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Darkside Ron Garvin

How to Regain a Loyal Fan

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4) I want to see less “Show” and more “Action Packed Event!”

I asked a question in my last blog. When was the last time you felt that you had just seen wrestling history on a Monday Night RAW? That was a trick question. The prelude to that question clearly states that Raw is disqualified. Raw is not a wrestling program. I will elaborate on this in section 10 but where the ‘E Universe’ currently stands, Raw is a reality TV show that features wrestling matches as filler, not in order to tell the story and advance the direction of the show as a wrestling program would. I know this seems outlandish, but follow my logic here.

In ring action once told the story, not the words that were spoken. Religiously we tuned in knowing that no matter what, the amount of time focused on the ass kicking always outweighed the amount of time spent on the “male soap opera” drama. My bold statement is justified in that the ‘E Universe’ has made every effort to segregate from the word “wrestling” with the exception of removing the ring and matches (even though they have been shortened with the majority being under 5 - 7 minutes.) By running this far from this word, they have disqualified themselves from being capable to call themselves a wrestling program. If ESPN ran from all things called “sports” and began showing re-runs of Howard Stern, Anna Nicole Smith, and Tosh.0 in order to garner new fans, would they still be able to call themselves a “Sports Network” as long as they kept the ticker at the bottom of the screen? Quite simply, no… And I am pretty sure they would lose quite a few “loyal” SPORTS fans in the process.

The premise of Raw being a “non-wrestling” show has put them into competition with all other programming, not just the wrestling programs of other promotions. This is one of many reasons why we have witnessed a steady decline in ratings. As a loyal wrestling fan, I choose wrestling over all other programming, but with Raw no longer being distinguishable as such, I choose more entertaining “shows” to watch, resorting to RAW highlights via the net. Logically, why keep the channel locked anticipating action that rarely comes and sit through all the pathetic propaganda to see the action I tuned in for originally? I would much rather watch House because I am sure fire certain that the cane wielding, pill popping, insult machine will give me the intelligent humor and diverse puzzles that I expect. Raw rarely delivers the “action” it once promised, so I tune into other programming for a guaranteed payoff.

One thing could make me not only feel the need to tune in next week, but also recapture the action packed feeling… Feature more quality wrestling matches on a show originally showcasing the best wrestlers in the world (can you tell my hopes are HIGH for Punk v Danielson?). To accomplish this, in-ring promos MUST be compellingly written or not preformed. I need fewer backstage scenes that mean nothing to the context of the matches. The worst in my opinion are the “ring walk”, commercial, return for entrances segments. When showing a wrestler walking to the ring before commercial, I have no eagerness to flip back. Del Rio’s Car, Cena’s Boos, or Clays entrance… There is no action for me to miss by watching Pawn Stars a little longer to see how much Rick pays for that signed document. I am MUCH more inclined to flip back or even wait through the break when I feel that the whole momentum of a match could change or has changed once back from the break.

This is not solely directed towards the ‘E Universe’. TNA has many, MANY flaws linked to this topic. Booking cards poorly, fans who sit idle just to “watch the show” and not participate in the event, putting talent on the shelf when they are beyond over with the crowd… Their most fatal flaw when discussing this topic is Show Killers. Ending shows with promos that KILL the buzz created by the main event. They did it to Roode v. Anderson with Hogan becoming the GM. They did it with MagnaJoe v. Hardy/Anderson with Port-a-Bischoff. It leaves me with such a bad taste, like diet coke. Drinking it is fine, but after you swallow, that nutra-sweet taste lingers in your mouth. The ‘E’ is good about closing promos being valuable. I might not like the Jonny Ace/Cena end promo but, I feel it was strong enough action to close a pretty decent Raw. TNA struggles with these, but there are signs of improvement. The “go home” show before Lockdown ended with an AWESOME promo between Storm and Roode.

If it has been said that our current attention spans aren’t long enough for a “true” angle to last longer than a few weeks, why then is it that the current state of the business gives us every opportunity to lose interest in shows? We flip channels when we are bored with what is on the screen. Running backstage shots without the “action” that drew us in, you’re giving our interest a chance to dwindle. When actors for a movie I don’t have a desire to see are in my view, my intrigue sways. Sending stooges to the ring when the fans are booing them while backstage? To quote Helmsley, “That is bad for business.”

