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“I Know What The Fans Want Better Than They Do”

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WWE Roman Reigns Fans

“I know what the fans want better than they do”
~ Inner Squared Circle

Have you ever heard this quote?

Hang on… here it is:

“I ALWAYS give the fans what they want! It’s just, sometimes, I know what the fans want even BETTER than they do.”

Does it sound familiar? This is a quote from Vince McMahon, and while I MAY be paraphrasing, the spirit of that message remains the same.

“I, Vince McMahon, know my audience sometimes better than they know themselves.”

Let me ask you a question – how does that make you feel?

Or better yet, WHAT does that make you feel?

Think about it for a second. Are you angry at him? Do you think he’s out of touch? Does it make you hope for the day he finally turns the reigns over to Triple H?

Here’s another interesting question – can you imagine a scenario in which he actually might be RIGHT?

Now I know what you might be thinking, “What do you mean, right? How can he POSSIBLY be right? That quote is the embodiment of everything that’s WRONG with the wrestling business! Here’s this guy thinking HE knows what’s best for ME! That doesn’t even make sense!”

I know! And I can agree with you in principal! … sometimes…

But again… what if he’s right?

This is a question that’s FASCINATED me for a very long time. Because in my opinion, love him or hate him, you don’t get to Vince McMahon’s level by being “wrong” very often. Does that make sense?

So here’s what I’ve been interested in… even if at the surface level, the average wrestling fan, or even better, the average independent professional wrestler doesn’t agree… what is Vince McMahon’s primary psychology, and what about it works?

Because like him or not, can we at least both agree that:

  • Vince McMahon, as a human being and as a company, has been INCREDIBLY successful?
  • In the United States, the WWE is the longest running, consistently highest producing wrestling company?
  • From a BUSINESS perspective, Vince McMahon and the WWE is the most successful wrestling/sports entertainment product on the market right now?

So what I’m asking you: Just for a moment, is to take emotion out of this. I’m not talking about your favorite flavor of wrestling. I’m talking about dollars and cents, consistently being on top, over the span of decades.

That makes sense right?

So when Vince McMahon says, “Sometimes, I know the audience better than they know themselves,” I know that at first glance, that can be a pretty polarizing statement. But my question is, “What’s his reasoning behind that statement, and what’s the kernel of truth in it?””

Now, I know people have their favorites–especially in this day and age with the internet. And that’s fine. And I used to be that way too! You know what I found though?

The only problem with that is, sometimes when you’re giving the fans EXACTLY what they want, the chase is the only thing that interests them.

Have you ever really really wanted something? And then you GOT IT! And you liked it… but then in like a week or two, you were like, “Eh, okay, is this it?”

Yeah! It’s kind of like that.

So sometimes when giving the fans EXACTLY what they SAY they want, interest for the company as a whole actually goes down on a massive scale. The fairy tale champion that the internet prefers sometimes – long term – isn’t good for the health of the company.

There’s an awesome quote from the TV Show, Westworld. Anthony Hopkins character goes, “Sometimes when you’re playing God, you must be familiar with the devil.”

In wrestling, I always took that to mean, “In order to give the fans what they really want, you need to also know what they DON’T want, so you can upset everything, only so you can heal it all again.”

I actually learned that the hard way while I was booking a wrestling television company out of Las Vegas. If I gave the fans what they wanted TOO MUCH, they’d actually get bored and I’d lose attendance and viewership. So I could only keep things in “Wrestling Utopia” for so long until I had to throw a monkey wrench in everything and have a villain win or make an unpopular choice to shake things up again.

You know what else is interesting? And it’s even more interesting to me to see all the comments and  how polarizing a guy like Roman Reigns is–where seemingly the entire internet hates him, yet Vince is still pushing him to the moon. “He’s force feeding Reigns!” “He thinks he knows better than us!”

I’m fascinated with Why.

