Dot Net Awards: 2014 Biggest News Story
Dot Net readers voted on a variety of 2014 awards throughout the month of January. The following are the results of our poll for 2014 Biggest News Story. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting. You can check out the past winners in our Awards section.
(1) Brock Lesnar ends Undertaker's WrestleMania Streak: 34 percent
(2) CM Punk leaves WWE: 20 percent
(3) Ultimate Warrior dies after taking part in WrestleMania weekend: 13 percent
(4) WWE Network launches: 9 percent
(5) WrestleMania 30 plans change due to Daniel Bryan's popularity: 7 percent
Others: 17 percent
Jason Powell's Thoughts: From a business perspective, the launch of WWE Network and the fallout throughout the year was the biggest story of 2014. End of story. No story captured the attention of the die-hard pro wrestling fan like C.M. Punk's departure, and Lesnar beating ending The Streak was a mega-story that garnered more mainstream attention than any pro wrestling match has in years.
Will Pruett's Thoughts: Is there a bigger story than the WWE Network? It was just about a year ago that it was announced in Las Vegas. It launched last February and completely changed the way we watched wrestling. It failed to meet WWE's insanely optimistic projections and triggered cuts throughout the wrestling industry. At the end of the year, WWE was figuring out how to profit in their new world. WWE Network changed everything and its reach throughout the industry will be seen for years.
Jake Barnett's Thoughts: The sentimental favorite to win this category has to be the end of the Undertaker's WrestleMania streak. It was the most emotional reaction to a Pro Wrestling match that I can remember. I disagree with the idea that it's the biggest news story of the year, however. That honor belongs to the launch of the WWE Network. In what was a characteristically risky and bold move from Vince McMahon, he was able to launch the long awaited service, and in the process turn the entire Pro Wrestling industry business model over on its head.
Zack Zimmerman's Thoughts: How could I go with anything else? Yes there was some big news with new groups launching, people leaving, people coming in, but the launch of the Network was legitimately the biggest step into the future WWE has taken in decades. It wasn't without its issues and the long-term ramifications are still impossible to know, but $9.99 for PPVs, NXT and the specials, and a large library of historical content is a hell of a thing. I'm not ignoring the issues around the world, or WWE undervaluing their product, or the lack of organized and current content, I'm just recognizing that in terms of newsworthy leaps into the future, WWE Network was the biggest we've seen in a long time. Honorable mentions to New Japan World, CM Punk (both in regards to WWE and UFC), and the TNA TV negotiations.
Darren Gutteridge's Thoughts: Punk vs WWE was big, but we've seen tonnes of disgruntled ex-employees lash out before. The Network launching was a paradigm shift, but it wasn't the huge success/failure it needed to be to register here. The ending of a storyline that started two months after I was born in 1991 was gigantic. 10 months on, Undertaker's loss at WM 30 still irks, hurts, and astounds me.
Haydn Gleed's Thoughts: From a personal point of view, there were no bigger stories than the Undertaker streak ending and the sudden passing of the Ultimate Warrior. I wrote about that at the time why they affected me in a big way so I won't re-hash that here. Looking on a wider scale outside the little bubble that is the world of Haydn Gleed, in my view no story impacted the world of wrestling more than CM Punk on Colt Cabana's podcast. Not only was it the spectacle of the man who disappeared one day and kept his thoughts to himself for 11 months, so you had the build up of curiosity of what actually happened, but it was the content of what he said that had the most punch. Yes, many wrestlers had gone on podcast or done shoot videos saying pretty much the same thing as Punk, but some of them come across as bitter. No one person had the credibility that Punk did at the time, and as a result people who wouldn't usually listen to wrestling podcast took in what he had to say and were exposed to what potentially goes on behind the glitz and glamour of the WWE production.
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