Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed on TheForzese Files are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of anyone on the staff of 1Wrestling.com.
Ratings Do Not Lie
I realize that ratings are not the end all be all and do not tell the whole story of any event, but the ratings are a pretty good indicator as to what the viewing audience is feeling about your product each week. The rating after one of the greatest promos ever from CM Punk was heading to the high 3 range. Since HHH has made himself the COO and started to dominate the spotlight again, the ratings have shrunk to a 3.0. That is a frightening drop in ratings over a short period of a few weeks. That says to me that fans who no longer watched wrestling tuned in because fans thought this was a new direction for WWE lead by Punk. In short order those fans and even die hard fans were once again tuning out when the realization became that things within WWE were not about to change for the better. Raw has been pretty awful since Punk’s promo and that is because WWE is just doing the same tired angles over and over again.
I make no secrets about saying that I believe HHH and Randy Orton do not draw ratings for the company any longer. HHH did at one time but that is many years ago and as talented as Orton is, viewers do not watch because of him. Cena can still draw ratings but those ratings are what we see each week and Cena does not have the ability to alter ratings any further. Merchandise sales may be great for all three of these wrestlers but that is not what WWE should concern themselves with fully. Punk was about to be a ratings changer and bring the level up to heights not seen for many months in WWE if WWE allowed Punk time. WWE decided that, for whatever reason that was not the direction that Vince wanted to take the company and thus ratings have shrunk back quickly.
I was willing to give WWE a chance to prove me wrong and stated that in previous columns but the facts are the facts and watching the ratings shrink makes my need to say something grow stronger. I am not a hater of HHH, I like HHH quite a bit, but I do feel that HHH should be nowhere near a main event or hogging the spotlight from other talents that may very well be a ratings draw. Vince has the tendency to get frightened easy and fall back to his comfort level far too quickly. That has hindered the growth of the company and has not allowed the next “Attitude Era” to blossom. I cannot say that the next boon period was about to happen but the buzz that Punk created said to me that fans were willing to try to. Punk may have been the next Stone Cold but now is stuck bantering with an “out of touch with what is hip” Kevin Nash.
WWE is struggling to stay in the 3 area right now and with Monday Night Football on the near horizon, ratings could get even worse very soon. What is also more disturbing is the fact that hour two drops from hour one on Raw and that means that Raw does not keeps fans interested as to what is happening in the main event. That is scary and WWE should be doing whatever it takes to fix that issue ASAP. Fans have been clamoring for change in direction for along time now and are now very angry that the change was presented and taken away within a months time. Fans are showing their displeasure by tuning out and ratings show that to be true. WWE can mask the true issues with appearances by Rock and Austin but that is just putting a band-aid on a much larger wound.
I criticize WWE as much as I do in the hopes of change occurring and my hope that WWE reaches unprecedented heights. I love this business and this company and want it around for my entire lifetime and even though I know WWE will not go out of business anytime soon that does not mean it never will if WWE continues to lose their fan base. I just keep seeing the same mistakes made over and over and I wonder why if I see them and other fans see them that WWE does not. Yes WWE makes a ton of money but more money can be made and that should be a goal. WWE should always strive to better their situation and never be complacent for the company to remain the same. Complacency is what is hurting the company right now.
As I have said all along I applaud WWE for pushing new talent to the top but if those wrestlers are not going to be the focal point of the show then it will not matter much. WWE needs to make new talent the focus and not just rely on the same three talents to continuously be the main focus. When does Cena stop being the champion or number 1 contender and start being an attraction that helps young talent get over? If Randy Orton does not draw ratings and does not sell house show tickets, which WWE has stated, then why is Randy always the champion and carrying the company? Because Randy gets a loud applause live or sells t-shirts? That is a very poor reason if so and WWE should be ashamed if that were to be their reasoning.
Recombining the rosters is a great idea and should help the ratings but this is being done because of the fact that the talent pool at the top is too thin to keep to separate shows. Again I am not saying that ratings dictate everything and it is a black and white case but ratings do tell a story that needs to be paid attention to. I am not trying to lay blame at the feet of HHH because he far from deserves it, but I am saying that ratings dropped as soon as HHH got involved as COO of WWE and thrust back into the spotlight. Coincidence maybe but it needs to be looked at deeper by WWE. Ratings dropping each week and each hour should be a major concern for WWE. It may not be a single person causing the drop but ratings dropping are an issue that needs correcting quickly. You have just read another chapter of the Forzese Files and as always feedback is greatly appreciated.