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

The following is today's edition of Ask WNW. Ask WNW is the most popular feature on the website where Richard Gray answers four questions daily, Monday through Friday. To submit your question for the next installment of Ask WNW, click here
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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.

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