Undertaker's Return, AJ vs. Steph McMahon, Lesnar 50/50, WWE PPV Format

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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With Bray Wyatt calling out The Undertaker and saying he's weak after losing the streak, do you see this as an opportunity to being back the "American Badass" gimmick?

There is no reason to alter The Undertaker’s gimmick in 2015. The American Badass gimmick was great because it was another part of Undertaker’s real-life personality turned up to the max but given Undertaker’s limited nature and the fact he’s had some of the best matches of his career at Wrestlemania as “The Dead Man,” he should remain as such. Every year Undertaker competes we are gifted with the opportunity to see one of the greatest of all time. He is in the plans to face Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania 31 next month in California.

Do you think that WWE will take the recent social media movement supporting Divas to an on-screen feud with AJ Lee & Stephanie McMahon for Wrestlemania?

As I explained on Thursday, AJ Lee’s Tweets to Stephanie McMahon were a shoot. I have no doubt that WWE would like to turn the legitimate comments into a work, culminating with a program where AJ Lee led the movement of the Divas but I’m just not sure how realistic that is right now. There is a nasty battle going on behind the scenes involving AJ’s husband CM Punk.

If you missed it, WWE’s ringside physician Chris Amann is suing CM Punk (along with Colt Cabana) for defamation stemming from comments made on the Art of Wrestling podcast last November. WWE has put their full support behind Amann and even publicly stated as much in an unprecedented move on their official website. Make no mistake about it, this was WWE giving CM Punk the middle finger. I can’t imagine AJ Lee is happy about that and to say the relationship is strained right now would be an understatement.

What are the chances Brock Lesnar leaves WWE after Wrestlemania 31?

I don’t want to say 50/50 but I believe it could go either way right now. Brock Lesnar left #RawNashville upset on Monday but it had to do with negotiations to continue their relationship past his current WWE Performer’s Contract. We ran a new detailed backstage update on the situation late on Thursday that you can read at this link.

If Brock and WWE are able to close the gap, I could see their relationship continuing. If not, I could see Brock walking. However, there is no way to say for sure but I fully expect Lesnar to defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 31. Yes, he walked out at Raw but I highly doubt he would want to take the chance of breaching his contract and losing out on his massive salary.

One thing I've noticed over the last few years is the lack of time a lot of matches get PPV. With the WWE Network, would it be a good idea to cut the PPV matches from 7-8 to say 5 and have the rest as pre-show prelim matches similar to the UFC format?

WWE does a preliminary pre-show match at most pay-per-views as part of their Kickoff. The company could easily run longer matches on their main pay-per-views but that’s a decision that has to be made by Vince McMahon (with the creative team). So in other words, simply cutting the number of matches wouldn’t necessarily mean the ones left would get more time. WWE’s standard pay-per-view card for years has featured 8 matches and has worked fine. The WWE Network gives the company more flexibility but pay-per-views are already 4 hours long, they have more than enough time if they choose to utilize it. The reason for UFC's format is the fights are not contrived so they do not have as much control over time.

From the Ask WNW vault…

May 2013: So far I’ve seen 3-4 classic matches with chair shots to the head. Every time I watch, the frame freezes and skips to the second after the chair was used (example here). Why is WWE doing this? - In January 2010, in accordance with their Wellness Program, WWE enacted an outright ban on chair shots to the head. Past footage is edited to reflect the company’s position so it is not interpreted that they condone them. I’m usually pretty liberal when it comes to what is off-limits but I absolutely agree with banning chair shots to the head. Given what we now know about concussions and long-term effects on the brain, there’s no reason for someone to take a steel chair over the head.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, March 2, 2015.

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