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C Mac G
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Discussion Starter #1
Often a sentiment I see get thrown around, to justify the falling ratings, is "Wrestling just can't be cool again man, it's fake", you'll see it always get thrown around, and it's just a cop out excuse.

Guys, EVERYONE knows that Wrestling was fake, everyone knew what it was, and it was STILL doing great numbers, hell, it was doing GREAT numbers relatively recently.

We just have to go back 4 years(not that long of a time), the post Wrestlemania 31 edition of RAW did a MONSTER 5.36 million viewership average. Was Mania 31 great? Yeah, but it's not like it was this out of this world show that had a billion legends returning, it just had an amazing closing angle with Seth Rollins cashing in money in the bank and winning the title.

Seth Rollins winning the title ultimately got 5 MILLION people interested in watching Wrestling the following night, obviously an anomaly of a number, but 4 years ago, they pulled that number relying on all of the guys they had and not The Rock and a Lesnar title match, the debut on FOX etc(which still only did 3.8 million). YouTube existed 4 years ago, so don't give me that excuse of "People are just watching on YouTube".

Fast forward to Wrestlemania 35, where Seth Rollins won the title again from Brock Lesnar, and the post Mania show did 2.9 million viewers, in those 4 years, people didn't just suddenly realize (Herp derp, wrestling just isn't cool anymore), they lost some people to internet viewing and cord cutting, sure, but 2.5 million people leaving is astronomical, and that isn't indicative of Wrestling not being cool anymore, it's just the show has gotten THAT bad, and they've failed to make stars.

Why they've failed to make stars, we can argue on for months, weather it be pushing the wrong talent, booking in general just being atrocious etc. but the idea that Wrestling as a whole can't be cool again, or at the very least, popular, is fucking retarded.

It's going to take consistent, quality Television for literally YEARS, those viewers weren't lost overnight, but I still remain of the fact that if the show is quality at a CONSISTENT basis, it would grow in viewership.

I do however think it's going to be doubly hard for RAW to gain in viewership on the basis that it's a fucking 3 hour show and no one wants to invest the time, but I do think that Smackdown, AEW and NXT, provided they have quality consistent programming, they can grow.
 

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Listen to me, When the times comes, you gotta run
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Over 5 million viewers in 2015 is shocking to me because even then I thought the product was poor, really shoes how dogshit wwe been the last two years to have the ratings this low even on network TV they can't get 3 million viewers
 

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C Mac G
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Discussion Starter #3
Over 5 million viewers in 2015 is shocking to me because even then I thought the product was poor, really shoes how dogshit wwe been the last two years to have the ratings this low even on network TV they can't get 3 million viewers
It was over 5 million viewers because they did an incredible PPV that over delivered, but even the week prior, in the go home to WM 31, they did 4.1 million viewers.

That's JUST 4 years ago, not a long time at all, they quickly lost all of those viewers because Rollins' booking as champion was horrific, and then they led right into the atrocious Mania 32 Arc, and you'll see that they lost a shit load of viewers in that span.

But it's obvious that there was initial interest in Rollins as champion, that much can't be denied.
 

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The big problem is that wrestling to most people is the WWE. And the WWE has become a toxic brand reputation wise, which affects the entire industry. While the company has always had critics, it's never been as bad as it has been lately.

The last time I saw a brand so unanimously derided by people is TNA, and we know what happened there. You can only tank your reputation so long before it catches up to you.

You simply can't flip off the audience forever and not have it hit you on the ass... fans on twitter, reddit, these boards...we're as much a part of the WWE marketing as the WWE marketing itself. And you simply cannot ignore the effect such widespread fan negativity has on the reputation of the product, and that affects their ability to gain new and younger fans, who are far more "plugged in" today than ever before. If a lot of people are shitting on a product...chances are anyone with a phone or PC will know it.

There's a reason why they've been bleeding that precious 18-49 demographic for years and haven't gained any back. WWE is still good with 50 year olds because those people don't read social media as much, they're not as affected by WWE's simply toxic reputation to everyone under 45.

That's what the WWE doesn't get and I think won't realize until maybe it's too late. I listen to the excuses they make in their Quarterly meetings with shareholders and it's quite clear they think their very transparent attempts at controlling the narrative in all facets of their production will continue to distract most people from their myriad of underlying issues and anti-customer attitudes. The problem is, it increasingly doesn't fool that 18-49 demographic anymore.

Hopefully, promotions like AEW can carve out a loyal younger generation of wrestling fans and establish a wrestling brand for the modern generation.
 

