Why a WWE-Themed Superhero Cartoon Would Be Great for New Hulu Partnership
WWE is fully invested in the PG era, and their new Saturday Morning Slam show is evidence that it is not going to die anytime soon.
Rather than continually bash the PG era as others do, I have decided to attempt to come up with new ways to make it successful, starting with an idea that fully embraces PG programming, a cartoon.
I have been a WWE fan since the '80s, and back then they actually did have WWE cartoon segments which were successful with children.
These days it is much easier and cost effective to produce a cartoon than it was in the '80s. South Park can churn out a new episode in a week thanks to computer-generated animation, and the time to make episodes of shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy has gone down drastically.
As someone who grew up on cartoons, it sometimes pains me to see what passes for a quality children's cartoon these days.
No longer do children get to watch Wile E. Coyote hurt himself in new and interesting ways because people are afraid kids will go out and hurt themselves trying the same thing.
The closest thing to any kind of action or violence in today's cartoons is contained in cartoons about superheroes.
Despite the constant watering-down of children's shows, there will always be a demand for superheroes, and television networks respond by producing numerous shows based on comic book material to meet that demand.
This is why WWE would be smart to get their foot in the door.
Caution: The video contains a few NSFW words.
Cost is a big factor when considering any new television show, which is why animated shows have become a bigger force over the past few years than in the past decades.
Thanks to the use of computers to create animation instead of every cell being drawn by hand, we have seen a drastic shift in the cost of producing a cartoon.
Unlike with live action shows, WWE would not have to build sets, design wardrobes, shoot on location, hire extras to stand in the background or have a special effects team when making a cartoon.
All they need is a team of writers, people to do the voices and an animation studio to create the cartoon and put it together with the voice work.
Fox didn't have Seth MacFarlane make three cartoons because he is such a nice guy; they did it because those cartoons make a lot more money than a live-action show getting the same ratings.
Fox packs Sundays with five different cartoons that, when combined, probably cost less to produce than a single episode of 24 ever did.
Cartoons are just smart business these days.
More Direct Marketing Towards Kids for Merchandise
Children are our future, or at least they represent the future of spending.
Kids are a huge driving force in the economy because parents buy them so many unnecessary things to keep them happy.
These days you have kids younger than 10 with iPhones, iPads, laptops and Xbox systems.
I didn't need thousands of Legos or WWE action figures when I was a kid, but my parents bought them for me because it made me happy. This is where WWE is smart to capitalize.
Having already focused on the children's market, WWE have ensured that they have a steady stream of revenue through the sales of their toys and other products geared towards kids.
Imagine if you could add a whole new line of products based on a superhero-themed show using existing WWE superstars images and trademarks.
I have already seen little John Cenas running around on Halloween; the next step is super-Cena costumes.
Superheroes Are All the Rage Right Now
The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spiderman all dominated the box office this summer, which speaks to the power of superheroes to draw money.
These comic book characters are popular as cartoons as well, which is why WWE needs to move into this genre.
The success of superhero stories has made it so all the major franchises are getting big budget treatments, and the cartoons in the genre are benefiting from a residual interest following the theater.
WWE already has programming slated with children's shows with their new Saturday Morning Slam show so adding another kids show to the mix would not be difficult.
Keeping the references to WWE down to a minimum and focusing on the characters as superheroes would be the best way to go in order to draw in the non-wrestling audience.
I have a 3-year-old nephew who likes Iron Man, and I am sure he would be into Undertaker and Triple H as superheroes too.
WWE Superstars Are Already Almost Superheroes
Spandex, signature moves and good vs. evil are just a few things WWE superstars already have in common with superheroes.
WWE superstars are really about as close as we can get to real life superheroes these days, and making them into actual superheroes in a cartoon would be the next logical step.
WWE has used cartoons in the past to market themselves, and bringing back that tool would allow them to further integrate their product into the lives of kids.
Just look at some of the current superstars like John Cena, Undertaker, Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio. They already scream "superhero" with their gimmicks, so why not make it official?
They Already Have Material to Use
WWE Heroes is a comic book series put out by Titan Publishing which showcases WWE superstars as being both wrestlers and superheroes.
Since WWE already has some stories to use from these comics, it would give them a good starting point for turning it into an animated series.
Triple H and Undertaker were the primary focus of these comics, which makes sense considering they are basically WWE's Thor and Ghost Rider already.
WWE has dabbled in the comic book genre a few times before this current run, most notably with the failed Ultimate Warrior comic book, of which I still have issue No. 1 in a plastic sleeve collecting dust somewhere.
The golden age of comics is over, but the age of cartoons and movies for those characters is in full swing and making a lot of people a lot of money.
More Chances to Bring in Legends and Celebrities
The great thing about voice acting is that it can be done in a much shorter time-frame than live-action performances, which allows for studios to hire big names for less than it would take to get them in front of the camera.
With recording studios peppered around the country, it makes it easy for a company to have someone go in and read some lines in a studio hundreds of miles away from their costars.
WWE would be able to use their existing connections with other celebrities and athletes to get guest stars for a superhero cartoon who would be interesting to both children and adults.
If I knew an animated Kane was going to fight an animated Pete Rose, with both of them providing the real voices, I would watch it in a second.
Parents have it bad enough with some of the mind-numbing children's entertainment out there, and WWE would have a chance to create a product that parents will find humorous as well.
What do you think?
Would you have your kids watch this?
Thanks for reading. You can follow me on Twitter @BR_Doctor.