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  1. #681
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    NXT was pretty supercharged last night, but even so it should probably be a sign to AEW that there's certain things they need to dial back on and other things they need to make a bigger focus. I'm thinking in particular on the latter to get back to the Inner Circle vs. Elite storyline, which was the hottest thing in the company but has seemingly been put on the back burner.

  2. #682
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I would say that worrying about what they foreground and dial back on is probably less of a concern than getting the house in order - the feel or identity of the show - right.

    They've shed basically half the people willing to give them a chance, and that strikes me as a problem with the fundamentals.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  3. #683
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    They've shed basically half the people willing to give them a chance, and that strikes me as a problem with the fundamentals.
    I don't think I'd go that far. Smackdown lost almost half of their viewership from their debut in the same amount of time. I understand there's a huge difference, but AEW is still new. I don't deny the need to lok things over and reevaluate, but I still don't think it's time for panic mode. NXT stacked the show this week, and are planning fresh content for next week. They are playing it smart, but it doesn't mean AEW can't come up with something to regain momentum in January. It's taken 12 weeks for NXT to win a single week in both ratings and the key demos.

  4. #684
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Well, I've thought WWE have needed to take a look at their fundamentals for the best part of two decades, so I at least have the virtue of consistency.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  5. #685
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    Most valid point possible, so I take it back.

  6. #686
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Fair play!

    On another note, anyone seen that video of Dustin selling those punches that were missing his head by about a mile?

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  7. #687
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    Yeah, didn't notice it at all in the live broadcast but the video zeroing in on it was just weird. Hopefully they don't use that guy again, whoever he was.

  8. #688
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Keeping the running tally of the British ratings going. Slightly better news this week as they tip-toe over 100k. Also more and more evidence that people disproportionately watch AEW later, rather than live - by a ratio of 4 to 1, this week at least. Unusual both for the channel, and also for a wrestling audience.

    October
    1: <191,100
    2: 96,000
    3: 143,000
    4: 170,689 – ranked 12th (revised down from 10th)

    November
    5: 77,000
    6: 140,000
    7: < 81,000 (post-Full Gear)
    8: 86,000
    9: 120,000

    December
    10: 83,000
    11: 106,000

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  9. #689
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    I feel like it might be becoming more common? I watch most wrestling on a delay, even Dynamite. Nice to see a gradually growing interest, hope it keeps increasing as they tweak the product. I do think doing some kind of tour or show in the UK might benefit them a lot.

  10. #690
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Growing interest might be a bit too optimistic. It's more that it's pinging around all over the place. Not really much evidence for a trend in either direction, though I guess the other show might have something to do with that.

    There's no doubt that time-shifted viewing is becoming more common, but it's slower than people might think. The ratio here in the UK overall is actually almost the exact reverse of the AEW trend, so it's very unusual. I think it could be to do with the scheduling here, but it could also be something specific to the AEW crowd.

    And wrestling typically defied the usual trend, which is why WWE got such good TV deals in an age where everyone was slamming them. So it's a bit of a double edged sword - it gives you a reason to believe that the ratings might not fairly reflect things, but it also gives TV corporations less reason to get involved with wrestling in the future.

    It would be in keeping with wrestling losing it's sports fans and moving to a different group. Just something else that the wrestling business will have to adapt to deal with if that trend continues.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  11. #691
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    Keeping the running tally of the British ratings going. Slightly better news this week as they tip-toe over 100k. Also more and more evidence that people disproportionately watch AEW later, rather than live - by a ratio of 4 to 1, this week at least. Unusual both for the channel, and also for a wrestling audience.

    October
    1: <191,100
    2: 96,000
    3: 143,000
    4: 170,689 – ranked 12th (revised down from 10th)

    November
    5: 77,000
    6: 140,000
    7: < 81,000 (post-Full Gear)
    8: 86,000
    9: 120,000

    December
    10: 83,000
    11: 106,000
    Adding what I assume was the last show before Christmas.

    12: 98,000

    Slight increase in the number watching live but the delayed audience was down significantly, leading to them being under 100k again.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  12. #692
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    Sounds like Cody is going to have Arn Anderson as his manager for a while. If I saw right it said "the 2020 season" so could be all year, though I wonder if some kind of angle will take him out if he doesn't want to actually be at ringside constantly at his age. Still, the idea of hearing Arn Anderson promos on the regular is an amazing thing!

  13. #693
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's a very interesting idea actually.

