Column – Rey Mysterio and WWE’s Profit Mindset

by on 24th July 2008

I’m pretty much sick of Rey Mysterio. It’s not that he’s less interesting or talented or whatever than he was a couple years ago. No, what I’ve grown tired of is the fact that Rey seems to be comprised of ceramic bones and porcelain muscles, with some sugarglass ligaments and paper towel skin. What else… oh, his grapes literally are grapes. Ok, done.

But really, in the past two years, Rey has been out on unrelated injuries for more than a year of them. What was he in the ring for after coming back from the “I Quit” angle, like a month? He’s the most injury-prone superstar I’ve ever seen. If Rey was a car you would not buy him, and if you tried to, he’d break down on the test drive. What annoys me about this is that WWE keeps him around because the kiddies like to buy their Rey masks, Rey shirts, Rey Mysteri-O’s, and on and on. And if you ask me, the fact that Rey is incapable of being buried because of his products selling so well is the reason that some of the other, far less accident-prone superstars aren’t getting pushed. We all know that Vince has a fetish for big men and hates pushing the small guys, so really, there’s only room for perhaps two small guys in or near the main event. Right now those two are Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy. If Rey were out of the picture, that’d be space that could be taken by Paul London, Brian Kendrick, or Jimmy Wang Yang. Yes, I know Rey isn’t directly to blame for this and I know it’s not his “fault”, per se; it’s the fact that he gets a push he certainly doesn’t deserve anymore considering he can’t wrestle for more than ten minutes without ripping something off something, all because he sells merchandise to the portion of the audience that has to stay up past their bedtimes to watch him. Rey Mysterio is the embodiment of what is wrong with WWE today: professional wrestling takes a backseat to making money.

And on that point, we’ve seen how WWE.com’s hits have been on a fairly constant decline lately, and WWE keeps putting up little comedy segments on the site, and plugging it four or five times per hour in the shows. The way I see it, people aren’t visiting less because of a lack of content – they visit less because every other page you visit is taken over by a full page advertisement for some crap they’re trying to sell. Plus, this advertisement, this simple picture on a page, somehow takes more time to load than the page you were trying to access. WWE.com, in my opinion, is JUST above a website that floods your computer with spyware. Just one rung above it. It’s just a pain to access, and since everything found on there can easily be found anywhere else, nobody is going there anymore. If WWE.com wants more traffic, they need to ditch those advertisements. We already know that Ric Flair has a DVD set, we don’t need to be reminded of it every other mouseclick. WWE.com is the only website I’m aware of that has the online equivalent of commercials.

We’ve got a Saturday Night’s Main Event coming up, but it’s barely advertised as a wrestling show. No, it’s all about some PR girl getting in the ring to fight Autism. I wonder what Autism’s finisher is… probably a brainbuster… a delayed vertical suplex dropped into a belly-to-belly piledriver. But getting back on topic, Main Event is going to be all about fighting autism. That’s a worthwhile cause, of course, but it’s nothing more than a shameless advertisement for WWE. We finally get a Main Event after like a year and it’s just an Autism infomercial with a side of wrestling thrown in for kicks. It’s like WWE is more concerned about attracting new viewers than keeping the ones they have. No wonder RAW’s ratings were only up for two weeks and are now right back to 3.2. Plus, now they’re giving us these “DID YOU KNOW?” segments telling us all about how many countries WWE is broadcast in, or how many hits WWE.com gets (ha), or how many episodes of RAW there have been, etc. They’re burning up air time selling WWE to people who already watch it. Wow.

When I watch WWE I don’t feel like I’m watching a wrestling program anymore. WWE.com doesn’t feel like a wrestling website anymore. It’s just one massive advertisement with a side of wrestling, and even the wrestlers are only pushed based on how many hats they can sell rather than how much talent they possess. That’s why WWE.com’s traffic is down no matter how many “Miz and Morrison talk about marsupials” commercials they air, and that’s why RAW’s ratings boost from the Draft only lasted a couple weeks. Half of any show is just advertisements, going to WWE.com treats you to the online equivalent of commercials, and Saturday Night’s Main Event has been reduced to WWE pretending to care about autism so they can get air time on NBC. And because WWE.com traffic is down and RAW seems unable to get to where they used to be in ratings, I think people are finally beginning to take notice.

 

That’s my view from the Great White North. I’m Roxxi Laveaux Fanboy, may the voodoo be with you.

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