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Daily update: WWE wants to know why you aren't watching RAW!

WWE Fan Council Survey

Some interesting stuff happening in WWE today.  They sent out a WWE Fan Council survey asking about viewer habits, basically trying to figure out why more and more people are no longer watching Raw.  

Some of the questions were funny because they should already have the data.  They asked how often people typically watch Raw; what other streaming services they subscribe to (this has been asked before); have their viewing habits changed compared to the past (pretty clear judging from the ratings collapse);

How do they watch Raw (they have live vs. DVR numbers and I would be surprised if they couldn't track how many people are watching on the WWE Network a month later, Hulu, etc.); whether fans check before Raw airs to see which superstars will be appearing (where would they check? WWE never advertises much in advance, and half the time they change whatever they do advertise);

Who else in the household watches Raw (they already get household viewership numbers); where people see advertisements about upcoming episodes of Raw (I hope one of the answers was "rarely on Raw itself");

What are some reasons that fans might fast-forward or change the channel (quarter and minute-by-minute ratings should already give an indication, at least in terms of changing the channel); whether fans watch Monday Night Football; how well fans like various segments including matches, angles, video packages and interviews (an impossible question to answer since the quality of each varies considerably);

How fans would rate the show on various metrics including whether it was entertaining from start to finish, provided unexpected moments (is that important?), whether the superstars were "athletic", and variety of superstars featured; whether fans thought the right amount of time was being given to various segments including matches and interviews; this one is awesome -- WOULD FANS TUNE IN IF THEY KNEW A MATCH WOULD TAKE PLACE DURING A SPECIFIC HOUR DURING THE SHOW (advertising a card, a truly novel concept); and more.  It also asked how long people usually devote to the show (one hour, two hours, entire show).

Hopefully this doesn't end up like the old WCW survey where fans told them everything WCW didn't want to hear and so WCW discarded the survey, and, well, the rest is history.

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Figure Four Weekly

Figure Four Weekly (11/23/15): Lots of Updates in Hulk Hogan-Gawker case
Lots of news including a win for Gawker, the new police report, the remaining mysteries of the case, what Bubba the Love Sponge is saying, and more.

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

A look at the decision to make Sheamus the WWE champion and its ramifications is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We look at WWE's options, both the obvious ones and the ones out of the box, different ways to use people, the nature of the decision, the prior identical decision in 2011 and the storyline it was supposed to lead to and why it was made.

We look at the real long-term goal, the note on the ratings, the portrayal of Sheamus leading up to the title change, the plans for the TLC show, what has been messed up, the women's division, the WWE blaming Charlotte on a bad taste angle, ESPN and WWE, plus match-by-match coverage of Survivor Series with poll results and star ratings.

We look at the TNA deal with Pop TV, both the good and the bad of it, plus the tapings in Bethlehem, the economics of the deal and note on the station.

We've got a look at the New Japan tag team tournament, with current standings, goals of the tournament, who probably can't win the tournament, and coverage of the tournament so far.

We also look at why Genichiro Tenryu is one of the biggest stars of the past 40 years in wrestling, with a look at his career in wrestling, his days in sumo, his early U.S. run, his rise in All Japan, why he left All Japan, how his leaving led to a boom period for All Japan, the real story behind his Tokyo Dome match with Hulk Hogan, the story behind his rise.

We also have an update on Randy Orton, Cesaro, notes and thoughts on new WWE signing La Sombra, WWE week on USA and changes this year, WWE Network shows, Brock Lesnar's return to Raw, legal briefs filed by WWE, why Stephanie McMahon has been gone from TV and why she's back regularly, next Takeover special, HHH talks Hogan's return, John Cena talks his departure, WWE star teases retirement in a few years, Mick Foley upset with creative direction and notes from the developmental shows over the weekend,.


The Latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter: November 30, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Sheamus wins WWE title, Tenryu retirement show

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As noted on the front page, AJ Styles missed yet another match in the New Japan G-1 Tag League tournament and has now had to forfeit two matches.  His back injury appears to be worse than the company is letting on and he's got several big matches upcoming.



  • Probably not hard to put the pieces of this puzzle together.  From Lana on her Twitter:  "No human being will tell me who to [love].  It's my choice & my life & I am proud to live with my consequences."  As noted on last night's Observer Radio, she was unaware that Ryback was going to claim on TV that he'd heard she had gone all the way with Dolph Ziggler.
  • WWE is also looking for a "Media Monitor" who essentially would track what media outlets were saying about the company.  Hi!
  • Smackdown got smashed on Thanksgiving, doing 1.65 million viewers, way down from last week's 2.23 million, which was hardly a number to celebrate itself.  Holidays traditionally hurt WWE viewership, though they don't hurt TNA viewership nearly as bad for whatever reason.
  • More territorial content has been added to the WWE Network. Shortly after Raw concluded episodes from both Smoky Mountain Wrestling and Mid South Wrestling were uploaded onto the network. Currently there’s three episodes of Mid South from 1984 and five episodes of Smoky Mountain Wrestling from 1994, which starts off with the debut of the Thrillseekers (Chris Jericho and Lance Storm). If recent history is any indication, a lot more will show up soon with any gaps being filled in over time.
  • Ad Week profiled NBCU Universal executive Bonnie Hammer, who’s been the most hands on USA Network executive with regards to WWE programming for many years.
  • Ric Flair & Charlotte will be doing an appearance on Friday December 18 at iPlay America in Freehold, NJ from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time.
  • Here’s a CBS Pittsburgh piece on WWE talent visiting a local children’s hospital.



Other Wrestling:

  • NOAH has uploaded over 700 matches from their library here. The bad news, however, is two fold. One, there is no subscription service and everything is offered a la carte for around 300 yen a pop. The other bad news is that purchasing content is IP blocked, meaning unless you have a way around, you can’t watch outside Japan. But it is encouraging news regardless considering it was originally thought NOAH had a rights issue in distributing their content.
  • Here’s a good story on Mark “Henry Godwinn” Canterbury as he reflects on a 21-year wrestling career and life in general.
  • Here’s a Miami Herald feature on the TNA and POP TV deal.
  • United Wrestling Coalition is doing their annual Toys for Tots Pro Wrestling Toy Drive this Saturday, December 5, at Kelly's Banquet Hall in Wrightstown, New Jersey. Admission is free when you donate a new unwrapped toy (with a suggested minimum value of j$10) at the door.
  • Here’s a local feature on the one and only Dennis Stamp.
  • Latest episode of the Fire Pro Podcast looks at the GameCube, PS2 and Xbox era of wrestling video games.
  • Sad to hear of Stan Holek's passing. He wrestled as Stan Neilson (teaming with his "brother" Art), and Stan Lisowski (teaming with his "brother" Reggie (The Crusher.)
  • Brandon Howard of Voices of Wrestling wrote a column examining how today’s pro wrestling organizations are using social media.
  • IWA Midsouth returns to action this Friday in Clarksville, IN, at the Colgate Gym.
  • The AIW promotion that features a ton of top indy talent is offering a two-week free trial of their streaming service.
  • Smash Wrestling returns to Toronto, Canada, on 1/16 at the Horner Community Centre. Card announced soon, but we hear Wai Ting and John Pollock may be involved in a scaffold match.
  • New England Championship Wrestling is doing a Toys for Tots drive this Saturday at West Real Estate in Wilmington, MA. Autographs and photos are free with a donation of cash or a new, unwrapped toy.