I’ve been watching WWE/F since the mid 80’s and the one constant I seen throughout these years is that WWE isn’t run like any other wrestling company out there. It’s been run as a business and all the decisions are made because of money. Hogan became the guy in the 80’s not because he was super over but because how how merchs he was moving because of that popularity. Same goes for pretty much everybody that’s been on top over the years.
In the mid 90’s, fans started rebelling against the kiddy presentation that wwf at the time was giving them, so what did they do, they didn’t buy tickets to try and hijack the show, they didn’t bring beachball to the events or even buy the Ppv only to complain on a message board. They just stop consuming the WWF product and started watching WCW. In response to the fact that they we’re losing all that money, WWF change is philosophy and slowly started the more edgy presentation which became the attitude era and rebounded. They had better story, continue pushing guys that were super over and made a tone of money.
Then WCW died and fans that we’re wwe fans stayed, some came back but the rest went to UFC. Yet WWE went on unopposed for the last 17 years and thoses fans stayed either out of habit or just because they needed to something to complain about.
So the point is what if, everybody that hate the current WWE product just started to not consume the WWE product anymore like in the 90’s. They’re so many good alternative to the wwe product that would love to get the support of WWE fans that maybe if they started losing money on tickets sales for big shows like summerslam or wrestlemania maybe they would listen and make change for the good of the business.
I know that I won’t happen because smart fans are so dumb that they thing that by hijacking wwe shows that they will change something but they are wrong. The fact is why would WWE change anything, they already have your money, they couldn’t care less about fans reactions, It’s always been about the money and It’s always going to be so if a guy like reigns is making money for the company even If a portion of the audience hates him or his push, wwe will continue to push him even with the negative reaction because on a business level, it doesn’t make sense to change anything about him. So my take on this is the only way for fans to get what with the WWE product would be to do like fans did in the mid 90’s. Just stop consuming the product and support NJPW or ROH or any other promotion out there. If WWE realise they are losing a large group of fans to other promotion and losing money in the process, they will change the presentation of the product but until then, get use to this product because it actually turn a profit and that’s all WWE officials cares about
I think you’re right that the only recourse that fans have is to stop contributing to WWE financially. Otherwise, you’re complaining just to complain. WWE has lost my viewership of its weekly TV (for the most part) and may eventually lose my WWE Network subscription. That’s the price they pay for their current on-screen decisions, and I’m not saying this to pat myself on the back. I’m sure they don’t and shouldn’t care about my eyeballs and my $9.99 as long as the overall financial trends are positive. As a publicly traded company, it would be irresponsible and possibly illegal (or at least leaving themselves open for a lawsuit) to make some of the decisions that a lot of fans have wanted to see over the years, including quitting on Roman Reigns, cutting Raw to two hours, and turning John Cena.
Through since you brought it up… as far as the “hijacking” goes, while I do think that you can’t absolve WWE of responsibility when that happens, I think it’s ironic that fans who typically gripe the most about shitty shows are the ones contributing to that shittiness with their stupid chants.
That’s my thought exactly and i’m sure that’s what they are thinking as well because if WWe was truly bother by the ‘‘hijacking’’ of the shows, they wouldn’t go back to major markets like Chicago and New york on a regular bases for major shows. They wouldn’t have taped Raw and Smackdown from the U.K. twice a year. They know what they have with those market and are more then happy with the revenue stream that’s coming from those crowd. The corporate catchphrase is, ‘‘Where in the business of putting smile on Face’’, and in a weird way, that’s what’s happening with fans that are ‘‘hijacking’’ the show, they are enjoying themselves so while they don’t like what WWE is doing, they are still having fun and in the end that’s what WWE is suppose to be.
My comparison for the WWE would be the tobacco industries from decades ago.
They don’t market their product to those already addicted (hardcore WWE fans), they go after the youth in the attempts to recruit a new generation of loyal consumers. Wrestling fans are insanely loyal and consistent and WWE likely doesn’t consider that market at all. We (because I do it too) complain profusely about a product not made for us.
This becomes more obvious as I watch WWE with my two sons (10 and 7). Things that I (and likely many adult fans) dislike, often amuse my children. Both, for example, are Roman Reigns fans. Often, the scripted, juvenile promos will get laughs from my kids.
WWE is really a fascinating animal…a show made for kids that is passionately viewed by millions of opinionated adults (including myself).
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Impact Wrestling currently offers more adult-oriented programming.
WWE now draws mainly from it’s brand name. The lure of a big name event like Royal Rumble, Summerslam, or Wrestlemania will sell tickets no matter what the card looks like.
Vince is also getting really old. When you get older, you tend to be more conservative and take less risks. Since they’ve gone PG, we’ve really seen him hit a comfort zone with his product as the product from 2008 doesn’t look and feel all that different from the product of today. If you compared 1988 to 1998, you’d see a huge change.
They also seem to emphasize giving as much content as possible to its viewers. They’ve basically given the viewers different options and brands to choose from and don’t seem to mind knowing that some of their audience is going to pick and choose what they watch.
2000s were also the first time I know of in WWE when the stars of 20 years ago were still bigger in the eyes of the fans than the current stars. Though that might just mostly be a comment on how huge guys like Hogan, Austin and Rock were.
(Maybe an exception for Bruno in the early 80s, but he definitely wasn’t bigger than Hulk from 1984 and on)
There really isn’t a genuine alternative that can actually challenge WWE though is there? Especially regarding their presentation of wrestling and the ease of which you can access the product. Wrestling fans will also always get hyped up for matches like the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber matches and get hyped up for WrestleMania and that’s why wrestling fans find it hard to completely go cold turkey on WWE. And even though WrestleMania is probably the show that least cares about the quality of wrestling and is the definition of all hype and no end product, it’s still the biggest show in wrestling and another reason why wrestling fans find it difficult to go cold turkey on WWE. Then there’s the fact that WWE actually employ a lot of talented wrestlers that fans actually like and they won’t stop watching just for the potential of what those wrestlers could do on the biggest platform in wrestling (even after WWE continuously do very little with a lot). Hype and hope are probably the two main reasons people stay watching WWE.
I stayed a few years too long. Gave up WWE weekly programming several months back and the network about a month ago. Between the review shows and forum posts, everything you need to know is readily availible. I watch nothing yet still feel in the loop.
What it has done is allow me to watch the G1 at my leisure and appreciate the wrestling I am watching. No WWE and no F4W board (although I do miss the good brothers) and I really feel like a happier person of late. Nobody should invest time in something they don’t enjoy (exceptions: school, marriage, colonoscopy). Hate watching doesn’t sound healthy.
You’re right but there is no sign the fans will do whats needed.
Remember the #cancelwwenetwork campaign a few years ago when Daniel Bryan was treated so poorly. who actually left? Probably not many people.
They have made it so cheap at £10 a month you may as well continue as ‘its not that bad’.
I havent actually watched a WWE event since the early 2000’s and only follow becuase I like this podcast.
I do think fans could also just express there anger in better ways. Writing letters (old school i know) would be more impactful then tweeting, if you insist on going maybe little protests against Vince could have some effect.
Its the same as the footy fans in the UK who protest as they walk to the game from the Pub. If they were really unhappy they wouldnt pay for the match but its our hobbies and we love to complain as much as we enjoy a great product. Awkward humans are to blame!