Last week’s “Monday Night Raw” – bare in mind that this is going into a PPV – pulled a 3.2. That is the same as the week before and far off from last year’s 3.6. In fact, ECW on Tuesday night actually pulled its lowest ever rating with a 0.9. So if you want to update your wrestling scorecards, it goes “WWE Raw,” “WWE Smackdown,” “TNA Impact,” and “WWE Presents ECW.”
There is an over saturation of the WWE product right now. Somewhere up in Titan Towers, the WWE brain trust thought up the idea of starting their own competition. The plan was to make “Smackdown” and “ECW” their own brands and have them compete with “Raw.” This was a very good idea. If you have no competition, create your own.
The problem is how it was implemented. If you go by the numbers, WCW was the second favorite promotion, not ECW. Extreme Championship Wrestling was nothing more then a glorified independent show. It was very entertaining, but nothing more. They never pulled good television ratings.
So why did ECW make the cut, and World Championship Wrestling did not? The problem is the McMahon family has never embraced what they own – WCW. It was always about putting WCW out of business. Then when they accomplished that, all the WWE thought to do was gloat about it. The main issue with that strategy is how it clouded their business judgment. At its worst, WCW was drawing a 2.0 television rating. At its best, it was getting an 8.0. Those fans were still around, and the WWE knew it. But they did not want to swallow their pride and start up a WCW show. Instead, they did the watered down ECW that has tanked.
How does the WWE fix their mistakes? How do they get viewers back? Vince McMahon believes that moving to a PG format will help do so. Sorry Vince, but that is never going to work. This is not a PG society, and the people that watch wrestling want to see violence and off the wall storylines. Right now, the WWE provides the violence, but the storylines are so simplistic they make your head hurt. The reason the WWE had a boom in the late 90s and early 2000s was because they embraced something new and inventive. They embraced everything WCW was doing and tweaked it. They embraced what ECW was producing and tweaked it. Now that there is nobody to copy, they cannot tweak.
So the Sixshooter is going to fix it for you free of charge, Mr. McMahon. Hire Eric Bischoff, former head of WCW, and Paul Heyman, former head of ECW, and give them total creative control. Let them rebuild your wrestling empire with inventive storylines that will get people talking. The best part of wrestling in the 90s and the early 2000s was “the water cooler” factor. Everyone who works in an office knows what that means. For those of you who do not, “the water cooler” factor is the talk you hear in the office about what you saw on television last night. You could not talk about television without mentioning wrestling during those great years, because every night something crazy happened that had to be talked about. It is time to get people talking again.
TNA has come to terms on a long-term deal with former ECW champion Bobby Lashley. He appeared on the show at last month’s PPV, but was only on a reported three-day deal. Lashley will continue to pursue his mixed martial arts career while he wrestles for TNA.
Amazing Red, who was a mainstay in the X-Division during TNA’s early years, has reportedly agreed to a new one-year deal with the company. He was seen on “Impact” a couple of weeks ago and will be featured in a PPV pre-show match up next week.
The WWE has started toying with the idea of bringing back Kurt Angle when his TNA contract runs out in September. There will be some interest from Angle, but the odds are he will resign with TNA. Backstage sources say Angle likes the short work schedule and the creative control TNA gives him.
Will Jeff Hardy be staying with the WWE when his contract expires in the next couple of months? The WWE would like to know the answer to that question, as well as his many fans. Right now, it looks like Hardy will be stepping away from the WWE to take a breather. Reportedly, TNA does not have any interest. Hardy did work for TNA briefly before going back to the WWE, but that did not end well (Hardy missed his last PPV).
That is all for this month, folks. Remember to check me out over at http://www.garden-state-of-mind.blogspot.com for up to date wrestling/entertainment news and rumors. As the great Macho Man would say, “Ooooooooooooooooh Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”