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The Official UKFF RAW thread (part 2)...


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53 minutes ago, kieranjennings said:

I've always wondered how much the length is a contributor as in the US American Football Games go 3 hours, Baseball goes on forever etc. It seems like they have more of a history of presentations like this covering a large part of the schedule for the evening. The problem is the content unfortunately

For what it's worth, I know college football at very least are exploring ways to make the game more "compact", to try to combat the increasingly competitive marketplace & people's declining attention spans. They no longer view going 3.5-4hrs in a TV slot as optimal.

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I had a quick go of Thunderdome tonight. It’s pretty much exactly the same as watching the show normally, only with the added bonus of being so distracted trying to find yourself in the crowd that thi

Collectively, they sound like a verse from Red Hot Chili Peppers’ By The Way. What an odd choice.

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4 minutes ago, Statto said:

people's declining attention spans. 

As much as it's taken as read that people's attention spans are shorter than ever - and people point to social media, constant influx of information etc. - as evidence of that, I don't necessarily believe it. Roughly concurrent with the rise of social media we've seen a change in most people's viewing habits toward "boxsets" and binge-watching, and I don't think you can argue that people's attention spans are shorter than ever while they're also sitting and watching an entire TV series in one sitting.

People don't think twice about sitting in front of three hours' worth of Game of Thrones, or Drag Race, or whatever people actually watch. I think the biggest difference is that people want to control their own viewing experience, in terms of how much they watch and when, and that's completely at odds with how televised live sports work - and the money for WWE's TV deals comes from them being a pseudo-sport, and airing live.

 

At some point, you have to assume that wrestling will inevitably pivot to a more on-demand model - going back to the presentation argument, I would have taken the pandemic and the no-fans environment as an excuse to experiment with all of that. Why were we still seeing three hour live pay-per-views when they're on the WWE's own Network, and there's no live crowd to keep entertained for the duration? Why not release the Royal Rumble match as a standalone event, with other matches and shorter events scattered throughout the week, to watch either live or as and when suits the viewer? Why still present RAW and Smackdown as a two/three hour block of live television, where everything has to happen either in the ring or backstage at the arena, when there's no live audience to accommodate? Why not build some matches, say McIntyre/Goldberg, with clips of matches from the archives, with documentary footage, with sit-down interviews? With stuff like Randy Orton and The Fiend, why is Orton being haunted by The Fiend but only in a three hour window on Monday nights? Why not, instead, cut to footage "obtained during the week" of weird shit happening to Randy Orton in other environments? 

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All excellent points as usual, Pat. And hell, even when you go back to touring you could still stick similar stuff on Raw, and send people out to do house show matches (by which I mean geared towards entertaining the people in attendance rather than lower quality/risk) while something else is being shown on TV, and sell it locally as your opportunity to see stuff no-one else will.

But as you say, it comes back to WWE's desire to present as being "DVR-proof" like live sport, whereas actually not changing up the presentation is making things increasingly skippable...

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Posted (edited)

It’s the saddest thing about the emergence of cinematic matches in the post-COVID world. Instead of thinking, “our shows are massively improved if we use a variety of settings and environments away from the ring,” their main takeaway has been, “we can now do magic tricks!”

Edited by Supremo
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Posted (edited)

Giving it some thought, I think the main reason I’m getting sick of the Talking Smack and Raw Talk shoot promos is because they’re all the same, “this company sucks, I’m being held back!” shit.

It’s the most tired, overplayed angle to run for yourself. Russo-level bollocks. It feels like we’ve suffered it for decades now. Never mind the fact that most of these people aren’t being held back, don’t have it in them to main event and are slotted almost exactly where they should be. We’ve all worked with pricks like that. Constantly moaning they haven’t been promoted when anyone with even a shred of perspective knows they’re precisely where they should be and all moaning does is make you think less of them, not more. Fucking Cesaro talking about being held back. You’re a solid mid-card wrestler at best unless John Cena is carrying you, mate.

The best unscripted, supplemental stuff by far is anything involving Big E. He’s never having a cry about his position on the card or acting hard done by. He’s making stupid faces, wearing whatever funny hat he can find backstage, splitting his time between trying to make the interviewers corpse and cutting passionate Dusty promos. More people need to be like Big E and stop trying to poor man’s CM Punk. We know everything is shit. Telling the viewers outright isn’t helping anyone.

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57 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

As much as it's taken as read that people's attention spans are shorter than ever - and people point to social media, constant influx of information etc. - as evidence of that, I don't necessarily believe it. Roughly concurrent with the rise of social media we've seen a change in most people's viewing habits toward "boxsets" and binge-watching, and I don't think you can argue that people's attention spans are shorter than ever while they're also sitting and watching an entire TV series in one sitting.

People don't think twice about sitting in front of three hours' worth of Game of Thrones, or Drag Race, or whatever people actually watch. I think the biggest difference is that people want to control their own viewing experience, in terms of how much they watch and when, and that's completely at odds with how televised live sports work - and the money for WWE's TV deals comes from them being a pseudo-sport, and airing live.

