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WRESTLING AS A SPORT, WHY I AM INTERESTING IN THIS YEAR’S SURVIVOR SERIES (FOR ONCE), WHY LIVE VIEWING MATTERS AND MORE

By Dave Scherer on 2019-09-11 10:00:00

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Both WWE on FOX and AEW have said they will present a more sports-related product. I watch a lot of sports and I love meaningful graphics and stats. I can’t see WWE going this route, but with time limits and a heavy reliance on statistics mentioned by AEW, do you see them really going all out with the sports-related concept? I would love to see things like, Kenny Omega is on a two fight losing streak, or Cody is 0-1-1 when the fight lasts past the 15 minute mark, or Hangman Page is 0-2 in title fights. It would really make each match matter more. 

I am just the opposite, I don’t want to see those stats for the exact reason you wrote.  What that says to me is three of their best guys are LOSERS!  That isn’t the message I want forced on me.  I watched Takeover UK last week and not one of the sides on the losing end came across as losers to me.  I like presenting it as more sport like but in the end it’s not a sport so I don’t want to see it go overboard and be treated like one.  I don’t think stats make a match matter more.  Booking makes a match matter more to me.

Do you think it’s laughable that HHH says they are not counter programming AEW because they have been on Wednesday’s for x number of years when they are literally starting as a one hour show on USA and going to two hours right when AEW debuts? And do you think TNT will air a replay like they did with Nitro, or does that hurt AEW? 

No, I don’t think it’s laughable.  I think it’s an excellent way to point out “we were here first and they declared war on us, not vice versa”.  I don’t know on TNT but I wouldn’t do it at first.  I would want to see who chooses to watch when that is the only option.  Plus, with DVRs it’s not the issue it was back in the nineties.

Finally, if NXT or AEW prove successful, either with DVR viewing or WWE Network airings, that it will diminish the idea that pro wrestling is the type of show that must be watched live and therefore requires a heftier price tag from the networks?

Networks pay based on what people watch in the Nielsen day, which last I checked ended at 2 a.m. the following morning.  That is why it’s important for shows to get watched in that period.  It works against the brands to make it easy to not watch them then so I don’t think either side will want to do anything but make you want to see their shows live, or close to it.  If they aren’t getting live viewers, they won’t “prove successful” where TV revenue is concerned.

I have never been a fan of the "battle for brand supremacy" theme that WWE has adopted every year for Survivor Series, because anyone who follows WWE knows that both brands are owned and run by Vince McMahon, and there is no real competition between them.  Not to mention it results in highly illogical teams of heels and faces working together.  With the latest brand split all but over with the wild card rule allowing any number of wrestlers to cross over to the other brand, do you think it's finally time to put to rest the battle for brand supremacy at Survivor Series?

This year will make it a lot more interesting since both shows no longer air on USA.  Now, FOX will not want to see their brand get smoked, as Smackdown has in the past.  Personally, I don’t like the concept either.  It’s forced.  But this year at least, it will be interesting because their will be politics in play.

You talked about the high price of AEW PPV's and how they should lower the price.  Do you think that they should also address the issue that fans outside of the United States, who don't have access to Bleacher Report Live, have to pay using the Fite (or some other) app for shows that air for free in the US?

I think that would be a wise move, absolutely.  If someone airs for free in the US and I lived in the UK or Canada, I wouldn’t pay for it out of principle.  With that said, we will have to see if the B/R shows continue now that they are on TNT.

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