How to Regain a Loyal Fan
by, 05-02-2012 at 04:54 AM (2124 Views)
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.