This is Sal LaSardo, and welcome to a special edition of Rough Cuts is RAW on decline and my WWE HOF picks — Last Monday RAW received its lowest rating of the year with a 3.0 and the question looms is the ratings on a decline? A lot of factors determine if a television program is on the decline such as holiday’s, alternate programming, the product itself and of course the X Factor where there is no reason given people just do not want to watch that evening.
My thought is the WWE product has been stale for quite sometime and as a fan myself have been getting bored with the quality and content for which I expect on a Monday Night. RAW used to be wild, crazy, and a version of Chubby Checker doing the “twist”. Now it is just more skits and talk and not enough wrestling and hyping up PPV’s and people like myself are tired of it and I am sure you the fans are as well. It seems the WWE cares about buying their product but do not reward their fans with a reason to buy. Their PPV’s have not excelled that much at all, especially SummerSlam which is supposed to be their big moneymaker of the summer.
The Summer the Ratings expect to be high since there isn’t any new alternate programming on and this is where the WWE usually does well as it is. Now we are into September and Football Season starts with a double-header on Monday night with two solid games and I expect many of us including I will be watching football. The baseball pennant races are heating up and with your teams fighting for spots we are inclined to be tuning in as well. My favorite television show Dancing with the Stars is back on Monday September 20 too. This is too brings new shows starting for the non-sports viewer. These factors will play a role in the continued decline in the ratings till the WWE realizes they have a problem and something needs to be done about it. They will do something when in fact, and only when their PPV buys decline as much as their ratings and then Vince will have his hand forced once again to return to the craziness that made RAW what it once was.
I was terribly disappointed in the 900 edition as there was no major stars of the past brought back for one night. The matches were stale and boring, as well way too much talk. I want to see wrestling not constant promo’s for PPV’s and skits. If they want to do a skit do a Piper’s Pit, or something.
The whole NEXUS thing has run its course already and people are just not buying it including I. Wade Barrett seems to be the guy to excel on his own and the rest seem to be short-term jobbers till they are phased out. I do not expect this group to be around by Wrestlemania next year.
A lot of people feel that Linda’s running for office is also ruining the brand and to a degree you are right. Vince is just trying to look out for her best interests and promote a family based product while she runs for office. The problem is you are ruining your own business by keeping a watered down product with no excitement or enthusiasm from the true people who keep the WWE in business and that is the “fans”. I believe Linda will get elected to office and all indications seem that she will make Senate and she deserves it. Lets give credit where credit is due, as she is a very smart woman and can do a lot of good things for the state of CT, but at what cost? If she gets elected and I believe she will then what we see now is what is going to stay put but for how long? Congress should not care what Vince does with his business as it is his business and this is a business of entertaining the consumer several times a week along with monthly PPV’s. You can not tell me Congress will tell Vince how to run a business because Linda is a Senator. It does not work like that and I am sure the McMahon’s know it. Still, though I believe regardless till the election is over we are stuck in this rut and the ratings will decline, as the product is just not watchable or worth buying at present.
What can be done then? First of all, I am sick of the anonymous GM already. Have someone regular on the show and be a part of the show from beginning to end. I do not care if its a face, heel, celebrity, a nobody off the streets. I want someone capable of showing me they can run a show. I can do it because I need a job and be very good at it. Secondly, Randy Orton needs the belt and they need to promote and push him to high ground. He is the star of this company for right now. Thirdly, turn Cena heel already, please. He is boring as a face and he gets booed anyways. How often do you hear a face get booed as much as John does? (On a side note, his new movie looks good and I will go see it. I recommend you all going to see a heart-warming feel good family type movie). Also, tag teams, where are they? We need teams and over the weeks I gave some great ideas for some team combination. I suggest having a tag-team tournament to decide the number 1 contenders for the title and see what works. You can have 6 teams in a round-robin format covering both brands and the top teams from each brand will square off to have be deemed number one contender. Finally, no more guest hosts as this has gotten stale. It was fun for awhile but this has gotten to be a joke with some of these hosts. Coupled the fact you are taking away valuable on-air wrestling time. It takes 15-20 minutes to start a match at the beginning of RAW and then you have more talk throughout. Lets eliminate the talking and get down to business.
