Not Like Celebrity Cameos Or Managers
I was asked about how this is any different to say, AEW Dynamite featuring Shaq on its programming, There’s a vast difference, because Shaq is a household name and his short segment was the highest rated in AEW’s history. He didn’t take up two-thirds of the show, in fact, his interview with Brandi Rhodes only lasted a few minutes. And he was made the victim as Brandi threw a cup of water over him. Now, if Shaq took up 20-30 minutes, I’d be annoyed because he shouldn’t be wasting time. I’m not against having Sting around either… however, I only want to see him when he’s doing something meaningful. The last time we saw Sting, he entered… stared at Darby Allin and others for a few minutes, turned around and walked to the back again (much like his debut but way worse).
I don’t like that because it dilutes his drawing power to use him repeatedly for no reason. There’s also a massive difference having Arn Anderson, Jake Roberts and Tully Blanchard on the show, because they are mouthpieces and/or advisors for their clients. The company isn’t specifically focusing on them, because it is in fact they who are putting the focus on their wrestlers; which is nothing like what WWE is doing with a Legends show. So there is a time and place for the use of celebrities and legends, but it should be if 1) it makes sense, 2) they are not being overused, and 3) it enhances the current roster and not for the sake of nostalgia.
This themed episode of Raw took place on July 22nd, 2019 and included:
John Cena, Rikishi, D-Von Dudley, Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Hart, Booker T, Alicia Fox, Kaitlyn, Torrie Wilson, Santino Marella, The Godfather, The Boogeyman, Pat Patterson, Christian, Lilian Garcia, Eve Torres, Eric Bischoff, Ron Simmons, Gerald Brisco, Kelly Kelly, Kurt Angle, Candice Michelle, Melina, Alundra Blayze, Jonathan Coachman, Rob Van Dam, Sgt Slaughter, The Hurricane, Ric Flair, Ted DiBiase, Jerry Lawler, The Kliq, Road Dogg, Mick Foley & Steve Austin.
We have to remember it was called a Reunion show, and not what WWE is claiming to be a Legends show. On paper, with so many Hall of Famers and others scheduled to appear, it looked as if it would be an epic episode. But honestly, I can’t remember most of the moments, although I remember watching it. You can watch the highlights at the link below:
After watching some highlights… yes, I remember them, but none of it was impressive. Kinda’ annoying to see DX and The Kliq, a bunch of old, retired dudes… scaring off AJ Styles and The OC. Reminds me of when they buried Damien Sandow. Everything else was lame.
Next up, I would like to show you what happened with the ratings. The aim of these shows is to bring in new & old viewers who stick around to see the talent of today. This graph shows what happened with the ratings last year, up til the end of October.
Can you see the big jump? That was the Reunion show hitting the 3 million mark. It is almost twice as high as the rating they got for Raw last week. WWE lost almost 700,000 viewers the following week, and all because they didn’t have legends on the show.
This is what I mean by putting a band-aid on the problem. It may boost the rating for a week, but as shown here, it will go back down again and the spiral continues. This has already been proven to WWE, yet they are going to the well again. Notice as well, on the above graph, that the Reunion show was likely a response to the ratings across the previous three months. The average dropped from 2.6-2.9m to a less than stellar 2.1-2.5m.
So what can we expect from this year’s episode? Much of the same, really. Expect a long, boring promo from Hulk Hogan. Others will smile and laugh at bad jokes and old catchphrases like they are still relevant. We might see a Stone Cold Stunner, or Kurt Angle hooking the Ankle Lock on somebody. The highlight will probably be The Boogeyman becoming the 24/7 Champion. Would that be a good thing? Maybe, to someone. To me, it’s something I will probably forget in a few weeks. Raw Legends Night will probably suck, but we will watch it anyway. And then the ratings will revert to all-time lows, just like they were.
Management will scramble around Titan Towers scratching their heads, wondering how it could possibly be. Then they will deflect the blame by putting it all on the super heavyweights. Did you know it’s because they can’t work? It’s such good shit. Unless they can actually deliver something substantial? But I’m not holding my breath. I just want WWE to prove they can bring in legends and use them in a way which helps guys like Drew McIntyre, Keith Lee, the Hurt Business, Asuka, Revolution, Ricochet, Angel Garza, Drew Gulak and so many more. It would make for a lovely, late Xmas present. Is it possible? Please let me know in the comments. And thank you for reading! Happy Holidays.