Welcome back to the Phat Daily Column. Well, the ratings are indeed in, as we'll discuss if good old Vince McMahon was a ratings draw or not compared to last week. Also, we'll oddly see what segments did what, and the usual with Ratings Analysis. Finally, we'll look at what a draw the Rock is on Sunday Night Heat. All of this and more, so on to the PDC!
Behold..... Vince McMahon is NO ratings draw. Despite put himself all over the camera, and despite taking all of those finishers to show everyone how "tough" he might think he is, he didn't draw any extra viewers from last week. You see, Vince thinks that the second he walks into an arena, people will instantly change the channel. No. The product around him has been certainly lacking with the 2 Heads of Hogan, Rock and Stone Cold, controlling everything, while the younger talent, like a Jericho or a Benoit or an Angle, gets humiliated at their expense! Plus, shoving the RTC down our throats, among other worthless gimmicks, have helped the WWF dip lower in the ratings.
Since Vince's appearance can't draw, there is only one thing he can do: actually book compelling storylines. With the largest talent roster in the history of any wrestling federation, he should have the best storylines around and he should be able to keep them fresh with all of the wrestlers he has. But he doesn't, and it has since put his federation in a big rut, and I'm hoping that he learned that when discovering that he's not a ratings grabber. Instead of using yourself, Vince, why not use your booking to improve the federation?
Even more scarier is that WCW is slowly gaining in the ratings by the week! This is a federation that many thought was dead, and if they keep gaining ground, slowly, the WWF could be in trouble if say a shocking incident or a great angle comes along. Notice the margin folks.... It's 2.4 right now, and it slowly goes down with the improving Nitro each week. The WWF isn't improving, and if that keeps up, it will start to go down, with the slowly improving Nitro. Of course, Eric Bischoff will most likely buy this company with the Time Warner-AOL merger going through in early January, so ignore what could happen.
Like I predicted, the Oklahoma segment didn't do much for viewers, since it's the lowest figure of the first hour with only a 2.2 rating. Now, I'll agree with the readers that it fired up the Nebraska crowd, but I'll say that it was worthless to me, as it was many other viewers. Jarrett and Konnan's match wasn't much of a draw, gaining WCW their lowest number of the night (1.9). Konnan sucks, like you needed to know that. Reno vs. Kronik and the Goldberg squash didn't fair well either in the second hour. General Rection and Scott Steiner put words in my mouth by drawing Nitro's best number of the second hour. Shocking!
I suppose many were intrigued by the Lex Luger reading of Goldberg's book. Hey, it's a pretty decent book. That was in the first hour, and if it weren't for the Oklahoma segment, WCW would have had a stronger first hour. WCW should have had Oklahoma do that before the television cameras hit. That's what the WWF did with Kurt Angle before he was "over". Before the show, he'd come out and rip on the crowd bad! They should have done that, and started Nitro with a hot opener or something else?
Rikishi vs. the Undertaker did a low 4.0 rating, but you can throw the Monday Night Football theory all you want during that match. Chris Benoit and Bob Holly was a decent draw, although it had the BEST Rock interview segment of all time right around it, and also, Vince McMahon's arrival. I'm glad that I taped that interview, cause I'm going to keep it since it was *that good*. No, I don't have a video capture card to present it here. Besides, the WWF would be knocking at my door if I were to do such a thing.
Jericho and Angle was a good draw, although it had no competition. HOWEVER, the biggest ratings draw of the night was the Dean Malenko vs. Lita match! A 5.4 baby! Now that's insane! By the way, Lita looked her best against Malenko, since Dean is used to making daredevil-type wrestlers look good, eh Rey Mysterio Jr.? It still cracks me up how Dean locked in the Cloverleaf on Lita. It even tied the Vince McMahon Ego segment!!!
On the lower end of the stick for the WWF, the Rock only helped to bounce Sunday Night Heat up by only 0.2, which if you took statistics ever in your life, that might not be significant from last week's rating. This just proves that many who see the Rock on TV, just might be getting a little sick of him right now... What else can we say? Should we blame Mtv? No. WWF fans know where Heat is now. Superstars and Livewire also went down, which usually tells the WWF that their product is losing demand. Yikes.
A THEORY......... I was looking around on ratings the other day, and I noticed that many of the shows relying on shock value are down in the ratings. Especially trashy talk shows, as those used to be hits with today's society. I mean, people used to crave the suspense of seeing a White Trash mother cheat on her sister with her father's gay lover. But now, those shows have lost steam. Also, those shows that have revealing videos about crashes, high speed chases, or anything of that nature are down. The majority of the shows like this are dropping, as with wrestling, who also goes for shock value.
I'm thinking that just the whole sense of "shock value" is now a trend that has passed us by. With that being said, it hurts the wrestling industry who now relies on that type of entertainment since 1997. The WWF is still trying to do it, and it's not working anymore. Their ratings haven't improved greatly in quite some time, no matter what they do or try. Of course, they noticed this trend back when they got the Radicalz, and have added more wrestling to their shows. It's just a small thought...
MORE ON JERRY LAWLER's COMMENTATING: Some of you agreed with what I said yesterday, about Lawler over-doing it with the Al Gore shots, and many of you cursed me out, for no reason, because I said it. Now look. I don't care if he pokes a little fun at the situation, because he's done that with the news many many times. But he was doing it repeatedly, throughout the night against Al Gore. I watch RAW for the WRESTLING commentary, and not to hear someone take shots, constantly, at Al Gore. If I really wanted to hear that, I'd tune into Rush Limbaugh(sp?), Mike Gallager, or Roy Masters on my local AM radio. I don't care to hear someone whining about politics for a whole wrestling show.
THE ROCK: The WWF needs to prepare more for the Rock's interviews. I'm sure they took a great amount of time for the BEST Rock interview that we saw this past Monday, and if they continue to do that, it will give the WWF an extra incentive for watching their shows: a great laugh from the Rock. Back in 1999, when the Rock was doing them EVERYWEEK, there wasn't a single person that wasn't laughing at those interviews. Then when Ed Ferarra, who I theorize wrote a good bit of those, left for WCW, the Rock didn't quite do those great interviews anymore... Instead, he kept doing his repetitive stuff over and over and over and over and over and over again!
I REALLY enjoyed the Stone Cold imitation. It's like when Jericho ripped on the Rock's personality that one time... it was NEVER done! You can make your superheroes look like fools sometimes, WWF.
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@That's all for today. I'll be back tomorrow to discuss the improving world known as WCW. So until then, stay out of trouble!
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