A few months ago, I wrote an article focusing on the impact of Social Media in Professional Wrestling, and lo and behold the “Reality Era” came to pass.
CM Punk and, to a lesser extent, Zack Ryder’s ushering in of this new era created a buzz and excitement not experienced in the WWE in a long time.
Over the course of the last few weeks, the WWE, as it so often does, has almost entirely deflated the buzz from this past summer. In case you’ve been out of the loop, Raw has become a de facto plug-in for Twitter.
Seemingly every five minutes, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are talking about what’s trending on Twitter and how many followers so and so has. If you’ve been paying close attention, each wrestler’s introduction graphic now includes his or her Twitter handle.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked the idea of Zack Ryder openly petitioning for a US Title Match against Dolph Ziggler, or The Rock and John Cena trading insults back and forth via Twitter. It can further storylines, which is something that I am huge fan of, but has become overkill.
However, do you care how many followers John Laurinaitis has? Or would you really have an interest in the everyday lives of David Otunga or Alicia Fox? My guess is probably not.
The WWE is force-feeding Twitter down our throats just because a few wrestlers took the early initiative and interacted with the fans. As bad as the broadcast team is already, do you want to hear Cole and Booker T riff about who has more followers?
It takes away from the product and is very distracting when watching a broadcast. Additionally, with Raw already a talk-heavy show, it takes away from the actual wrestling.
The idea of following your favorite superstars and getting an inside look at their lives on the road is good, and Twitter has certainly helped get wrestlers, such as Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler, over in a big way.
However, I would argue that the reason that Twitter helped get those guys over was that they were pioneers in a sense. Few, if any other wrestlers were as approachable or interactive with their followers as Ziggler, Punk and Ryder, which I feel allowed fans to gravitate more towards them.
Now that every wrestler (or entertainer?) is having hisTwitter handle pimped on Raw, the novelty of Twitter is being diluted. Vince McMahon saw dollar signs the minute Zack Ryder started moving merchandise via social media, and now the WWE has become a walking advertisement for Twitter.
#whatashame #overkill #anothergoodideadownthetoilet