WWE and CM Punk: A Ploy to Revitalize Pro Wrestling Industry

ChinmaySenior Analyst IIJuly 25, 2011

WWE and CM Punk are all over the media at this moment. CM Punk is making headlines even if he sneezes, pardon the slight exaggeration, but he is that much en vogue right now. WWE’s every move is met with acute anticipation and a sense of excitement.

Forget other conclusions and possibilities for a moment, but the fact is pro wrestling as a sport (yes I said that) is cool once again. If we take a moment to retrospect the developments of past few weeks, one can’t help but wonder that was it the motive all along to make wrestling cool again? Did WWE know that this move may very well revitalize the pro wrestling industry? If at all the answers are even remotely affirmative, then WWE has to be congratulated on this accomplishment.

In order to test the legitimacy of their intentions and efforts, first we have to look at whether such revitalization was necessary. We should have a glance at how this business has been cool before.

Let us take our first question, “Is the revitalization of pro wrestling industry necessary and does it help WWE?” Well, the answer is emphatic yes.

Throughout the history of economics and business, one trend has been universal and that is, “no firm can flourish when the industry is in shambles.” This principle holds true for WWE as well.

Ever since the “Monday Night Wars” era is over, pro wrestling has never been the same again. WWE has neither faced the same competition again nor has pro wrestling pulled the ratings over 10.00 as an industry again. The simple fact that we all know is without WCW, Attitude Era could have never been as big.

The honchos at WWE must have understood that as long as pro wrestling is not given a shot of life, WWE itself cannot get any bigger.

Creating or helping the competition was out of question. TNA can’t be helped from the outside. All it needs has to come internally. Whether TNA will ever realize this is a topic of another article.

So, as it appears they plotted a scheme that would put “Pro Wrestling” or “Wrestling” in focus again.

Return of the Rock, the constant use of word “wrestling” helped. The way they threw names of ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling helped even more. The ultimate touch however was CM Punk’s visit to the Indy show.  

It is impossible that Punk visited the show without WWE’s consent. It simply cannot happen. They knew such a video will spread like a virus on Internet and people will sure take notice. If any mainstream media is extra-ordinarily infatuated with Punk, then they might even publicize it.

What did these events achieve? Well, all of them put “wrestling” firmly in the people’s mind. In business it is believed that when a word catches fire, it has met its destiny. Word “Wrestling” has actually caught fire at the moment.

Suddenly a large pool of new fans is aware of small leagues, ROH and New Japan. It is more than likely that few curious souls actually tried to find out, what it is all about and this is where the success of this strategy lies.

But simply curiosity can never achieve the purpose. A desire to fulfill that curiosity has to be thrust in to drive the point home.

The incidence of Comic-Con crash provided the precise push.

The Comic-Con was one of the biggest places where media had gathered over the past week. If any place was suitable to strike, that was it. In an extremely cunning display of publicity drive, WWE pulled the stroke in a masterly manner. The way whole incident was carried out was phenomenal.

“Rebellious champion interrupts the press of newly appointed CEO”—wow, it can’t get any better. All the major press that was present at the venue picked up the hot story. The much needed main stream push was achieved in two and half minutes.  

One might ask that whether such a push was necessary. That takes me back to golden era and eras before that.

In those days, pro wrestling had legit mainstream appeal. The appearance of stars like Muhammad Ali or the pop appeal of Hogan and Savage always kept pro wrestling in the limelight. A good product needs exposure and WWF of those eras succeeded in getting that.

If you have realized by now, I have cited two biggest ever eras of pro wrestling and the factor that made them big. If the health of pro wrestling made Attitude Era big, then golden era owes its grandeur to its mainstream exposure.

It is a whole different story, whether we are entering a new era. It is a whole different story that whether WWE has hit the jackpot. However, the way WWE has played this angle is a matter of admiration.

What essentially I want to point out is that, they have selected two exact factors that made WWE/F big before. Imperatively, the same formula can’t be used again. Therefore, what we are seeing is a transfusion of factors that made pro wrestling and the company big before.

We can safely surmise that WWE is indeed trying to revitalize the pro wrestling industry, but for own benefit.

The winners however are fans in this situation. We are seeing unprecedented scenes lately. No matter what happens, let me tell you that such time is never going to be back. So, enjoy the ride and let us hope for the best.

Thank you for reading and cheers.

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