There is no duty we so much underrate as... being happy. -Robert Louis Stevenson
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: At Third & King in San Francisco, Where Thrice-Crowned Kings Play
Re: **The Official Raw Ratings Thread** (Discuss Ratings In Here)
It is almost truly indescribable how much WWE, John Cena and to a lesser extent The Rock have all seemingly conspired to ruin what should have been the biggest, most important feud the WWE had seen since Batista/Triple H. I'm blaming The Rock some because of the Portland Promo. I'm blaming Cena for his typical bullshit. And I say typical bullshit because this isn't exactly the first time he's shrugged off an opponent going into what should have been a mega-match. The final Raw before Wrestlemania XXVI, he actually undid all of the build-up (which at that time was very, very good) between he and Batista, saying he no longer saw the Animal but just Dave Batista and he knew he could beat Batista. Turned out, he more or less obliterated Batista in their feud, which wasn't by itself a bad booking decision since Batista was leaving but the feud was never quite the same. It became much worse after the duct tape incident at Extreme Rules. Then there was his shtick the week before TLC 2010, which demonstrated just how far the Nexus angle had sunk. Cena was sure he was going to win, he was going to crush Wade Barrett... and he did. Then there was last year's Wrestlemania build. For the first several weeks after Elimination Chamber, he made juvenile jokes about The Miz and Alex Riley. He and Rock continued their promo wars while Miz had to carry the actual present feud. Then there was the entire Survivor Series 2011 build-up fiasco, in which he singlehandedly crushed Awesome Truth like a couple of ants, belittled them and never took them remotely seriously. Now he's doing it with The Rock. I guess we can't overstate whatever CM Punk had to impress John Cena because he's essentially been the only individual as of late to escape this sort of treatment from Cena. (I'm not even counting Kane since it was filler but I'll be damned if that feud didn't have more depth to it at certain points than Rock/Cena does at this time.) But WWE deserves the most amount of blame.
They built The Miz up one year ago, only to systematically destroy everything he and they worked on. They booked Rock vs. Cena one year in advance and allowed the intrigue and mystery of the build-up to be undercut by their Survivor Series build-up, which looking back on it was a colossal waste. However, the most devastating matter today is that I have no idea why Rock is fighting John Cena on April 1. Why are they so hesitant to allow Rock to bring back to the table what started all of this, Cena's badmouthing and calling out of The Rock years ago? That is where this all emerged from in the first place. Instead, he's supposedly fighting for the people but as the feud goes along the people are being driven into Cena's camp. The whole thing is a gigantic clusterfuck of a mess.
The other problem, which I would argue is an even more pressing problem for WWE in the realm of ratings is that they have utterly failed to make people care about anyone not named Triple H, John Cena, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and from time to time CM Punk. WWE's #1 problem is inflation. Star inflation. Championship inflation. Case in point--the two world championship matches feel like midcard bouts at Wrestlemania. They finally started something great with Chris Jericho and CM Punk last week, but this week was a standard, pedestrian tag team match (playa) right in the middle of the show. Sheamus and Daniel Bryan's feud is at emergency levels of needing some nourishment. This is terrible. Meanwhile, they've stripped last year's pet project, The Miz, bare to the point where seven months ago he was a ratings draw by himself in shitty quarter hours doing shitty things and now he's always in segments that lose dramatic levels of viewers.
WWE is in trouble. Raw averaged 5.6 million viewers during the Road to Wrestlemania in 2010. Raw averaged 5.6 million viewers during the Road to Wrestlemania in 2011. Right now, they're one million viewers off. These are viewership numbers we could easily see in May. This is catastrophic.
The Rock/Cena feud has become unexciting for most casuals. I was talking with a few friends last night--individuals who watch Raw on and off, knew about Rock vs. Cena eleven months ago, etceteras--and they were all unanimous that they just don't care anymore. Rock as an icon has actually gone down in all of their estimations. Between his patchy performances, Cena's interactions with him, what have you, WWE's actually damaged Rock's brand rather than he clearly improve theirs (in terms of quality product, obviously he was a major part of their business explosion a year ago right now, including much of the WM 27 buyrate).
Last year during the early autumnal phase of what had been the Summer of Punk, I joked about WWE being able to fuck anything up. Well, it turns out that they are.
Credit to TAR for bringing this .gif to my attention.