition to Seth Rollins in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Royal Rumble. We’ve been reporting for months it had been talked about and given how Cena vs. Lesnar has already been booked, it only makes sense.

While I had several problems with this week’s Raw, one thing I continue to enjoy is the evolution of Seth Rollins. Right now, he’s surpassed Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose as the most legit top guy out of The Shield. That’s not to say it will stay like that but he’s a top guy and has more than made the most of this opportunity.

Why did WWE decide to add Seth Rollins to the Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena match at the Royal Rumble, thus making it a triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship?

No one can say for sure of “why now” but adding Seth Rollins to a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match with Brock Lesnar and John Cena has been talked about for months. A third (technically fourth) match between John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar would be next to impossible to book. Brock destroyed Cena at SummerSlam and it was Rollins that kept a clean finish from happening at Night of Champions. Adding Seth Rollins to the mix by formally inserting him in the match gives WWE more options and saves fans from the disinterest of a third encounter between Cena and Lesnar.

Based on feedback we’ve received, interest in a grudge match between Cena and the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion was minimal at best. By adding Rollins, WWE has opened up the playbook and it should be better for everyone involved. I know I’m looking forward to it much more now. The one thing it does take away is a “surprise cash in” attempt by Rollins because he’ll already be out there, even if they do book him to “cash in.”

I gotta be honest, I turned Raw off after Dolph Ziggler lost the Intercontinental Championship on this week’s Raw, but then read the results later on here on WNW. After reading, it felt like deja vu. Is there a serious lack of direction and ideas within WWE or is it just plain bad booking? How can they possibly think viewership and network numbers are gonna go up if they keep feeding us the same stuff over and over again?

Ding, ding, ding we have a winner! Amen brother, I agree completely. There is no direction — I mean there kind of is — but WWE seems in no hurry to get there. Why push the return of Daniel Bryan when they can repeat the insurmountable power of The Authority we’ve had to endure for the past two years? Seriously, if you missed last week’s Raw or every Raw in the past 3 months, would you even known things have changed?

The Royal Rumble is coming up, so who else is in it? This week’s show didn’t matter and it was throwaway programming that further highlighted a disjointed creative process. Dolph Ziggler vowed to restore prestige to the Intercontinental Championship, well that’s out the window. I’m still hopeful that was part of elevating Ziggler by getting the meaningless prop off of him and including him in the “fired” angle along with Ryback and Erick Rowan. But this week’s show left a lot to be desired.

There was a significant hint for Wrestlemania in that Triple H continued to namecheck Sting, so that direction seems clear as of this writing.

During the Monday Night Wars, we had an understanding that the commentary team was split. JR played the face role of putting over the talent in general and King played the heel role, taking the side of the heels but putting them over. It seems like JBL is consistently burying talent and rarely putting them over. This week's exams was burying the Ascension. After your comments about Vince's reactions to NXT, could JBL be getting his directives from Vince to bury talent on commentary?

JBL is the heel of the trio, even though as you suggested, he rarely puts talent over. Unless they’re aligned with The Authority and are “best for business.” While sources have reported to us a rather bizarre reaction from Vince McMahon in regards to NXT, I don’t think he’d intentionally sabotage talent. I guess we can’t put anything past Vince but I still find that highly unlikely.

I don’t know JBL’s reasoning for saying The Ascension weren’t fit to carry The Road Warriors’ bags, but he was right. I’ve warned readers to give The Ascension some time but they were horrible on Raw. The audience didn’t buy that promo and you could have heard a pin drop. That wasn’t heat, that was X-Pac heat.

I understand Roman Reigns is being built as the next face of the WWE. But what's wrong with having multiple faces for the company? Back in the day, WWE had Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, etc as the faces of the company. What's wrong with having Reigns, Bryan, Ambrose, Wyatt, Rollins, etc as the faces of the company for the future instead of just one?

“Face of the company” can mean a lot of different things but the faces of WWE in the past three decades have been Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin and John Cena. That’s it. While Triple H was a proverbial main eventer, he was never “the guy.” Austin and Rock both reached that level - and near the same time - but that was during the Attitude Era. Cena took the reigns after them and no one has came close since.

I believe Daniel Bryan is over enough to take up that role but Roman Reigns seems first in line to get that chance in 2015.

From the Ask WNW vault...

May 2013: Who benefits more from a win in Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules? - As I stated on my Facebook account, Brock Lesnar has to go over at Extreme Rules. How could WWE book Lesnar going forward with three out of four of his matches being losses? I know wins and losses aren’t everything and they seem to mean even less nowadays, however, WWE is absolutely killing a major opportunity with Lesnar. Rather than booking him as the dominant monster from UFC, he’s racked up the losses. A loss here doesn’t hurt Triple H but it greatly damages Lesnar going forward.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

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