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What's the most realistic best case scenario for WWE's popularity by the end of 2014?

While I obviously don't have a crystal ball big enough to predict the future for WWE, it looks bright. The long-awaited WWE Network will launch later this month and it's expected to increase product interest and viewer engagement. In addition to giving fans 24/7 365 day access to the company, it's also expected to greatly increase the number of people that watch their pay-per-view events. WWE and their current television partners are optimistic this will increase ratings and spike viewership. Another thing WWE has in the works this year is their new domestic TV deal which will be decided on by March 4, 2014. All things considered, WWE is growing and getting an even bigger monopoly on the pro wrestling business.

Did CM Punk walk out and quit WWE or is he just taking a break?

CM Punk walked out on WWE but remains under a Performer's contract that is set to expire in July. The belief from those close to him is that mental and physical burnout resulted in his decision to go home. We're now learning that friends of his knew he was considering leaving and that consideration has now been realized. As of Monday morning, WWE was operating under the assumption he was gone and was moving on without him. The belief is the proposed Wrestlemania XXX match against Triple H is still there if he comes back but obviously that's not going to stay like that forever. We have another update you can read at this link.

Rumor has it that security was telling people to stop chanting for CM Punk and taking Punk signs away. How much truth is there to this and under first amendment rights can a crowd member be thrown out for not stopping a Punk chant?

Fans were not ejected for chanting CM Punk at this week's episode of Monday Night Raw in Omaha. Apparently there were some claims on Twitter that started to make headlines but they were not based on fact. WWE and event staff were confiscating CM Punk signs in order to try to keep the attention off the story of him leaving the company. WWE did make other efforts to control the crowd chants and I'll have more in this week's Backstage Raw News.

How about the show Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton put on at this week's episode of Monday Night Raw?

One would be hard pressed to criticize WWE for giving Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton more than 27 minutes on free TV that saw Bryan pin the WWE World Heavyweight Champion clean. We can all be hesitant about WWE finally giving Bryan a protected run as a top guy but you're not going to see anything bad from me about this one. This was the right move and a case of Vince McMahon listening to his audience. We also need to give Bryan and Orton a tremendous amount of credit. They've had a lot of matches with one another and to be able to produce material that still tells a story and is new and is refreshing is no easy task. The main event was by far away the best thing on this week's Raw and if you missed it, you need to go back and watch it. You can read my complete notes from this week's Raw including my full analysis on the main event at this link.

What are the updated plans for Wrestlemania XXX?

Plans for Wrestlemania XXX have been more "up in the air" this year than some of my sources can ever remember. Vince McMahon likes to have Wrestlemania planned up to a year in advance but this year it just hasn't happened. From not getting part-time talent locked down to other issues, the plans have constantly changed. However, the plans for the show as of this writing are to do Randy Orton vs. Batista, Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker, John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H. I was told they were looking at doing Goldust vs. Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio pitched a match against Alberto Del Rio.  Obviously these plans are subject to change with the only "sure thing" being Batista challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in response to winning the Royal Rumble.

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