Now, you might not agree with the way they BOOK Reigns. You might not agree with how they’re physically using him. And that’s okay since that’s all opinion based. But when you look up and down at the criteria of what makes a WWE star, and someone who you want to put in the ANCHOR position–Reigns meets WAY more of the qualifications than he misses.

Speaking of, “Sometimes I know what the fans want better than they do,” I’d like to point out this, as well.

Do you remember this?

The year before Vince got REALLY behind Reigns and went for his Mega Push, there was a Royal Rumble where everyone KNEW Batista was going to win. Remember that?

While the fans are booing Reigns NOW, back THEN they were booing Batista EVEN WORSE! Because they KNEW Batista was “Vince’s Chosen Guy.” The fan’s just wanted to boo anything that Vince wanted. They wanted anything BUT what Vince Wanted, because they preferred Daniel Bryan that year.

The Royal Rumble that year came down to Roman Reigns and Batista.

If you remember correctly, the fans were BOOING BATISTA OUT OF THE BUILDING! They were cheering for Reigns like CRAZY! They wanted anything OTHER than Batista! Because “Batista was chosen.”

As a matter of fact, I guarantee you, if Vince would have pulled an audible that year, and put Reigns over, Reigns would have gotten the reaction Vince INTENDED for the year later. And it would have been easier for the crowd to accept him and the push would have worked.

Why? Because the fans would have perceived “Reigns is OUR GUY.” See, it’s not the fact that Vince pushes someone or not. It’s the fact that the fans have to think of them as “THEIR guy.”

You know who else is Vince’s guy?

Braun Strowman.

The crowd LOVES HIM. He’s STILL “Chosen by Vince.” Who do you think is using him? He just doesn’t have the PERCEPTION of being Chosen by Vince.

Does that make sense?

So it’s actually NOT that you hate Roman Reigns. The fans just hate that Roman Reigns because they see him as Vince’s “pick.” As a matter of fact, when they thought Batista was Vince’s Guy, they preferred Reigns quite well actually.

But is being Vince’s “Pick” really a bad thing?

If I were Vince McMahon, and I knew John Cena’s time was limited as a full time performer, and AT THE TIME (When Reigns was Picked) had to look up and down my roster, I had to make an educated bet.

I had to bet on the racehorse that would do a few things for the company:

  • Be a recognizable mainstream celebrity
  • Be consistently dependable
  • Have a marketable look and size
  • Be able to carry the WWE banner and have the intangible “It Factor” that a WWE star has always represented
  • Bet on someone with a large upside

And most importantly–step up into that role convincingly NOW!

And then I have to look up and down the roster, and take my best educated guess. So you have to ask yourself, “Who can be the company’s ANCHOR for the next 5-10 years?”
And most importantly, as a BUSINESS OWNER, when you make an educated decision like that, you’ve GOT to get behind it. Wishy washy business owner’s aren’t successful.

Who do you go with?

Lets take a look at this – not from a WRESTLING perspective, but from a BUSINESS perspective.

Who is Roman Reigns?

  • Impressively Large but not freakishly gigantic.
  • Great spokesperson for the company and for children
  • Has a unique, exotic look that captures peoples attention
  • Has a family pedigree related to The Rock & the Samoans
  • Has been brought up IN THE WWE SYSTEM and doesn’t have a question of loyalty.
Reigns, whether the fans personally like it or not, for the LONG TERM HEALTH OF THE COMPANY, checks off more boxes than he leaves empty.
The company’s GOT to have a face.
And after all, is it really that bad?
People were 50/50 for most of Cena’s career too and it didn’t hinder his ability to draw massive audiences one bit. And now people LOVE Cena. Why? Because “Well, looking back at it, John Cena’s a star and he’s always been consistently good at a high level.”

That’s my take on it.

Anway, I’m looking forward to being a regular contributor to this site and getting to know everyone here and reading your comments!

Also, if you’re currently IN the business as a wrestler or something else, check out my FREE online community that supports wrestling talent create massive breakthroughs in your career! It’s at Facebook.com/Groups/InnerSquaredCircle, and you can check us out on Instagram @InnerSquaredCircle. It’s exclusively for people in the business, so as I’m sure you can understand, we screen the members before their accepted.

