clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Rock says...Thanks for the Slammys - WWE's quest for mainstream acceptance

WWE continued to use every opportunity they can to get a little mainstream rub when they awarded Slammys to part-timer Dwayne Johnson and reality show stars The Bellas last night. Check out Rocky's acknowledgement and ponder what it all means with us.

Lost in the adoration of last night's closing segment was some of the usual outrage about The Slammys - especially awards given to part-timers or favorites of the greater WWE Universe whom the internet wrestling community (IWC) deems as less than the real deal.

The most prominent nods to non-smark favorites were probably Total Divas stars The Bellas win for "Diva of the Year" over the champion of the women's division, AJ Lee and Dwayne The Rock Johnson's two wins for "LOL Moment of the Year" and, more controversially, "Match of the Year".

While it's important to remember that these awards are often plot points or vehicles through which the company tells bigger tales. Such was most likely the case with Shawn Michaels winning "Double Cross of the Year". It's also true that the general consensus of internet fans is not always the opinion of the larger fan base, or even the quorum that some in the IWC would believe it to be. So while CM Punk on top of the cage at Hell in a Cell may not have been your "Extreme Moment of the Year", a lot of folks were more invested in the Punk vs. Paul Heyman story than a lot of us here at Cageside Seats.

But that brings us to the two examples mentioned at the outset.

One is a case of name-dropping probably the biggest action movie star in the world's name on your broadcast, and reminding your fans that in the past year he was a recurring figure on WWE programming. For a social media-obsessed company courting social media-obsessed advertisers, you also get the benefit of the following being sent out from a Twitter account with six and a half million followers:

Not sure who's complaining about that, but they sure as heck aren't WWE shareholders.

For the other example, the company is trying to force the spotlight onto their E! reality show and ignoring the real star right in front of their face. The Bellas, especially Brie, have put in a lot of work and made great strides as sports entertainers this year. But WWE's fixation on them obviously is focused on their cross-over potential and the primary vehicle for that is Total Divas, a show that on its best ratings' nights only pulls a fraction of The Great One's Twitter followers. And that's before we consider that most of those fans disappear when WWE has a pay-per-view (PPV) on Sunday night, so there is likely less new eyeballs on the show and its stars than there are non-wrestling fans in a Fast & Furious audience.

The Bellas win isn't going to garner fuel anything other than a side story on the E! show, a show that doesn't figure to exist in another couple of years. They are not even currently feuding with the Divas champ, so it doesn't do much for your largest audience.

Meanwhile, said champ is the most over woman the company has seen in years. She's popular with the marks and the smarks, men and women, children and adults.


While promoting Johnson's every affiliation with the company is clearly best for business, that AJ Lee is continually shunted to the side as the company throws its marketing might behind Nikki and Brie makes little sense, and even fewer dollars.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats