PWTORCH LIVECAST TUESDAY
HOSTS: WADE KELLER & JASON POWELL
AIRED LIVE: NOV. 10 2015
By Nick Gould, PWPodcasts Reporter
TOP SUBJECTS COVERED
– Raw drops to a 2.23 rating, but the viewership drop-off is more worrying.
– What’s the point in a multi-week tournament if we already know the winner?
– Roman Reigns – the corporate choice for the anti-corporate champion.
– The mystery of Del Rio’s push.
– Breeze, Joe, Balor, Kalisto.
SUMMARY OF SHOW
(1:01) Wade welcomes listeners to the show, introduces himself, PWTorch.com, and the format of the show, as well as updating listeners on upcoming Livecasts this week.
(2:04) Wade introduces Jason Powell from Prowrestling.net. The hosts jump straight into a discussion of Raw’s viewership numbers. Wade notes the “awful” third hour figure of 2.8 million viewers. Wade expects ratings to be down as well when they are announced. Wade notes that the viewership figures reflect fans disinterest in Bray Wyatt, or The Wyatts’ “phony-ass” funeral for Taker and Kane. Jason points out that it might also be an indication of disinterest in the WWE World Title tournament later in the show. Jason feels that, whilst it was entertaining, there was a lot to dislike about last night’s show. He points to the random match between New Day and Neville/Usos late in the show, and repeated video packages on Kane and Taker which did little to foreshadow their ‘surprise’ appearance later in the show. Wade agrees, and feels WWE could/should have done more to establish the possible (i.e., likely) appearance of Taker and Kane in order to keep viewers watching.
Wade points to the lack of promos before some of the longer matches, arguing that this did not help to build anticipation for these matches. Jason doesn’t feel that it was helpful for WWE to focus the World Title Tournament on Roman Reigns so clearly, and doesn’t feel inspired himself by the tournament, which he describes as being a glorified KOTR. He notes the lack of time given to other tournament participants to talk up their character’s investment in the tournament. Jason wanders what it will take for WWE to change their approach to the current product.
(14:29) Breaking News: Raw ratings are in: 2.23. Wade notes that this is Raw’s second-lowest rating of the year. Jason hopes that WWE locks at the hourly break downs, as Raw lost 600,000 viewers from hour one to hour three.
(16:27) Anthony from Boston is first to call in today. Anthony notes that WWE’s presentation of Roman Reigns, as the anti-corporate challenger to the WWE Championship is ‘tone-deaf,’ as most fans identify him as the corporate pick. He asks where WWE goes with Roman Reigns. Wade and Jason discuss reports from the show, which suggest some sound editing was evident on the TV broadcast. Wade asks why WWE would put Reigns in a position to face Cesaro in the Title Tournament, setting et him up for a heel turn by getting booed, or to give him a ‘good’ match.
Jason thinks it’s the latter, although feels that this is loaded with possible negative responses. Jason notes the fact that there is no viable alternative to Roman Reigns at present. Wade feels that’s partly due to WWE’s booking of everyone else. Anthony feels that Reigns needs a heel run before he can get over as a babyface. Wade picks up on Reigns’ remarked on Raw that he had never taken a handout in his life, and notes that this came across as though Reigns delivery made it sound like he was condemning anyone who had, which made him seem oblivious to the privileges he’s had. Jason notes that Triple H’s work on the mic was tremendous on Raw opposite Reigns.
(25:51) D’rell from Georgia asks three questions. Do the hosts like New Day referring to Seth Rollins as their ‘captain’ in his absence? What do the hosts think of Tyler Breeze’s presentation of Raw and Smackdown? Can we blame Reigns for the ratings? Jason feels that New Day’s remark was nothing more than a throwaway comment. He’s unsure of the association with Reigns and Raw’s ratings, and feels it’s more to do with the quality (or lack of) overall. Wade reflects on the sheer weight of product that WWE has to provide every week, feeling it benefits the company in a revenue aspect, but hurts in terms of the quality. In regard to Tyler Breeze, Wade likes his more aggressive nature, and feels he’s already established himself above the likes of Adam Rose and Fandango. Jason didn’t like some aspects of Breeze’s positioning on Raw, but likes the presentation of the character.
