Is WWE’s Popularity Imploding?, Everyone Loves Hogan, Razor Ramon’s WWE Hall Of Fame Induction

Do you feel a lack of hype for Wrestlemania 30?

Yes, the hype surrounding Wrestlemania XXX is not as intense as it’s been over the last several years. Just look at last week’s Raw viewership as it’s clear fans aren’t tuning in with excitement. Last week’s Raw only did an average of 4,075,333 viewers, to mark the lowest viewing audience of the year. These numbers were down an average of 540,667 viewers from the comparable show last year. This is troublesome and something that must worry WWE as they look to push towards 1 million WWE Network subscribers. The WWE Network could actually save the show from disaster as buys will be masked by people that have already signed up. Before readers go blaming Batista or Daniel Bryan (depending on which side of the fence you sit on), I point to product over saturation.

Yes, the build to Wrestlemania 30 has been all over the place with the constant changes in plans but I believe WWE is seeing negative effects from overwhelming their fans with too much content. I’m not just talking about Raw being three hours long, Raw has been three hours long for nearly two years. I’m talking about starting Raw a half hour early and ending a half hour late. I’m talking about an additional live hour each Tuesday, preceding an hour on Wednesday and three more hours on Friday. I’m talking about viewers not even getting the commercial breaks to catch their breath during Raw. As a result, I believe everyone is worn out. Not just the fans but the workers, the writers and the staff.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently spoke out about the NFL’s expanded television coverage, predicting the league is 10 years away from an implosion in terms of its popularity. Cuban argues the NFL is trying to take over every night of TV and because it’s all football at some point the people get sick of it. He says, “hogs get slaughtered. And they’re getting hoggy.” I think we can say the same is true for WWE. No one but Vince McMahon wanted to expand Raw to three hours. There was such an uproar amongst the writers there were people lining up to quit. They’ve struggled to keep a head writer and it’s even to the point where Stephanie McMahon gladly handed the job of EVP of creative back over to her father.

With the evolution of the WWE Network, I believe the company is asking too much of their fan base. Not in terms of price but in terms of commitment. I truly believe there are cases where less is more and I believe WWE needs to scale back to help re-energize their fans, their talent and their staff.

Why is Hulk Hogan not booed out of the arena? I understand he did more to advance the business than anyone, but I also feel he did a lot of harm to the business with selfish actions and his obsession with himself. Even smarks tend to cheer him. Why is this?

It was interesting to see how the Brooklyn audience embraced Hulk Hogan on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. I thought he would at least get a little bit of heat but he seemed to get over well as a babyface. Not only that but he’s been very well received by the WWE locker room. I don’t know why this is, perhaps fans are willing to overlook the negatives in favor of all the positives. When I questioned Hogan’s motives in TNA last year, he dismissed me as the biggest new mark. My claim was Hogan was all about Hogan, not all about TNA and the wrestling business. While he can deny that, actions speak louder than words and he sure wasn’t willing to take a pay cut. My view on Hogan is he is our Michael Jordan. He took the pro wrestling business places where it could haven’t gone without him. However, I also think Hogan has a very narcissistic personality where he feels threatened by anyone that has the courage to speak up against him. Bret Hart has never been shy about Hogan and Hogan dismissed him to the point where he accused he was never one of the boys.

Why is it that the WWE seems to inducting Razor Ramon and not Scott Hall?

WWE is inducting Razor Ramon, the 4-time Intercontinental Champion, into their Hall of Fame. They are not inducting Scott Hall, the Outsider and nWo founder. This distinction is important and something I’ll have more on later in the week. However, the basis is not hard to figure out as there will likely be another induction coming for the founding members of the nWo like there was for the Four Horseman.

From the Ask WNW vault…

May 2012: What is a “road agent”? - Road agents are now known as producers in WWE. They are former wrestlers that act as liaisons between the creative team and wrestlers. Storyline plans will come down from creative and are given to the producers to go over with talent. It’s also the producers who are in charge of live events and make sure things run smoothly.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

Remember questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. Check out the Ask WNW archive at this link.