    Edit: added together a lot of the different data to get an idea of the AEW global audience. I've been erring on the side of generosity. If you give them the benefit of the doubt it's around 1.4m watching through the various channels. Then, if everyone who uses FITE for wrestling shows watches AEW through the platform, that'd take them up to around 2.1m.

    It's only an estimate and the margin of error is quite high, but interesting nonetheless. And as I say, I've tended towards generosity so if anything my guess is the estimate will be high.

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  14. #694
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    I wonder how much potential they have to grow their international audience further? You'd think they might a pretty good shot of growing bigger in Japan and the UK. It'd be cool to see some international shows, assuming it makes sense financially to do so.

  15. #695
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I would have said there was huge potential there, until I saw the data that we already have. I was staggered by the German ratings. That's a big market (larger than the UK and with it's own wrestling culture) but they make the disappointing UK numbers look astronomical by comparison. I've also been given reason to believe that the ITV ratings are not just the UK, but the combined UK and Ireland rating, as it's the only way to watch in the Republic. There's a big part of me that wonders how far you can go with the current model when, even with all the hype, this is where they are at - fewer viewers globally than RAW pulls in just in the US, if you think about it that way.

    Japan is an interesting one and I'd assume Omega still carries some weight there, not to mention Jericho and Mox are still on NJPW shows. The only concerns are a) they are only available through FITE there at the moment, I believe, and b) that it's already a pretty saturated market. Based on the early evidence, I'm not sure why you'd devote any time on it when you have NJPW and AJPW, to say nothing of the 20 other options that jump to mind.

    The risk in running international shows could be in looking minor league if you struggle to sell them out, or go to big enough places. This is what happened with WCW here in the UK. They did some shows in 1993 and 1994 that did OK, but that made them look small time compared to the WWF, and that pretty much re-established that reputation. They never shook it here, where the 'Billionaire Ted' skits were almost treated as a documentary! They kept touring Germany, but I don't believe they came back here until the Wars were all but lost. AEW kind of risk doing the same thing, unless they get it spot on. You don't want to go too small, but you don't want huge banks of empty seats.

    But even so, there's got to be room to improve - I imagine it's just a case of finding what isn't connecting with the majority of potential fans in those crowds. My guess is finding the 600,000 the US who watched the first week but have melted away would pull in bigger crowds internationally with time, too. But then the trick is in appealing to those people without losing the 700,000 who are your hardcore. Although I'm not sure those people are going to melt away en masse except in highly exceptional circumstances, though I'm only basing that on a feeling.

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  16. #696
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    Fair enough!

    I've been watching through some AEW highlights of the year with my brother and it certainly reconfirms my hope that they lean towards the kind of stuff they did with Jericho and Cody all year, and less of the Omega and Bucks stuff. I've enjoyed AEW quite a bit but the only stories that were really worth revisiting in the limited time he and I are together mainly surrounded those two guys. But I think it's more the booking style rather than the idea that only those two have the ability to pull it off (though they're two of the best in the world at getting people to care!).

  17. #697
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    A big complaint held against WWE story telling is that too many feuds are just match after match, 50/50 booking. Then AEW comes around, and other than Cody and Jericho, they book a lot of feuds that are just match after match, 50/50 booking.

    And it's not really AEWs fault. There are only so many hours in a week, and so many stories you can tell in that time. And not everyone has the chops to tell stories outside of a match. And they are a company that emphasises ring work, so they should deliver that. Whether or not I am a fan of that style is irrelevant, as I'm not the target audience for AEW. And reading reviews of the shows, Omega and Bucks tend to get solid match ratings regularly. So they should be depended upon to deliver their specialty. But it'll mean a lot of the same style of storytelling WWE gets criticized for.

  18. #698
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    There's definitely some aspects in which AEW could be called a "workrate company", specifically the stuff around Omega and the Bucks, but I'd say there's way too much stuff going around guys like Jericho, Cody, MJF, and others to say it defines the company entirely.

    I also think AEW avoids the curse of 50/50 booking in most cases by simply not booking immediate rematches in most feuds. Many of them are one and done blowoff matches, and if they fight again it takes a while and the situation has shifted to give it a fresh perspective. There are a couple feuds I can think of where wins were traded evenly. PAC and Page had a best of 3 if I recall, and PAC and Omega are 1 and 1 now with PAC pursuing a rubber match, but it feels like the exception rather than the rule.

  19. #699
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    Perhaps not in feuds, but I remember looking at their website a while back and at that point everyone's record (not counting Jericho) seemed to be either 1-0, 0-1, or 1-1. But maybe they've corrected for that since? A glance at the rankings now suggests that the top 4 in the men's have a clearer record than the rest of the pack (or the tag/women's divisions, for that matter).