(35:39) Tony from Omaha is up next. Tony thinks WWE had an opportunity to refresh the product by launching an open title tournament in front of a hot crowd, but missed it last night. He also points to a lack of ‘monster’ heel to be positioned opposite Reigns (e.g., Del Rio). Jason doesn’t understand the confused nature of Del Rio’s push. Overall, Jason feels that the inclusion of Tyler Breeze, Kalisto and Titus O’Neil in the tournament meant that someone (e.g., Triple H) needed to explain the relevance of such characters being in the tournament. Jason feels a little bit of supporting work around the tournament would go a long way.
(41:46) Eric from Grand Rapids suggests a Reigns-Ambrose final in the World Title Tournament, leading to one guy turning. Wade and Jason both feel this is the most likely option. Jason feels the only other option is having Owens beat Ambrose to meet Reigns in the final. Jason feels WWE really need to advertise a Reigns-Ambrose match if that’s where they want to end up. Eric asks whether Seth Rollins’s injury means that we’ll see a Stephanie/Ronda Rousey match at WrestleMania. Jason feels that that match would happen regardless.
(45:07) Michael from Memphis asks whether having Daniel Bryan or Finn Balor pretend to be Kalisto in the Tournament to then unmask in the final would be a good idea. Jason doesn’t think it would work. Neither does Wade.
(50:48) Kermit from Sacramento is next. He feels that WWE has done a good job with its PPVs this year, so he is optimistic about Survivor Series. However, he doesn’t feel Raw was a good show, pointing out the contradiction of aiming a show that finishes at 11pm at kids. Kermit asks why WWE don’t recognize wins and losses, and thinks that keeping score of these would help build to PPVs like Royal Rumble. Wade thinks this would be to hard for bookers to keep track of. Jason is all for making wins and losses mean more, but thinks Kermit’s idea is too complex. He does feel that more consistency and more explanations of where people are, why they are/aren’t in the Title Tournament, how they feel about that, etc. Wade takes the opportunity to praise Byron Saxton’s commentary last night.
(59:00) Shaun from Stamford wants to know where NXT is going with Samoa Joe, and whether WWE could have Reigns win the title at Survivor Series, Rock come out to congratulate him, and have Reigns turn on Rock, leading to a match at Royal Rumble. Wade is more intrigued by a Reigns-Rock match at WrestleMania rather than Rock/Rousey vs. Triple H/Stephanie. Jason doesn’t like the idea of Rock being booked for anything other than WrestleMania. Jason sees Joe as a possibility for the main roster in future, although feels he will win the NXT Title at some point.
(1:13:23) Chris in New York with two questions. Is Vince waiting for the NFL season to end before attempting to do anything about ratings? Will John Cena stay with WWE in some capacity after he retires? Wade doesn’t think Cena will take any time off from WWE when he retires, and will move into another WWE job immediately. Jason doesn’t feel that Vince is waiting to make a change to a better product because Vince feels that this is his best product already.
(1:15:51) Jason from New York wants to know whether WWE missed the chance to turn Reigns after Summerslam. He also asks whether WWE should be more careful with its main talents at house shows. Wade feels there are plenty of ways to make sense of a Reigns heel turn in storyline terms now. Wade agrees that WWE should be looking to manage main talents’ appearances more effectively, but that those talents should be more careful at house shows, and should manage themselves and their bodies more effectively in matches given the schedule they know they’ll have.
(1:24:35) Wade wraps up the show with details of PWTorch.com, future Livecasts, and PWTorch’s social media presence.
SCORE & REVIEW
7.5 out of 10: This week’s Tuesday Livecast sticks at a 7.5 for me this week. Again, interesting points were discussed by the hosts in their usual informative and engaging manner, and many topics were covered. However, WWE seems to be back to repeating the same old mistakes, sometimes with new characters, but it’s the same mistakes nonetheless, and so Wade and Jason have little to add to their already fulsome explanations of why these mistakes are mistakes, and what WWE needs to do to avoid making them in future.
Similarly to last week’s show, this is perhaps one that regular listeners can skip if time is short. New and/or infrequent listeners interested in understanding the product WWE puts out, in its broadest context, will find much to learn from Wade and Jason, and so should make an effort to check out the show.