“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.
Let me ask you a question – how 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…
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?
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!
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.
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/
Otherwise, I’ll be back on here every Thursday!
Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Analysis (4/22/19)
The world of Lucha Libre can be insane and overwhelming–but you have Joe Dinan here to help you make sense of it all!
The world of Lucha Libre can be insane and overwhelming–but you have Joe Dinan here to help you make sense of it all!
Arena Puebla and Arena Mexico Tuesday
I did not watch either of these shows, truth be told on weeks that I’m too busy I’ll probably skip Tuesday at least. Not that I plan on always skipping them but sometimes duty calls in life and Friday is really the only televised show CMLL cares about. CMLL current has what I call WWE syndrome, in the sense that they have a comfortable business right now. They were struggling a little last year until LA Park and the Lucha Brothers came in for a summer tour basically. Cibernetico, El Zorro, and Charley Manson coming in helped to an extent too but not the same. So ever since then CMLL has enjoyed very nice attendance so they don’t feel the need to put in a desperate effort. Which is what happens sometimes. Wrestling companies all go through that period once in a while so I’m sure they’ll eventually be back to high quality things. But right now it’s AAA giving high quality. So on the Monday Puebla show they set up a Police Man vs King Jaguar hair vs hair match which will be this Monday. I can’t imagine most are interested but these guys probably wanna do something. And nothing of significance happened on Tuesday. Nothing usually ever does.
Arena Mexico Friday
Volador and Ultimo Guerrero successfully won Block B and will face Titan and Cavernario next week. Or this week. Depends when this drops. It will be a good match. Block B was definitely a step down from Block A as far as quality wrestling goes. There was a lot of brawling and similar finishes here in Block B. That’s really all that’s going on.
So some of this AAA news involves MLW and Impact so I’m going to put it all here because there’s no point of typing it twice.
AAA has two shows this week, one on 4/26 and 4/28. I won’t be watching the one on 4/26 live because Avengers Endgame is calling. But the line ups look like this for 4/26, Psycho Clown, La Parka, and Puma King vs Rey Escorpion, Texano jr, and Chessman. Laredo Kid and Brian Cage vs Taurus and Daga. Poder de Norte vs Sammy Guevara, Jack Evans, and Australian Suicide. 4 way match with Golden Magic vs Hijo Del Vikingo vs Villano III Jr vs Flamita. Taya and Faby Apache vs Chik Tormenta and Luchadora surprise. Lady Maravilla and Black Danger vs Big Mami and Nino Hamburguesa.
For the 4/28 show it looks like, Psycho Clown, Laredo Kid, and Puma King v Rey Escorpion, Texano Jr, and Taurus. La Parka, Golden Magic, and Nino Hamburguesa vs Chessman, Averno, and Dave the Clown. Hijo Del Vikingo, Flamita, and Villano III Jr vs Poder de Norte. Sammy Guevara vs Jack Evans vs Australian Suicide. Faby Apache and La Hiedra vs Lady Maravilla and Chik Tormenta.
So AAA also has shows coming up on May 3rd and May 5th, Cinco de Mayo. But they also have some joint show which I’m not sure if it’s going to be on just TV Azteca or on Twitch too. There’s no way of knowing until the day approaches cause it’s AAA but it’s some tournament gimmick between 5 “companies”. I use quotes because Konnan is quite literally on creative for all the companies. One company isn’t technically even a company anymore. Lucha Libre Elite is a defunct company propped up by AAA to do invasion angles. The other is Aro Lucha which isn’t even like, it’s own company. The Harris brothers run it with Konnan and they basically use AAA talent and Mexican independent talent. So it’s again, basically AAA. Then we have AAA proper, whatever that entails. Then we have Impact and MLW. So at least in theory those two will use their own talent. It’s some tournament format supposed to happen on May 2nd. I’ll see if I have more information next week before it all happens. Maybe Konnan will reveal more on Keeping it 100 this week.
Greg DeMarco’s Three Stars Of The Night: WWE Raw (4/22/19)
In a good edition of Raw, who stood out at the top Three Stars?
The first WWE Raw after 2019 WWE Superstar Shake-Up saw a #1 contender established for Seth Rollins. But who stood out to Greg DeMarco?
Judging by Twitter, the world seems to agree with Big Daddy DeMarco that this was a good edition of Raw. We may not have Bobby Fernandes at our disposal right now, but I dare say he’d also find it Good. That said, there are talents who rose above the rest. Who were they? Let’s have a look!
The Third Star: Cedric Alexander and Cesaro
Two new members of the Raw roster went to battle here. One was revealed last week (Cedric Alexander), and the other was revealed earlier today in some additional roster swapping (Cesaro). I loved seeing Cedric hold his own against a much larger opponent. That is something he hasn’t had to do in recent years, but he didn’t miss a beat. Cedric the underdog (a role Ricochet seems to be inheriting as well) can work. As for Cesaro? He delivered in a big way here, looking great in the process. The right guy won, but both looked great coming out of this match.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!
Be like Elisa and get yours at:
The Second Star: Lacey Evans
I gotta call a spade a spade: this wasn’t a good night for Becky Lynch. Yes, Alicia Fox has her faults, but those miscues seemed to be equal parts Becky and equal parts Alicia. Enter Lacey Evans to save the segment! Lacey knows her character…Lacey IS her character. She might be the strongest character in WWE today, and she deserves every opportunity coming her way. At this point I am rooting for Becky to lose to Lacey, because seeing The Lady of WWE holding the Raw Women’s Championship just feels right.
Honorable Mention: Sami Zayn, Robert Roode, AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Samoa Joe, Rey Mysterio, The Miz, Drew McIntyre
The First Star: Bray Wyatt
We’ve been waiting for Bray Wyatt to make his return, and when we are made to wait too long things don’t usually pan out. I am happy to return: this panned out! Bray Wyatt has taken hold of his character’s new direction, and delivered a segment that quickly became the #1 trend, and has people wanting more. That is the goal, and Bray nailed the goal in his first segment back. Yowey-wowey I can’t wait to see what’s next!
In hockey, a game’s “Three Stars Of The Night” represent the top three performers of the night. For more clarification, I defer to this Pittsburgh Gazette explanation:
“The tradition dates to the 1936-37 season, when Imperial Oil became the principal sponsor of Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts and was seeking a way to promote one of its products, Three Star gasoline. The idea of doing so by selecting the top three performers in a particular game purportedly came from a Canadian advertising agency.
Many clubs do recognize the player with the most three-star selections with an award or trophy, usually in conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, at the end of the season (or sometimes, each month). All six Canadian franchises, for example, have an affiliation with a well-known brewery.
The NHL keeps track of its own Three Stars Of The Night selections, but that is done on a league-wide basis. The league employs a system that awards 30 points to a first star, 20 to a second star and 10 to a third – a running total can be found on the league’s website – but it does not present an award based on them.”
In hockey tradition, the first star represents the best of the three, but all three are considered to be receiving a high honor.
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