Ryback Trying To Get Fired?, What Over-The-Top Means, WWE Network Not PG, Ryback Using HHH's Lilian Garcia Joke & The Time Mick Foley Called Him On It, Sin Cara, WM At No Extra Charge

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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Is Ryback trying to get himself fired from WWE with his bizarre behavior on Twitter?

For a main roster worker in WWE to actually get fired today, they would have to do something "so egregious" that an immediate termination was unavoidable. Otherwise, they'll be taken off the road and paid the duration of their contract and it will not be renewed upon its expiration. As for Ryback's behavior on Twitter over the weekend (stories here and here), I'm not sure it's anything more than him "working as a heel." The problem is I'm not sure he's getting the right kind of heat. Ryback is keeping himself in the public eye, while also hushing the talk about the spot that caused Dolph Ziggler's concussion and the joke about Lilian Garcia [from last week] but the response I've seen isn't good. The behavior underscores a point I made in October, where I explained why Ryback was not ready for the main event. If it's attention he's seeking, then mission accomplished. Anything else and he's failed miserably.

Will Dish Network carry WWE Network?

No. I've answered this one a lot but some people still do not understand so to explain, let's dig a little deeper. The WWE Network is launching as an over-the-top service, not as a traditional network. What does that mean? Over-the-top content is the delivery of video and audio over the Internet without a multiple system operator being involved in the control or distribution. One point you're going to see me make a lot as we approach the launch of the WWE Network is why I think this is absolutely the right move. I posted the following on Facebook over the weekend:

There's a point you're going to see me make a lot as we approach the launch of the WWE Network. The best thing for the consumer is the fact it's going to be an over-the-top service. I know, it doesn't work for everyone. However, the prices are going to be lower and distribution is going to be wider.

My biggest concern was WWE struggling to get clearance on cable and satellite, only to fail to attract people to it (Oprah Winfrey's Network is a good example of this). If the biggest issue you have is an Internet connection or a connected device, these are both issues that you have the power to fix. Cable and satellite companies would have the ability to control distribution and set their own prices.

Bypassing them is the best thing for the consumer and it's why my opinion of the WWE Network has done a complete 180. The service is revolutionary and as long as there are not issues with performance (such as lagging), WWE will have hit a grand slam.

With WWE being able to control their programming through the WWE Network, could we see Monday Night Raw revert back to a TV-MA or TV-14 show?

WWE's core programming will remain on cable as the company is nearing a monumental TV licensing agreement in the United States that is going to increase the amount they make in television licensing fees. If the deal that NASCAR got is any indication (10 years worth $8.2 billion), WWE is about to land a deal that is going to make them more dominate than ever before. Because of this, WWE will not be altering the rating of their core programming. The WWE Network does make the company completely independent of television networks, only increasing their leverage in negotiations with them. Now, WWE will no longer be at the mercy of the networks and will no longer be at risk of losing everything by losing a television deal. As for the WWE Network, there will be content that is rated outside of the core PG initiative but it will air in select time slots with the appropriate advisories. WWE Network will also include parental controls for those with children.

In Friday's Ask WNW, you said you weren't offended by Ryback's Lilian Garcia joke, you just felt it was unnecessary. The joke, apparently started by Triple H regarding the face of Garcia, essentially means that one of the higher ups in a multimillion dollar company is "bullying" a female employee based on her looks. How can WWE promote anti-bullying behavior for children while such a high-ranking company official apparently condones such sophomoric behavior?

The Lilian Garcia joke is one apparently started by Triple H and has been a talking point for years in the WWE locker room. In 2010, Mick Foley publicly denounced Hunter for using the joke, stating that he didn't understand why someone in Triple H's position would not only condone such behavior but why he would get satisfaction from demeaning someone like Lilian Garcia. Garcia responded, thanking Foley for standing up for her. I by no means condone the joke nor do I find it funny. One of the lowest things a human being can do to another human being is tease them based on looks. I also understand the other side of this that it's just a joke and everyone in their life has been given a little grief from time-to-time. Given the fact that Lilian Garcia is a beautiful woman, it's not as mean spirited as it could be if it wasn't someone as blessed with the looks of Garcia. However, make no mistake about it, this type of humor is categorically opposed to WWE's Be-A-Star anti-bullying campaign and I'm sure Triple H wasn't a fan of Ryback bringing it back up on live television. Vince McMahon is known for having a sophomoric sense of humor, however, I wonder what he thinks of the public image this gives his company. We can poke holes in the WWE anti-bullying campaign all day long but I've come to accept the campaign for what it is. Be-a-star is more about creating an acceptable image to the public rather than highlighting how things actually work on WWE television or behind-the-scenes.

Have you heard anything about Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde - the original Sin Cara?

Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde isn't expected back in WWE as the company is moving forward with Hunico as Sin Cara. There really isn't much more to say other than it just didn't work out and WWE liked the gimmick's marketability too much to discard it. WWE has apparently chose to let Luis sit at home until his contract runs out rather than terminating him. Public releases of main roster stars is something that Triple H no longer wants to do unless it's unavoidable for public relations reasons.

If the WWE Network is successful, do you see WWE including Wrestlemania 31 and Wrestlemania 32 at no additional charge? I feel that Wrestlemania XX will be one time deal to start
up the network.

Everyone is waiting for the "bait and switch" because the WWE Network seems too good to be true. All 12 live pay-per-views, exclusive first-run original programming, on top of the largest and most appealing pro wrestling tape library on the planet for a meager $9.99/month with a 6-month commitment (billed monthly). However, the fact the WWE Network logo is incorporated into the Wrestlemania 31 logo tells me the show is going to be a staple of the network to entice people to signup. Even if the price of the WWE Network doubles (which I don't expect it to do any time soon), it would still be significantly less than the current going rate to buy the pay-per-views on their own.

Wrestlemania 31

From the Ask WNW vault…

September 2013:How can WWE promote Ryback and Triple H as bullies alongside their Be-A-Star anti-bullying campaign? - There has been a lot of discussion about the characters of Ryback and Triple H playing the roles of antagonists that bully in light of WWE’s commitment to eliminate bullying. I will admit there is plenty of hypocrisy in the anti-bullying efforts; however, I am not bothered or “offended” by the characters of Ryback and Hunter. In order to have a protagonist you have to have an antagonist. There has to be a villain for every hero. Villains have to do villainous things to make people buy into their characters. It’s essential that wrestling fans understand the difference between what is make believe and what is real-life. Now on the same notion, there are roads that shouldn’t be traveled. For me, it’s a case-by-case basis. One program I found particularly disgusting was the Piggy James stuff from several years back. Yes, this was “part of the show” but I hated the message it sent.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Tuesday, January 14, 2014.

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