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


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42 minutes ago, ThumpSquids said:

If I'm feeling less optimistic, (see rational) I'm thinking that WWE are a sinking ship, with no energy for creativity, and that has produced nothing I've found entertaining for a few years now. Or very little.  

Are they though? I get how people are losing interest etc but as a company are they actually struggling? Sure if we just judge on TV ratings then they are but most other things seem to suggest they're doing just fine business wise.

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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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21 minutes ago, Tsurutagun said:

An American (Olivia Rodrigo) just spent 9 weeks at number one. 

Just sure, push the British don't care about non-English music narrative. 

In fairness, if you read his later post he clarified his point, and what you've mentioned here was not the point being made at all. 

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39 minutes ago, The King of Old School said:

Probably be waiting a while, I can't see them returning to live crowds on a weekly basis for at least this year.

I did read something about them returning to arenas in July, but I suspect they won't be allowed to have full arenas by then, if that's when they do return.

AEW have postponed some shows to September, so you have to assume they're planning to return to arenas by then, although those are shows that have already been postponed a couple of times, so it could change again obviously.

21 minutes ago, Tsurutagun said:

An American (Olivia Rodrigo) just spent 9 weeks at number one. 

Just sure, push the British don't care about non-English music narrative. 

I suspect he meant English language?

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9 minutes ago, DavidB6937 said:

Are they though? I get how people are losing interest etc but as a company are they actually struggling? Sure if we just judge on TV ratings then they are but most other things seem to suggest they're doing just fine business wise.

This is right. WWE should by all traditional measures be in the gutter. They decimated PPV business. TV ratings have fallen for 20 years and have halved in the last 2. House shows are a non-entity. No wrestler on their roster is a draw or a star by any measure. Creative is the worst of any company with national TV ever. They are long past being relevant in pop-culture.

And yet they have their biggest ever deals with USA and Fox and they just sold the Network to NBC for a ton of money. Their guaranteed income is huge. They just had a record-breaking year while having NO ticket sales for 10 months.

You can't measure the company traditionally. They have a ginormous social media presence, they provide hundreds of hours of new content, they have their model down whether travelling or not, they have control over their cost base and they innovate hitting all new platforms. Whatever buzzwords are popular, they hit them because whether we like it or not - and I do not - they are a magnificently run business.

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11 minutes ago, The Dart said:
35 minutes ago, Tsurutagun said:

An American (Olivia Rodrigo) just spent 9 weeks at number one. 

Just sure, push the British don't care about non-English music narrative. 

I suspect he meant English language?

Fair point 

Note to self: must read all of thread before responding 🤦‍♂️

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I had no clue who Bad Bunny was prior to Royal Rumble, but a week or two he was trending worldwide on Twitter merely for being shown dancing to a Dua Lipa song at the grammys with the comments mainly being people fawning over him. He's a huge star, but there isn't a lot if anything that can be a draw in wrestling any more. It seems wrestling these days has two groups of fans, long term 'die hards' that will stick with the product whatever or are hate watching just because its a habit and children. WWE clearly aim most of their product at the latter, while knowing the former will continue to watch regardless of whether they like the content or not. 

The Fiend shite shows that. Its complete Marmite, people either love it or hate it.  

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1 hour ago, Tsurutagun said:

An American (Olivia Rodrigo) just spent 9 weeks at number one. 

Just sure, push the British don't care about non-English music narrative. 

It was not my quote.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nick James said:

I had no clue who Bad Bunny was prior to Royal Rumble, but a week or two he was trending worldwide on Twitter merely for being shown dancing to a Dua Lipa song at the grammys with the comments mainly being people fawning over him. He's a huge star, but there isn't a lot if anything that can be a draw in wrestling any more. It seems wrestling these days has two groups of fans, long term 'die hards' that will stick with the product whatever or are hate watching just because its a habit and children. WWE clearly aim most of their product at the latter, while knowing the former will continue to watch regardless of whether they like the content or not. 

I wonder if having Bad Bunny there is less about getting the ratings bump and the extra Network subscriptions (though obviously they're going to be aiming for that as well), but more for the likelihood that it will garner headlines in mainstream press and get some social media buzz, which they can then use to demonstrate to sponsors and shareholders that they're a trendy company with their finger on the pulse of popular culture. Like @tiger_rick said, it's just impossible to measure them by the conventional standards of a wrestling company any more, because they've outgrown that model, and for the most part wrestling "journalism" is ill-equipped to cope with that.

