WWE: How Much Control Does the WWE Universe Really Have?
If you tune in to a RAW, NXT, Superstars or SmackDown broadcast, you are sure to find yourself bombarded with Twitter mentions. Whether it be a plug for a wrestler's Twitter handle or WWE-related words that trend all over the world, there seems to be quite the focus on how much influence the fans hold on the product.
How much of that influence actually turns into substantial change will vary as the product evolves over the years.
In the past, and by that I mean pre-Internet days, fans didn't hold much sway and were valued only by the money they provided to wrestling promotions around the world. While that may seem significant, it was not a guarantee that these fans themselves were able to create stars like Buddy Rogers or Junkyard Dog; rather it was by the effort of the wrestler himself.
If his effort managed to appeal to the fans, then viola! A new headliner was born and he was soon off to the races towards earning a World Championship.
There were no message boards or Twitter accounts to instantaneously voice opinions on whether Dusty Rhodes was too "out of shape" to be a superstar when guys like Billy Graham were headlining shows around the same time.
Fast-forward to the present time and you will find yourself buried under criticism by fans all over the world including yours truly. With this newfangled technology, fans of the WWE Universe are able to pitch ideas around the clock.
Some are good, such as supporting CM Punk throughout his career and hoping he'd win his first World Title someday (which he has, a comfortable five times). Some were bad, like a possible World Title run for Funaki.
So what's the point of me telling you this? Basically, I'm just letting you know that we currently hold more influence over what the WWE produces than ever before. Case in point: Zack Ryder. When Ryder burst into the WWE limelight as one-half of the Major Brothers, no one could have predicted a World Title run for the rookie.
Now? He has over 300,000 followers on Twitter. His YouTube show is unlike anything done before in the history of pro wrestling and it has been encouraging talent to start up their own version in hopes of finding new fans through this new medium.
Even Vince McMahon is nuts about how WWE-related terms are able to trend or are widely mentioned in tweets on Twitter. Zack Ryder is currently in the United States title scene but judging by the reactions he gets every week on RAW, he's not too far off from getting a chance at the big one.
If we can take guys like Zack Ryder, CM Punk and even Matt Hardy and force them into the field of vision of the WWE higher-ups, who's to say that we don't hold the same level of influence in perhaps creating a new brand or a new championship or even decide when a superstar turns?
Well, if those numerous surveys that the WWE put out are any indication, we at least have enough power to decide which pay-per-views make it to the schedule as it wasn't long ago when the WWE audience were polled on whether or not they wanted to see a Hell in a Cell-inspired pay-per-view or the revival of Vengeance.
We can show the WWE what we want but at the end of the day, the WWE also needs to do their part and make an effort to produce what we want effectively and practically. That's another issue for another day.
But I just beg of you guys and gals with Twitter accounts to start trending "#TurnCenaHeel" or "#PunkVsAustin." Who knows, perhaps they're reading.
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