It has happened.
That long-awaited day that the oft-pessimistic jaded fan warned us about has finally come to fruition. Once mocked by less partial members of the media (like myself) as paranoid dweebs who sit too close to their laptops, I now must eat my words because it is finally here.
The pro wrestling Armageddon has arrived.
Pro wrestling content has been replaced. Vanished. Gone.
No more front face locks. Just Facebook. No more Cobra Twists. Just Twitter. No more toeholds. Just Tout.
Frank Gotch should be turning over in his grave right about now.
They warned us, but we didn't listen. The sky has fallen, a social-media plague has hit and, yes, the world of professional wrestling as we know it has come to an end.
Although endless complaints of WWE's sudden obsession with social media can justifiably be dismissed as more inevitable negativity from a stubborn crowd of fanatics who, eventually, will succumb to WWE's vision, resistance to WWE's new direction is justified as well.
I can't help but feel like the WWE is marrying that cute girl they met on the Internet before finding out who her parents were, or for that matter, who she was.
We seem to be years away from the social-media bubble bursting, assuming it ever does, but the three-hour RAW bubble seems destined to do just that in a fraction of the time.
The WWE has been bitten so hard by the social-media bug, which in time could prove to be more of a virus, that they have recklessly added a third hour to their live flagship show seemingly to optimize RAW for "interaction."
The move has scared the hell out of WWE officials internally as the cruel logistics of writing three hours of WWE TV every Monday, with glaring roster-depth issues, wrap their cold fingers around creative's neck and squeeze.
Following a ceremonial show filled with a revolving door of cameos and one-off appearances, RAW will officially hit the ground running as a legit three-hour marathon starting July 30.
The question, is will the WWE adhere to an ambitious mission statement of using social media as an interactive tool to change the landscape of television as we know it, or will RAW be reduced to a series of pestering bells and whistles used as a crutch to distract fans from imminent dilution.
The WWE is aggressively trying to find the next phenomenon in web-based communication technology. Recent figures suggest that they are on their way with their ground-floor investment in Tout. Yet the WWE's venture into web-based communication could leave many fans lost in translation.
It's worth mentioning that Tout's impressive spike in subscription required not one, not two but zero three-hour episodes of RAW. The WWE was able to generate interest in the micro video-blogging service simply based on their still-potent marketing machine.
For all anybody knows, three hours of occasional Touts on WWE TV could be the impetus for the next great social-media tool.
But at what cost?
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