Thursday, August 22, 2013

Total Viewers

"Total Divas" was an instant hit for E!, and viewership has only gone up each week. In fact, it's been doing so well, that last week the network ordered more episodes of the show that will air this fall.

But, considering that "Dancing With Stars" going up against "Raw" probably affected Stacy Keibler and Chris Jericho's viewer votes, I was interested to see how this reality show did in its first outing against WWE programming.

And, even though SummerSlam is one of the biggest PPVs of the year, "Total Divas" stayed strong. With 1.35 million viewers, viewership did drop from the previous week (1.67 million viewers), but was still slightly higher than its debut numbers (1.34 million viewers).

So, what does this mean? Are a majority of viewers not WWE fans? Did everybody who couldn't afford the PPV simply tune into "Total Divas" instead to get their WWE fix, evening things out? Did the timing of the matches involving Divas allow those who prefer to watch the Divas to tune into "Total Divas" just in time? (If I remember correctly, the Ziggler/Kaitlyn v. Big E/AJ match ended only seven minutes into "Total Divas.")

No matter what the answer is- and perhaps it is a combination of all those factors- "Total Divas" appears to be a smart move for all involved. It is likely introducing more people to the product, and giving these women matches that aren't cut last minute at a PPV. That being said, I'm not sure if the Kardashian viewers are going to start watching Raw, but I'm sure it makes them more likely to if there's nothing else of interest to them on Monday nights. And, truthfully, since Raw is the only thing I'm aware of being on the air every Monday night (except during football season), I have no clue if there is anything else of interest on for these viewers. Who knows? Maybe football season will even make those viewers tune into Raw to see what Nattie, Trinity and Brie are up to. I mean, anytime a Kardashian is dating an athlete, his stock goes up, so why not?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Who you gonna call, now, fella?

Sheamus is having his shoulder surgery today and should be out for the remainder of the year. According to, he suffered torn labrum in his left shoulder during the Money in the Bank match in July. The good news is he'll get to go home to Ireland to see his family and friends while we eagerly await his return at, oh, the Royal Rumble...

Monday, August 12, 2013

60 is the new 40?

Yesterday was Hulk Hogan's birthday. If you follow Hogan on Twitter, you couldn't miss that fact, considering he retweeted A LOT of the birthday messages from fans and friends. But, did you know Kathie Lee Gifford was born in the same week sixty years ago?

Both rose to fame in the 80's, both had to deal with cheating issues, both are back on television and both look at least 10 years younger than they actually are. (There is a question mark in that head...)

While I couldn't find the video of Hulk Hogan appearing on "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee," I did find a more recent video of both in their new gigs. It looks like Regis' love of wrestling rubbed off on Kathie Lee over the years as she looks much more comfortable with the Hulkster than she did with the wrestlers back in the 80's/early 90's...

Kathie Lee, as I'm sure she will tell you, still has few more days at the age of 59. (Her birthday is on Friday.)

Now, I'm sure you're wondering, who does Hulk Hogan actually share his birthday with? How about Chris Hemsworth, better known as Thor, who is half his age? Want somebody older? Emperor Palpatine, or at least the actor who played him (Ian McDiarmid), is 69. Oh, and his name may not be the title of a new movie coming out, but Steve Wozniak (the other inventor of Apple computers) turned 63 on Sunday. If you're interested in someone who is actually 40 and was born on Aug. 11, Google model Carolyn Murphy.

If you were also born on Aug. 11, it looks like you are in good company.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Telling the Story

One of the great things about professional wrestling is that a story is told to draw interest into a match. Many of the stories reflect real life, so we, the audience, either have a stake or something to learn from the story.

One problem lately is that maybe two stories are told leading up to a PPV, and then the rest are thrown together seemingly last minute. With the two major PPVs, WrestleMania and SummerSlam, it's more of the finale of the season.

While the Kane v. Bray Wyatt match for SummerSlam was put in stone last night, it is a story that has been building all summer, and has a sort of summer horror movie feel to it. The CM Punk/Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman story is a major one that you could say has been brewing since January. Ever since Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow teamed up, we've been waiting for typical bromance break-up.

It seemed out of the blue when John Cena chose Daniel Bryan as his opponent. Then, we saw the premiere of Total Divas. And, then there was this week's Total Divas. And, then, last night, I didn't understand why this story was taking up so much air time on Raw when there still only five matches set for SummerSlam with less than two weeks of story-telling time.

See, their story, in case you missed it, is playing out on Total Divas. Although they seem to be getting along dating twin sisters, the comparisons are being made. Bryan gets a ride on Cena's private jet, walks into Cena's closet that is bigger than his apartment, and then, to top it all off, gets schooled by him in wood chopping. And, how hard did Cena try to look better than Bryan? He did already have to deal with repercussions of Bryan being ready to put a ring on it.

I don't know why, with all the ways WWE tells their stories nowadays, they didn't just let this one play out on the reality show, and then show clips on Raw to those who may have missed it. It is unfolding there, and resources could have been used to work on the other matches for the card. Plus, as they have done to promote their various forms of social media and app, promote the reality show as an extension of the story telling for Raw and SummerSlam.

Meanwhile, TNA had two real life moments in the past few days.

First, Kurt Angle was arrested for his fourth DUI. He tweeted that he would enter rehab, and Dixie Carter confirmed yesterday on Twitter that he did, in fact enter a rehab facility. We hope, as Angle tweeted, that he will "overcome this." Since Angle is such an major part of the main TNA storyline, it will be interesting to see how this affects the Main Event Mafia...

This morning, on a more fun note, Hulk Hogan made a surprise visit to one of his biggest fans. Here's the video:

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