No Wrestling in Olympics Provides Huge PR Opportunity for WWE
The most negative news for amateur wrestling could turn into positive news for WWE.
This past week it came out that the International Olympic Committee is dropping wrestling starting in 2020.
I haven't heard one person who is in favor of this and I'm not surprised. After those in the military, wrestlers are the most proud and disciplined people I've ever met. It's ridiculous to take away the ultimate goal of representing your country in a sport that is so rich in history.
The reality of this whole situation provides a potentially huge positive global PR opportunity for WWE, TNA, Ring of Honor, Prime Wrestling, Dragon Gate and any other professional wrestling company with television exposure.
If these companies with large enough followings can help rally the petitions and outcry of eliminating wrestling from the Olympics―that's a huge win for their reputations.
Professional wrestling normally gets a lot of negative press or critique from the outsiders looking in. This situation with amateur wrestling in the Olympics seems to have upset even those who aren't regular followers of the sport. They realize the historical significance of the sport. They realize the athletic talent in the sport. Amateur wrestling gets much more respect from the outsiders looking in than professional wrestling.
Amateur wrestling is big Johnny down the street who is the best wrestler at the local high school. Professional wrestling is Bubba in sweatpants. Amateur wrestling is school or country pride. Professional wrestling is the kid down the street breaking his arm on the trampoline. Amateur wrestling is technique and physical discipline. Professional wrestling is fake.
That's how the classifications can frequently be described by the uneducated person. Nonetheless, educated or uneducated, it's still reality for many.
If WWE, who has the biggest platform and audience of any pro-wrestling company, can lead the charge to save wrestling in the Olympics―that's the type of highlight that stays with a company's legacy forever.
WWE has shown they can mass promote whatever cause they are focused on. Promoting John Cena's number of wishes granted, download the WWE app, use Tout or SmackDown your vote. All of these campaigns WWE has pushed aggressively with different mediums.
If WWE was to campaign to help save wrestling in the Olympics, it would be an easier sell to get the audience behind. WWE has Brock Lesnar, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and others who all are former decorated amateur wrestlers. The audience can connect with this. They can see the genuine motivation in the campaign.
Pushing the WWE app, or John Cena's image, Tout videos―all have selfish connections to WWE. The app makes WWE money. Cena's image makes WWE money. WWE is invested in Tout. Even encouraging people to vote can be interpreted certain selfish ways because of Linda McMahon's political aspirations.
I think WWE campaigning for the future of amateur wrestling will be viewed as WWE using their status to help save a sport that doesn't have as strong of a platform to speak to millions on a weekly basis on television.
I'll go as far to say, based on the amount of professional wrestlers I've seen speak out on Twitter in support of saving wrestling in the Olympics―the opportunity for good PR could turn into bad PR if WWE doesn't make any public attempt to reach out and help.
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