Several weeks ago, I voted for Apter for the WWE Hall of Fame for next year. I believe he deserves the honor more than anyone because of his contributions over the years. He is one of the most respected and honorable journalists out there and I am sure we will all remember him forever as well as all the wrestlers he met and touched throughout his long career. This is shame he is not in the Hall but we will continue his push for it.
My Second vote will be the Fabulous Freebirds. Michael P.S. Hayes, Bam Bam Gordy and Buddy Jack Roberts were the original three members who started this wild group back in 1979. Jimmy Jam Garvin joined the group in 1983 till they disbanded in 1994. Their story is synonymous with tag-team wrestling and held titles in every major wrestling promotion. These guys defined six-man tag team wrestling to a level we will never see again. Their feuds with the Von Erick’s were legendary. The battles ensued over Irving Stadium during the WCCW days were epic. Michael Hayes the leader of the pack and their music is still classic today. When Jimmy Jam Garvin joined the group these guys became more lethal and dangerous and you just gotta love Bad Street. During the Freebirds’ career in the NWA, they won its tag-team championship. While holding the title, promoters added a sub-gimmick to the team: the (unofficial) “Freebird Rule”, which allowed any two of the three members of the team to defend the title on any given night. They are long over due and it is time they were recognized for the accomplishments.
My third vote is for the true Enforcer of professional wrestling and that is Arn Anderson. Arn Anderson the blue collar man from MN gave new meaning to hardest working man in wrestling. His spine-buster finisher was one of the most devastating moves of his time and still today. He is a multiple time champion in many now defunct territories and part of the Legendary 4 Horseman. A lot of people give Arn credit for making Ric Flair a better wrestler because he was the henchman of all henchman and I agree. Arn can do it all hands down and he did. His battles with Dusty Rhodes were epic and whether he was a tag-team with Tully Blanchard or on his own he truly was the one and only Enforcer inside the squared circle, His time has come to step inside is place in wrestling history and there be no 4 horseman without Arn, that is like making chocolate chip cookies and leaving out the chips. You can’t just do that, its time for Arn to shine in the Hall. Arn’s 52nd B-day is coming Sept 20, and I personally want to wish him a Happy -Day and hope he gets his credit in the WWE Hall of Fame.
My fourth vote is for Arn’s tag team partner Tully Blanchard. Tully was more the classy, arrogant ladies man type of guy but when it was time to get down to business he did do just that. He was television champion several times and tag-team champion with AA. He feuded with Dusty Rhodes for years as well and every-time you watch these guys wrestle you always got a 5 star match. That is something that is missing today for sure. Tully defined the meaning of class not only inside the ring but out. Today he is a minister and giving back to his community and helping others around the world. I remember him as the devious mind behind the 4 horseman without him you are missing out on the finer things that made this group very special, He can cut a promo better than anyone and he backed up his words better than anyone. I can’t imagine any Hall of Fame without a Tully Blanchard.
My final vote is for Cyndi Lauper. Cyndi was the true meaning behind the rock-n-wrestling generation that started WrestleMania. She was the first celebrity to be involved hands on in wrestling as she was not afraid to mix it up. She launched Wendi Richter to stardom and ladies champion. She was also part of the music video Land of 1000 dances, she was wearing an overcoat and wig. Look closely you will see her. Her time was short and brief but truly deserving to be in the Hall as she paved the way for other celebrities to be apart of the sports entertainment. Her accomplishments as a recording artist speak for themselves and I am sure today if you ask her, Girls Just Want To Have Fun” and her induction into the hall for stand for “Time After Time”.
As always, this is Sal LaSardo, and may all of your matches be a main event. Please send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.