But could it not be argued that the rise of binge-watching is in part to people either not being willing to wait for the next episode or wanting to blast through so that they can say they’ve watched it and lord it over those who haven’t.

Shows that people binge-watch could still be broadcast in the traditional way, and in some cases they are still shown weekly. Take The Mandalorian for example,  episodes still have clear ending points and make you want to watch the next episode*.
Ive just got recently finished rewatching The Sopranos and would quite happily watch 3 (or sometimes more) episodes at a time, but that was my choice to do so due to being such a well written, well acted show. However, it’s a psychological thing. At roughly an hour a time, I knew that I could watch 3 if I wanted to, but to watch three 1hr episodes is different to committing the same time to watching one 3hr episode, even if the content was exactly the same.

Angles suffer because RAW has 3 hours to fill. Those Shane/Braun segments could’ve been done over 2 weeks of TV, but they need to fill 3hrs, so they’ve used them both already and now have to come up with something else to fill time next week.

* obviously, the weekly release is more in line with getting people to keep their subscriptions rather than blasting through it in one go.

Edited by WyattSheepMask
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I'm always surprised that WWE is able to convince TV executives that they are DVR proof. I'd be even more shocked if they actually are DVR proof, and aren't just pulling the wool. 

That anybody still watches live wrestling programs, in this day and age? I can't get my head around it. I gain a minimum of an extra half hour of time in my day if I watch AEW once it's over. Even more with Smackdown as there's no way I'd watch the whole show. With Raw, just skipping the adverts alone you gain an hour. That's before getting to skipping through the majority of the shite on it that is of no importance.

The main reason these companies are making good money from these TV deals is because either enough people are watching the ads, or the networks believe that they are. In the age of on demand watching and the viewer having so much control, why is it that about 70% of the audience still watch live? It has me dumbfounded. 

I understand completely with actual real sports, wrestling and boxing PPV's and can understand to an extent with the UFC televised fights (now and again I'll watch it live with friends/my brother but the majority of the time it's a much better viewing experience the next morning). Wrestling TV shows though? What's the draw to watch live?

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17 minutes ago, Supremo said:

Giving it some thought, I think the main reason I’m getting sick of the Talking Smack and Raw Talk shoot promos is because they’re all the same, “this company sucks, I’m being held back!” shit.

It’s the most tired, overplayed angle to run for yourself. Russo-level bollocks. It feels like we’ve suffered it for decades now. Never mind the fact that most of these people aren’t being held back, don’t have it in them to main event and are slotted almost exactly where they should be. We’ve all worked with pricks like that. Constantly moaning they haven’t been promoted when anyone with even a shred of perspective knows they’re precisely where they should be and all moaning does is make you think less of them, not more. Fucking Cesaro talking about being held back. You’re a solid mid-card wrestler at best unless John Cena is carrying you, mate.

I get it with Cesaro though. He's arguably the perfect person to be doing that sort of promo because it plays exactly into his fanbase. It's what they want to hear. It's what drives them. Whether it's true or absolute bullshit is another thing, but he's always being talked about as someone held down etc - although arguably just by a certain section of the fans - so I don't mind it so much.

I completely understand your point though, especially after this week with Peyton Royce. That's a more laughable bitching session than that time Natalya and Tamina decided they were sick of being overlooked and underused and all that shit. Fucking Tamina. TAMINA. If anything they use her too much and they've employed her for too long. And fuck Natalya and her stupid cats and living off her family name for so long. She's bang average and that's about it. And Peyton? Come on now. Unless she's learnt how to wrestle overnight, she's far more suited in-ring to the Divas era than whatever's going on now. Being able to get smacked around by Asuka on a regular basis doesn't make for a good wrestler. Her and Billie Kay never got over for their wrestling ability, and outside of the ring Peyton could only dream of being as entertaining as Billie is.

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6 minutes ago, DavidB6937 said:

I get it with Cesaro though. He's arguably the perfect person to be doing that sort of promo because it plays exactly into his fanbase. It's what they want to hear. It's what drives them. Whether it's true or absolute bullshit is another thing, but he's always being talked about as someone held down etc - although arguably just by a certain section of the fans - so I don't mind it so much.

I completely understand your point though, especially after this week with Peyton Royce. That's a more laughable bitching session than that time Natalya and Tamina decided they were sick of being overlooked and underused and all that shit. Fucking Tamina. TAMINA. If anything they use her too much and they've employed her for too long. And fuck Natalya and her stupid cats and living off her family name for so long. She's bang average and that's about it. And Peyton? Come on now. Unless she's learnt how to wrestle overnight, she's far more suited in-ring to the Divas era than whatever's going on now. Being able to get smacked around by Asuka on a regular basis doesn't make for a good wrestler. Her and Billie Kay never got over for their wrestling ability, and outside of the ring Peyton could only dream of being as entertaining as Billie is.