You can submit a question for the next installment of Ask WNW at this link. If you have problems with the form, you can send your question to AskWNW@wrestlingnewsworld.com.

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  • Drock

    does this mean Scott Hall and Rick Bognar (fake Razor Ramon) will both be getting an award at the HoF ceremony?

    • http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/ Richard Gray

      Hah they do have a backup plan if Hall no-shows.

      • PHATBOYLBC

        Really? No sarcasm either. Is there really a back up plan? Wld Hall really no show? once again real questions no sarcasm

  • Bob’s Diner

    People are annoyed Hogan isn’t getting booed???
    That’s sad.

    • http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/ Richard Gray

      I think surprised is a better way to categorize it. I’m not annoyed, just surprised.

      • Bob’s Diner

        No I was more meaning the person asking the question – they sound frustrated because they want people to boo Hulk Hogan. Not going to happen after him being away for so many years (half the WWE audience have no idea TNA even exist) and I think it is sad someone would like to see a legend “booed out of the building” for coming back to hype up WrestleMania. Someone’s got to do it, because WWE sure aren’t

        • Justin

          I agree with you. I think that it’s ridiculous to boo Hogan. Wow, he’s a narcissist. Wow, he did what he could to keep his position. Shocking… HH is arguably the most popular wrestler of all time. It makes sense why the majority of fans would cheer him.

          • Bob’s Diner

            It isn’t like he is the ONLY wrestler with a massive ego that hurt others to keep his spot, either. Pretty sure I could name 5 people off the top of my head that were either just as bad or worse and still get a massive ovation

          • Paco

            What frustrates me about Hogan is that every time Mania comes around, if he’s out of work he wants a piece of the action (i think Richard Commented on this years back before he went to TNA). He leaves the company that made him (and he helped make them) trashes them, then comes back talking about how he’s ‘home.’ He’s one of the only wrestlers to demand a creative control clause in his contracts. Yes the business is full of egos wanting to the top, but none have gone to the lengths that hogan has to bury his opponents. Richard rightly called him out on his TNA tenure and intentions and he just balked and demonized. I don’t deny he’s a legend by any means but that shouldn’t excuse you from being a foul human being.

          • Bob’s Diner

            Actually he didn’t trash WWE last time around – he simply said the deal wasn’t good enough for him and that he was going to make TNA a powerhouse or something (which worked out oh so well)

            Look, I’m not denying he sabotages others to help himself, but he isn’t the worst by a long shot. He never threatened to no show events. He never forfeited titles. He never went out and completely made a match look stupid just because he was going to lose. There are certain people that pulled those stunts time and time again but fans don’t care and cheer the hell out them. One person that did all of the above is actually considered one of the greatest of all time. So to sit here and complain that the fans aren’t booing Hogan right now is just sad.

          • Guest

            Fingerpoke of doom?

          • Bob’s Diner

            What about it? Blame Kevin Nash for that – he was booking, Hogan wanted the title, so Nash did the same thing his buddies had done in WWE a year earlier – just laid down and gave the man the belt and made a joke of the whole thing. I actually thought it was hilarious and probably the funniest thing Nash has ever done. But I realise I am in the minority

  • Avalanchian

    Not a WWE Network subscriber, but can you watch the most recent RAW that was just aired or after how many days? If at all.

    • KrisXX

      No.

    • Bob’s Diner

      I believe it is 30 days after they air, but someone that has had the network for 30 days may be able to clear that up – I know they go up on Hulu the next day and thus can’t go on the network for a period after

      • avrum

        i live in the netherlands and i chek all my WWE shows on wweo.net it is a great site and also offers pay per views the day after it has been aired.