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  20. #700
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    Last night they made a point of saying that all records are now wiped clean as they are calendar year only. So all wins and losses reset as of 1/1/2020.

  21. #701
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    I think that's probably helpful to do annually or even every six months given the nature of how often these guys are going to be wrestling on TV. Otherwise, by this time next year you could have people with 50+ matches on their records.

    It also creates some interesting little hiccups. If you're the guy with the best W/L and it all gets wiped, you have to start from scratch to rebuild that. Whereas the story for a guy like Omega could become that in 2020 he's going to refocus and get that winning record going.

    I think it's necessary with these type of records, and I hope we get some storytelling out of it rather than just them acknowledging that they're resetting.

    I still feel the show could benefit from more out-of-ring storytelling. Vignettes and promos, etc. I know that they said from day one "we don't want to do the invisible camera in the lockerroom thing", so solve that problem by stating, on television and not Twitter or an online show, that every lockerroom and select places backstage are going to be set up with GoPro cameras. Maybe they could even get a sponsorship deal with GoPro.

  22. #702
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    It also creates some interesting little hiccups. If you're the guy with the best W/L and it all gets wiped, you have to start from scratch to rebuild that. Whereas the story for a guy like Omega could become that in 2020 he's going to refocus and get that winning record going.

    I think it's necessary with these type of records, and I hope we get some storytelling out of it rather than just them acknowledging that they're resetting..
    I find it interesting that you used Omega as an example, as the commentators were focusing on Omega's W/L record, and they were pointing out that he is reset. And that he got a win with the Elite over the Lucha Bros and Pac (terrible match BTW).

    Aside: Am I missing something with the Young Bucks and Omega? So far in about 3 months of watching them wrestle, I do not get the hype. Omega's best performance to me was against Moxley in the unsanctioned street fight. Other than that, I do not see the "greatest wrestler alive today" thing about him. Jericho's match against Jungle Boy, where Jericho is 49 years old was better than anything Omega has done on Dynamite, excluding the street fight. And the Bucks, just meh.

  23. #703
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    I don't know how many opportunities that Omega has had in AEW to be the "Best Bout Machine". I don't think he could do that weekly either way, but I don't know if he's really had that opportunity yet.

    I don't know the guy, but I know people who know him quite well, and from what I'm told he's more "interested" in having fun matches right now. I think that's what we're seeing. I believe his incredible run in 2018 left him pretty banged up (at one point I think he was working on a broken foot or something) so I'm sure he's happy to not have to be that Kenny on a weekly basis.

    I think some of it comes down to not necessarily wanting to be that Kenny all the time, some of it is not having the real opportunity (look at what his PPV/special event matches have been) and the rest is maybe not having the right opponent.

  24. #704
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Hear there was a rebound in the ratings this week. Also hear that it's in part because NXT aired a 'year in review' style show?

    But anyway, back to around 950k of a 1.5m audience for the night.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  25. #705
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    Yeah, seems like that number won't be indicative, though if people like what they see it could be beneficial.

    Interested in the idea that the Dark Order have some kind hidden leader. The gimmick hasn't gotten over so far but with the right name at the head of it I think it could get a lot more interesting. I've heard plenty of suggestions, from Hangman Page to Kenny Omega to outside chances like Matt Hardy, among others.

  26. #706
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    I thought it was smart of NXT booking a real show on the night AEW took off. But I had no idea that in the end the role would be switched, and AEW would put on a big show on a night NXT did a recap. If anything, AEW played it smarter as any momentum NXT gained from putting on a solid show without competition was lost now that AEW put on a show without NXT interference. Now they have AEW the momentum.

    And, I didn't realize it was at the same location as Fight for the Fallen last year, which was an incredibly unique venue to watch a wrestling show from. That fact might be what encourages me to catch up on Dynamite, as the last show I attempted to watch was Dec 4.

  27. #707
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    Definitely loved the venue, didn't realize it was the same one! Playing unique venues like that, even if they're a bit smaller (not sure if it was or not) seems like a good move for them, helps them stand out in another way.

  28. #708
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I don't know the venue. But I always loved when venues had a unique look and feel to them as a kid. Any PPV at MSG felt distinctive, for example, and though it's only the first one coming to my brain right now I'm sure there'd be others if I was to sit and think of it. WCW were also very good at getting unique arenas, though some were hits and some were misses. It's something I miss, and credit where it's due, it's a good way to make them stand out from the overproduction of the 'E.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  29. #709
    I am not surprised by those British ratings. Out of the wrestling fans I know IRL i'm the only one that stuck it out after the first couple of weeks.

