More Observer mailbag: Raw, Squash match ratings

Hi Dave / Bryan
I live in Manchester, UK - usually come into work red-eyed on a Tuesday morning from staying up so late. These last couple of months make it hard to justify even bothering. 
Just switched off because in the first segment can already tell how the shows going to go. McMahon has asked for "impressive matches" he can hardly now turn back and say "that was an awful show" (which will be true) and fire him. Plus he already got the pop for saying "You're fired" dead giveaway that he wont / or cant say it again. All means, probably meaningless matches with the usual suspects that serve only to keep the quarter hours average, rather than actually build to anything.
On the other hand :
Thumbs Up TNA! Slammiversary
I've never bothered too much with TNA, until probably about a month or so ago. In the UK we have no other choice but to illegally stream TNA PPVs since its not on till next week here. Absolutely loved the show and been enjoying impact. The Angle AJ/ Daniels Kazarian, is definitely the best tag match in recent memory. Joe and Aries match was excellent too. There's some interesting storylines, and subtle things added here and there which are keeping me glued and better still not pissed off annoyed, and climbing back into the wrestling fan closet! Wish they could leave the Impact zone and draw decent crowds for live tapings it would do so much as long as they keep the product as it has been. 
The only person benefitting from Raw being so shite these days is my boss on a Tuesday!
Best wishes
Sean Martins
Manchester UK

I’m still watching Raw, but the anti bullying campaign doesn’t actually take place during the show. First Ricardo gets teased for having a Justin Bieber t-shirt. Now, I have just watched Vince McMahon do one of those Jim Ross impressions that reminds me what the WWE is all about.

Troy Cummings


Just curious how the ratings have been for Ryback matches have been. I guess the same would apply for Clay and Sandow, basically the guys being brought in the way people used to brought in, ie essentially squash matches.

If the ratings aren’t noticeably dipping for these segments, do you think there’s a chance that WWE might slowly morph back into having more squash matches on RAW and SD, which would help protect people and maybe make some new stars?

Paul Fontaine

DM:  I don't get quarter hours for Smackdown.  As far as Raw goes, it varies.  Ryback's squash on 6/11 did fine, but on 6/4 it lost viewers.  Sin Cara squashes on 6/4 did well but on 6/11 it didn't do well.  Vader's squash on 6/11 did really well.  It comes down to the person.  If the guy was over, he'd gain viewers for a squash.  If he's so-so over, then the results would be so-so.  When Bill Goldberg was  in WCW, his squashes would, on average, see ratings jump 0.4 every time he was out there which is a huge deal, and that's with another competitive show on at the same time.

Wouldn't increasing the number of judges also increase the likelihood of the correct winner being chosen? 
I believe that amateur boxing uses five judges, is there a reason they only use three for professional boxing and MMA?  
Chris Cooper

DM:  Yes, increasing the number of judges would do so.   It's all about expenses and tradition.  Five cost more than three.  For MMA, we have three problems, which are some bad judges, as well as a bad scoring system.  A third problem is a fan base and sometimes media that jumps on close fights as robberies when they are fights that legitimately could be judged either way.

Hi Dave,

I had two very contrasting thoughts as I read the website today.

The first was the utter incomprehensibility of anyone voting for Kevin Nash to be on a ballot for the Hall of Fame, and the second was the contrast of Nash with the list of the best Japanese wrestler of the 90's. Nash was almost completely useless in the ring and often just stood there looking big and the Japanese guys worked their asses off. He was lucky to have been tall.  Being tall is not a skill.

Misawa, Kobashi, Kawada, Muto and Hashimoto were a thousand times better in the ring than Nash. Wasn't Nash one of the worst drawing champs of all time with the WWF title? His biggest skill was using the mic and being a back room politician. A lot of guys take pride in doing their job well, he took pride in being paid well. He had a barely disguised contempt for wrestling, both the fans and the other wrestlers. Fans who actually like him and vote for him to be in the Hall of Fame are a bunch of suckers.

Speaking of suckers, the UFC are having some really bad luck with the Calgary card and all the injuires that have caused match changes. In combat sports injuries are inevitable, but this card seems cursed, and the people who suffer are the fans that spent $4 million on tickets. At least there was a title match scheduled. If the show is good I am sure that all will be forgiven, but if it stinks the lack of starpower may make people think twice if UFC comes back.

I resent UFC coming in a treating everyone like rubes and putting on a second rate show at top dollar. Everyone is excited because they haven't been here before, but drawing again and again is the test.

When people realize how many NFL games or NBA games they could go to for the cost of a UFC ticket selling becomes much harder. I guess that is why they keep trying to find new places to run. It sure looks like they have hit a bump in the road and the overexposure and lack of star match ups has left PPV buy rates  pretty stagnant.

With no basketball game on Monday I watched some of Raw. I understand why Martin is stopping doing the report. No way I could sit through 3 hours of that. There are just so many better ways to spend your time than watch stuff that is so pointless, stupid and insulting to your intelligence. The corporate speak that everyone is forced to use makes everyone seem like automatons. "The WWE Universe" really?

Do the NFL make their announcers talk like that?  Of course not, no one does and it makes them look like idiots. No wonder they are in a no growth period. They need to totally revamp the way they present the product if they are going to grow, or else luck into an act that catches fire.

Take care.

Mark Takada


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