WWE Network Issues, Future Of Rollins, My Wrestlemania 31 Predictions

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Welcome to Ask WNW on steroids... the 375th installment of the WNW Premium Mailbag. This installment features questions that were sent from Wednesday, March 11, 2015 to Sunday, March 29, 2015.

A couple of weeks ago you reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium about fraudulent accounts impacting the number of WWE Network subscribers. How many accounts/subscribers do you think are fraudulent?

My source did not give me a number — not even a ballpark one — so for me to speculate would be irresponsible. I was told that fraud is an issue with the WWE Network and it’s an issue the banks wish WWE would be more proactive in fixing. However, let’s be clear. If there are 1 million subscribers to the WWE Network, if 1% are fraud, that’s 10,000 accounts or $99,990.00/month (assuming they are paying the US-based price of $9.99).

So even 1% would have nearly a 6-figure impact on monthly revenue. If you take that number and multiply it by 12 (the value of a year) it grows to $1,198,800.00.

Having written that, WWE will host a conference call on Monday to update investors on subscribers through Wrestlemania 31. The call is at Noon EDT and we’ll have complete coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

With the amount of people hoping for it, do you think that a Seth Rollins cash-in at Wrestlemania 31 could lead to an organic face turn, potentially leading to a program against Triple H and The Authority since he "wouldn't need them anymore?”

I can’t predict how the crowd will react but at press time, betting odds are currently 44.9% Seth Rollins will “cash in,” 55.1% he will not “cash in.” So it’s pretty even and we don’t know the creative plans for the Wrestlemania main event.

A feud with Triple H specifically would be surprising considering he’s coming off this program with Sting and is just a part-time performer. Obviously, if The Authority is intact after Wrestlemania, anyone “against them” will be programmed accordingly. There are multiple scenarios going into Wrestlemania and Seth Rollins having the briefcase adds to those scenarios.

With Brock Lesnar re-signing and Rollins still the pseudo No. 1 contender, the main event is very unpredictable and that’s a good thing.

I don't understand why everyone's worried about Brock Lesnar being damaged by losing the title to Roman Reigns. I thought the whole point of him winning the title and breaking the streak was to give someone a huge rub. Wouldn't his reign and the broken streak be pointless if he doesn't lose the title fair and square?

It’s complicated. That’s about the best way I can answer this question.

Had Brock Lesnar not re-signed with WWE last Monday, Roman Reigns would have been put over in decisive fashion to give him the rub. Now, Brock is back for three years with a 7-figure downside and Vince McMahon wants him to main event Wrestlemania 32 against The Rock.

Going into Wrestlemania 31, WWE has to be careful to preserve the push of Reigns without killing off Lesnar, someone that will be a top star for years to come. Because of Lesnar’s part-time schedule, losses can be more damaging because his matches are so infrequent. While your scenario was exactly the plan had Brock not re-signed, his new contract really does change everything.

As for “the streak” ending, Vince McMahon made the final call but Undertaker didn’t want to retire unbeaten. Further, him losing the streak takes the pressure off and allows him to continue to compete without that weight on his shoulders. In other words, it’s not up to The Undertaker to save the show. He can relax and hopefully help in the elevation of Bray Wyatt.

I have a very difficult time seeing Brock Lesnar losing clean less than a week after signing another massive part-time contract. If Brock loses the title at Wrestlemania 31, it will most likely be dirty. If it’s clean, I will be very surprised.

What are your predictions for Wrestlemania 31 this Sunday?

Oh boy. I knew this one was coming. Wrestlemania is (and should be) the most unpredictable show of the year. Vince McMahon keeps the outcomes close to his vest because if he didn’t, we would get them. How he pulled off Brock Lesnar ending the streak last year at Wrestlemania XXX proved it’s very difficult for us to prepare readers for WWE’s biggest show of the year. The reason I don’t like doing predictions is people feel if I’m wrong, my reporting was inaccurate. If I’m right, I’m supposed to know the outcomes. It really is a no-win situation but let me give you a preview.

Starting with the WWE Tag Team Championship match, I don’t see any reason to take the titles off Tyson Kidd & Cesaro. They’re finally gaining some traction and I’m told both Vince and Hunter are high up on them. Jey Uso is working through a shoulder injury so that could impact WWE wanting to put the titles back on The Usos. Los Matadores are nothing more than enhancement talents and The New Day are a long shot. For these reasons I’m picking Kidd & Cesaro to retain with The Usos having the best chance, just based on card position. Big E & Kofi are next, followed by Los Matadores.

