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WWE Too Preoccupied With Its ‘Casual Fan’

WWE
Its been debated a lot on social media, so I thought it was worth approaching the subject with WNZ fans. As the title asks: is WWE too preoccupied with appeasing its casual fans, that it has fallen a few steps when it comes to WWE programming and pay-per-views?

About a year and half ago, I may have said yes without hesitation. Total Divas seemed to dominate the women’s divisions, with women’s wrestling at an all-time low. A three-hour RAW was impossible to get through with falling asleep momentarily, and SmackDowns would be missed, or watched halfway through at times. Programming was, and at times still is, targeted without the long-time fans in mind.

One may argue that Roman Reigns continued push as WWE World Heavyweight Champion might be another fine example of how the WWE brass is completely ignoring their long-term fan base, in order to appease a broader demographic. It’s hard to judge Roman Reigns’ true popularity just based on a televised reaction/pay-per-views (PPV) versus at live shows, simply because, (and Roman was quoted saying this in an interview pre-Mania with the Orlando Sentinel), that his character is geared for families (maybe more the mom and kids … just saying!); and RAW and PPV are dominated by older males, a demographic that simply has not connected with the Reigns character.

Looking at the other side of the coin, especially in the last year and half, there seems to be a resurgence of strategies by the WWE, aimed to connect with long-time fans; those who are more about pro wrestling, and less about the fluff of it all. NXT is major element to all this, which is not only geared towards a specific demographic, but also aimed at creating characters that can connect with this audience, organically; making main roster transition that much easier for said superstar, because they already have a huge fan base by their side. Sure, the WWE has dropped the ball with some gimmicks and personas when they shifted from NXT star to WWE superstar; but for the most part, some of the move ups have been extremely successful, noting Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Kevin Owens as incredible NXTers that have had quite successful main roster transitions.

And then there are the slew of talent that WWE has recruited, outside of NXT; and this speaks volumes to wanting to please their long-term fan base – fans that love wrestling, not just WWE wrestling. Bringing over AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Shinsuke Nakamura, Austin Aries, and Eric Young provided not only some surprise debuts and shock value within WWE programming; but it also has raised the bar in matches, great sports entertainment, and incredible wrestling. Really, this is talent that is new to mass WWE audience, so bringing these superstars into the WWE was a bit of a risk, but it has been a risk that has paid off.

Really, what’s happened over the past few months with the WWE does remind me of a time when I worked in Communications for a large corporation. Their strategies at that point was continuously aimed at attracting new clients; so much so, that they began to lose the old ones that were drawn to the company in the first place. While still focused on new clients, they also unveiled a retention plan; realizing that in efforts to gain a new client base, they were losing the old. And why would you want to lose loyal customers, who have remained committed to your brand, all these years, and have made you successful?

In fact, I do believe that is exactly what this New Era within the WWE is truly about: and that is balance. Still creating quality programming, that can entertain long-time and loyal fans, while not crossing any crazy lines in order to appease families, and potentially bring new fans into the WWE’s sports entertainment spectrum.

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  • andy

    I’m a long term wwe fan and I’m loving the Roman title reign :-)

    • Bite Me You Loser

      Santa thinks Reigns is under rated as a perform. He has the good looks, the wrestling lineage. All he needs is to embrace his anger. Batista did the same thing years ago to lift himself up. Reigns shouldn’t hold back his anger for PG ratings. He should be a dominant champion.

      • andy

        He need to just be himself and take lead of what the rock done beg Vince to let him go out there and cut just one promo of him just being himself and the iwc will probably start getting behind him but iwc like it or not the Roman Empire is here to stay

      • http://NUNAYSHON.com #NBNC Hawk HENRY #NewNation ??

        Ever since the forced pushed at Royal Rumble last year with the random Rock spot at the end of the show and plus the early elimination of Daniel Bryan I just had a hatred for him and WWE for this call…I would have been ok if he won it this year with a storyline similar to what happened with Ambrose this year building up to it…but with all the dumb catchphrases they tried to put on him and super cena angle it kinda making me hate the product #TooManyCenas

  • IM MAD JOHNSON #NewNation

    One of the biggest problems is BumMan doesn’t fit in with the talent around him. I think he would’ve been a legend if this was 10-15 years ago. Nowadays we as fans have access to social media and Internet so now we have more options as fans. It’s hard to get behind BumMan as champ when 75% of the actual roster is better than him !

  • jcice13

    BLAH BLAH BLAH

  • Leroy Sugarwood

    I am a long term wrestling fan since a kid in the 80s and I too am a Reigns fan. It’s really weird how every ppv and raw how da crowd goes out of da way to boo Roman when those same folks cheered him while he was da power guy of da shield and while breaking Kanes Royal Rumble elimination record! It appears that da IWC believe themselves to be all so called wrestling experts just because they have Internet access to know more inside info now more than ever. I get that because of social media there isn’t as much of realism about wrestling like it used to be. That’s really unfortunate because I remember a time where people tuned in or went to events just to be ENTERTAINED! They accepted da characters as they were, accepted da storylines as they were, didn’t take over shouts because they felt that they knew more about da direction da business should go than da powers that be. For every Roman hater, I as a long time fan that has seen a lot over da years, invite you to go and look at Sheamus 1st WWE where he dominated da whole roster on his way to taking HHH out to when da title. Or maybe the beginning of the Ruthless Aggression era when Brock Lesnar destroyed legends his 1st year on da way to his title reign…I could keep going… Undertaker, Sting… BOTH won titles early in their careers. Clearly Reigns needed polish when he began, but anyone can see he has CLEARLY gotten better and can’t argue that he delivers in main events even while being booed… Da business is in his veins, he will get better. So to da IWC… We all know now that’s it’s sports entertainment, so quit being so analytical and just ENJOY THE SHOW!!!!!!

    • andy

      And not to mention the massive cheer he got when he beat shamus for the title :-)

      • Leroy Sugarwood

        Great point I actually forgot about that while tryin to make my point lol

  • Mr.???

    they probably do cater more to the casuals than the hardcore fans.I mean rainz is a prim example.Im nt saying just wwe casuals but as wrestling as awhole. They dont give a s— about the fans who made them what they are today and they never will as long as vince runs things.Sadly garbage writing,stories,booking,matches and everything else will continue for a long,LONG time to come.

  • The Shockmaster

    Roman sucks

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