Towards the end of 2015, the WWE ratings were of concern for the WWE and Vince McMahon. Dropping ratings usually signals an upcoming change in Era, as the WWE must very quickly find what its majority fanbase want as its product. So over the xmas break I came up with a few suggestions that I feel would help the WWE improve and stop the ratings slide.
- Bring RAW back to 2 hours – 3 hour time frame for a Pay Per View once a month is OK, as it is a monthly event you can plan for. 3 hours every Monday is a lot harder to stay focused for on, for just one show. With other essential viewing and chores to take care of (football, cricket, movies etc), computer games, homework, etc committing to 3 hours every week on one show is just too hard for and average person. 3 hours allow for promos to go on for way too long. I understand part of the 3 hour move was to give more quality wrestling matches especially to the women’s and Tag Team division, and while it did for a while, it is quickly becoming more about the drama rather than the action. RAW is the main show, so let it have the Cena’s, Reigns and Rollins, while Smackdown can focus on the Intercontinental and US titles giving the mid-cards some much needed air time. It does not have to be a brand split officially, but I feel we are seeing the beginnings of this now anyway.
- All Commentators go back to School – Over the xmas break I watched Wrestlemania V. I was very quickly drawn into the commentary team of Gorilla Monsoon and Jessie ‘The Body’ Ventura, and it was obvious very quickly how bad the current commentary teams are and how much they have detracted from the product. To prove my point watch and listen to the following match Dino Bravo vs. Ronnie Garvin (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3i69v1). At best these two wrestlers would be classed as lower mid-card wrestlers, but the commentary of Monsoon and Ventura made this match and wrestlers feel like they were meant to be on the biggest show of the year. Now compare that to the current commentary team where you can watch a whole match (usually consiting of the lower card wrestlers) where the commentary team talk about everything else but the match they are meant to be watching. How are we (fans) meant to care about the likes of Zac Ryder, R-Truth, Heath Slater etc when during their match the commentators talk about an upcoming Roman Reigns match. The Commentary team need to treat each wrestler and match with the same importance as the likes of Ventura and Monsoon did.
Have all the team watch some early Wrestlemania re-runs on the WWE network for some work training.
- 1 of the minor titles defended each week. – The WWE currently has 4 other titles other than the main WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This allows for each of these other titles (Diva’s, Tag, US and Intercontinental) to be defended once every 4 weeks on RAW. Imagine tuning into RAW each week knowing there will be a title match. This also helps promote and push each of these divisions, and not just have RAW made up a main event people battling it out in ‘on the spot’ tag team matches.
John Cena’s Us Title challenge was a great concept as every week we could tune in and see this title defended. It will lift the profile of each of the titles, as well as the champions who have to defend them.
- NXT Challenge – Using John Cena’s open challenge, combining with Heath Slater’s legend challenge of a few years ago, RAW could host a NXT challenge each week. This is where a NXT superstar can walk to the ring and draw a random name from a box and must compete against that wrestler. This would allow the WWE to test the waters with certain NXT wrestlers as well as give the likes of Mark Henry, R-Truth, Goldust etc a chance to help these youngsters, and also give them some much needed air time.
- Bring back managers – Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, Mr Fuji, Slick, Jimmy ‘The Mouth of the South’ Hart were as entertaining to watch ringside as many of the wrestlers or teams they managed. Look how much fun Xavier Woods is when he is at ringside while Big E and Kofi are battling in the ring. Paul Heymen has helped Brock Lesnar’s career through being his spokesman during Promos and also taken the brunt of a beating to keep Lesnar looking strong. Zeb Colter did more for Jack Swagger then Jack ever did for himself, and there are a few more wrestlers in the locker room who could benefit from outside help.
Let us hope the WWE has someone like me in their ears and they do make some much needed changes to their number 1 show, to again have it rating well.
Hooroo and see you next week