Re: **The Official Raw Ratings Thread** (Discuss Ratings In Here)
In fairness to Ryback, he does have the ability to draw, but only while his undefeated streak is intact. That, along with his build and the way his matches work makes him easy to watch. He just goes out there, destroys, yells "Feed me more!" and leaves, and usually all in less than 5 minutes with no commercial breaks, making his segments easy to stick around for for casuals.
The only thing is, what happens when he's not undefeated? Or even if he's still undefeated, what happens when he stays on the screen for more than 5 minutes at a time? Will casuals still stick around for him? It worked for Goldberg, but honestly I feel Goldberg had that invincible aura down much much better than Ryback, and that he had a much bigger presence. Goldberg is superior to Ryback (or was), and so history might not repeat itself with Ryback.
Another thing is I think Ryback's appeal is already wearing thin (even though he still has his undefeated streak). Back around his Raw debut, he either gained or lost less than the usual loss in odd segments, but now it seems the opposite. A few weeks ago in the 9PM segment that gained less than usual, he was there towards the end. Now granted he wasn't advertised, but he was there long enough where people could've heard about him being on there and would've tuned in if he was a big draw. But I won't go deep into that since the fact remains the segment was mostly about Miz. Last week Ryback/Tensai was in a quarter that lost 350,000 viewers. Ryback/Miz the week before was in the quarter that lost 500,000+ viewers. A few weeks ago Ryback/Slater lost 164,000 viewers. But of course then you look back in early August, the quarter Ryback was in gained 78,000 when he was facing Reks/Hawkins. Or the final 2 hour Raw, where Ryback/Swagger lost only 20,000 viewers off the 10PM segment which had a near 300,000 viewer gain.
So all in all, I think Ryback's appeal is thinning, and unless his undefeated streak ends up being as long as Goldberg's and he becomes champion while undefeated a year or two down the line, I'm certain when his undefeated streak goes, so does anything interesting in the casual fans eyes about him and so does any drawing power he has right now. If let's say Cena can't compete in the cell and they go with Punk/Ryback, and Punk beats Ryback, then I'm certain that's what will happen. If Ryback won... well, who knows what would happen. I think it's too unpredictable to tell at this point. Keep him undefeated for a year or so, have him in semi-big/big feuds with Orton/Sheamus/Punk/Cena/Big Show/Henry, have him win the championship sometime in 2014 or at latest WM31, and then after that have him lose to really put over a heel huge. And by that point he'd have gained so much momentum and drawing ability that unless WWE turns him into another Cena in terms of character and adults shy away from him, he'd have solidified himself as a top draw and star.
It's why I also think they shouldn't have involved Ryback in the WWE Title feud so soon. Honestly if WWE wanted to take a huge gamble with Punk as the top heel and champion in order to hugely benefit Ryback at the end, have Punk retain his title all the way to WM31, beating Rock, HHH, Austin, Cena, Orton, Sheamus, as well as everyone else he's already beaten and adding some other people to the mix to cement himself as the top heel in the industry and the undisputed number 1 guy. He'd have been champ for 40+ months by that point, and after beating everyone by hook or crook, Ryback wins the Rumble and gets to face Punk at WM31, he beats him, and ends the reign of terror by CM Punk. Then at some point towards the end of the year, Ryback loses the title some big heel like, for example, Wade Barrett (by that point).
Hell, if they wanted to go even deeper than that, have a story where Ryback's behavior as of now is all because of drug addiction, and Punk at some point in the near future beats down Ryback/attacks him from behind and does something to take Ryback out of action for awhile. When Ryback comes back and say, helps Punk beat Austin/HHH at WM29 as a shocker to retain the title, Punk reveals Ryback's previous drug addiction and how he brought him back. Now he'll still be a dominant force in the ring, but he'd be allowed to cut better promos and still be unstoppable. Rather than only knowing how to say "Feed Me More!" he cuts promos of a wider variety, while still keeping him beastly aura and letting his actions most of the time do the talking, and uses it to help Punk. Punk then saves another young guy fro drugs... say... Dean Ambrose for the fuck of it (replace this name with any younger guy not on main WWE television right now), and Heyman sticks around with Punk and acts as the manager for all three. It would be similar to Evolution actually, with Punk as the HHH, Heyman as the Flair (though not a competitor, but as a suck-up to Punk and everyone in the group and interfering in matches to ensure the group almost always wins), Ryback as the Batista, and Ambrose as the Orton. Two years of Punk on top of the food chain, only unlike HHH, he keeps the title through all of it, and the hate for him skyrockets, especially when he's using the group (and mainly Ryback) just as well as HHH used Evolution. They repeat history from ten years prior where Ryback wins the Rumble, and slowly turns on Punk before finally declaring he faces Punk for the title. He beats him at Mania, and the rest is history. Heyman would maybe stick with Punk or leave from that point, and Ambrose/whoever would go on to become WHC, and hell, maybe they could become WHC while Punk is WWE Champion.
Now this isn't going to happen, and honestly it's not even what I'd personally like to happen. 40+ months of Punk or ANYONE as champion in this day and age is way too much and it's a huge risk because if people don't react where they want to tune in to see Punk lose and instead just flat out stop watching, it could come close to killing the company if it doesn't do so. But if it would work, it could be what saves the business from the downward spiral it's on right now. Sometimes huge risks are necessary for huge rewards.
But as I said, it won't, shouldn't, and I don't want it to really happen. While the idea of Punk being on top like that is great, even him as champion for that long doesn't appeal to me. Hell, if he's still champion after WM29, I'll definitely have something to say about that. And while I understand he could lose the title at some point and then gain it back like HHH did, Punk doesn't have the same natural credibility based on look that HHH had, and I think in order for the results to replicate what we saw with Batista, Ryback needs to be the one after everyone else couldn't get the title away from Punk for a second, that takes the title off Punk.
Like I said already a few times, it's not that I want this to happen (at least not exactly), but the point of writing all this is to suggest a path Ryback could become a solidified top draw for many years in the future. You could replace Punk with someone else capable of being the top heel if you have some vendetta against Punk, though you'd have to re-write my version a bit since Punk's manipulation of getting Ryback to join him relies on the whole drug addiction story, but if could convincingly get Ryback to turn heel, it could work extremely well well with any capable top heel of leading a group.
I'm watching you...
Last edited by The Evil Santadow; 10-06-2012 at 01:14 AM.