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WWE Network Changing Wrestlemania, Rumble Winner & Swerves, Return Of Sheamus, TNA's Main Event Fails

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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It's my understanding that one of the main reasons why WWE would be against having Wrestlemania in the UK is because it would be at an unsociable hour in the US that would damage pay-per-view berates. Now with all the PPVs being on the WWE Network, meaning that buyrates won't be as important as they used to be, do you see this making the chances of Wrestlemania being held in the UK a better possibility?

This is an interesting perspective and one I haven't even considered until I was sent this question, however, I'm afraid I'm going to have to shoot you down. Wrestlemania is more important with the launch of the WWE Network. WWE is looking towards their biggest show of the year to entice people to subscribe to the WWE Network without thinking about it. This is why they made sure to launch with Wrestlemania XXX being the first pay-per-view on the Network, a fact we've reported for years. The thinking is, if Wrestlemania can cause over a million people to pay $50+, how many more would pay for it at $9.99/month and get all the extras that come with the WWE Network. Wrestlemania going live in prime time on the east coast of the United States is pretty much essential for the show to succeed. Tinkering with the "grand daddy of them all" outside of prime time in the United States could prove disastrous and would not be something I believe the company would consider. The WWE Network does give the company more flexibility and make it possible for such a move, however, I don't see Wrestlemania being the pay-per-view they test it with.

You have mentioned that Batista is the favorite to win the Royal Rumble. If he did he would join Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and John Cena as the only multiple Rumble winners. While Batista is one of the great superstars of his era, nobody could claim he belongs in a class with the above names. Do you get the sense Vince McMahon cares about things like that (history, a wrestler's legacy, statistics, etc.) when booking the Rumble winner or is it all about who is the best fit for that particular year?

Multiple things are considered when the 30-man Royal Rumble match is laid out, none more important than the plans for Wrestlemania. The Rumble match itself is booked by Pat Patterson and Triple H with Vince McMahon giving it final approval. All things are considered before Vince gives his final approval but again, much is contingent on the direction they plan on going at Wrestlemania. As for Batista being the favorite, after looking at the announced entrants, I'm not sure how he can't be considered the favorite. Those going into the pay-per-view expecting some kind of miraculous swerve are setting themselves up for disappointment. That's not to say a swerve isn't possible, because anything is possible, but I fully expect Batista to be protected in this match. If he doesn't win, it's going to be because of something that sets up a main event singles program.

When is Sheamus coming back to WWE?

Sheamus is expected back soon, however, an official return date has not been made available. As I reported exclusively here on Premium, the injury to Sheamus is a complicated one. Some days he feels great and other days he feels awful. Compound this with the fact that the style of Sheamus increases his chance of re-injury and the company is being cautious. There's a chance of him being a surprise Rumble entrant but as I stated above, don't go into the show expecting that. If it happens, it'll be a surprise. If not, I would expect him back for the build to Wrestlemania XXX.

What do you think of the two EXACT same finishes of Genesis? To me it seemed very poor thought out and SO UNORIGINAL! POOR JOB by Dixie Carter and TNA!

The finish was terrible overbooking to setup the reveal of the new investor on next week's episode of Impact Wrestling. They want to increase the heat on Magnus and Dixie Carter although they're not garnering the right kind of heat. For more on this week's show, check out the new TNA Live feature here on

From the Ask WNW vault…

March 2012: How likely is it that Kurt Angle would end up back in WWE? He has been loyal to TNA and Dixie Carter but last year I heard a rumor that his contract was about to expire and he was thinking of going back to WWE, but with all that said would it be likely he could end up in WWE over the next few years or still remain in TNA? - Kurt Angle signed a new three-year contract with TNA Impact Wrestling in September 2011. Apparently he considered another WWE run but I don’t know how much interest there was in him and if any actual negotiating ever took place. Angle is happy with his spot in TNA and enjoys his salary while he pursues outside interests.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, January 27, 2014.

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