Powell's Blog: WWE Main Event TV show, Charlie Sheen and WWE, WWE NXT not airing on Youtube, a big week for TNA Impact Wrestling, a dark anniversary
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 – 10:50 A.M. (CT)
-WWE announced on Monday that they will be adding yet another hour of television programming to their expanding schedule. The addition of WWE Main Event on ION on Wednesday nights beginning in October means WWE will be taping eight hours of weekly original content with three hours of Raw, two hours of Smackdown, one hour of NXT, one hour of WWE Superstars, and WWE Main Event.
Of course, it's possible that WWE Main Event will end up being a rebranded WWE Superstars program or something similar. If I'm an executive at the ION Network, I would have spoken with WGN America officials about the huge letdown that WWE Superstars was. Sure, some fans can't get enough WWE, but the masses can spot a an hour of throwaway programming quickly and the network may not get a big ratings boost for their investment if WWE is treating this as a second rate show.
Either way, WWE officials will be able to tout their increased revenue as a result of the extra programming fee money that they will be receiving from this deal and the expansion of WWE Raw to three hours. Because I assume Main Event will be a B-show, I'm far less concerned about WWE overextending themselves creatively and overexposing themselves than I am regarding the expansion of WWE Raw to three hours.
-WWE's announcement of Charlie Sheen as the social media ambassador for the 1,000th edition of Raw is more "Yawning!" than "Winning!" for this viewer. Sheen's coke-fueled antics that precluded and followed his firing from "Two and a Half Men" made major headlines in March 2011 and beyond, but it feels like Sheen's home life drama has jumped the shark. That said, he has 7.5 million Twitter followers, so he should bring some awareness of the big three-hour episode that night.
-It's a shame that WWE isn't airing the revamped version of NXT on Youtube or elsewhere. I understood when WWE didn't want Florida Championship Wrestling to air on Sunshine Network because they didn't want their developmental talent to be seen on a network that could be picked up nationally on satellite, but I'm not sure what the holdup is considering that the show airs in many international markets.
What's the difference if 30,000 fans find the show on Youtube? The number is a rough estimate of the viewers who were watching the old NXT during its final weeks. Granted, the number would likely increase for the new format, but I fail to see what difference it makes when so many international viewers have access to the product. If WWE is seriously shopping the show around with the goal of finding an American television home then so be it, but otherwise it seems like they are depriving Youtube of some traffic and American fans of watching an entertaining product.
-This is a big week for TNA. Thursday's Impact Wrestling television show is finally free of NBA playoff competition. WWE Raw ratings shot up once the NBA Finals started and there were no Monday night games, whereas TNA had to go against two NBA Finals games, including what turned out to be the deciding game last Thursday.
The TNA product isn't flawless (see the crack whore Claire segment from last week), but the company is in a much better place creatively than it was at this time last year. The top storylines actually have a beginning, middle, and an end, and the right talent is being featured prominently (Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, James Storm, Bully Ray, etc.).
The aging veterans and former WWE castoffs who are famous for little more than being WWE castoffs are no longer being spotlighted, and Hulk Hogan is being featured in a suitable role that allows him to contribute and actually provide rub to the current stars rather than overshadow them.
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