AS I SEE IT: So What Kind of Fan Are You?

AISIAS I SEE IT: So What Kind of Fan Are You?
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Well…I certainly got a lot of response from last week’s column.

One of the more detailed was a series of responses from one reader, Chad Richards:

First, Chad’s reponse to my column of last week.

“Your column today reminded me of something Jim Cornette said several years ago. There are 3 types of WWE fans:

1) The people that will watch when a once and a lifetime phenomenon like Steve Austin comes along
2) The people that will watch when the product is good
3) The people that will watch no matter how bad or good the product is and complain about it either way

After reading your column I went into your archive to see what you wrote after WrestleMania 20. The night WWE gave the internet fans what they had been wanting for years. I wanted to see if even then you were truly happy with what WWE gave you. Your column made no mention of it, instead you were mad that WWE was drafting wreslters to different brands. That confirmed what I thought….if Daniel Bryan won the title last Sunday clean in the middle and had a boyhood dream celebration you still would not have been happy.

CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are internet heroes but the people who cheer for them on the internet are not the fans WWE should be marketing its product to because 1) those fans will never be happy and 2) the majority of them don’t even buy WWE’s product. I’ll never forget around Money in the Bank 2011….on the message boards I read all anyone was talking about was how this was the best angle WWE had run in years, Punk better win, etc…then the day of the show all I see is the same people posting ‘anyone got a good stream?’ That’s why when the buyrate for Money In the Bank 2011 and this years SummerSlam came in, I sure wasn’t surprised…

…I never see you talk about New Japan in your columns. Why is that? Do you watch it? Wrestling fans who enjoy GOOD wrestling have been talking about it for over a year. We don’t watch WWE. If you are a true wrestling fan and you want to see GOOD wrestling, not watch bad wrestling just for the sake of complaining about it, you should be watching New Japan and writing about how great it has been this year. There’s no excuse anymore…all the great shows are on Youtube almost immediately after they end FOR FREE. When the Observer Awards come out this year, at least half of the Top 10 and probably all of the Top 5 will be New Japan matches. I never see you write about them though.

Bob, your have an archive of nearly 15 years worth of columns. All one has to do is read through it to see WWE has infuriated you for 15 years straight. The only conclusion one can draw is that you watch it at this point for the distinct purporse of getting mad and writing about it.”

OK…

Let me offer some answers here.

First, for the years I’ve owned this website, its major aim has been to promote independent wrestling… as both a training ground FOR and an alternative TO WWE (and back in the day, WCW). So most of what I do on my http://pwbts.com website is to promote alternatives to WWE.

Back to WWE. As I told Chad, I’d have been happier with ANY storyline that didn’t feature the McMahons front and center. Even if they had, and had a clean finish at the end for Danielson, yes, I would have. Because the storyline would have had a beginning, middle, and end that went to a logical conclusion. The only logical finish is for Danielson to go over.

Do I think Danielson needed to keep it forever?  God, no. Let a good heel beat him, when the time is right via a storyline that makes sense, and features wrestlers, not one that features the McMahons as lead characters. Hell, let Orton do it…but after a while.

Anyone who reads this column knows I’ve watched the Fed since I moved to New Jersey in 1969, and first saw wrestling from the Northeast. I’ve watched everything from old Crockett to Georgia Championship Wrestling to ECW to Smoky Mountain Wrestling (and had a blast at the Fanweeks with its oldtime product) to local kiddie shows to FMW to New Japan to CMLL (and am pleased that have started to give fans an alternative to watch in a lot of markets).

Chad suggested I point out alternatives, so I’ll be happy to do it in this case. For those of you looking to watch the new show on Azteca America, called Lucha Azteca, go to http://www.aztecaamericacorporate.com/contenido.aspx?p=affiliatescontactses America’s affiliate list to see if you have an affiliate in your market, and if it’s airing the show. It aired this past Saturday with Arena Mexico matches from two weeks ago.

More from Chad:

“I’m 30 and I’ve been watching non-stop since 1988. WWE stopped getting me upset years ago. Do I think what you expected from the angle is logical? Sure. Did I expect it to happen? Not a chance. This is what WWE does. We use to say it would be better when Vince was gone but that’s no longer the case. The company is merely a vehicle to put over HHH and the McMahon family at the expense of everyone else. That’s all it will ever be until they start losing money. We can get upset over it or we can find good wrestling somewhere else. I choose the latter.”

One of the aims of a company producing a television and PPV product is to get viewers. So take a look at this year to year ratings chart for WWE.

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/attachment.php?s=46ea590226bc243623792fda0d0f4b2c&attachmentid=5233723&d=1357051019s”>

(Graphic courtesy: Bodybuilding.com)

So if one of your prime aims in a company is to produce a television “action adventure show” (aka wrestling show) and obtain viewership….and your ratings are less than half what they were in 1999….something is clearly wrong. Go back to 1999. That’s the “Attitude Era”.

No one says we have to have every overdone aspect of the Attitude Era. But at least the aspects of it that would work in 2013 need to be looked at and added to the product.

Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year will soon be here. The Christmas movies have started. Your friendly not-so-local retail mega-store has been killing trees to print advertisements to sell us  iPad, IPhone, or iSomethings, along with the latest game killing bad guys, zombies, or whatever, for our kids or ourselves.

Back to the spirit of the season…. the wrestling community is reaching out to those in need. Independent promotions hold a wide variety of events to benefit various food pantries, shelters, Toys for Tots drives.

Over the years, promotions in my area from the family-friendly United Wrestling Coalition to the hardcore themed Combat Zone Wrestling ranging to indies of various sizes and types trough the United States and Canada. Even if you don’t have one in your own area this Holiday season, please take time to contribute to or volunteer with such organizations.

Until next time…

— Bob Magee

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