In recent years among the lips of many wrestling fans has been the instant assumption of “poor product = poor ratings”. Now, while the WWE product is nowhere near as edgy as it used to be in the 90’s or as “golden” as the pre-90’s era, there are alot of contributing factors that may or may not, have been the precursor to WWE’s consistently low ratings; completely separate to WWE’s “poor product”.
It’s no secret that we’re in an ever-growing technologically advanced world run by the use of iPhones and the always expanding internet and to coincide with that, sports and it’s industries alike; all need to advance to fit in with the times; case in point being WWE’s creation of the WWE app before the unveiling of the WWE Network as a ways and means for social media to be the forefront of their company.
Unfortunately, as with every good thing; there are many negatives. Since the introduction of the WWE Network, the rise of illegal streaming particularly for WWE events has increased and instead of paying a set fee to watch Pay-Per-Views through the Network (and those PPV’s free, after the one committed fee); some fans are choosing to find an illegal stream and to tune into said events for free. This same theory applies to weekly episodes of Raw & SmackDown. If you’re choosing to watch via streaming sites as apposed to your regular provider, then, although you’re still watching you’re not contributing to the ratings. Oftentimes, the excuse is “but the WWE product is so poor” and while that may be true at least for a small period, it’s safe to say that the WWE brand has something for everyone to sink their teeth into.
The array of talent that WWE has to offer is, quite frankly, amazing. Admittedly, certain parts of the roster could be used in a much better light, but there are parts of WWE programming worth paying money for as apposed to streaming them on the internet. So, while the WWE product may be sub-par at best and while it may go through the motions occasionally, it’s really not that which is drawing in an inconsistent rating on a weekly basis. We’re in an era where the internet is readily accessible and while illegal, streaming still does take place and thus effects the overall rating of the WWE product as apposed to the inconsistent booking of it’s talent and the story-lines that often lack the emotions needed to captivate it’s intended audience. To put it bluntly, the shock value of wrestling; at least in the minority; has gone and unfortunately, ratings will appear low due to people already know what may or may not happen on a week-to-week basis in WWE.
For me, I can only encourage people to sign up to the WWE Network and keep watching the product; not as critics but as fans as I promise you it’s well worth it. Don’t read spoilers, as they do exactly that and they spoil your enjoyment; like I did for this piece and never take anything on face value in terms of wrestling, particularly if it’s come from an unreliable source.
So, the next time you see a WWE Pay-Per-View or a weekly Raw or SmackDown advertised; don’t find a link to stream it. Instead, sign up to the WWE Network for what it is; a gateway for fans to enjoy wrestling and watch the product with an open mind. And watch via official methods.