Social Media: The WWE’s Best Friend & Worst Enemy
For years, the WWE has been the top tier wrestling, or “sports entertainment” promotion in the world. The goal for most of the wrestlers is to make it to Vince McMahon’s playground. Some do, some don’t, but it has been the preferred destination for a lot of up and coming wrestlers, and that is still the case today.
When the WWE was more carefree, it was the golden age of wrestling. The 1980’s and 90’s saw a huge interest and popularity spike in wrestling. As times have changed, the industry has struggled to maintain that same interest and popularity. However, there is still huge interest in the product. Why?
Social media has been both immensely positive and negative for the company. It has given it a platform its never had before. More and more eyes are on the company as their presence on social media grows. However, social media has taken away as much as it has given.
Everything is on social media these days. Information that hasn’t been confirmed now leaks on social media before it is actually announced. This is true for wrestling. Dirt sheets leak information, such as planned match finishes, contract signings, heel/face turns, returns, planned storylines, etc. While it does create excitement for these things to occur, ultimately, it takes away from the overall suspense of the product. In result, fans can’t truly get excited or surprised anymore.
On the flip side, there are examples of genuine surprises, such as Shane McMahon returning in 2016. No one knew that was going to happen, and the max capacity crowd in Detroit blew the roof off of at Joe Louis Arena.
However, dirt sheets leaked the signings of four top New Japan Pro Wrestling talents that same year. In the rumors, Shinskue Nakamura, AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows were said to have signed WWE contracts. This, obviously, was true. Styles debuted at the 2016 Royal Rumble, Anderson/Gallows debuted on an episode of RAW, and Nakamura debuted on the main roster for SmackDown Live in 2017.
There was still an air of excitement about these moves, don’t get me wrong. However, with speculation running rampant, and WWE themselves covering it, the reaction was watered down. Imagine if this hadn’t of been leaked. While eyes may not have been initially on the Rumble, Styles’ debut would’ve created a spike of ratings. The next night, RAW would’ve experienced the same turn of events.
Overall, the drama and suspense is gone. While, yes, the excitement is still there, it really takes away from the impact created.
WWE’s social media presence, as I said, isn’t all negative. Social media has allowed the fans to be more interactive with the product. It also gives WWE’s marketing team a much more effective form of marketing. They can reach millions with a single tweet or post. The fans themselves also, unbeknownst to them, assist in this marketing anytime they tweet or post about it.
Social media can make or break WWE’s product at anytime. It is that power that makes it WWE’s best friend, but it is also its worst enemy.
Photo Credit: stillrealtous.com
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