What Should Headline Royal Rumble, Back To 30 Men, Ryback Fail, A Funny Story About Real Names

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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What match should go on last at Royal Rumble - CM Punk vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship or the 30-man Royal Rumble match?

If I was booking the show, I would open with the 30-man Royal Rumble match and close with the WWE title match. There aren't many bouts big enough to bump the 30-man Royal Rumble out of the main event of the pay-per-view which carries its name but did you see the promo work between CM Punk and The Rock on this week's Raw? As far as I'm concerned that segment took this match to another level and I look forward to watching it play out. For those wondering why I would open with the Rumble match, rather than somewhere in the middle of the card, there needs to be a significant amount of time between the two matches to give the crowd time to recover. Booking the bouts too close together runs the risk of wearing the crowd out and hurting the reactions. With that being said, I haven't heard WWE's plans for the show.

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.

Are you as tired as I am about the predictability of The Shield running in and preventing Ryback from going over? As was the case on Monday, we all knew it was coming, it was just a matter of time.

I have loudly voiced my displeasure with the booking of Ryback, even mentioning the finish of the aforementioned match in Tuesday's installment of Ask WNW. I'm out of argument on this one. For the life of me I don't understand having Ryback mow through enhancement workers for months only to never win when booked as a main eventer. Yes, he has gotten over and yes, I understand the argument of keeping the strap on Punk but the whole thing is underscored by lazy/illogical booking that shows a blatant lack of trust in Ryback. With Wrestlemania season upon us, Ryback and The Shield are about to take a serious backseat. Some have taken this argument to mean I see Ryback as "the next big thing," not quite. If you're going to push Ryback as a main eventer, push him. If you're not sure, then don't book him in a multiple title matches when he has a gimmick where he is an unstoppable monster that needs to be fed more.

How do the superstars refer to one another when the cameras aren't on? Do they call each other by their legal name, or by their character?

It really just depends on the person. For example, would you even know who I was talking about if I said the name Michael Hickenbottom? Above, I just referenced Pat Patterson (real name Pierre Clermont). I've got a funny story to disclose on this question. Four years ago I was conducting some interviews for use on the website. When booking names I would often go through a worker's agent to get in touch with them. Well, I wanted to be as professional as possible without sounding like a mark so I emailed one agent and asked to book Nick Cvjetkovich (better known as Kizarny or Sinn Bodhi). The agent said when they read the email they thought, who in the hell is Nick Cvjetkovich?

Remember questions with proper grammar and spelling stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW will run on Friday, January 11, 2013.

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