  30. #710
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    AEW held their audience well by the sound of it. 947,000, and NXT nowhere to be seen. But it sounds like the overall number might end up being down.

    Edit: scratch that, NXT had 700k+, so it's a fairly normal total with the ratio balanced to AEW.

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  31. #711
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    Nice to see the overall numbers holding steady at 1.6-7 million, hope to see it increase over the course of 2020!

  32. #712
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    I come bearing good news for AEW fans from the British ratings.

    October
    1: <191,100
    2: 96,000
    3: 143,000
    4: 170,689 – ranked 12th (revised down from 10th)

    November
    5: 77,000
    6: 140,000
    7: < 81,000 (post-Full Gear)
    8: 86,000
    9: 120,000

    December
    10: 83,000
    11: 106,000
    12: 98,000

    January
    13: 147,000

    So the show that went out here on the third of January (Friday Night) at 11pm got their best rating since October.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  33. #713
    Surprised at that. Something to do with the break over Christmas maybe?

  34. #714
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Huge announcements for AEW today. Their TV deal was extended, they have the green light for a second show (supposedly a new 1-hour taped show, not AEW Dark), and now Dave Meltzer is reporting that the TV deal is for 4 years and worth 175 million dollars.

    It's kind of insane to think that they've been on TV for a grand total of three months and they already have this deal in place, already making them profitable this year. Good news for wrestling in general.

  35. #715
    Big news and with this and the Fox deal you wonder how long the big deals for wrestling will keep coming for

  36. #716
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    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate View Post
    Good news for wrestling in general.
    Debatable. AEW wrestling becoming popular is going to change everything. Obviously, more wrestling is a good thing, and AEW seems to be helping better deals for wrestlers in WWE. I'm not arguing that point.

    But I hate the in-ring style, and if that is what wrestling will become, I fear for the business.

  37. #717
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Of course, there's still no real sign of it becoming genuinely popular either. What we know from the deal is that TNT are either a) happy enough with a reasonably successful wrestling company that has a decent enough niche audience, or b) believe that with the right backing and security of a few years they'll be able to grow to the level that they will be happy with.

    If it's the latter then it'll be interesting to see what their renewal negotiations are like, if numbers are still in the same ballpark. If it's the former, then they'll be safe enough, but it's hard from here to see how it'll really do much to expand wrestling (other than the simple act of adding more content).

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  38. #718
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    I do wonder if TV networks are happy to have anything that has a built in audience these days, the way TV ratings have declined across the board even in just the past few years.

    Quote Originally Posted by PEN15v2 View Post
    Debatable. AEW wrestling becoming popular is going to change everything. Obviously, more wrestling is a good thing, and AEW seems to be helping better deals for wrestlers in WWE. I'm not arguing that point.

    But I hate the in-ring style, and if that is what wrestling will become, I fear for the business.
    See, I don't think AEW necessarily has an established house style yet. What the Young Bucks do is very different from what Cody does, what Jericho does is different than what Riho does, what Omega does isn't the same as what MJF does, and so on. They've only been on TV for a couple months so maybe a more uniform style will form over time, or maybe they'll continue to showcase variety in what you see in the ring. I know which style I would like to see win out, but it'll be interesting to see how they develop over the years they now have guaranteed to them.

  39. #719
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    It's partly that built-in audience thing, and partly that a lot of people still treat wrestling as an event to watch live. The more wrestling becomes less like a sporting event and more like any old series you can binge, don't be surprised if this money dries up.

    But not happening any time soon. Both shows down, but barely. AEW just down by 7,000, to 940k. Stable, really. Not a big step by any means, but it is an important first step before you can really be optimistic. And y'know, three weeks in a row... if that's the ballpark in another three weeks we can probably say they've shored it up.

    NXT not too shabby either.

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  40. #720
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    So what, we're now going to have AEW Dynamite, AEW Dark, and...AEW Thunder?

    Is the company, and roster, really ready to put out four hours of wrestling content a week? Not looking for fault, just a genuine question - to me Dynamite has a pretty steady, consistent viewership up against NXT. But in terms of roster strength and depth, other than the discussed issues with the women's division, I don't really see them as overflowing with people that should be appearing who aren't, and I certainly don't think they have a 'lower card' that could support (for example) a Thunder.

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