On 411mania (you’re welcome for the free plug), a writer by the name of Greg De Marco wrote a t̶h̶i̶n̶k̶ ̶p̶i̶e̶c̶e̶ ̶ stink piece about how WrestleMania isn’t for us, as in hardcore fans. He is not the first person to use this argument and will not be the last. It is nothing more than an unreasonable argument, an argument that’s only main objective is to be antithetical for the sake of being so. But let’s look at his main arguments nonetheless.
“WrestleMania represents a time of the year where the WWE is put on display for everyone else, not us. They have us hooked, and as much as we claim we’re going away, those numbers are small and for every one that leaves two more join. That’s the magic of social media.”
These are what Trump’s administration would call alternative facts. WWE had 1.5 million network subscribers in the 4th QT of last year, marking their highest amount so far. They initially projected 2.5 million to 3.8 million subscribers in no time, a number they have not come close to reaching and said that they’d break even getting about 1.3 to 1.4 million. So, after three years since its inception, they are just starting to make money from the Network. You claim for every 1 who leaves 2 joins. Where are you getting this information from? WWE’s flagship show, Monday Night Raw’s ratings have been declining since 2001. The average rating in 2001 was a 4.64. The average rating in 2007 was 3.61. The average rating in 2017 is now a 2.26. WWE has lost doubled its audience from 16 years ago, ratings-wise, for their number one show, yet you are claiming they are doubling their audience. Also, in the summer of 2016, according to Wrestling Observer, regular house shows were down 30 percent from the year before, and around WrestleMania 32, the one you praised for putting the title on Roman Reigns, the average domestic attendance was down to 6,300 from 6,500 in 2015.
“Think about what a casual fan—maybe one who religiously watched during the Monday Night Wars—would say about these two different Universal Championship matches:
“Kevin Owens—the fat guy—is defending the title against Chris Jericho? Ok, I can watch.”
“HOLY SHIT, Goldberg is back and he has the title? And he’s defending it against Brock Lesnar? I can’t wait to see that match!”
This is a stereotypical fallacy and a lazy argument. You failed to do your research because the numbers suggest that Goldberg, despite a small increase in the ratings on his debut, has not increased the ratings for Raw at all. Moreover, you’re implying that fat people cannot draw or have never been entertaining. Dusty Rhodes was one of the biggest draws in the 80s, though. Besides, the numbers indicate that the part-timers are not drawing all that more than the regular wrestlers. They also cost much more. And what is WWE going to do when they have no more part-timers to rely on and haven’t created stars of their own. It is 2017. You either adapt or die. Nostalgia eventually wears off, and if you’re looking in the back mirror all the time, eventually time is going to go right past you. WWE should be focused on creating new stars, using people like Goldberg and Brock Lesnar even to help get those guys over. Instead, they are wrestling again on a big stage because WWE has such a short-term outlook that’s eventually going to lead to more long-term pain (aka no stars of today).
“Look at Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker. ‘Taker is obviously a legend and in that immortal category. The company sees Roman Reigns as a future immortal, and this match is part of his path. You may not want to see it (especially since Reigns has a good shot at winning), but that’s WrestleMania.”
…except a ton of people do not like Roman Reigns as a white meat babyface, yet WWE is resilient and too stubborn to acknowledge this despite the writing being all over the wall. Sure, Roman Reigns is the #2 top-seller in merchandise, but he is also a distant second from John Cena, who is still leading the pack; and when you’re putting out Reigns merch left and right, people are going to of course buy it more than, say, AJ Styles. But it’s worth noting that CM Punk once was out-drawing John Cena, something Roman Reigns isn’t coming close to doing in spite of being handed the keys to the castle on a number of occasions. The New Day also outsold Roman Reigns in merch last year at WrestleMania 32. Not a good sign at all. You know, there have been babyfaces that have been universally liked. Casual and hardcore fans sometimes, you know, have similar likes.
“AJ Styles is being trusted with an amazing responsibility, and being put into what the company considers to be a top position in this match against Shane. He would not get the focus, promotion, push or time with Nakamura that he’s going to get with Shane.”
Why not? Nakamura is the biggest star in NXT, and he is also huge overseas. It could be argued that Nakamura is a bigger star than Shane McMahon is today. And what if Shane McMahon endorsed Nakamura, allowing him to fight for him against AJ Styles? Moreover, people would be talking a lot more about Nakamura vs. AJ Styles after the match than they will be talking about Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles. WWE might consider AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon a high profile match, but a ton of people have lukewarm feelings about it, at best.
“Now you are getting that coveted Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho match, it’s just probably going on second and isn’t for the Universal Championship. It might get less time than the likely in-ring legends segment that probably also includes The New Day.”
I love how your sarcastic about the only match on the card that has been building up for more than a couple of month on Raw’s side, and one of the few feuds on the card that actually has a well-defined story with a likable babyface and a hated heel.
“You should be excited at the possibility of Neville vs. Austin Aries, but you’ll ignore that the Kickoff is considered part of THE SHOW in the WWE’s eyes and complain about that fact.”
As long as the match is good, gets the time it deserves, and they are allowed to go out there with not many restrictions, I don’t think people will honestly care. If the match is given 5 minutes and they are limited in what they can do, then yes, people will rightfully complain.