Welcome to the Pat’s Pit, where we discuss different wrestling topics. As always, dumb responses will get you hit in the head with a coconut. Here’s today’s discussions:
Do fans only watch WWE because it’s the only promotion at a high-budget level? Do you think people would leave the company in droves in another similarly-budgeted promotion came in with more depth and fleshed-out writing styles?
ADORABLE ADRIAN ADONIS: Fans of wrestling are very few in number, maybe only about 2-3 million in the US. Of these, a very small percentage follow Ring of Honor, New Japan, Lucha Underground, IMPACT wrestling, etc… WWE gets the lion’s share of wrestling fans due to loyalty (it was so good at one time, it will get good again, right?), better production values, most of the star power, and the money to stay ahead of all other wrestling companies.
One thing that hardcore wrestling fans refuse to acknowledge is that most fans who tune into WWE are fans of the sports entertainment that they grew up with, the Vince McMahon style of pro-wrestling. Most people don’t want to watch the over choreographed matches of the indies and Japan, because they are unacquainted with any of it, it can come off as taking itself too seriously in an age when everyone is exposed to kayfabe, and its not what they want to see. If fans were truly clamoring for that style of wrestling they would seek it out through the multitudes of ways the internet allows and these other companies would not be stuck in that static positions many of them have been in for years.
In short, people watch the WWE out of both habit and because it gives them the style of wrestling entertainment they prefer.
CHRIS: The hardcore fans would leave in droves, especially if it was a direct competition (Monday Night Wars relived or something). The marketability that brings hardcore fans to WWE is seeing their favorite wrestlers with a budget behind them. Support your guy/girl and bring the noise for them on the big stage. Take that away and give them an alternative and they’re gone. I know I’d be. If you said “we’re gonna give you two options: option 1 is Finn Balor in WWE where he’s gonna face Bob Lashley in a [I was the smiliest Babyface] match with no story and it doesn’t end well for Finn because lol tiny dude. Option 2 is the story of Rampage Brown… <Insert fleshed out story and culmination to big feud here>… Who will take on Marty Scurll in a—” shut up and take my money option 2.
JASON: I don’t think that fans only watch WWE because it’s the only promotion at a high budget level. However, I do believe it’s a big reason. They do have a lot of really exciting talent and occasionally some good storylines. If another company came along with a budget to match and had more to offer I definitely think WWE would lose a good amount of fans. You’d have to think people would at least be curious of another large promotion after WWE has essentially been the only game in town after WCW folded.
KRYSIA: I think that the WWE has the most fans, because of the fact that it has been the only promotion at that high-budget level. Come on, Vince took ownership of WCW and ECW, I am really shocked that he has not yet attempted to buy Impact. WWE has such a following that it’s hard to imagine people leaving in droves. Even when people take a “break” from WWE, they always end up back. I was one of those people that stopped watching for a few years, but did watch IMPACT from time to time. Only watched it because of the Hardy Boyz, but IMPACT as a whole I am not a fan of it. Most wrestlers I believe want to be in WWE, and the rest of the promotions don’t come close to what Vince does. At the same time, I feel as though Raw & Smackdown tend to repeat storylines, and aren’t as creative as WWE’s own NXT.
PAT: I think WWE would lose some fans. I think that if another WCW came along that had the same high-cost production and budget and had better storylines, many fans would slowly drift to it. There are many more though who would either watch WWE or nothing. They may become fans of the new show, but wouldn’t turn their backs on WWE.
Is NXT canon to the main roster story? Should it be taken into account when creating main roster storylines?
ADORABLE ADRIAN ADONIS: For me, no. I do not watch NXT, and neither does a vast majority of the usual main roster audience. The main issue with treating NXT as canon is that all of the wrestlers complete their character’s story arc in the minor league NXT, leaving NXT fans not wanting to see the same story over again on the main roster and the main audiences having no idea who in the hell the talent is or why they act and say the things they do.
Using NXT to build programs on the Monday and Tuesday shows usually ends with a thud. I had no idea of the history shared by Bayley and Sasha, Owens and Zayn, etc… so shoehorning it into the main shows like I should care is jarring. It is a big problem, and I feel that NXT has actually destroyed the potential of certain talents by overexposing them to people who enjoy NXT, and having no way for their character to grow on the main roster aside from reliving what they already did, and heel and face turns that lose currency after a few turns.
CHRIS: Nope, and that’s why you’ve seen the NXT call up success rate fluctuate from either 1: total freak accident success, 2: mired in the same genetic pool as each other with no character development and vying to be cannon fodder to the upper titles, fighting for mid card belts, or joining together to go for a the tag belts, or 3: Tye Dillinger/Mojo Rawley/No Way Jose levels of success aka nothing they ever do will make the main show for more than one appearance in a blue moon aka the stars of main event aka jobbers to the guys getting a push up to the midcard.
JASON: I don’t follow NXT and I could be completely wrong about it, but it seems to me like it’s the equivalent of the minor leagues in baseball. They play their “season” and when the big team needs them and have a storyline for them, they call them up.
KRYSIA: Nxt is like the minor leagues for the main roster, so I think in some way it should be taken into account when creating the main roster storylines. Especially when an NXT superstar is going to make the transition to the main roster.
PAT: I think that especially if someone is a main event wrestler in NXT, their storyline should be continued on the main roster at least in some respect. It didn’t make sense to me when Bobby Roode, who was the biggest heel in NXT, debuted as a face on the main roster. With Asuka, they continued her undefeated streak storyline, and continue to acknowledge her amazing NXT feud with Ember Moon. I understand that not everyone watches NXT and those people don’t care, but to those of us who do, it’s maddeningly frustrating. Generally, before they leave NXT their storylines come to an end, but at least give us some semblance of the characters we were invested in while they were there. And if an NXT storyline gets referenced and picked up on the main roster, I think that’s pretty awesome.
What dream matches would you have liked to see during the WCW invasion that never happened?
ADORABLE ADRIAN ADONIS: Only a few, actually. Goldberg v. Austin, Hogan v. Austin, Ric Flair vs. The Rock, and the Steiners v. The Hardyz.
Goldberg vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Sting vs. The Undertaker
Kurt Angle vs. Hulk Hogan (NWO)
The Rock vs. Diamond Dallas Page (Battle of the People’s Champions)
JASON: The main guy from WCW that I wanted to see during the invasion was Sting. Most of the guys that weren’t in the invasion angle but came to WWE later gave us a lot of the matches we wanted to see. I would have loved to see sting and the rock or sting and the undertaker.
KRYSIA: Honestly I do not have an answer for this question. So I plead the 5th 🙂
PAT: Sting vs. Undertaker, Hulk Hogan vs. Stone Cold, Rock vs. DDP, Kurt Angle vs. Sting, and of course, the Brooklyn Brawler vs. Disco Inferno.
Who will win the 2019 men and women’s Royal Rumble matches?
ADORABLE ADRIAN ADONIS: No idea, but off the top of my head I’ll say Charlotte and one of the Shield guys.
CHRIS: Drew McIntyre and Ember Moon.
JASON: I’m terrible at making Royal Rumble predictions so I’ll say that Daniel Bryan wins for the men and Sasha Banks wins for the women.
Men’s Royal Rumble : Drew McIntyre
Women’s Royal Rumble: Ember Moon
PAT: The Rock and Charlotte Flair