Concern In WWE Over PPVs, Evan Bourne, Bray Wyatt's Success, Extreme Rules Most Watched?

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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Am I the only person that thinks it's bad the satellite providers - Dish & DirecTV specifically - are not carrying Extreme Rules? Is WWE prepared for the financial loss?

WWE knew they were facing the possibility of losing their traditional pay-per-view partners when they announced the WWE Network. Luckily, most providers carried Wrestlemania 30 and the show did a surprising 400,000 traditional domestic buys, however, that will certainly not be the case with Extreme Rules. The company is willing to sacrifice their pay-per-view business - 17% of their net revenue in 2012 - with the launch of WWE Network, which is why they hope to be at 1 million subscribers before the end of the year. Given the fact that both Dish and DirecTV postured about such a move before Wrestlemania, it's not a surprise to anyone in WWE. What's of more concern within WWE is pay-per-view bonuses for talent, with many fearing payouts for Wrestlemania are going to be lower than years past. I'm currently working on a story and will have more shortly.

Where is Evan Bourne?

Evan Bourne is still under WWE contract but there are not plans to use him as of this writing. The last we wrote about him was in February when he was training at the WWE Performance Center. I can tell you he told the office he was ready to go for SummerSlam last year but was told that he wasn't needed. I honestly do not know if there are plans for him to come back or not. As someone that enjoys his work, I hope to see him get another chance.

I am admittedly a fan of Windham Rotunda in the Bray Wyatt role, though once his meteor year passes, I wonder if the talent depth can show through in a character bound to burn out? What would you think of Kevin Steen as Bray? Even in a character burn out his overall ability could likely sustain him long term. Not to mention I feel like the character of Bray is a naturally present part of Steen's psyche.

Addressing the first part of this question first, the biggest issue with Bray Wyatt and how far he goes will be the "stay ability" of the character. Is it a timeless gimmick like that of The Undertaker or like you suggest, will it inevitably burn out? I can't give that answer because only time will tell. As for the second part, you seem to be suggesting that Kevin Steen should replace Bray? Steen isn't even under WWE contract and would certainly have to go through developmental (like many others, including his former tag team partner Sami Zayn) before getting the call to the main roster. My stance is it's the worker that makes the gimmick, not the gimmick that makes the worker. You couldn't have just given The Undertaker gimmick to anyone and expected it to work. The same goes for Bray Wyatt. It's his talent that has brought the gimmick to the forefront with stellar mic work and in-ring talent to match.

Are you looking forward to Extreme Rules on Sunday? What do you think of the show's lineup?

This year's Extreme Rules pay-per-view is built around The Shield vs. Evolution, John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan vs. Kane. That's a strong enough lineup for me to take interest in a B-level show that follows Wrestlemania. I'm also high up on the undercard bouts for the IC title, Divas Championship and the recent work of Cesaro to watch with a close eye. While there will obviously be concerns with major satellite providers not carrying the show, this will likely be one of the most-watched B-level pay-per-views of all time because of the WWE Network.

From the Ask WNW vault…

November 2011:Do you ever see Zack Ryder being a main event type guy in WWE? - I don’t see Zack Ryder’s gimmick as a main event gimmick but he has the talent to work in the top of the card. Gimmicks can always be tweaked to elevate a worker but the Jersey Shore stuff has a shelf life. I don’t want to make a direct comparison between Ryder and John Cena but Cena was introduced to the WWE audience with a gimmick that had a shelf life and developed into one of the biggest stars in the business. While I understand Ryder has had past gimmicks on WWE TV, this is his first singles gimmick.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

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