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WWE Repeating Stuff, Orton's Turn, Monitoring Social Media, Network Problems

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.

Am I the only one that's insulted by the fact that WWE used the exact same storyline at Hell in a Cell that they did at Wrestlemania 30 in that they have a wrestler being carted off on a stretcher only to magically become healed and come off fighting? Do they really think we are that forgetful?

I will be completely honest - this is the first I’ve thought of it. WWE used a stretcher job [at Hell in a Cell] with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins getting loaded on, only for Ambrose to “refuse” treatment and attack Rollins. At Wrestlemania 30, Daniel Bryan was loaded on in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match but “refused” treatment and went on to win the title. While the concepts were similar, the reasons were a bit different.

Ambrose was to be portrayed as a maniac that doesn’t feel pain or care about his health. Daniel Bryan was to be portrayed as the ultimate underdog that was going to do whatever it took to win the title.

The fact of the matter is stretcher jobs are common in pro wrestling. If they were used every single month in the exact same manner it would be a problem but I didn’t have a problem with the spot at Hell in a Cell. My issues with that match stem from doing too much too early and then having a dirty finish, fresh off a dirty finish in the Night of Champions main event. That repeated dirty finish would be a better example of WWE banking on audience forgetfulness over the use of a stretcher job.

Do you think it’s a good idea to have Randy Orton on Team Authority at Survivor Series, only to get Seth Rollins eliminated.

I wouldn’t be surprised if WWE had Randy Orton turn on Seth Rollins and Team Authority at Survivor Series and that idea would be sufficient. While WWE is clearly tinkering with the idea of Orton going babyface to feud with Seth Rollins, it doesn’t seem like something he wants to do. He seemed to make that clear last week on Twitter. Orton will never be a “complete babyface” and will operate more as a tweener when he isn’t a complete heel. Regardless of how WWE does it, it’s clear the program is Orton vs. Rollins which is something we detailed a couple of weeks ago here on Premium.

Does WWE monitor their Superstars and Divas on Instagram like they do on Twitter?

Yes, WWE is very active in monitoring their talent on social media. There are guidelines for talent in terms of using social media but that doesn’t mean they’re always utilized. The accounts still belong to their respective owners and what they Tweet or Instagram is ultimately their decision. WWE has completely embraced social media and encourages talent to use it. While some are very active, you have people like Dean Ambrose that have Twitter but do not use it. On his account, he wrote the following for his bio: They made me get a twitter.....Fine....Enjoy. He has 3 Tweets. I love that guy.

Obviously the current TV deals are standing in the way of it, but do you think if encores of Raw and Smackdown aired a day or two after their first runs in the United States, it would increase the amount of subscribers?

I believe having Raw and Smackdown air sooner than the current 30 day window would be much better. Last week my DVR recording of Raw botched after the first hour and I missed hours two and three. If it were available on the WWE Network, it would give me another outlet to go back and watch it. I do not, however, believe it would help the company sell more subscriptions. Most people that order the WWE Network (at least the ones I’ve heard from) are under the impression that encores of Raw and Smackdown are available almost immediately. While it’s certainly an inconvenience having to wait a month for encore episodes, I do not believe it’s a deal breaker not to sign up or not to renew.

I cannot provide a definitive answer why people are not subscribing to the WWE Network as expected. I can point to a few reasons that I believe are causing slow subscription growth. First, I believe the product is poorly marketed around $9.99 without highlighting its great value. I believe Raw is too long with three hours and the average WWE fan has a 3 hour live show each week and a 2 hour secondary show, meaning 5 hours of free content without getting into Total Divas or secondary shows. And finally, the product has been in a deep creative rut due to a part-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, injuries and disinteresting or poorly thought out storylines.

From the Ask WNW vault…

November 2012: With Ryback basically losing again where does WWE go from here? - WWE is in a world of trouble with Ryback following what was essentially a loss at Survivor Series. Let me be clear. I’m excited to see Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins get called up to the main WWE roster but I hate how Ryback was booked at both Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series. The premise for Ryback’s character is that he is the “unstoppable monster” that needs to be “fed more.” As soon as he’s “fed,” he can’t handle it. Some people are taking this as me being high up on Ryback over the IWC darlings, which is unfounded. I’d be fine with guys like Punk, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, etc. running the company without guys like Ryback being in the main event picture. However, now that Ryback has been chosen for a push they have to push him. The blatant lack of confidence in putting him over compounded with the holding pattern they are in with Punk for Royal Rumble is making for intolerable booking. Either push him or don’t book him in the main event. At this point Ryback means nothing more than a mid-card talent and he’s lost a significant amount of steam.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

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