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DID FOX AND USA KNOW WHAT THEY WERE GETTING IN THE NEW TV DEALS, BRYAN AS A HEEL, ONE CHAMPION AND MORE

By Dave Scherer on 2018-12-18 10:00:00

You can send us questions for the PWInsider.com Q and A at pwinsider@gmail.com.

Daniel Bryan is trying his best to be annoying, but considering all that he went through involving his retirement and return, and that not even a year ago a return would seem unfathomable, are you buying into his heel character or no?  I get the feeling that fans want to cheer for him regardless of how WWE wants to portray his character, similar to Stone Cold Steve Austin's ill-fated heel turn during his run at the top.

I think he is doing all he can and it’s not a bad idea.  When he came back he was white hot as a babyface, but they let him cool off.  So at this point, I can see why they are trying him as a heel.  If it doesn’t work, they can always turn him face.  From what I have heard he is very into playing the heel character.

It's quite obvious that podcasts such as Bruce Pritchard's and Eric Bischoff's are not the most factually correct, as they tend to either remember things differently than what actually happened, or simply don't remember at all.  What are some podcasts hosted by current or ex-wrestlers, or people involved in the wrestling industry, that provide a more accurate recounting of the facts?

Honestly?  The only podcasts that I listen to are the ones that we produce here at the site.  I can assure you that we strive for accuracy.  

Over recent years I feel like my interest in PPV's has been diminished by the fact they don't always feel different to regular TV events. Historically I've always been excited to see what the set for the show would be like, with some real standouts such as King of the Ring, Backlash, New Years Revolution and Judgement day. Now we tend to be greeted with the same setups, with different images/videos shown on the LED screens.This is obviously redundant once the entrance videos hit, meaning everything just looks the same and (in my opinion) damages the spectacle of the PPV. Other than Wrestlemania I struggle to pinpoint a PPV entrance that has blown me away, as even the NXT set ups have become generic. Do you think this is all just the result of cost cutting and improving the ease of set up? And do you think this approach is devaluing the spectacle that PPVs are meant to be? And don't get me started on the 'official themes' they use for these (apart from NXT).

All I can tell you is that I have never noticed any of that so it obviously isn’t something that I focus on.  I have never been one to pay a lot of attention to the sets.  I do like cool entrances but I don’t expect the talents to come up with something new for every show.  One thing you need to consider is that PPVs use to be the draw.  Now, it’s TV.  That is where the big money is, so that is where they will focus their attention.

I just looked over the ratings and see from the start of 2016 to this past Monday night, viewership is down anywhere from 1 to 1.5 million viewers per hour.  I know in the past you’ve stated USA and FOX see WWE programming as being important to them.  Seeing what those two networks are going to pay on the upcoming contracts with WWE surprised me.  Do you think the networks should have considered the fact that the ratings are likely to continue a downward spiral, and they may not get what they are expecting?

Networks DID consider that.  They know that viewership across almost all shows is down.  They know that people are cutting the cord from cable and streaming more, or using over the air antennas.  What they are trying to do now is align themselves with a brand that will continue to bring viewers in, even if that number is lower than what it has been.  WWE is in a very enviable position in that despite losing viewers, they are an established brand and thus mean a lot to programmers.

It seems weird both WWE brands have a main champion since the company can’t claim one guy is the “best in the world…uh, universe”.  Since TV and not house shows are the main income now, what would you think of ONE main champion defending the title against the top contenders from BOTH brands in the future?

They look at it like each brand needs its own champion.  I think that is sound, especially when you consider that this time next year the two shows won’t be on the same network.  With that said, I think making one of the champions a guy that hasn’t wrestled on Raw in well over a decade isn’t a great decision.  It may even have something to do with why fans are tuning Raw off.  They know that the champ won’t be there so maybe they think that makes the show missable.

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