As always, feel free to comment and I will reply as I can. Have a different opinion? Make your valid points as I always enjoy hearing them. If you feel like you’ve missed the direction of this blog, check out the previous blog archives and catch up a bit on where my opinions are based from(this will also help you understand why I choose the word “loyal”) and what the goal of this series truly is; How to regain loyal fans.

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  1. bartish2's Avatar
    i definitely see why you guys call it the " 'E " because its just all about entertainment now and barely about wrestling. Just advertising stuff like twix, tacos, slim jim, twitter, bringing in guest hosts and singers and turning away from the word "wrestlers" and being called superstars now... so much boring crap that it's not worth watching all 2 hours... i mean why should we watch when the owner clearly does not care about wrestling anymore? its all about advertising, entertainment... I am surprised that wwe is still a company, then again the ratings are at a steady decline... So many useless segments that I am not surprised they lose 500,000 viewers at some points.
  2. RasslinGOOD's Avatar
    This blog is a little too "ranty" for my taste, but I guess that is what blogs are for! I got to go to sports rehab now, so I can't leave a big comment. Just one thing that felt really off in your blog, and makes most of it void to me:

    "I would much rather watch House because I am sure fire certain that the cane wielding, pill popping, insult machine will give me the intelligent humor and diverse puzzles that I expect."

    and a little down the road...

    "There is no action for me to miss by watching Pawn Stars a little longer to see how much Rick pays for that signed document."

    So a program like Pawn Stars give you "the intelligent humor and diverse puzzles" that you so badly need? Really?

    Could rant on your rant for hours, but I have to go. Maybe later!
  3. TheLegendaryIcon's Avatar
    I think a return to the old school is in order where you only really got mic or segment time if you were in a match for the gold or hold the gold. Or maybe even if you're main eventing that night... if you're lucky. Trash your opponent, get trashed by your opponent, hit the ring. Hell, Russo Swerve! your opponent attacks you on the way to the ring and we go to commercial to find you two going at it with a brawl replay. Not a hard formula. Don't have gold? Hit the ring... you don't get a promo before the match. Hope your manager can help put you over on commentary or something.

    Speaking of... We need announcers who put the guys in the ring over, can call what moves they're doing (correctly), and maybe a bit of color commentary. Hell, even defend the face against the burial coming out of the mouth of the heel's manager. These guys we have now have been in-ring far too often, but I guess that's what happens when you have ex-talent on commentary... right? Though I don't recall Monsoon or Ventura ever having as much trouble staying in their damn seats and actually adding to the program as Lawler and Book do. Hell, I'm beginning to believe even Heenan had less time in and around the ring than Cole.

    Since denouncing wrestling, I've noticed that they don't know what kind of show they are. A brief list is reality, variety, game show, comedy, drama/soap opera, aaaand god help us even seemingly trying to be a talk show and/or sports entertainment news coverage show at times. WWE has lost sight of their being a company built around pro wrestling and putting on pro wrestling shows. I wonder if this has to do with The Rock finding success as an actor? But it's stupid to think you can do that with talent, because Rocky's the only one to make it in movies. The short list of failures to launch head being Hogan, Andre, Stone Cold, Cena, and Piper. (And soon enough Batista too...)

    To WWE
    : You're a wrestling show, a wrestling company. If you don't like being a wrestling company putting on a wrestling show, you need to start a child company or something. You're too heavily branded in wrestling to ever shake it, so you need to embrace it and I guarantee your future will be full of WIN.

    Oh yeah and... Stop f'n dancing.
  4. Darkside Ron Garvin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by RasslinGOOD
    This blog is a little too "ranty" for my taste

    So a program like Pawn Stars give you "the intelligent humor and diverse puzzles" that you so badly need? Really?

    The funny thing is I cut out over 500+ words from the rant. I know that I write ENTIRELY too much content inside these blogs and I promise I am working on it

    I would like to get each blog 600 words or less honestly. The problem I seem to have is that I am far too descriptive. I am doing my best to try and make the reader see what I see... However, I just come across as a big wall of text. But I'll keep working on getting my rants more condensed for ya.

    As for the Pawn Stars comment... No. I was merely trying to re-enforce the statement that Raw competes with ALL other programming that airs on Mondays. It doesn't matter if its re-runs of I Love Lucy on Nick at Nite or King of the Hill on Cartoon Network. I was just utilizing the example of Pawn Stars, which seems to come up as a show they compete with regularly on Mondays.

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