Tell her she’s in the $1 dollar bracket to find out how important she thinks she is

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1 hour ago, BomberPat said:

Production is the biggest problem - I talk about this all the time, but an episode of RAW from 2020 looks indistinguishable to an episode of RAW from 2010. An episode of RAW from 2010, structurally, is still more or less identical to a RAW from 2002, just with a new lick of paint. There hasn't been the sort of sea change in production or presentation that you saw in the past - this point is hammered home all the time, but the WWF of 1985 doesn't look like the WWF of 1995, which sure as hell doesn't look like the WWE of 2005. The WWF of 97 looks totally different to the WWF of 1995, and the WWF of 2000 looks totally different to the WWF of 1997. Enough changed to make the product feel fresh.

 

 

I agree with this, however, you just know that Vince would read comments like that as 'goddamn pal, let's add even more screens' and you'd end up with screens on the canvas, turnbuckles, mats and announce cables. I think the issue is that it is overproduced and actually a good way to create that difference will be actually to go back and simplify things a bit. 

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yeah, part of the problem is that everything looks too bright and glossy since they went HD. Everything has a screen on it, and everything's brightly lit and vibrant colours.

Wrestling should look a bit grotty and rough around the edges. Dim the lights on the audience, get more black paint on the ringside area. It all looks too clean.

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3 hours ago, BomberPat said:

Scripting promos isn't inherently the problem - I wish they wouldn't, and think there's an awful lot of wrestlers held back by that, and every time someone does a great promo on Talking Smack or for WWE.com that's readily apparent - but that they have shit writers is. Three hours of TV a week is a struggle, but there are writers in other media churning out content too - in TV drama or movies, there are rarely complaints about how everyone sounds the same because it's the same few people writing their dialogue. It's rare that you see a complaint that every character in a novel talks the same way because it's only one person writing their dialogue. Yet in wrestling, it's taken as read that one or two people writing for everyone will lead to everyone sounding the same - that's only true for two reasons; one is if the talent aren't trusted to, or aren't confident enough to, put their own spin on the material, and the other is if the writers just aren't good enough. And, obviously, they're not. Whether that's because, as we're told over and over again, Vince McMahon gets final say and butchers their work (conveniently allowing every ex-WWE writer to insist that all their ideas were actually gold even if they turned out shit), or if it's because they hire non-union writers who couldn't get a job anywhere else in TV or movies if they tried.

To be fair to the writing team working in WWE Creative sounds like an absolute nightmare. Wrestling just isn't meant to be written by so many people, and certainly not in such a politically charged environment, where one "bad" idea can effectively cost you your job. Dan Madigan's idea for Heidenreich WAS shite, right enough, but if I was in the room when it happened, I wouldn't be pitching anything creative ever again.

When you've got that many writers everything is going to be a compromise. I've been thinking about this a lot but one of my favourites things last year was Sue in AEW, which directly led to one of the best matches of the year. That could never happen in WWE. Anybody pitching "We should have his Mum drive him to the ring in her mini-van" would've got laughed out of the room. Because how the fuck do you explain it? If it made air at all it would've been tweaked to the point where the guy was a cowardly Mummy's Boy or she was really fat or some shit like that.

Same with stuff like "Johnny Hungee". Aiden English said he nearly got sacked from WWE for a spot where a Referee superkicked him. It was a dark match, the crowd were calling for it and loved it but he got screamed at backstage for going off-script and given a hefty fine (which Cena paid). Again, if I'm watching that I'm just going to do exactly what they tell me, no matter how shit it is.

For me, WWE's biggest problem is that they've essentially taken a lot of the shit that hampered WCW in the late 90's - Backstage politics, bizarre rules and an over-bearing Corporate structure - and just imposed it on themselves.

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3 hours ago, BomberPat said:

yeah, part of the problem is that everything looks too bright and glossy since they went HD. Everything has a screen on it, and everything's brightly lit and vibrant colours.

Wrestling should look a bit grotty and rough around the edges. Dim the lights on the audience, get more black paint on the ringside area. It all looks too clean.

I also hate how padded the ringside area now is. The outside of the ring is supposed to be dangerous. But now everything is covered in crash mats that it actually often looks like a bump on the floor might hurt less than the ring. It's also led to wrestlers doing more moves outside the ring (because it's now safe for them to do them) which has completely diminished any impact they might have.

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6 hours ago, Supremo said:

Peyton’s Raw Talk promo is the worst of that style so far. Awkward as fuck. All these people trying to have their own Daniel Bryan moment on these supplemental shows and failing miserably. Bryan can do it because he’s the best at everything and everyone rightly loves him. Your Peytons and Cesaros just sound like moany pricks. It’s honestly a toss up on whether they’re better or worse than the run-of-the-mill over-scripted Main Show promos.

Those fucking mahoosive pauses too.

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