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LOOKING AT SOME POSITIVES IN THE WRESTLING BUSINESS RIGHT NOW

By Dave Scherer on 2020-03-23 15:19:00

Obviously, these are not the best of times in the world so I decided to look for some positives that could come out of the lockdown more and more of us are finding ourselves under.  As I am sure you all know by now, WWE will be taping their content as soon as possible to get it ready in case things like “gatherings under 50”, “the rule of ten” and the fact that when people wrestle they aren’t practicing social distancing go from being suggestions to being mandatory.  If that happens, the wrestling landscape could very well go as dark as all of the major sports and other entertainment venues have.  We are in unprecedented times so it’s hard to predict what will happen as we move forward.  It’s really not even worth trying at this point.  But, with WWE taping this week, and at best the schedule lightening up considerably for the company going forward, let’s look at some positives that can be gleaned for the current situation.

With WrestleMania in the can, the company will have plenty of time to make it better in post production.  As we have seen with the WWE shows in front of no audience, the lack of crowd reaction has really hurt the product.  It’s just not the same watching matches and not having crowd reactions, or even just the background noise.  It’s clear that the company has not been willing to push the boundaries of having more than 10 people in one area the way that AEW did last week.  That’s understandable given they are a publicly traded entity (and their stock is up a bit today on a day the market is getting killed, so they don’t want to mess with that).  Now, with the matches in the can, they can post produce them and add crowd noise.  TV shows used laugh tracks for years and there is no reason why WWE can’t do the same thing.  Hell, they know how to pump in crowd noise and they should do it with WrestleMania.  It will make the presentation of the matches so much better.  If they can CGI some fans into the audience, that would be cool too, but the noise is the most important element and they have plenty of time to make it happen.

Less time working means more time to heal up for the wrestlers.  It’s no secret that wrestlers work hurt.  In fact, they often work really hurt.  While the reduced schedule of no house shows will hit them in their wallets (and hey, we are all getting hit in our wallets right now), it will be great for their bodies to get a break.  They will have time to rest and not take as many bumps as they normally do, if they even take them at all. They can work on conditioning and staying in shape until things get back to normal.  It’s a great period of downtime that never usually happens with the WWE machine.  They should all make the most of it.

NXT has a great opportunity to appeal to more people.  Last week’s show was a recorded broadcast that featured no new wrestling.  With no Takeover to build to, things will be put on hold creatively.  So if it’s me, and I am booking NXT, here’s what I do.  I expose people to the past, great Takeover events.  WWE always does a great job on their pre-shows of recapping events that led to why the talents are wrestling.  It’s the kind of thing that can bring people up to speed pretty quickly.  What they could do is pick a Takeover, or even the top three matches.  Air the recap segment first, then the match, on Wednesday nights on USA.  Then air the next segment, then the next match.  They could also just roll the actual Takeovers out too if they choose, especially if they go back in time and air shows with talents that are now on the main roster.  In that case, maybe they can show viewers how great some of the talents were before they come to the main roster.  If not, they are giving the fans high end content.  And if AEW goes dark, they should have more eyeballs on the product.

Also, if/when the shows go dark, fans can go to other options for their wrestling fix.  With all of the first run content on TNT, FOX and USA it can be hard to find time to consume other, excellent shows.  Just in WWE alone, NXT UK and 205 Live are consistently strong programs that don’t get the attention that they deserve.  Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor have both been doing really good work lately as well.  Highspots.com has an amazing amount of fantastic content for fans to watch.  MLW TV is a lot of fun every week.  The NWA is also very entertaining.  Plus, there is always the old stuff on the WWE Network which, if you haven’t watched it yet, is new to you.  You could even catch up on some of the audios from the site if you have fallen behind.  The point is, while we may be finding ourselves losing our live, first run programs, there is a lot of great stuff out there that we can spend our time watching.  Since more and more of us will be home bound, that’s a great thing.

Take care, be safe and thanks for reading!

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