Everybody getting excited for the WWE Network?
I know I am. After years and years of doubting this entire project would start up, it is almost here. Right or wrong, the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view has become secondary in importance. The night AFTER is going to be beyond epic. Taking place from Green Bay, Wisconsin (I am from WI) only adds to the excitement. With that little introduction out of the way, how about we tackle a few topics for today?
WWE Smackdown Ratings Continue Rising
A lot of folks always dissect the Raw ratings/viewership on the USA Network every Tuesday afternoon. That is fine, but those numbers are usually pretty consistent. Up a little. Down a bit. Rise for a big main event. Decrease when nothing is happening. Same old, same old. If you had been paying attention though, the Blue Brand is the show gaining momentum right now. Really, it began months ago when John Cena won the World Title and started showing up on Friday nights.
For three straight weeks, Smackdown has drawn over 3 million viewers. It is no longer just a ‘ratings pop’ or something temporary. The show is delivering good action and featuring worth while segments. Just last week saw Sheamus vs. Ryback in a surprisingly great match, The Shield in a tag match (always entertaining), Daniel Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro, AND Christian vs. Randy Orton in the main event. I do not read spoilers, but this Friday night has an eight person tag and Cesaro/Orton set. Another solid lineup.
It will be real interesting to see what the peak of Smackdown’s rating is. With WWE looking to lock in a record TV deal in the United States, this is not just a throwaway news bite. This is big for the company. This IS big, make no mistake about it. WWE is loving the viewership figures right now, as is Sy-Fy. Could Smackdown hit 3.3 million viewers? 3.5 million? More perhaps? Or is it all downhill from here? Only time will tell…
JBL, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler Leaked Audio?
First of all, I question how this sound byte got released. Seems rather suspicious. Conspiracy theories and all that nonsense is NOT my thong at all, but come on. How did THAT get leaked with all the CM Punk news and rumors floating around? Whatever.
As for the actual words being used, all three men were right. Like it or not, the chants DID die down rather quickly. They did start up…before going away. It was pretty quiet – same in Omaha the week prior too. The fans in LA did NOT show a lot of determination or passion to keep it going all night. People are getting upset because Michael Cole said “go away” – boo hoo! I would rather cheer for guys who show up and do not quit without even a two week notice. You know, acting professional? Since Cole is loyal and hard working, I assume he feels the same way. Those can “go away” for all I care too.
Good luck in Chicago though. Good luck!
Tweeting During Raw On February 24th
Get ready for me to repeat myself many times leading up to February 24th. As noted a few days ago, I will be live tweeting during Monday Night Raw in less than two weeks. For the first time ever! Never been done before, could never be done again. Get inside my mind as the show happens. Read my thoughts throughout. An exclusive look for the HUGE episode of Raw on February 24th. Please do mark your calendar. Sure to be a fun experience. Not for an email…
Aasim: “The tag match of Christian and Sheamus vs. Real Americans was very good. After that match, I ask you: Who wants a Cesaro vs. Sheamus match at WM XXX? Their spots were awesome.”
Sign me up!
I would also suggest Sheamus vs. Ryback in a street fight after their match last week on Smackdown. Seriously folks, if you have not seen it, go do so! It was great. Also, throw in Christian vs. Sheamus at WMXXX as an option as well. if they team up a few more times, one could easily turn heel during March leading to WrestleMania in April. The Celtic Warrior is going to be an interesting character to watch for the next few weeks. He will not be at the top of the card for Mania but is also worthy of a quality spot. Keep an eye out for what he ends up doing.
Hulk Hogan Or The Undertaker?
Again, we are going to assume that the rumors are true and that both men are returning to WWE soon. If both men are going to appear on the historic February 24th Raw, here is my question: How should the show end?
That is my big curiosity.
Sine the entire three hours is going to feel like one mega-infomercial for the WWE Network, there has to be a big cliffhanger leading into the post-show. When Raw is starting to wind down at 10pm, what is going on inside the squared circle? How can the company maximize its potential for subscribers to quickly rush to their network once Raw ends? Does The Undertaker’s gong hit, as the show fades to black with Michael Cole screaming to HEAD ON OVER TO THE WWE NETWORK NOW?!?! Or how about the WWE commentators promising a huge surprise all night, to have Hulk Hogan come out during the final moments of Raw, as he vows to make a major announcement…NEXT ON THE WWE NETWORK!
You see my point?
Those are just two ideas. WWE, whether it is fair or not, will have to pull some kind of ‘bait and switch’ trick out of their bag during the final segment of Raw in two weeks. My gut tells me that The Hulkster will be the string to pull you in. However, you know Taker is sure to make a memorable return. Honestly, I can not really think or anybody else besides those two being the big tease to the WWE Network. If you all have any scenarios, feel free to let me know. Do not get too carried away with the fantasy booking though.
Marc: “I’ve been reading all your columns and I’ll just say: Your opinions and/or facts make sense. I just want to make two points and know if you agree or can add anything.
1. Fans want to get behind Bryan, Punk and Ziggler and others, but a lot of their fans do not buy the PPVs. They go the cheap way or scan it. Cena fans are kids and will ask their parents to order to see him.
2. I want Bryan to succeed. I went crazy when he beat the heck out of Bra Wyatt in the cage. He needs to keep doing what he’s doing. His time is coming. He has the backing of Cena and Vince. Look how many title shots Brie got. I’m a huge Cena fan because I respect all he has done. He makes you love the product the same way Austin and Bret Hart did in the 90’s for me. I got so much to say, but I’ll say it in other columns. Take care man. Be safe; stay warm in the cold.”
Thank you sir. Luckily, it is starting to warm up a bit. Let me address these point by point.
1. You are correct. If you are a fan of Bryan, Punk, Ziggler or whoever and illegal stream the pay-per-views every month, YOU are not helping their cause. If you torrent or download their matches and steal content with them featured online, it just tells WWE that they are not worth the money. Fans support (spend money) on their favorites. Like you said, John Cena has been able to market himself for almost a decade now, and WWE has taken full advantage of that. Whining and crying about Punk/Bryan yet at the same time NOW being a paying customer is just empty words and emotion. Put your money where your mouth is.
Make Daniel Bryan the top seller for merchandise.
Make Daniel Bryan the bigger PPV draw ever.
Make Daniel Bryan have the best quarter hour ratings on television.
Sitting back and doing nothing about it online is doing just that…doing nothing.
2. You said it best about John Cena. That is why CM Punk can stay at home for all I care. If he does not want to be there, then listen to The Rock from 2002 and GET THE F OUT! Bye. See ya. He knows better than anybody – Punk is just a spoke on the wheel. WWE will continue making money with or without him. WWE will launch their network with or without him. WWE will have a monstrous WrestleMania XXX event with or without him. The machine will roll on.
Thanks again for writing in. Feel free to anytime again. On that note, I think I said enough for one day. Contact me through the comments section and details below. As long the message does not have any cuss words or offensive language, I will happily reply.
What do you folks think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @JustinWatry