This Week in WWE: Sting Resurfaces, Cena vs. Reigns, Santino Retires, Kurt Angle’s Future, Huge Network Push

Sting tweet causes massive speculation

This photo, tweeted by Sting, sent the entire wrestling world into a frenzy.

This photo, tweeted by Sting, sent the entire wrestling world into a frenzy.

WCW legend Sting took to his official Twitter account for the first time in months and posted a cryptic tweet with a picture of him in his classic black and white face paint. He later tweeted the date 07.14.14.  Speculation is running rampant that Sting will make an appearance on next week’s Monday Night Raw in Richmond, VA. Some have predicted that a major announcement will be made on Raw in regard to his involvement in the upcoming WWE 2K15 video game.

Since leaving TNA, Sting’s contractual status with WWE has remained unclear. It appeared that both sides had reached an agreement in the days following WrestleMania 30. Sting was even featured on the WWE Network special, Warrior: The Ultimate Legend.

The wrestling world will be waiting anxiously for what promises to be a memorable edition of Raw.

Raw features strong Cena vs. Reigns tease

Future WrestleMania main event?

Future WrestleMania main event?

The biggest news to come out of Monday Night Raw was the tease of a potential John Cena vs. Roman Reigns program. It is becoming increasingly evident that Reigns is being groomed as the heir apparent to Cena.

Reigns started the show by cutting a promo on his opponents in the Fatal 4 Way championship match at Battleground, including making some specific verbal jabs toward Cena. A later backstage segment saw Reigns sarcastically wish Cena luck .

After the  Cena vs. Rollins main event degenerated into an all-out brawl, Reigns stormed down the aisle to save Cena from an Authority beatdown. As both stood tall in the ring Reigns held up Cena’s arm . Cena returned the favor as Reigns gave him a cocky look. This moment was very effective in building the underlying tension of what promises to be one of the biggest programs in WWE’s future.

Santino announces retirement at live event

Santino addressing the crowd at a live event.

Santino addressing the crowd at a live event.

The fans in attendance at Sunday’s WWE live event in Toronto, Ontario got more than they bargained when Santino Marella announced his retirement from active competition.

Santino decided to step away from the ring because of lingering neck issues. As we’ve seen with the recent example of Daniel Bryan, along with the retirements of Edge and Steve Austin, a broken neck is nothing to take lightly. I’d much rather see any wrestler be able to voluntarily walk away from the business than end up paralyzed. Santino’s most recent surgery was last month.

Santino has made it clear would like to continue working with WWE in  some capacity.

While Santino was never one of my favorite performers, I cannot deny his comedic genius. He would have to rank high on any list of the most naturally funny characters to ever appear in WWE. I have nothing but the utmost respect for him as a man.

Thanks for the memories.

Kurt Angle hints at  possible WWE return

Angle announced that he will not re-sign with TNA once his contract expires this fall.

Angle announced that he will not be renewing his current TNA contract.

While appearing on Jim Ross’ podcast this week, Kurt Angle made mention that he does not plan on renewing his TNA contract, which expires on 9/21. He went on to say that the next contract he signs will be his final one as an active wrestler.

It’s no secret that Angle is clamoring for a WWE return. With his extensive track record of injuries and substance abuse issues I cannot envision Vince McMahon allowing him to wrestle, even on a part-time basis. The last time Angle’s TNA contract was due, WWE made no offer.

There is a possibility that the company Angle may be referring to is Jeff Jarrett’s upstart Global Force Wrestling. If Jarrett is able to secure a television deal this fall, they could become a real player in the national wrestling scene.

Network subscriptions become top priority

WWE is launching an all- out offensive to lure new subscribers.

WWE is launching an all-out offensive to lure new subscribers.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

WWE is taking this notion to the extreme when it comes to attracting customers to its 24/7 streaming service.

In addition to all the in-ring action on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, the show literally served as a three-hour WWE Network advertisement. Almost from the moment Raw went on the air, fans were bombarded with repeated updates and commercials about the network. They even started a new promotion allowing fans to sign up for a free one-week trial without having to provide any credit card information. All you need to do is create a free WWE.com account. They heavily hyped a preview of the new Monday Night Wart series that aired on the network immediately following Raw.

It’s an understatement to say that there is tremendous internal concern over the network’s success. It has not taken off like most in the company predicted it would and the startup costs have been enormous. All of the recent talent/personnel cuts we’ve seen over the last three weeks are a direct result of the network not reaching its intended projections. Business Insider ran a rather critical story this week on the efforts the company is making to entice new subscribers.

While the WWE Network is a tremendous service, I question whether its current model is best for business. While $9.99 for a six-month commitment is a great value (and no fan should ever complain about the price), the service is really worth much more than that.

 

 

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