Bryan is the latest example that if you ask WWE for something, you will get it. Fans use their powers to control the excitement of WWE's product and shift booking and roster management in their favor. Fans also need to acknowledge that perhaps without their support of the men they stick behind, they would likely still be stuck in "NXT hell" or "Superstars hell". And as for the men and women they don't want to see, they're banished there instead where they can change their character and hope to offer something about them fans will enjoy. Here are a number of examples of how wrestlers got pushed and buried all because of drawing power and viewership.
Examples of how great reactions got wrestlers over
The movement to keep Bryan in the main event scene practically happened overnight, when Bryan had his title stolen from him in the opening match of Wrestlemania to Sheamus. Starting out as a bunch of fans facing the camera with "YES!" signs, chants began to carry out to other matches during the big show, either because I guess it was fun to say or that the fans were voicing displeasure of the result. The "YES!" chants continued over to RAW the following night and just recently London this Monday where "YES!" was no longer just a word, it also became a high grossing t-shirt and a finisher. Bryan's post-Wrestlemania development is still very young but we'll see where he will pan out in the coming months.
Remember last year when the wrestling sites had tons of coverage over CM Punk's impending WWE departure? It was a groundbreaking time in the WWE. All the attention was on Punk and the fans ate up every word. The fans decided "This is a guy we want to pay attention to. This is a guy we want as the WWE Champion". Sure CM Punk still could be doing his new gimmick but without the fans backing him, he may not have lasted this long as Champion.
CM Punk Wants WWE Ice Cream Bars Back! #WeWantIceCream (via dawnXashforever17)
As a young man who fell on the brink of Superstars, Ryder was nothing special to WWE after ECW ended. His crusade back to relevancy began with his Flip video camera, making a weekly web show that was made to address WWE's judgement on him when he became more popular. Then WWE made a stop in Long Island, and he was the whole show without even making one RAW appearance. With the popularity of his YouTube show and his one and only t-shirt constantly selling out, WWE decides to capitalize on Ryder's success and make him a star.
Is there a face that is more over right now than Santino? His character is nothing new, yet his rise in popularity came when he earned a spot in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match, as a reference to the emergence of "Lin-Sanity" that spread across New York and the NBA. He became super over after nearly winning the World Heavyweight Championship against Daniel Bryan. As a result of his crowd pleasing antics, he became US Champion by defeating Jack Swagger.
R-Truth was once a stale babyface freestyle rapper who at a period of time used his flying spinning elbow as his finisher. We had a feeling that WWE had no idea what to do with him and assume he was soon going to get released due to his lack of direction. Then the England tapings from last year happened.
Ron turned heel in what was a very time consuming prematch promo, match, and post match beatdown at the expense of John Morrison, whom he turned heel on after he lost his spot to him in the triple threat cage match at Extreme Rules. Truth's new gimmick involves emotional breakdowns, smoking, and bottles of water, all which gave him a ton of heat as well as his funny promos, before shortly brainstorming "Little Jimmy". Truth was the WWE's biggest heel for a little while until Capitol Punishment.
Examples of how piss-poor reactions buried wrestlers
Alberto Del Rio
Alby last year was one wrestler that WWE was incredibly high on. He's a decent performer with an interesting gimmick and he also looked the part. But other than that, he was pretty immune to drawing heat and cutting promos. He didn't have a connection with the crowd and wasn't believed to be a credible enough heel. Even RAW ratings sunk during Alby's first title reign, yet WWE doesn't believe it was because of MNF. He was so bad at his character and so stale with his speech skills that he lost the WWE Championship to Cena in a month at Night of Champions in order to save the ratings.
This was his promo on the RAW after Summerslam. You can notice how unorganized his promo is and how zoned out the audience sounds.
Alberto Del Rio New Undisputed WWE Champion (via scotlandmurray)
Ezekiel has had his stay on the WWE roster for a long while now. After Ezekiel was kicked off the Corrn for whatever lame reason, he had a feud with Wade Barrett leading up to a match at Capitol Punishment, one of the worst and laziest booked PPVs of the year. To build up his momentum, he would pick about jobbers and his former Corrn brethren with his very, VERY limited moveset. His clotheslines in the corner and never ending botched scoop slams were enough for fans to deem him not legit. So he beats Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship at Cap Pun and after that he cuts a promo saying he is a proud American when he's actually Guyanese...and the accent he cut it in hardly convince the dysfunctional crowd in attendance whatsoever.