I do think, though, that there are ways to book celebrities in wrestling, and it's not just having them show up. I don't think Mike Tyson showing up for the WWF was inherently going to be a major draw, but the suggestion that Mike Tyson and Steve Austin might end up fighting was, and Austin's ability to stare out Tyson without fear played a huge part in establishing him. Dennis Rodman was a draw for WCW not just because he was a major star, but because he was a star who carried with him a sense of must-see unpredictability that translated well to a live PPV environment.

It's about tapping into what that celebrity brings to the table - Bad Bunny isn't an athlete, and doesn't seem to have ever presented himself as a "bad ass" as far as I can understand, so the prospect of him wrestling probably doesn't make a lot of sense even to his die-hard fans. Similarly, The Miz's appeal as an opponent for a celebrity should be that he's a smarmy git and we want to see him get his comeuppance, but he's been there for a decade and we've seen him getting beaten up countless times with no real long-term consequence, so that appeal doesn't exist. We've even seen him already get punched out by Bad Bunny which, if anything, should have been the draw for their match. I'm sure Bad Bunny will do a token spot - a top rope crossbody or something - but for the most part, all the appeal of the match has dried up before it's even happened.

Edited by BomberPat
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Thats a very good point about Social Media buzz and 'clicks' which makes me wonder how much revenue their YouTube sites generate and whether that factors in to whether they bring in these celebrities? Rick's post is spot on in that WWE are not a 'wrestling company' as such any more and their aims have shifted away from the usual focuses. 

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It's all about the Social Media buzz, the trends and headlines on the Sunday morning (after Night 1) will be all about what Bad Bunny had done at Mania. It also helps to spread the word that WWE put on a show infront of 25,000 fans on 2 consecutive nights.

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It's genuinely fascinating that WWE hasn't been able to do more with Bad Bunny appearing on Raw and at Wrestlemania. We're talking about a guy who's enough of a big name that he not only was the musical guest on SNL, but did so without even performing an English-language song. That's huge.

My guess is that it's a couple of factors (and I'm very open to being corrected, as I don't see the show).

1 - While they might advertise that Bad Bunny is going to be on, they don't advertise when he's going to be on, and non-fans get actively turned-off while waiting during a three hour show.

2 - They're not presenting what he's doing as big-time. It's comedy time with Miz and Morrison. Even worse, it's WWE comedy with Miz and Morrison.

Mr T, back in 1985, may not have been on the level of fame that Bad Bunny had, but there was a natural cross-over there. Mr T looked like a WWE guy (although, ahem, not one they'd ever put the title on) and there was a curiosity to how he'd perform. He was a big, muscular cartoon character who was in with big muscular cartoon characters. As it is, Bad Bunny fans probably see WWE as that weird thing Bad Bunny likes, and are less interested the more they see.

They've kind of lucked into Bad Bunny doing this, because they're putting him at a level way below him. You have a huge star, and he's pissing around with the 24/7 title and The Miz? If Cena was around, having him tagging with Cena would be a step-up. In fact, I'm surprised they aren't teaming him with Rey Mysterio, or even the New Day. If you're getting eyes on him, get them passed over onto someone else. I have no idea what heels they have that they could actually put him up against, or if Bad Bunny is capable of doing something more serious. But they're small-timing this.

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Mr T was someone that the audience knew because there was crossover with viewers and wrestling wasn’t dead and the media somewhat cared. Wrestling fans obviously watched the A Team and Rocky. WWEs current audience is almost 60. They have no idea who he is. So to the current audience, he’s a guy they don’t know doing horrible comedy with two geeks. And wwe can’t create new fans so there’s no hope that would change. Will be interesting to see the reaction at mania. If there’s no sound cheating, I’d guess at either booing or complete silence.

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38 minutes ago, Yakashi said:

Mr T was someone that the audience knew because there was crossover with viewers and wrestling wasn’t dead and the media somewhat cared. Wrestling fans obviously watched the A Team and Rocky. WWEs current audience is almost 60. They have no idea who he is. So to the current audience, he’s a guy they don’t know doing horrible comedy with two geeks. And wwe can’t create new fans so there’s no hope that would change. Will be interesting to see the reaction at mania. If there’s no sound cheating, I’d guess at either booing or complete silence.

There might be more older viewers that still watch via linear TV, but plenty of younger fans will keep up with the product via other means. They still have a young following as twitter proves.

Meltzer has bleated on for ages trying to make out that it's only sad old fuckers that continue to watch WWE.

Edited by Perry
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3 minutes ago, Perry said:

They still have a young following as twitter proves.

Twitter ain't where the young people are at any more. It's not Facebook levels of decrepit yet, but it's not snapchat and tiktok or whatever the young people are doing now.

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Posted (edited)

From a quick look at WWE's YouTube page, videos featuring Bad Bunny don't appear to do any better or worse for views than anything else on there, either. The young people still use YouTube don't they?

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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