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McNEILL's Raw Factor: The Same Ten Guys

Dec 11, 2012 - 4:11:47 PM
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By Pat McNeill, PWTorch columnist

How do we know that WWE is hotshotting too much these days? We can document their booking pattern. For the sake of argument, let's say WWE's top ten wrestlers right now are C.M. Punk, Ryback, John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, Big Show, Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, Kane and Daniel Bryan. Got it? Great.

Now let's take a look at the main events from the past few weeks of Raw and Smackdown:

November 19 – Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio (2/3 Falls).
November 23 – Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler, Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan & Kane.
November 26 – C.M. Punk vs. Kane, John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler.
November 30 – Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler, John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio.
December 3 – John Cena & Sheamus vs. Big Show & Dolph Ziggler.
December 7 – Sheamus vs. Del Rio, Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan.
December 10 – John Cena vs. Big Show, Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler.

So you can tune in to WWE television on any given week and see three or four matches where the top wrestlers in WWE are squaring off against each other. That burns through a LOT of potential pay-per-view caliber bouts in a short time. That's not even counting Ryback vs. Alberto Del Rio, which takes place tomorrow night on WWE Main Event.

WWE is obviously trying to put together big match-ups on television in order to hang on to its weekly ratings. It's not working, and Vince McMahon clearly doesn't understand why it's not working. I guarantee you that if Dana White had his top ten fighters pairing off twice a week on national cable television, UFC would have problems with viewer burnout.

But that's not all. WWE makes it clear that the company is built around a group of top wrestlers. But this isn't wrestling, it's entertainment. In any form of entertainment, you need a steady stream of new acts and new stars. Vince McMahon and WWE management aren't in the habit of shooting new acts to the top. They've done it with Ryback, sort of. But they're not going to build an episode of television around guys who aren't in that top group.

So it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. WWE wouldn't announce a Raw main event of C.M. Punk vs. Sin Cara, because Sin Cara isn't one of their top-ranked wrestler. The fans might want to see something a little different. John Cena vs. Cody Rhodes might draw the same rating as John Cena vs. Big Show. But we're not going to find out until WWE decides to freshen up its booking and occasionally showcases its mid-card and upper midcard acts on Raw and Smackdown.

Pat McNeill of Richmond, Virginia has been a PWTorch Columnist since 2001. Listen to him host the PWTorch Livecast every Wednesday on BlogTalkRadio.com


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