I am not a fan of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. It just feels like a lackadaisical way to get a lot of talent on the card with the outcome not really meaning anything. We saw it last year with Cesaro. While WWE tried to use it as a launchpad, it didn’t really work out. The winner gets a trophy, so what’s the big deal? The favorite this year is Damien Mizdow just because he’s been in this “slow burn” with The Miz for months. He’s over like rover with the fans so does that mean WWE will attempt to push him like they did with Cesaro last year? After Mizdow, we can make a case for Ryback if we’re looking to a babyface. WWE is intent on making Kane and Big Show bigger deals than they should be in 2015, so I could see WWE going that way. Hideo Itami, as a member of NXT, could have an opportunity for a surprise and there is a possibility Sheamus comes back as well. I will take Mizdow just because he could be this year’s Cesaro but this match just doesn’t interest me.

The Divas tag team match is “even-steven,” as we could really make a case for babyfaces or heels, depending on direction. I’m going to predict The Bella Twins because I think they’ll get their Wrestlemania moment after being the focal point of the successful Total Divas reality series. I really could see this going either way and hopefully they get some time and WWE #GivesDivasAChance.

I am very much looking forward to the Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship and if I was booking this show, the pay-per-view would open with this. All seven participants are hungry to steal the show and hopefully they get enough time because that’s all they need. My pick is Daniel Bryan because I think it would be dangerous not to put him over and risk losing the crowd early on. If not him, it’s got to be Dean Ambrose or Dolph Ziggler. Yes, an up and coming babyface to at least make the smart fans think WWE is listening to them to keep them from reacting negatively.

Seth Rollins has been booked as WWE’s top heel for months, however, Randy Orton is working his first pay-per-view match since Hell in a Cell last October. Does Rollins get the rub to continue his momentum or does Randy Orton get his revenge? But if Orton gets revenge, does that take the Money in the Bank briefcase out of the equation for later in the night? I am taking Seth Rollins over, probably dirty (ish), but this could go either way.

John Cena has taken a backseat to work up and comers the past couple years at Wrestlemania, working Wyatt last year and now Rusev. It’s my hope Rusev will come out of this more than Wyatt came out of his program, with WWE essentially starting over, but I just don’t see John doing the honors here. I’m picking Cena to go over and win the United States Championship. Let’s just hope Rusev is elevated by losing.

Speaking of Bray Wyatt, does he find a way to do what Brock Lesnar did last year and beat The Undertaker? Would WWE really consider putting Undertaker under two years in a row? Do they really have enough confidence in Bray Wyatt to be on the same level as Brock Lesnar as people that have beat The Deadman at Wrestlemania? I love Bray Wyatt. He’s the best talker on the roster next to Paul Heyman and has as much mystique as Undertaker himself but you don’t bet against Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Undertaker goes over but hopefully it’s something memorable with Wyatt.

Sting didn’t come to WWE to lose. He’s my favorite to beat Triple H on Sunday, I just wish there was something more to this. Will this end The Authority? Is it a straight exhibition? Will WWE use this bout to put the final nail in WCW? A loss here doesn’t hurt Triple H and this could be it for Sting. I understand the adage of going out on your back but put Sting over and hope he and Undertaker can have one final dream match at Wrestlemania 32 next year.

Vince McMahon made a tremendous statement last week at Raw by signing Brock Lesnar to another hefty part-time contract. Brock is WWE’s investment that they’ll have a guaranteed top star and major draw for the next three years. Because of this, I don’t see Roman Reigns ending him. Not this year. Brock goes over and retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship but I’ll leave the door open for what happens next. Does the show fade with Lesnar standing tall? Does Seth Rollins come out and “cash in?” Does The Rock make a surprise return?

Again, I’ll leave the door open for what happens after Brock retains. I’ve been consistent in saying that I’ll judge Wrestlemania on a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion being crowned. I want a new champion and I want to see an end to a part-timer holding the belt. This reign has gone on too long, the defenses have been too infrequent and it’s made me completely apathetic to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

I don’t care if it’s Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins or someone else, I just want a new champion to be crowned at Wrestlemania. But I’m still predicting Brock Lesnar to retain. Take from that what you will.

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