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You mentioned that ratings were up a few years ago. Even with that general audience still didn't give a shit about it.

I think that It can be popular but only to a certain extent. It's never gonna be mainstream again but I do think it can be bigger than what it is now and if that's to be then that's gonna come from AEW or some other promotion because WWE sure as shit either won't or can't do it.
 

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I think it's certainly possible to get that many fans watching regularly again. There's a good number of fans who have stopped watching weekly since then, but still keep up with what's going on through the internet. If some good main event angles strike their interest they will know about it and probably start to tune in regularly again.
 

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C Mac G
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Discussion Starter #7
You mentioned that ratings were up a few years ago. Even with that general audience still didn't give a shit about it.

I think that It can be popular but only to a certain extent. It's never gonna be mainstream again but I do think it can be bigger than what it is now and if that's to be then that's gonna come from AEW or some other promotion because WWE sure as shit either won't or can't do it.
Yeah, Popular is definitely a relative term, but the day that the Smackdown on FOX rating came out at 3.8 million, people suddenly thought the show was incredibly main stream, when just 4 years ago, that number was incredibly easy to get, and for a hyped up show, they could smash 5 million without relying on The Rock being on the show(granted, Rock was on Mania 31, so that fallout may have helped, but I doubt by much).
 

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Often a sentiment I see get thrown around, to justify the falling ratings, is "Wrestling just can't be cool again man, it's fake", you'll see it always get thrown around, and it's just a cop out excuse.

Guys, EVERYONE knows that Wrestling was fake, everyone knew what it was, and it was STILL doing great numbers, hell, it was doing GREAT numbers relatively recently.

We just have to go back 4 years(not that long of a time), the post Wrestlemania 31 edition of RAW did a MONSTER 5.36 million viewership average. Was Mania 31 great? Yeah, but it's not like it was this out of this world show that had a billion legends returning, it just had an amazing closing angle with Seth Rollins cashing in money in the bank and winning the title.

Seth Rollins winning the title ultimately got 5 MILLION people interested in watching Wrestling the following night, obviously an anomaly of a number, but 4 years ago, they pulled that number relying on all of the guys they had and not The Rock and a Lesnar title match, the debut on FOX etc(which still only did 3.8 million). YouTube existed 4 years ago, so don't give me that excuse of "People are just watching on YouTube".

Fast forward to Wrestlemania 35, where Seth Rollins won the title again from Brock Lesnar, and the post Mania show did 2.9 million viewers, in those 4 years, people didn't just suddenly realize (Herp derp, wrestling just isn't cool anymore), they lost some people to internet viewing and cord cutting, sure, but 2.5 million people leaving is astronomical, and that isn't indicative of Wrestling not being cool anymore, it's just the show has gotten THAT bad, and they've failed to make stars.

Why they've failed to make stars, we can argue on for months, weather it be pushing the wrong talent, booking in general just being atrocious etc. but the idea that Wrestling as a whole can't be cool again, or at the very least, popular, is fucking retarded.

It's going to take consistent, quality Television for literally YEARS, those viewers weren't lost overnight, but I still remain of the fact that if the show is quality at a CONSISTENT basis, it would grow in viewership.

I do however think it's going to be doubly hard for RAW to gain in viewership on the basis that it's a fucking 3 hour show and no one wants to invest the time, but I do think that Smackdown, AEW and NXT, provided they have quality consistent programming, they can grow.
It can become “popular” again and capture the cultural zeitgeist. But WWE makes that sort of a comeback very, very difficult for the following reasons :

1) Largely minimalistic characters - no one stands out. Or very few do.
2) Homogenized scripted promos remove the sponteniaty from everything
3) Too much content - in order for the populace to miss something, it has to go away for a while. WWE did that when they lost much of their syndication in the 90s and SNME. Now it’s the opposite - there’s 7 hours of original content on per week. It’s overexposed, which reinforces points 1 and 2
4) They think they are doin everything as it should be done, not realizing that they are one recession or bad TV deal from serious issues
 

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It was over 5 million viewers because they did an incredible PPV that over delivered, but even the week prior, in the go home to WM 31, they did 4.1 million viewers.

That's JUST 4 years ago, not a long time at all, they quickly lost all of those viewers because Rollins' booking as champion was horrific, and then they led right into the atrocious Mania 32 Arc, and you'll see that they lost a shit load of viewers in that span.

But it's obvious that there was initial interest in Rollins as champion, that much can't be denied.
That 5 Million Viewership had more to do with that being the RAW after WM, which had the reputation of being better than WM itself at times. It had nothing to do with Rollins being Champion and it's obvious judging by how the ratings dropped like a brick shortly afterwards (hell I stopped watching for a while because of Rollins being Champion) but yeah let's blame it on crappy booking LMAO.
 

