WWE Moves On From CM Punk, Jabs At NBCU During Raw, Creating Another 'Streak,' WWE App & Network

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 it looking like WWE is finally doing the right thing with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestlemania XXX and Bryan facing Triple H, where does that leave CM Punk if he chooses to come back?

With WWE announcing Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H for Wrestlemania 30 and the fact Bryan will be inserted in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match if he goes over, CM Punk is officially out of the plans. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Vince McMahon pitched the title match to CM Punk as a last ditch effort to get him back for Raw in Chicago. The plan to add Daniel Bryan was brought up if Punk didn't agree, as we first reported there was serious discussion about Bryan pulling double duty here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com on March 3, 2014. The new plan for CM Punk following Vince McMahon's hail marry, is to give him some time and see if he gets the itch to return on his own. If not, Punk's career could be over.

I couldn't help but think some of the lines that JBL, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler had during the main event of Raw were little jabs at the TV negotiations. Saying things like, "USA should be ecstatic for the excitement Daniel Bryan is bringing to Raw" or "Raw has been on USA for years, and Occupy Raw was just another great moment". The way I saw it, it seemed like Vince was trying to sell it as USA should be thankful for having Raw. Is that the case?

I noticed the USA Network references as well and my first thought was it sounded odd to hear them say USA Network after so many WWE Network mentions. This is a good point and could very well be the case, however, I cannot confirm as of this writing. Vince McMahon talks to the commentators in their headsets so he can steer the comments and conversations. As I mentioned on social media over the weekend, I do not believe WWE's domestic television negotiations have gone according to plan. WWE thought there were going to be a lot of suitors lined up but I heard it was basically a two-horse race between Viacom and NBCUniversal. Viacom was then considering pulling out, in favor of re-signing TNA Impact and bringing along other pro wrestling content. WWE wants more money than what NBCUniversal is offering, so perhaps those were little shots to indicate their content's value. The main goal of WWE's domestic TV negotiations is to drastically raise the amount they make annually in television licensing fees.

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With the Undertaker's career nearing an end, do you see WWE creating a new streak with a new wrestler, or something similar?

What WWE has done with The Undertaker will likely never be duplicated. In Paul Heyman's promo on Monday Night Raw, he really put the streak in perspective by highlighting just how few workers have won consecutive Wrestlemania matches, let alone 21-0. I realize the outcomes are contrived but you have to realize, WWE can't just pick a worker and say "we're going to put this worker over 20+ times." Undertaker's lengthy shelf life as a top WWE star along with his phenomenal ability to continue to work at a high level is something very few people can do. There will never be another Undertaker and all wrestling fans should realize just how historic his run as been.

Why does WWE not use their App as much as they used too? Is it because of the WWE Network?

WWE very much still uses their App and actually have a complete staff backstage dedicated to it at TVs each week. The reason why they haven't been plugging it like crazy in recent weeks is because they've been plugging the WWE Network. It's one thing at a time for the company. One time it was Twitter they went crazy on, then the App, now the Network. They all build off one another but right now the company is focused on getting as many people as possible signed up for WWE Network.

From the Ask WNW vault…

May 2013: Was there any reason why Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and Steve Austin left WWE after Wrestlemania XX? - All three had different circumstances. Brock Lesnar hated the WWE travel schedule and wanted to pursue a career in the NFL. He requested his release to do this. WWE granted his release on the condition he would sign a non-compete agreement that would prevent him from working for a competing organization before June 2010. Lesnar signed it and was granted his release after his match at Wrestlemania XX against Goldberg. When the NFL didn’t pan out, Lesnar went to Japan to wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling. This resulted in a legal battle with WWE due to the non-compete but it was later dismissed after a settlement. Goldberg wasn’t happy in WWE either and wanted out. He fulfilled his contractual obligations and was “fed up” with backstage politics and the way the company operated. Goldberg didn’t get along with Vince McMahon and stated publicly both he and Lesnar were in a hurry to get out of dodge. Steve Austin’s contract with WWE was coming up and they were negotiating behind-the-scenes. I don’t have specifics as to what went wrong but they broke down a month after Wrestlemania XX and he let the company. Goldberg accused WWE of not putting the focus on the Wrestlemania XX bout (with Austin as the special referee) given their impending departures. The New York City crowd was “smartened up” to the fact that Goldberg and Lesnar were leaving and crapped on the match.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

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