If I Were A Booker In The WWE
I love wrestling. Can tell you stories for days about being a kid and watching televised matches Saturday nights in New York with my grandfather on channel 9 I believe. To say the product is different now would be like saying Donald Trump is a different type of president. But I think the biggest problem can be summed up in one phrase. “Over Exposure”.
Wrestling fans have far more by-in than they ever use to before. Gone are the smoky arenas and banquet halls of yesterday. Now you have fifteen-thousand plus sports centers for weekly shows. On top of which you have millions of fans tuning in weekly, social media input in real-time, and YouTube commentators. Even dark matches (which are ways to test things out to a small audience) are reported on and circulated as soon as they happen. So if you are a big enough fan you always know what to expect. Then lets look at the sheer amount of content just based on WWE:
- Monday Night Raw (3 Hours)
- Smackdown (2 Hours)
- NXT (1 Hours)
- 205 Live (1 Hour)
- NXT UK (1 Hour)
- Main Event ( Hulu Show)
That is not even counting Miz & Mrs., Total Divas, Total Divas, and all the original content on the WWE Network. So even if you are just a minor fan you are seeing 4+ hours of content. But I think bring back an old idea could sort things out again. Going regional.
NXT is so big because it feels like a completely separate brand from WWE. I think a regional system needs to be set up nationally. 4 separate regions need to be setup that are fed by indie talent and the performance center. They all should have their own streaming presence. They should never cross boarders. No invasions, no raiding of talent. They should be separate universes. Each region should have two or three set places to do shows so they could build dedicated fan bases that will fill small venues.
Biggest benefit I feel is to the NXT and WWE rosters if this happens. When you have a star that you want to repackage or give some time off they can be assigned to one of the regionals and have more freedom to work on their character. NXT is too big for someone to really hide away there now. The time away alone will freshen characters up to audiences that are tired of seeing them not do anything. Like take Bailey or Apollo Crews off air for a few months. Let them get a breather from all the travel and do some meaningful matches off the beaten path to gain some extra confidence. When they get brought back up they have a louder pop and some new stuff to show off.