Otherwise, I’ll be back on here every Thursday!


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Opinion

The Good, Bad and Ugly: WWE NXT (01/23/2019)

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Good Bad Ugly WWE NXT

The go-home show for WWE NXT Takeover: Phoenix is in the books, and Bobby Fernandes takes a look at the episode from the Good, Bad, and Ugly perspective!

WWE NXT Takeover is coming on Saturday Night before a huge Sunday Royal Rumble.  The stories finalize before the big PPV and everyone has one final chance to solidify their place on the show.  Raw was packed with a ton of content, SmackDown in contrast was not, but was pure quality with the exception of a few small issues.  Now its NXT’s turn to get us and keep us sucked in.  Will NXT do their job as usual? 

THE GOOD

Opening Segment w/ Velveteen Dream

What an interesting way to open the show.  Dream always has a spectacular time in front of the camera in any fashion.  It is no secret that he has been a bit unhappy with his current “drawbacks” and wants more.  Just when he makes a claim to the North American Championship, Adam Cole and Bobby Fish, interrupted Velveteen Dream.  This would be such a brilliant feud.  Undisputed Era is just fantastic and brings the best to the audience constantly.  Dream doing what he does best, got in Undisputed’s head before fleeing safely away.  Very interesting open. 

Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan vs. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel

Burch and Lorcan are dangerously Good.  They pair up so well, and have great matches with anyone they face.  Aichner and Barthel didn’t seem like anything special from previous times but the chances for a better showing with Danny and Oney increase significantly.  Oney Lorcan got singled out early on by Barthel and Aichner and took a lot of punishment until Burch came in hot and took control.  Lorcan again however got singled out.  Aichner did some awesome stuff in there nearly getting the win, but Lorcan would not surrender.  There was a lot of action here.  Oney Lorcan is so freaking Good.  After a seriously kick ass back and forth match, Oney Lorcan gets a rollup for the victory.     

Io Shirai and Kairi Sane vs.  Tanea Brooks and Amber Nova

Shirai and Nova started out, full steam.  Shirai has a unique style and always delivers.  The same can be said about the ever popular Kairi Sane.  Her gimmick, style and absolutely talented abilities have been well showcased and appreciated.  Tanea Brooks is a powerful wrestler and had a Good energy.  She just was a bit of an afterthought while in the ring with Sane and Shirai.  With the Main Roster’s Women’s Tag Team division coming up Sane and Shirai could make a strong case for those new shiny Championship belts once things are in motion.  They certainly won this week in a decisive fashion.  Nothing great but passible as Good overall. 

Velveteen Dream vs. Bobby Fish w/ Adam Cole “BAY BAY”

Oh my God, what an awesome treat here.  We have an incredible match set up, and a surprise one at that.  The presence of these two, the respect they demand is unprecedented.  Bobby Fish is an unsung hero as to how talented he truly is.  Both competitors are greatly unique.  As it should be expected, the action went back and forth and was plentiful.  Dream is all over the ring, continuous action.  Fish finally got a chance and went after Dream’s legs and knees.  Great move keeping Dream down.  Fish really got in deep with a half crab on the injured knee of Dream, but Dream does not quit.  As hard as Fish tried he just couldn’t get Dream to stop but Fish countered an elbow drop an ended up almost getting dream to tap, but Dream again came back.  Dream hit his “Purple Rainmaker” for the win.  Adam Cole of course ran in but Dream got out in time.  Great match.       

