Welcome, students, to Day 3 of WWE Business Class. My name is Doctor Chris Mueller and I will be your instructor. I am not really a Doctor, but I play one in my head.
In this five-day course, I will take you through five lessons which can help to improve WWE in several different ways.
Today's lesson will be about how to manage a large roster effectively.
As we all know, WWE is the world's most successful wrestling promotion, and part of the reason they are where they are is due in large part to the big roster of talented wrestlers they have.
WWE employs dozens of wrestlers and almost all of them have proven that they deserve to be in the WWE locker room.
While employing a lot of people gives WWE the ability to switch things up whenever they want, we still seem to see the same group of wrestlers on every show.
It makes sense to push the most popular wrestler more from a business standpoint. Obviously, the more popular someone is, the more people will pay to see them.
The thing that does not make sense is having people on the roster who are being paid to essentially do nothing.
While some of these talents may get to be in the ring at house shows, there are numerous wrestlers on the roster who barely ever make it to TV unless they are being squashed by a bigger star.
In this lesson, I will propose a new method of handling the roster, which would encompass changes to how the show is booked as well as ways to utilize almost everyone on the roster.
The first thing that has to be changed is the way Raw and SmackDown's time is allocated. The format of the shows has remained largely the same since they debuted, but over the years we have seen small changes implemented that have made big impacts.
The first thing that could be changed to give more time to wrestlers would be to cut down on the amount of video packages we see every week.
Even though WWE is trying to do things like recap previous events for fans, they should remember that a large portion of their audience is going to be loyal viewers who already know what is going on and do not need a bunch of videos to remind them.
Sometimes on SmackDown, we will see the same video from an incident on Raw air twice. What is the point of taking up that valuable airtime to show things we already know happened?
By freeing up some time that is currently used for video packages, WWE would give themselves the ability to push a few more people at once.
By adding an additional hour to Raw, WWE may have already solved this issue, but that might not be a permanent move, and if they ever move back to two hours, then they would be in the same boat.
Does WWE show too many recap and hype videos?
Showing events from a PPV is more necessary since they are seen by only a fraction of the weekly viewing audience on television.
The state of the Divas division is never really that great, but every once in awhile it looks like WWE is going to push it, and then they are not on TV for a few weeks for no reason at all.
WWE needs to come up with a formula for how to properly allocate time so every division has its fair share. Am I saying the Divas get an hour and the men get an hour? No.
That would make no sense unless the two rosters were the same size. But I am saying that a certain amount of time should be used each week to showcase specific things.
If we go two full weeks without seeing a Divas match and then suddenly we get one at a PPV for the title with no story behind it, we have no reason to care about it.
Divas can draw viewers, even in a PG environment. TNA has had numerous weeks where their highest-rated segments involved their knockouts—who are actually wrestling and not having pillow fights.
If WWE showed their women the same time and effort that TNA has, then maybe the Divas would want to try harder, too. That is not to say anyone is phoning it in right now, but let's face it, incentives work.
Would you watch a Divas only wrestling show?
Perhaps WWE would be best served putting the Divas on just Raw or SmackDown instead of spreading them across both, that way they would be able to schedule the time used for them better.
This would still allow the Divas in non-wrestling roles like Rosa and Eve to continue to appear on whatever show they need to be on.
One idea would be to give the Divas 15-20 minutes worth of time on Raw or SmackDown. This would give them the chance to show off their skills in two to three decent-length matches and give the men still close to four hours a week to do their thing.
There is talent in the Divas division and it can be as good as it once was as long as the right people believe it can be.
Tag Team Division
The WWE tag team division is usually given little to no consideration, and for the life of me I cannot figure out why.
Recently, we have begun seeing a shift in that thinking, as new tag teams are popping up here and there and the division seems to be nearing capacity again.
I recently wrote a piece about how WWE secretly rebuilt the tag team division, now they just need to use it properly.
Do you think the tag team division has improved in recent weeks?
Darren Young and Titus O'neil have been making waves recently, and Kofi Kingston and R-Truth have put on some great matches with Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler.
Let's not forget about The Usos and Epico and Primo having a built-in gimmick with their family histories in the business.
Hunico and Camacho have some promise, and if Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel ever end up teaming up on Raw or SmackDown, then they could join the mix, too.
WWE could use the same thing for the tag team division as what I suggested earlier for the Divas division. Simply allocate a certain amount of time to showcase these talents each week.
For the sake of argument, let's say the tag team division gets 30 minutes between Raw and SmackDown; that affords them two to three good matches each week.
This means the Tag Champs can have a weekly match while also having the other teams trying to fight for the next title shot week after week.
WWE has guys in the back like Arn Anderson and Dean Malenko who could be used to run the division and provide insight from their decades in the business.
I think it is pretty clear that there is a theme to each one of these points, and that is how important proper time management can be.
WWE has four hours on mainstream television each week to show off their massive roster of stars and somehow we see less than half showcased each week.
The Divas are sometimes glossed over completely and there are about 20 male superstars who do little more than job on occasion.
There are answers to nearly every problem, you just have to look at every possible scenario to find them sometimes.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts below. Also, join me tomorrow for Day 4 of WWE Business Class, where we will be discussing some of the non-wrestling aspects of the wrestling business like merchandise and charity work.
If you would like to check out the first two days of WWE business class, you will find the links below.