  • GOR

    I don’t think 3 hrs of Raw is the problem. the biggest problem is lack of interesting storylines n matches.
    WWE have destroyed Tag-team, divas, cruiserweight, mid-card divisions. Their only focus is main-event/title story-line, which is getting screwed as well.
    As a result, there r less stars, less new exciting faces, & more of the same people doing the same thing over & over again. So, how r people supposed to get excited about the show ?
    WWE is trying to mask this with flashy & low-substance ideas; the network, the twitter, the plastic divas, the Part-timers etc. But, its going to work for only so much time.
    Solution for this ? hand-over booking/writing to Paul Heyman. He made Smackdown more famous even than Raw wen he was in-charge, was responsible for a great mid-card & brought new stars forward.
    On a lighter note, if they need new writers, thers 1 typing this. I could surely do a hell of a better job with mid-card than wat they r doing now.

    • pen and tellya

      I laughed hysterically at the last part. Hey anyone can be a writer because it is so easy. We all think we can do better but in reality it isn’t as easy as you seem to think it is

      • _lawrenc1

        As someone who fancies himself as an original thinker, my idea is this; FIRE the writers and use the money for improvisational acting lessons for the wrestlers. Make them cut their own promos without a script. Make them work for it.

    • Lebron James

      Na, 3 hours is way to long for any show. Sh1t, 3 hours is too long for a movie. They need to cut back to 2 hours, maybe make Smackdown a little storyline heavier. Something’s gotta change for sure though.

  • Mike Brailsford

    So how many will they limit a HOF induction for nWo to ? – Hogan, Nash, Hall & Waltman minimum surely.

    • Bob’s Diner

      Should just be the original trio. Waltman will probably go in with them considering who his friends are, but he was about as important to that group as Ray Traylor and Mike Rotunda

  • batman

    “This distinction is important and something I’ll have more on later in the week. However, the basis is not hard to figure out as there will likely be another induction coming for the founding members of the nWo like there was for the Four Horseman.”

    …because Hall should be in the Hall of Fame twice? ….really?! I get NWO going in, as much as I dislike Nash, the NWO are kind of important to wrestling. And I get Hogan going in twice. That’s fine. But Hall? Twice?

    • monty

      seriously? Hall had more talent than nash and hogan and could actually cut a great promo

      NWO wouldn’t be the same without Scott Hall and he deserves to go in with NWO

      • Bob’s Diner

        I think you misunderstand what he is saying – not that Scott Hall shouldn’t go in with the NWO, but that he shouldn’t be going in twice. If he were to go in just with the NWO that would much more acceptable, but going in as Razor Ramon just so he can go in later with the NWO as Scott Hall is just bizarre

        • batman

          Thanks for explaining, Mr. Diner.

          Hall absolutely should go in with Nash and Hogan as NWO. And no doubt WILL. And that is how it should be. NOT going in as himself. Because when NWO do finally go in, that will be him in twice.

          With Hogan and Flair. Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall.

          One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn’t belong.

    • Bob’s Diner

      I am with you – I guess this is HHH’s way of getting all friends in at least twice now? Obviously Nash will be next year. Or the NWO. Either way that’s twice for him too. Then Waltman will get a solo induction as well as a member of DX (along with Shawn Michaels)

      • batman

        I forget where I read it, but someone said “It must be nice being HHH’s friends.” I’ve seen Xpac pop up as a talking head. Nash on NXT. Outlaws as champs. Hall in the Hall of Fame.

  • monty

    there was a time when we had storylines for main events plus midcard and under card guys but now all Vince is focusing on is the main events and everything else is just a throw in

  • Lebron James

    Hogan is a legend of the business no matter what. That’s why people love him. He’s given over half his life to this business. People appreciate that. I also loved the nice pop Arnold got. It was awesome to see them together.

  • John

    Hulk Hogan is the main reason WrestleMania is still around 30 years later! I can only assume the person asking the question doesn’t understand the impact Hogan really had on wrestling.

    • Bob’s Diner

      This. I’m not a lifelong Hulkamaniac or anything, but WrestleMania XXX would have felt incomplete without him involved in some way