Every Monday and Friday, I write a wrestling column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review which can be found online at TribLive.com. Today, I wrote about the types of wrestling fans and their complaints. I explain some things that some fans either don't know or don't want to deal with.
The following is an excerpt:
WWE's business has evolved over years, but the same can't be said for all of its fans.
Critique runs wild on WWE. That's the double-edged sword when it comes to wrestling and its fans. There is always an alternative idea, opinion, emotion, but too often it's misguided.
Wrestling at its origin is simple, and for years it was presented in a simple manner: good guy versus bad guy. If you had an appealing look, a character that generated emotion and sold tickets, you were a star.
Today it's not that simple. WWE has added so many aspects of decision-making with the company going public and committing to being an entertainment brand with numerous properties. This is where the problems from fans come.
WWE books to the most casual fan. Those fans never critique because they don't know they can. They turn on WWE as long as they don't have something else to do. They watch and then turn it off. They don't think about it until it comes on the next week.
Then there are fans who are loyal but simple. They haven't figured out there is a world dedicated to wrestling and critique on the Internet. To them, WWE.com is the only website that exists. These are the same people who write those tweets that appear on WWE's #RAW scroll at the bottom of the screen such as:
“OMG @RandyOrton vs @JohnCena. This the biggest match in the history of #RAW #BestForBusiness”
Finally, there are those who never miss an episode, never miss a rumor online and usually are the least happiest for the most amount of time. WWE already has their money. For them, wrestling is like an addiction. No matter whether they see positive or negative in it, they keep coming back for more.
It's partially for this reason that WWE listens to this portion of the audience the least. The other reason: This part of the audience is so blinded by their addiction that they don't understand the evolutional elements in WWE's business.
I'll explain some of them.
Some fans respectfully will understand what I'm explaining despite not liking it. Others are drowning in the ocean of wrestling unhappiness.
Critique: Here is my card for how WrestleMania should go and the matches.
Why it won't work/happen: You can't have a stacked card. Not every match can be a blockbuster. It doesn't matter whether it's WWE, TNA or an independent wrestling show at the local high school gym. You need to have matches that don't require much energy or thinking. The audience needs to be taken on a ride. Start hot with emotion and bring them down at some point. Let them rise back up and drop back down just before the big finale of the main event. If every match is 100 mph, by the time you get to the main event, people are exhausted and give your big names less reaction. So all of the money and time invested in the main event is wasted.
Critique: They should just insert this guy here and that guy here in the storylines.
Why that's not so easy: We're all guilty of fantasy bookings in our heads. Unfortunately, there are more factors than anyone knows except for those involved in the decision making. Perhaps a certain wrestler has something in their contract that promised them a particular storyline or booking. One wrestler might not want to work with another. Perhaps there is a lot of money that just went into a wrestlers licensing and merchandising. Perhaps there are already too many guys with a certain physical feature in big matches, so we have to wait until we can use more guys with similar features.
WWE is an entertainment company and operates like a movie studio. Being able to wrestle is like being able to act. Everyone meets the basic bar. There are endless other factors of appearance, politics, money, merchandise and more come into play.
Zack Ryder's situation…
WWE's love for big guys…
Read the rest of the column HERE for Justin LaBar's responses to these topics.