WWE Hall Of Fame Standards, No More PPVs, Peak Of The Yes Movement, Kaval In WWE

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 would you you say the standards are for being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame?

There are a couple aspects to the WWE Hall of Fame to look at when analyzing who is in and who is out. I want to make it clear that it is an honor to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, so I'm not trying to say there isn't that aspect. However, there are other aspects such as how WWE can use inductions commercially to make money. Remember, the Wrestlemania Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is about selling tickets to an event where tens of thousands of wrestling fans are in the same city. It also increases the hype and visibility of Wrestlemania, thus promoting it at the same time. Further, WWE is able to use inductees to release new merchandise, DVDs and other materials they would have not had success in licensing and releasing commercially had it not been for the Hall of Fame exposure.

Inducting Bruno Sammartino was probably the best thing to ever happen for the legitimacy of the WWE Hall of Fame, however, let's be clear it is still very much up to Vince McMahon as to who is getting inducted. There is no formal selection process with objective voting like there is in professional sports. There is also a timing aspect as WWE wants inductions to coincide with relevant themes to maximize interest. In other words, it's no accident The Ultimate Warrior is headling the 30th Anniversary class. He was a big part of the WWE 2K14 video game and the Hall of Fame is the next step.

We could make a very long list of people that should be in and people that probably shouldn't be in, however, it's up to Vince McMahon and the WWE brass as to who ultimately gets inducted. The WWE Hall of Fame is the most legitimate Hall of Fame in pro wrestling but it's not a legitimate Hall of Fame in the sense of objective voting with a formal selection process. As for standards, mainstream relevance, the ability to draw and of course a storied career all play significant parts.

With Wrestlemania 30 moving to the WWE Network does this mean WWE will no longer have their pay-per-views available to customers that want to order in a traditional sense?

When WWE announced the WWE Network last month in Las Vegas it was their hope that current pay-per-view providers would continue to carry their shows. However, that's not been how it's happened as some of their providers are concerned about the WWE Network offering the shows much cheaper, thus eliminating the need for a traditional provider. Dish Network immediately dropped all WWE pay-per-views and will not be carrying Wrestlemania 30 next month. Their latest statement puts the blame entirely on WWE and they point out they aren't alone.

In my opinion this only hurts the providers as WWE is willing to leave existing agreements in place. The fact of the matter is traditional pay-per-view is a lapsed model and those that do not embrace digital distribution are going to get left behind. WWE is the first over the top network but they aren't the first streaming service. WWE knew the WWE Network would cannibalize their pay-per-view business but were willing to take the risk in favor of the newer model. It is a risk, however, a risk with a huge reward and one that puts them in front of all competition.

So to answer your question, WWE pay-per-views will remain on some traditional providers, however, I expect the 85% of US households covered for Wrestlemania 30 to only decline. WWE made the decision to move their pay-per-view business to the WWE Network and the day is coming when it will be the exclusive provider for the events.

If Daniel Bryan wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXX, do you think the Yes Movement will still be as over with the crowd?

This is a topic for debate and one that will not be answered until it happens. There is a very good argument to be made that the money in Daniel Bryan is in him as the proverbial underdog, however, everyone gets a payoff sooner or later. Will he take the payoff and decline in popularity or will he take it and rise in popularity? Some peak, while others become legends. I can't tell you which Bryan will be as it all depends on how the crowd responds. Steve Austin made good on his payoff, so did The Rock. Others haven't been as fortunate and you can probably name them, however, we'll just have to wait and see.

Considering how he was utilized and admitted in an interview that WWE wasn't his top priority, how did Low Ki (or Kaval) go the company in the first place?

Low Ki signed with WWE in 2009 and was called up from the company's developmental territory in 2010. I think the possibility of facing Rey Mysterio in a dream match was certainly a motivating factor as well as signing with the biggest and most successful pro wrestling promotion on the planet. He'd arguably accomplished everything on the independent scene and in Japan so why not try to embrace the WWE opportunity? It wasn't for him and it's not for everyone. To be a WWE star you have to be committed to traveling 300 days out of the year and that type of lifestyle is not an easy one.

From the Ask WNW vault…

July 2012: When do you think that The Undertaker will retire? - Many speculated this year’s match against Triple H at Wrestlemania XXVIII with The Undertaker going 20-0 would be his last, however, Undertaker felt great after the match and reportedly has more left in the tank. I’ve even heard there has been talk of him working before Wrestlemania XXIX next year. We’ll see what happens but it wouldn’t be wise to begin projecting Undertaker’s retirement.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, March 24, 2014.

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