EPIC: WBF, Leonard v LaLonde, XFL….

Scott Hudson


Itâ<80><99>s the end of World Wrestling Entertainment as we know it – and I feel fine.

After a roaring week of hype during which they got media coverage from WJBF in Augusta, Georgia; Yahoo and WWE.com; the WWE paid off on their offer to give away (pinky tip to lower lip) one million dollars on â<80><9c>Raw.â<80> Could the desperation hail-mary pass from deep in the red zone someway, somehow find its way into the hands of the receiver and score a ratings touchdown?!

Seriously?

First, a little context. Since 1996, here are the ratings for the second â<80><9c>Rawâ<80> of every June:

06/10/1996: 2.7

06/09/1997: 2.2

06/08/1998: 4.3

06/14/1999: 6.7

06/12/2000: 6.8

06/11/2001: 4.1

06/10/2002: 4.2

06/09/2003: 3.5

06/14/2004: 3.6

06/13/2005: 4.0

06/12/2006: 4.3

06/11/2007: 3.8

(MAN did they kick our ass in 1999 and 2000……anyway…)

So for the second â<80><9c>Rawâ<80> of June 2008?

3.0

The lowest since 1997. What will the excuse be this time? Huge number for the season premier of â<80><9c>Master of Danceâ<80> on TLC? Hardcore fans torn between â<80><9c>Rawâ<80> and the â<80><9c>Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desiredâ<80> documentary on HBO? The â<80><9c>Grace Under Fireâ<80> two-fer on Oxygen?

One thing is for sure: the million dollar give away is a failure. Itâ<80><99>s kind of hip to take an image showing some poor schlub suffering the agony of defeat and placing â<80><9c>Epic Fail!â<80> or some such on the image to capture its height of futility. Perhaps someone will do a screen capture of Vince McMahonâ<80><99>s face when he heard, for the third time, static on the line followed by a busy signal as he attempted to call one of the winners and label that photo â<80><9c>WWFail!â<80> Yeah, yeah, yeah…I can hear the apologists (i.e. the head in the sand brigade) now: You donâ<80><99>t know what youâ<80><99>re talking about! Its only one week! Just you wait until the end of June and THEN weâ<80><99>ll see if it was a failure!

I hope Iâ<80><99>m wrong. I would like nothing better than to see the WWE once again vault up to a 6.8 rating. (DAMN that still hurts.) The wrestlers and crew would make more money and everyone would be happy. After all, they do have stockholders to answer to. Wait a minute! That may be it!

The WWE is a publically traded company. Maybe, if this trend continues, a group of stockholders will mount some kind of hostile takeover. And maybe the company will be in such a sorry state of financial affairs that no one that owns a share – not grandmama in her suburban Shreveport â<80><9c>investment club,â<80> not the Western New Hampshire Railroad and Mercantile Retirement Fund, not anyone – will hang on. And maybe, Vince will sell out and spend a few, honestly, well-earned years at the beach wearing his bermuda shorts and Birkenstocks scouring the dunes with a metal detector. And maybe, just maybe, someone will buy up whatâ<80><99>s left of the WWE and inject some creativity into it so we can enjoy wrestling (you remember that, donâ<80><99>t you? Sport of Kings?) again.

Does anyone have Ted Turnerâ<80><99>s cell phone number?

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