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The big problem is that wrestling to most people is the WWE. And the WWE has become a toxic brand reputation wise, which affects the entire industry. While the company has always had critics, it's never been as bad as it has been lately.

The last time I saw a brand so unanimously derided by people is TNA, and we know what happened there. You can only tank your reputation so long before it catches up to you.

You simply can't flip off the audience forever and not have it hit you on the ass... fans on twitter, reddit, these boards...we're as much a part of the WWE marketing as the WWE marketing itself. And you simply cannot ignore the effect such widespread fan negativity has on the reputation of the product, and that affects their ability to gain new and younger fans, who are far more "plugged in" today than ever before. If a lot of people are shitting on a product...chances are anyone with a phone or PC will know it.

There's a reason why they've been bleeding that precious 18-49 demographic for years and haven't gained any back. WWE is still good with 50 year olds because those people don't read social media as much, they're not as affected by WWE's simply toxic reputation to everyone under 45.

That's what the WWE doesn't get and I think won't realize until maybe it's too late. I listen to the excuses they make in their Quarterly meetings with shareholders and it's quite clear they think their very transparent attempts at controlling the narrative in all facets of their production will continue to distract most people from their myriad of underlying issues and anti-customer attitudes. The problem is, it increasingly doesn't fool that 18-49 demographic anymore.

Hopefully, promotions like AEW can carve out a loyal younger generation of wrestling fans and establish a wrestling brand for the modern generation.
You make a couple of very valid points, but there's a major issue here in Canada that I find....I still get weekly flyers, and just the other day I was flipping through the pages of a few flyers, and one from our active Toys R' Us, the thing that stood out the most was that there was nothing from WWE in there...nothing, not even a figurine, ring set, replica titles. This is a company that claims to be catering to young kids. You'd think the largest toy retailer in Canada would advertise WWE in their brochures, but nope.

It's usually an older sibling, cousin, father, etc that sparks initial interest in WWE, but nope...Toys R' Us here in Canada would rather feature a Curling board on special as a Christmas gift instead of a "fake" character.

WWE is obviously catering to the networks, stock market, and special interest groups.

WWE can become popular on a regular basis if they get rid of the PR and sensitive crap that we have been hearing from Steph the past 10 years, but we all know that won't happen until Steph runs and wins a state or federal election.

Can't focus on WWE trying to make wrestling popular, edgy, resonance as those days are gone with Steph being CBO. Companies like AEW, Impact, MLW are trying but are still stuck in potential mode. I could include Evolve in this but WWE has an agreement with them.

A small but integral part to making wrestling popular again is either Impact, or AEW buy Evolve/WWN and keep Sal and Gabe. AEW buying WWN/Evolve would give them a major boost and also be able to market their subsidiaries better on national television.

If AEW buys Evolve/WWN then it would make sense to keep Evolve, Viva La Lucha, as subsidiaries and territories with their own booking, champions, etc.
AEW purchasing WWN/Evolve would work.


Impact buying NWA, MLW, and ROH/Sinclair Broadcasting (some exclusions) would work as well because they could easily keep NWA, MLW, ROH as the subsidiaries or territories with their own booking, champions, roster, etc. You know Anthem is ambitious in the broadcasting business and it won't surprise me if the rumours are true of them wanting to buy Sinclair and ROH (excluding Tennis, YES, Timeline Labs, Sterling, Patriot Capital II, Allegiance, Keyser Capital). Anthem owning Impact, MLW, NWA, ROH, Sinclair, AXS TV could work very well. MLW, NWA could be bi-weekly shows with their own roster, etc. Impact and ROH would obviously be weekly.

More national and international exposure of weekly or even bi-weekly television programming would boost the popularity of the smaller promotions with more resources for creative, better booking, and obviously better marketing. We are not talking about massive ratings or even selling out stadiums, but selling out arenas in the medium sized cities and large suburbs would do well for the smaller promotions with the proper channels, and resources.


TV ratings for other shows and sports are still pulling in near record highs so obviously people are watching on television, you just need something creative and appealing to get them interested, not to WWE but other promotions who still rely on television. I know Streaming/Apps are notoriously popular, but there will always be the need for live television.
 

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It's impossible for it to be popular again when WWE in 2019 is created exclusively for an audience of 2: Vince and the sponsors. Also the WWE roster is way over bloated yet nobody is an established household name outside of Lesnar, Reigns, Bray and old part timers.

