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By Dave Scherer on 2019-03-20 10:00:00

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With all the swerves, too many part timers, and way too many McMahons, how can Vince not see long term fans are getting turned off and they pay the bills and the once a year fans are just that, once a year?

There’s a lot to digest here so let’s get right into it.

Last point first, you are right on the money, 100 percent.  Clearly there is a portion of WWE’s fan base that, as of right now, only checks in on the product once a year, at WrestleMania time.  Some come back for the Rumble and stay through Mania, while others come back in the weeks leading up to the big show.  And as you mentioned, most of them leave right after WrestleMania is over.


Well, it’s pretty clear that in the time that they came back and watched the WWE product they saw nothing that made them feel that they needed to keep watching after the Super Bowl of Wrestling had come and gone.  The stars, and more importantly the storylines, didn’t hook them and it made it easy for them to walk away from WWE until next year, or at least SummerSlam.  That is a major lost opportunity for WWE because it shows that while the company has a lot of people that keep their toe in the water of the WWE product pool, the company clearly can’t make them jump in and swim more than occasionally.

Now, if this were a one time thing, it could be explained away.  But we have enough historical data to see that business peaks at Mania, which is should, but then a decent amount of people tune out and don’t come back again until next year’s Mania season.  WWE has all of this data and is aware of the trend.  I know people in the company that would love to do things to make the fans that come back this time of year enjoy themselves so much that they stay after WrestleMania.  But, in order to do that the company would have to break the pattern that they have created and given that the pattern is the brainchild of the chairman, well it’s a lot easier said than done.  

As things stand now, fans come back and see people that they know from the past (your Lesnars and Batistas and HHHs and McMahons), wrestlers that they see every year when they briefly return to following the product, and then talent that they aren’t all that familiar with (other than Ronda Rousey everyone else).  Let’s say someone hasn’t tuned in for a year and last time they saw Braun Strowman, he was a top title contender.  Now?  He’s happy to be in the Andre Battle Royal.  Let’s say they recently tuned in and saw that Kofi Kingston has been elevated to Title status, only to then see Vince McMahon say he is a loser and no draw and get pulled from his match.  Then, he’s one of the few babyfaces that ever got put in a handicap match and got completely decimated.  Or they see some call ups from NXT being used really badly, which tells that fan that they are not important.  The point is, Vince is telling these fans that “we really don’t have anything new that will make you part time fans commit to being full time”.  The fans get that message, loud and clear.

Don’t get me wrong either, the legends have their place on the show.  The part time fans want the all hands on deck approach, and they should get it.  With that said, the older talent should be a complement to the newer workers.  They current crop of wrestlers should be presented as THE product, while the older stars and the McMahons are there as an added bonus.

To me, the best way to get people to keep watching after WrestleMania is to hook them with good characters and storylines.  That is why those fans all started watching in the first place.  If they want better storylines and characters that are protected instead of booked in willy nilly fashion, that is what I would give them.

But, I am not the billionaire, Vince is.  In his mind, he has a vision for what his company is and should be and that is what he presents.  He has largely been this way his whole career, only veering out of his comfort zone during the Attitude Era when the company’s future depended on it.  Once he won the war, he went back to what his vision for the business is, and he can point to his new TV deals as validation that he is right.

Do I believe that he could make even more money and could get the product hotter than it is now?  Yes, I do.  But it doesn’t matter what I think.  In his mind, everything is great and it’s great being done his way.  If I had to guess as to why Vince doesn’t see that he could be doing even better, I would guess than he is very happy with what he has achieved doing things the way he wants to do them.  And while I may disagree with him, I can also see why he is following the vision that got him where he is today.

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