Friday, 9 October 2015

Does WWE RAW Presentation need to change?

As always everyone thank you for reading and taking the time to check this out. As you all know im a wrestling fan and not a “wrestling expert” or proclaim to be one just my opinion as a fan on what I see

 Thanks and Enjoy

Does WWE RAW Presentation need to change?

I have been thinking about this recently I was reading 10th Anniversary Edition of a book called “the Death of WCW” and something hit me in context to today WWE product. Going back and thinking about “The Monday Night Wars” WCW vs WWE, Nitro vs Raw the thought hit me, the presentation of Sports entertainment has not changed since the Monday Night Wars.

Lets learn from History
Vince Russo

What I mean by that is the show format has changed very little from When Eric Bischoff started Nitro and Vince Russo (love him or hate him) went to Vince Mcmahon and told him that the WWE Product needed to change that was back in 1997 we are now in 2015 and we have the same format to a show Wrestler A comes out at beginning of the show talks about Wrestler B then they agree to have a match later tonight. Its always the same way, always the same thing just with different wrestler inserted into it each week, month or year.

WWE never starts off a Raw with a match or they don’t cut to backstage with Renee Young straight with someone, even do the normal wrestler A challenges Wrestler B but put it in a different environment the locker room, hallway or whatever make it feel different. That’s why I feel the fans of WWE have gone away for awhile now, they know everything stays the same, the show structure, the show format, what the wrestler says and does and even how matches are going to finish.

This brings me to a Vince Russo Quote he said this in an interview and was talking about when he was in WWE I’m paraphrasing here but Vince russo stated that

 “Vince (mcmahon) the fans know everything now, you need to throw away the handbook and start doing things differently, Don’t follow the handbook, start giving fans match finishes, situations and unpredictability that they haven’t seen before and more people will start looking at the product if your product is predicable people wont watch”
Eric Bischoff

Eric Bischoff went by a different mentality in WCW he used a formula he described in his book as SARSA ( Story, Anticipation, Reality, Surprise, Action) Eric described that when he was running WCW they surveyed the fans and did a good piece of market research and one of the things wrestling fans wanted was unpredictability. Eric used SARSA to his best advantage and created something which drew huge TV ratings for WCW at the time and for 83 straight weeks beat WWE at thier own game. WWE writers would be well served to look at SARSA in terms of a live television environment and how they could develop this in 2015. You Couldnt do it the same as it was previously in WCW as times have changed with social media and there being a more knowledgeable fan base in 2015.

Fans,Quantity Over Quality and Creative thinking

Fans wanted to be taken by surprise and fans want to know that the 3 hours that they invest in WWE Raw on a Monday Night is worth it. At the moment the issue is the time being invested does not equal the reward for the fans – so why would you keeping watching week in week out if its not a rewarding experience for you?

Fans need to be taken on an exciting journey week to week and be given a reason to tune again the week after. I think another issues especially over the past few years is that WWE I feel was oversaturated itself week to week and with so much content that they produce they have stretched themselves to far WWE went with the philosophy of Quanity over Quaility and as a result RAW is struggling. Moving Raw to 3 Hours I think is a prime example of Quantity over Quality which I think WWE would admit has stretched them further than needed and also diluted over Shows such as WWE Smackdown.

Suggestions on How to Fix Raw

Do Not Panic and No Quick Fixes
The Worst thing I think a WWE or any company in this situation can do is panic. Panic does not help anything and Quick Foxes only mask the issue for awhile. WWE are a global brand and company with some very intelligent people within in, we are saw what happened when WCW panicked they made the wrong strategic moves and  made big errors they shouldn’t of, keep a level head and a clear thought process.

Less time more quality
Talent is being over exposed and as a result storylines maybe aren’t as strong now as they once were and having a knock on effect throughout the industry.  Raw alone is 12 Hours of Original programming over one month. If you made RAW 2 hours aw week again this would slash this to a total of  8 Hours a month for RAW a lot more manageable in terms of creative.

Rebuild the Brand Focus on Core Customer First
To me the next thing you need to do if Raw rating s are struggling is to refocus back on who made you successful o being with. You may be a “sports Entertainment company” but your core fans are wrestling fans. In order to rebuild the product you need to start from the ground up, focus back on the Wrestling fans your core audience do things to appeal to those fans and along the way pick up new fans along the fans and expanded the product again as you go. Do things that appeal to the wrestlers, ex wrestlers Jim Ross and Steve Austin have always said if you doing things that entertain the boys (wrestlers in the back) chances are the fans will be entertained by it too, WWE don’t want to be known as a “wrestling company” but they need to refocus on what brought them to the dance.

Don’t do everything as its always been done
Variety is the spice of life and as I mentioned earlier if everything is always the same it means people will grow tired of it, the current format has been the same for nearly 20 years, WWE should experiement with different ways and see what works its only by going out on a limb and taking a risk will you be able to create, keep the attention of and garner a new audience.

Thanks for Reading


Jonathan Orchard

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