WWE 2019 is a great example of quantity over quality.
 

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Fearless University Graduate
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Of course it can be. But the current model cant be.

Pushing Indy Geeks, Spot Monkeys, Charisma Vacuums, etc will hold it back. Geeks with zero personality, charisma, promo skills, etc who just spam flips and shit being at the forefront of the WWE and other companies will keep Pro Wrestling as a niche thing that cant be popular.

Push the characters again, push the people who can appeal to casuals, and hardcores alike instead of just pushing anti-draws that only appeal to hardcore workrate fans.
 

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I don't think it can ever be popular again in terms of how it was in the late 90's to early 2000's, where it was actually a part of mainstream culture.

It's just seen as lame. Wrestling has one of the biggest closet fan base around. Why do people often pretend they don't watch wrestling, but never do that with MMA, or football, or fuck even reality tv shows? It's because pro wrestling (WWE) is embarrassing to be associated with.

WWE holds the monopoly on pro wrestling, and WWE is literally the most uncool thing in the world.

Of course it can be. But the current model cant be.

Pushing Indy Geeks, Spot Monkeys, Charisma Vacuums, etc will hold it back. Geeks with zero personality, charisma, promo skills, etc who just spam flips and shit being at the forefront of the WWE and other companies will keep Pro Wrestling as a niche thing that cant be popular.

Push the characters again, push the people who can appeal to casuals, and hardcores alike instead of just pushing anti-draws that only appeal to hardcore workrate fans.
WWE began hemorrhaging popularity long before the indie geeks came in. It's been a downward spiral since 2001. They lost tons of viewers in 2002 despite having Austin, Rock, Hogan, Flair, Triple H, Michaels, Angle, Jericho etc at their disposal. I agree with you that the spot monkey era ain't helping, but the business was seen as lame way before they came around.

I remember kids making fun of me for watching gay wrestling in school in like 2005, back when they had a far more charismatic roster than they do now. That's nearly 15 years ago, and it was already seen as totally lame.
 

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Team AEW
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It's just seen as lame. Wrestling has one of the biggest closet fan base around. Why do people often pretend they don't watch wrestling, but never do that with MMA, or football, or fuck even reality tv shows? It's because pro wrestling (WWE) is embarrassing to be associated with.

WWE holds the monopoly on pro wrestling, and WWE is literally the most uncool thing in the world.
This. It's a kindergarten show for the most people now. Nobody takes it seriously. WWE killed the business, and it's hard (if not impossible) to create real competition these days, so wrestling really has little hope.
 

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It's impossible for it to be popular again when WWE in 2019 is created exclusively for an audience of 2: Vince and the sponsors. Also the WWE roster is way over bloated yet nobody is an established household name outside of Lesnar, Reigns, Bray and old part timers.

WWE 2019 is a great example of quantity over quality.
On what planet are Reigns and Bray household names? Certainly not Earth.
 

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Wrestling could be populair again for sure but I dont see the wwe with there current format ever getting 5 or even 4 milion viewers again. What made the attitude era populair? What made the ufc populair in 2010? What made wcw populair in 1997? What made the ufc populair again in 2015-2018? STARS. In every combat sport ever, people have tuned into stars and larger than life personalities. Louis,Ali,Frazier,Tyson,Floyd,De la hoya,Conor,Ronda,Lesnar,Gsp,Hogan,Austin,Goldberg,Rock etc. What all those guys have in common is that they reached a broader audience thus the viewership on every fight or show they appeared on increased.

The wwe have this new vision where it is the brand that draws. They think this is the nfl or something where people will just watch because it is the wwe. Well wrong. You might get 2 milion lifelong fans but you will never get big viewership again in the 5-8 milion range unless you create transcendent stars that pop up on nonfans Facebook feeds, youtube recommendations etc where they go hmm who is this guy? And start watching. I saw it happend to Conor where my non mma fan friends and even family members would talk about him and all the crazy shit he said to Aldo,Floyd and Nate.

Stars=Equal ratings. I dont care how good the show is. It could be the perfect wrestling show, with perfect storylines and perfect booking. That might please us who are already fans but unless you make another Hogan,Austin,Rock or even Cena you will never sniff 5 milions ever again.
 

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Course it can be. Its pretty much impossible to fully predict where things might go next. Nobody saw the Attitude Era and NWO coming in 1994, nobody saw AEW or a revitalized NWA coming 5 years ago etc. As long as wrestling sticks around long enough the odds are eventually something will happen to create a boom period again, could be 5 years from now, could be 25. I'm just not gonna hold my breath waiting for it.
 
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