Ricochet Promo

Ricochet is one of the most talented high flyers of all time, that will be repeated often his entire career.  He moves around like no other.  Gargano is called Johnny Wrestling confidently for well deserve reasons.  They will put it all out there.  Hyping it will only get Good attention and heat.  Ricochet is so confident and wears the North American Title well.  Ricochet’s Achilles heel is his mic skills.  He could use a Good hype man or woman so that he can only focus on his in ring talents.  Johnny Gargano could not interrupt fast enough and luckily for everyone he isn’t Bad to listen too.  Gargano and Ricochet did not waste any time and went at it.  Out of nowhere, Ciampa the NXT Heavyweight Champion attacked Ricochet coming to the aid of his former friend and heated rival.  Very interesting.  Of course Aleister Black came out and beat the hell of Ciampa for his trouble.  Gargano came to Ciampa’s rescue hitting Black with a devastating “superkick.”  The duo previously known as “DIY” dominated both Black and Ricochet before leaving their rivals laying in the ring.  Ciampa and Gargano seemed like they were about to bury the hatchet until Gargano’s wife Candace put a stop to it.  Decent promo and end to a successful week.

THE BAD – No

THE UGLY – and No

FINAL TALLY

  • GOOD – 5
  • BAD – 0
  • UGLY- 0

OVERALL

Good which means it must be NXT.  Again, another successful, entertaining, content filled NXT.  They literally had as much impressive content as SmackDown did and they did it in an hour.  NXT sets the standard and hopefully WWE Main Roster watches and takes notes every chance they get. 

NXT continues to be the most entertaining brand of all weekly.  The sky is the limit and with HHH steering the ship, the momentum is surely going to continue for some time.  They have a lot of fresh talent as well as established Superstars, and Takeover should deliver above expectations.  That is what NXT does. 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Daily DeMarco: New Japan’s “New Beginning in USA’ Cards Are Irresponsible

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New Japan New Beginnings In USA

Greg DeMarco weighs in on the sure-to-be-controversial New Japan “New Beginning In USA” cards that were recently released.

Well hello there! I know it’s been a few days since I last posted, and if you follow me on Facebook, you know what’s been going on (see that here). But I am excited to be back, and excited to share my opinions with you!

So…shall we?

New Japan’s United States events, called “New Beginning In USA,” finally got their announced cards today.

January 30 in Los Angeles:

  • Alex Coughlin vs. Clark Connors
  • Jonathan Gresham vs. Tyler Bateman
  • Colt Cabana vs. Shane Taylor
  • Brody King & Marty Scurll vs. Killer Elite Squad
  • Jeff Cobb vs. Karl Fredericks
  • David Finlay vs. Chuckie T
  • Tracy Williams & Juice Robinson vs. Roppongi Vice (Trent Beretta & Rocky Romero)

February 1 in North Carolina:

  • Karl Fredericks vs. Clark Connors
  • John Skyler & Colt Cabana vs. Shane Taylor & Lance Archer
  • Tracer X vs. Great-O-Kharn
  • Jonathan Gresham & Jeff Cobb vs. Brody King & Marty Scurll
  • Alex Coughlin vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
  • Tracy Williams & David Finlay vs. Rocky Romero & Chuckie T
  • IWGP United States Championship: Juice Robinson (c) vs. Trent Beretta

February 2 in Nashville:

  • Karl Fredericks vs. Alex Coughlin
  • Jonathan Gresham and Colt Cabana vs. Shane Taylor and Lance Archer
  • Harlem Bravado vs. Great-O-Kharn
  • Clark Connors vs. Marty Scurll
  • Jeff Cobb vs. Brody King
  • Tracy Williams, David Finlay and Juice Robinson vs. Rocky Romero, Chuckie T and Trent

These shows aren’t bad, but they aren’t New Japan cards! The company isn’t even sending over any lower card guys. I know you have a concurrent tour in Japan, but like you couldn’t spare Jushin “Thunder” Liger?

Don’t get me wrong, there are great matches on each show. The problem is they are being promoted as New Japan, and that’s simply not true. This is “ALL IN was self-funded by Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks” levels of untrue.

Hell, much like ALL IN, these are basically ROH cards (with less ROH talent).  I love Ring Of Honor, but they need to focus more on their own product and less on partnerships that are doing nothing but hurting them in the end.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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