Thursday, September 6, 2012

Too Much WWE Wrestling

Burnout is the worst thing that your fans can suffer. The fans can like or hate any product. However, if they become so burned out that they are absolutely indifferent by the product, it can be a problem. Such is the case for World Wrestling Entertainment, who have recently as of July 2012 moved RAW to three hours each and every week. The move was dreaded by wrestling fans. As it turned out, seven weeks into the show, the dread the fans felt was well placed.

Three hours is way too much time for a weekly episodic wrestling show. Especially when you have two more hours on Friday Night with Smackdown. It would be one thing if the brand extension was still in place and enforced. WWE seems to have all but given up the ghost on the brand extension. So we have five hours of wrestling each week from WWE alone between the two main shows. Add NXT, Superstars, and Saturday Morning Slam to the list and eight hours of wrestling appear. WWE has an unprecedented amount of wrestling content.

The fans are starting to feel it. Smackdown has essentially become an after thought. Friday Nights on Sy Fy is a show that is rapidly dwindling down the hardest of the hardcore wrestling fans. RAW has been three hours and already the show appears by the numbers. There are some good moments on RAW but when they amount to less than ten percent of the show, there is a problem.

Less is more in many things. It is one of the fundamental rules of story telling. You want to spoon feed the fans slowly and a little bit at a time. Some fans might get anxious but they are going to tune in each and every week for more. It is the fundamental rule of episodic storytelling.

You don't want to start giving fans a reason to dread your product. Eventually most of them but the absolute hardcore fans will stop watching. Then your show will be right down in the sewer. RAW going three hours was a calculated decision and potentially a calculated risk. The ratings patterns have shaken a lot. Football is returning which should hold the key metric to really deciding what goes on, Monday Nights.

WWE's insane amount of wrestling could lead to burn out. Granted, many fans just watch RAW these days. Even RAW might be too much for these fans to handle.

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