Wednesday is here, and the week isn't quite finished yet. Good lord has it been a slow one so far! Not only slow on time, but on wrestling news too. Sure, there are some good wrestling headlines out there, but nothing "late breaking". I'd blame that on the quiet ECW front, which gives NO answers to who has jumped or if there will be any more shows. ARGH, it just drives an impatient person, like myself, crazy!!!
Yesterday, I questioned readers if they had problems sleeping after watching Monday Night wrestling. Oddly enough, it seems to be not only me, but the majority. I guess the 2 or 3 hour adrenaline rush from wrestling is too much to go to sleep after. I've heard reports that a main parent complaint about wrestling is the fact that their kids can't go to sleep immediately afterwards. When, for the most part, good shows occur or if they see their favorite superstar doing something, it fires them up!
But anyway, the ratings are in, and I'm sort of shocked at the numbers... On to the PDC.
Holy cow! The ratings were NOT what I expected. Both feds were down, absent of any competition.... well, I'm wrong there. Some of the February sweeps shows did, in fact, start this week, which could be the blame? I can't say for sure, but I'm baffled anyway because I thought that both federations put on top notch shows. Nitro looked like the Nitro of old, gaining numbers like a Sullivan or late-Russo era. RAW's numbers resemble those of their shows during NFL football season.
Amazing. Nitro should have NO excuse for their 1st hour, as I keep repeating. With the surplus of wrestling fans out there, awaiting RAW, they should at least attract enough of them to gain a 3.0 rating.... at least! The second hour didn't get its hot start, like intended. Chavo vs. El Nino and parts of DDP vs. Scott Steiner did NOT draw higher numbers like it usually does in the first 15 minutes. It should be noted that the WWF started off slow with only a 3.9 rating for Jericho vs. Matt Hardy. Now that's a shocker.
The RAW interview didn't grab ratings like it was hoped for, and neither did anything in the first hour for RAW. Nitro's second hour was just weak, all around. Could it be because the show was centered around the Steiner Family? I won't conclude that, but some fingers could be pointed there.
But here's my whole theory on the weak ratings: Both Federations tried too many Heel vs. Heel or Face vs. Face matches. Seriously. Either that, or we had guys who switch back and forth acting as a heel or a face, thus maybe losing interest in some matches. It's just an odd theory, but based on some silenced reactions for some really good matches Monday Night, that could be the case. Wrestling still thrives on the concept of Good vs. Evil, and I think it was somewhat absent Monday Night. Just my theory.
Second Hour for RAW did ok, but the ratings would have been higher if the ending wasn't different. No, I'm not talking about the Triple H/Austin vs. Angle/Rock tag match, but I'm talking about the LONG commercial/promo break before that match. It takes the majority of the 10:45 - 11:00 segment, and throughout the weeks, I've noticed the weak rating there. I believe that the WWF should pay attention to that so that the overrun rating on the main event match could really get high. None the less, the final tag match did do a 5.7 overrun rating.
Who knows why the ratings were lower? My only guess is that the newer shows on other channels affected it, but I wouldn't think they'd hit wrestling that hard. Oh well.
Heat gained a lower rating of 1.9, which I thought was well deserved for such a weak show. The stuff with Dean Malenko was just all around corny (degrading too), and the matches were sort of weak. If you looked at the Spoilers yet, you'll see that the team of Undertaker and Kane are wrestling, as is Kurt Angle. SOMEBODY is stacking Heat this week! The panic button has been hit!
My thoughts about Heat are that the WWF is dealing with a different audience on Mtv, and that Mtv doesn't quite promote the shows like USA Networks did. USA Networks was the BEST at promoting wrestling, and I attribute them for a good bit of the WWF's success. It doesn't seem that the WWF NY type show is catching on, like originally thought, either. OR, you could say that many HARDCORE Tazz fans are boycotting the show because he's demoted to an announcer there. The usual Tazz interet fans will cheer me for saying that one.
Superstars and Livewire, though, are pulling good numbers on TNN, the station that has Pop, on the mornings of Saturday and Sunday. Amazing. But you know what I really miss? All American Wrestling type shows... The Sunday show, back in the day at noon on Sundays, was greatly hosted by Mean Gene, and it always gave you a fresh recap of ALL of the WWF angles going on these days.
But now with Superstars and Livewire, they don't quite catch that magic. Coachman and Kelly aren't really that interesting hosting the shows, and neither was Michael Cole for that matter. All American Wrestling was just a joy to watch, even if you were caught up on all of the WWF storylines. Mean Gene's best years were there, and he'd get the help of Hillbilly Jim to discuss wrestling. It was refreshing and entertaining.
Livewire just drags along, and Superstars just recycles Livewire highlights, and tries to have an up-tempo beat to their shows. Superstars even tries to "go behind the scenes" of commercials and stuff, which is OK, but they don't have enough material there to keep that feature fresh, so a lot of those "behind the scenes" segments get recycled.
Now, I don't know if it's just the constant instant replays on RAW or Smackdown about the storylines or not, but that could be a good reason why the recap shows are very stale and uninteresting. Before, the WWF would have the syndicated Superstars and Challenge, with the occasional Main Event, and some rare matches on Prime Time Wrestling (which later became RAW). Mostly, it was Superstars or Challenge to recap though, and NOT 4 Hours of shows.
OR it could be with the new WWF era, it's just the attitude of the federation. Back in those classic days of All American Wrestling with Mean Gene and Hillbilly Jim, it was somewhat comedic and not intended to SHOCK everyone at every second like it does today. All American thrived because it was funny and entertaining, where Livewire and Superstars seem to just drag along with the recaps.
Hmmm, oh well. I guess that just times change over the period of 10 years.
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@Well, I didn't quite expect to rant about Livewire and Superstars for that long. But, I tried to make a good argument upon those shows today, and some of the past recap shows from the WWF from years before. I'll be back tomorrow with the usual WCW Day, recapping Chunder and discussing WCW topics. Hope to see you join for the Ride! Check out After The Match, the NEW Column at the Phat Pharm...
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Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.
-The UPN final rating is 3.1 for Sunday's game, down from the 4.2 overnight rating.
-Click Here for the XFL depth charts for each of the 8 XFL teams.
1wrestling.com is reporting that Jim Ross has been moved up to the "A team" on XFL commentating. Ross and Jesse "the Body" Ventura will now be calling the main game featured on NBC, while Matt Vasgersian, who commentated with Ventura last week, will be teaming up with Jerry Lawler now. Many fans felt Ross was a much better commentator than Vasgersian, and in a league that needs to establish themselves, you listen to the fans!
This situation with Ross is ironic in that many news sources are reporting that Jim Ross might leave WWF wrestling for a full time schedule commentating XFL games.
Personally, I can't wait to hear Ross and Ventura on the horn together, even if it's football.
WWF.com is gloating that the XFL debut was the highest rated NBC Saturday night television program since the Olympics were on from this past September.
Not much else out there.