Mason Ryan, as we all know, fit Vince's cup of tea, being a big muscular wrestler. He was impressive in his debut giving a unique Side Slam to Cena, but like everybody else on the Nexus, they impressed us the first week and then they drop the ball with them. Ryan eventually caught the injury bug and then returned to RAW as a babyface attempting to build up momentum for beating Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler, at the same time we wanted Ryder doing that. He was even teaming up with Cena, Orton, Punk, and Sheamus in main event matches.
His push came to a halt at Survivor Series in the traditional Survivor Series match when he was wrestling Cody Rhodes for a while. The audience was so over with Cody and not Ryan that they were rooting for Cody. That's when WWE decided to depush Ryan.
David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty
David and Joe were members of the (New) Nexus and were a random paired tag team. They were long reigning tag team champions mainly because they hardly ever defended them and only appeared on Superstars. Not only were they just a random pairing but they also had no chemistry to one another, they both were too green and unfamiliar to the fans at the time, and they couldn't draw heat even if they (ever?) managed to beat up Cena. Even Lawler did shoots about them during their matches about how bad they were and that led to a mini feud which we didn't need to see, but thankfully WWE at the time decided they wanted more tag teams and formed Air-Toot to claim the Tag Team Championships.
34-year-old Tamina is a fit and beefy Samoan woman who was given very few chances to prove herself in the WWE up until December/January of this year. WWE wanted to fill some time until more Divas return to feud with Beth, so hey, let's push Tamina. For several weeks in a row, she's picked up many victories against Natalya and one of the Bella Twins in an effort to try to get her over and try to make her look like tough competition to Beth with the Divas Championship on the line. They even added Snuka to her name to give her more association to who is her father.
So what was wrong with her? When the title match at Elimination Chamber happened, the crowd was so terrible! I heard NXT type echos for this match and I felt so sorry for WWE because they invested so much to push Tamina and the fans have shown no interest in her, which is weird since she isn't a "model". So instead of remaining in the spotlight and getting more TV time, she's now appearing in backstage segments on NXT such as this one:
WWE NXT 04/04/12: Tamina, Alicia Fox, Darren Young & Titus O'Neil BackStage (via WWEDivasEvolution)
*clapping* Yeah! Good job, Universe! Good job! Woooooooo! Yeaaaaah!
The entire Divas Division for that matter
Keep blaming WWE and Vince and ignoring me all you want but they aren't going to change their booking for people that won't cheer for them. If that dead crowd during that Beth/Tamina match didn't convince you that left a bad impression towards WWE, maybe all the other occurrences have. There's a number of people and bloggers on the Internet who rant about WWE's "Diva handling" and claim they're the "voice" of the Divas, except the only "voices" WWE can hear are from the 10,000 - 20,000 attendees that buy a ticket and get close to the action.
In this video below was a Divas Battle Royal for being number one contender to Eve's Divas Championship very early last year. Look at that crowd throughout the entire match and tell me those were some excited people. This was even practically the closest to Gail Kim actually EARNING something for once in her life and yet the fans didn't seem to get into the match. I'm sure very often WWE thinks of how the Divas Division can improve and what they can do to book them better, then they observe the audience...
No. 1 Contender's DIVAS BATTLE ROYAL (RAW 2/28/2011) (via LadyDevelishWWEDiva2)
WWE is that corporate, mainstream wrestling promotion wanting the best TV ratings possible, and of course they want excited fans that would help make their product look excellent. Sure, there are a number of wrestlers that Vince wants to push, but fans have a say in his or her direction, too. If you cheer or boo a man, you'll get more of him, if you freeze in his presence, he gets sacked. Let's say another Superstar happened to get a major fan following, like Trent Baretta. A low tier guy like Trent would need huge pops, "We Want Trent" chants throughout RAW and SmackDown, and a sellout of his merchandise if he has any. That's as much effort as Ryder and Bryan needed but at most he could be a US Champion too.