Sting's Role In WWE, Lesnar As Champion, The Ascension Failing, WWECW

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.

Could you see a scenario where Sting returns as a semi-regular and helped mentor Dolph Ziggler?

Anything is possible but I don’t see a recurring role for Sting on WWE television. Sting is at the end of the rope and it’s now or never. He wanted a Wrestelmania match against The Undertaker but as we confirmed in our Backstage Raw News, his scheduled match at Wrestlemania 31 is one against Triple H.

Internally, we're told Hunter made it clear he wanted a match against Sting, regardless of The Undertaker’s status. Knowing this, we’re not ruling Undertaker out for Wrestlemania yet and we should be able to confirm him in or out shortly after Sunday’s pay-per-view.

Back to the question, I like the idea of veterans mentoring young talent but I don’t see that role as one for Sting. I believe he should work this program at Wrestlemania and only be used in certain situations.

Since Vince McMahon’s opinion is one that matters the most behind the scenes, is he happy with Brock Lesnar’s reign as WWE World Heavyweight Championship?

While I won’t even attempt to dissect the thinking of Vince McMahon (I just report what people tell me), we can only assume that Vince approves of Brock Lesnar’s reign as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. If he didn’t, he’s had multiple opportunities to end it. I pushed the idea that Seth Rollins should have successfully “cashed in” at Night of Champions back in September. It would have given Rollins a chance to reach for the brass ring and it would have prevented WWE from having an absent WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

Obviously that’s not what has happened and I believe it has damaged the entertainment value of WWE’s product. However, all is well heading into Royal Rumble as Brock Lesnar is back and the company has multiple options for the Road to Wrestlemania 31.

Is WWE just flat out trying to sabotage The Ascension? It feels like a lazy, forced gimmick made worse when they get on the mic. Has there been any thought on giving them an established manager to act as a mouthpiece?

I push back on any claim that WWE would intentionally sabotage a gimmick. I don’t think the claims are “completely out of left field,” I just like to think better of WWE management. It’s clear The Ascension hasn’t gotten over and I blame there being no long-term plan for success.

It’s unfathomable to me The Ascension have been on the short-list for a call-up for months before it happened and this is the best thing WWE could come up with. I agree it feels lazy and forced and it’s further proof that just because someone has success in NXT doesn’t mean that success will seamlessly translate to the main roster.r

Why did the WWE's version of ECW suffer such a slow and painful death? It started off as a higher-budget version of the original, only to end up so far away from the original concept and ultimately cancelled.

I thought the first ever episode of ECW on Sci-FI (the original network spelling) that aired on June 13, 2006 proved that WWE and Vince McMahon had no idea how to handle the return of ECW. Remember that show featured the vampire and other “sci-fi” elements.

ECW was successful because it was comprised of individuals that were willing to push the envelope and work a hardcore style for a more mature audience. Trying to implement this style in the mainstream/corporate environment in WWE just didn’t work.

Vince didn’t have the ECW vision that Paul Heyman had and I understand both sides of the argument. But ECW slowly turned into WWE’s C brand and as a result, fans of the original ECW rejected it. Mainstream WWE fans saw it as option three, so it was later replaced by a series called WWE NXT (obviously different from NXT today).

Some of the ECW “One Night Stand” pay-per-view that WWE did were well done but other than that, I just don’t think Vince ever truly understood why people liked ECW.

From the Ask WNW vault…

January 2013: Why was the Royal Rumble match changed back to 30-men from the 40 it was a couple year ago? - From what I was able to ascertain, Pat Patterson, the creator of the Royal Rumble match and the guy that books it annually, was upset about taking the match from 30 to 40 men in 2011. He felt the match has been so effective and timeless, it shouldn’t be altered in any way. When it was explained to him they would be able to promote it as the “biggest Royal Rumble ever,” he wasn’t sold. Triple H, who is taking on more and more behind-the-scenes responsibilities, was instrumental in working with Patterson to book this year’s match.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Thursday, January 22, 2015.

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