– Vince Russo wrote a new blog this week and took a shot at Sami Zayn while discussing Monday’s WWE RAW from Montreal. Russo wrote the following:
Please allow me to introduce myself—I’m Vince Russo.
‘”If the show is good . . . they will watch it.”
– Vince McMahon, sometime during the Attitude Era
Those were Vince McMahon’s exact words to me one day at his dining room table while we were working on the next episode of RAW. The conversation came about when the previous show’s rating came in, and it faired extremely well against tough competition. Vince’s point was that no matter what else is on TV at the time—it doesn’t matter—if your show is good—it will be the one of choice.
Last night RAW experienced its lowest rating of the year, and of course out came the excuses that it was up against the second round of the NBA playoffs. Now, while that is indeed a fact, it had nothing to do with the rating bottoming out. The numbers sunk to new 2015 lows because the casual television fans for that night chose the NBA over RAW because the NBA was indeed the better show of the evening. However, had it been another time, another era, say Austin vs. Rock circa 1997—-it wouldn’t have mattered if LeBron James was matching up with Julius freaking’ Erving—the television viewer was watching wrestling that night.
However, everybody is running to the defense of the WWE, claiming that RAW was a great show on Monday night. WHY was it great in their opinion? Simply because an NXT wrestler that they all mark out for, Sami Zayn, made his surprise appearance on the WWE’s premiere show. I can only imagine when Sami got introduced by Bret Hart and came out as a surprise through the RAW entrance—to the Internet Wrestling Community is was the equivalent of Jesus himself showing up unannounced at the Sea of Galilee. But to the casual wrestling fan—nobody cared—to them this was a jobber and nothing more–so they indeed turned back to hoops.
RAW is a television show and Sami Zayn is NOT a television star—nor—will he be anytime soon. Sami is an exceptional wrestler on a wrestling show, and the only people who care about him are those die hard wrestling fans who are looking for 5-star matches that the massive don’t give a !@#$% about.
That’s why as champion Seth Rollins isn’t drawing no matter how hard they push him. Seth Rollins is a great wrestler, who only appeals to those purists who watch RAW for quality matches. The casual masses don’t care about that. What they care about are characters and storylines that ENTERTAIN them like the other TELEVISION shows they watch.
RAW wasn’t a GREAT show because Sami Zayn was on it—and the numbers clearly back that up. As Vince stated to me—there was better programming on television and that’s what the masses decided to watch. At some point in time, right around the Royal Rumble in Philly, the WWE started listening to their small, niche audience—the ones with the loudest voice—the ones who will watch as long as the word WRESTLING is somewhere in the show’s title.
They have completely made a statement that they no longer care about the masses watching television—the masses that stopped watching their product a very long time ago. I fully understand that Sami Zayn is one of the best wrestlers employed by the WWE, there is ZERO DOUBT that he is a “great worker”, but as my friend the Disco Inferno so eloquently puts it . . . “Wrestling Doesn’t Draw”, and that was once again proven this past Monday night.
Hate mail welcomed and accepted. Nothing personal, I’d just REALLY like the casual television viewers to start watching RAW again. Unfortunately, that will never happen if there is absolutely no reason to.
Always was, is and will be, about ENTERTAINING the MASSSES.