I haven't read about WWE/Vince McMahon putting any heat on Kevin Owens as Universal Champ during this this period of historically low ratings for Raw. Is the competition from football, etc., getting most of the blame?
There are a lot of factors at play and while Vince McMahon is known for overreacting and trying to place the blame of low ratings all on one person, he would be out of his mind to put the company’s latest viewership woes on Kevin Owens. As for last week’s Raw audience, which was the lowest in series history, much of it was blamed on the Presidential Debate. However, Vince McMahon was upset and vowed to make changes from this week moving forward. While I cannot tell you how WWE can fix the problems, I can tell you why it exists. This is not something that happened overnight and it’s been building for years. WWE has failed to develop stars for several years now and as a result, they’re left with a disengaged audience. It’s more than just pulling the “part-timer” card at every turn but they’ve over-saturated their viewing audience with a flood of content and that is too much to keep up with and difficult to follow. Not only that but the five hours of live TV has burned out the writers and it’s gotten to the point where it’s obvious there are some segments that are “mailed in” for the sake of taking up time. To make matters worse, WWE decided to take a roster that lacked established stars and split it, making it scarily thin at the top. There is as much potential and talent as there has ever been on the WWE roster but because of a lack of direction and development, there are men and women that could be stars but aren’t yet there. There are all kinds of examples of workers that WWE has failed to develop but until that trend changes, they will continue to lose viewers. All you have to do to test this hypothesis is go out and talk to what WWE refers to as a “lapsed fan” - someone that used to watch that doesn’t any more. They’ll tell you it’s not the same without Steve Austin, The Rock, or whatever other Attitude Era star that used to make them tune in. WWE is doing the right thing with guys like AJ Styles and Kevin Owens but there are still workers like Bray Wyatt (Smackdown) and Sami Zayn (Raw) who are stuck on treadmills.
What does the reported sale of TNA Wrestling mean for the talent?
Details regarding the sale of TNA Wrestling are still not available. The latest report claims that WWE has agreed to purchase the tape library and Billy Corgan has bought the company and plans to revamp it. I am sure more will be learned as the story progresses but anything at this juncture would be a guess. We were very skeptical about WWE being interested in the company, noting that if anything, they would only pursue the tape library and a select few talent contracts. Dixie Carter is still spinning it as here is the latest from her Twitter account:
">@IMPACTWrestling will be epic!
— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie)
— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) October 5, 2016
">October 5, 2016
Who is your personal favorite MMA fighter from any organization?
It’s always difficult for me to do “favorite” lists because they are highly subjective, however, with our turn into the MMA world, I felt it was appropriate to give you some background. Ken Shamrock was my first “favorite fighter” as I followed him heavily in the 90s and I actually have tape of his fights against Dan Severn at UFC 6 and UFC 9. I was a huge fan of Ken’s work in the WWF and even collected his action figure as a child. Over the past 10+ years, I’ve referred to myself as a “casual UFC fan,” ordering events that featured Brock Lesnar or Ronda Rousey. My affection for the sport changed after UFC 200 just this past July. With the combination of Brock Lesnar’s return to the octagon, the 2016 WWE Draft and CM Punk’s UFC debut, we broke all our traffic records here at the website in the months of July and August. As a result, we’ve expanded our MMA coverage and further integrated it with our pro wrestling content. There has been a lot of cross-over between MMA and professional wrestling over the years and it’s something that will continue. My favorite fighters today include Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey and I would love to see Dan Henderson end his career by knocking out Michael Bisping [again].
What has been your personal feud of the year?
Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor, AJ Styles vs. John Cena and Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks are my favorite WWE feuds of 2016. It’s such a shame that Balor got injured at SummerSlam as I really felt like he was a guy that could break out and carry the entire company. AJ Styles proved to Vince McMahon what so many of us have known for many years now and I couldn’t be happier to see him holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. As for Charlotte and Sasha Banks, did you see that main event on Raw? These women are writing history and I hope that you’re enjoying the evolution as much as I am.
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