Granted some of the issue here is that WWE schedules one of their bi-annual European tours for the same week as the television industry’s “Upfronts” - big media events where networks present their upcoming series for advertisers and the press. They’ve worked around that fact before, however, shuttling a handful of Superstars across the Atlantic to perform for both the wrestling fans in the UK & EU and the suits on Madison Avenue.
That’s not their strategy this year, according to PWInsider. And the line-up they will trot out when USA Network talks about Raw and Fox hypes SmackDown is... well, it’s not representative of the talent who will actually be working those shows this fall.
For NBCUniversal’s Upfronts, The Bella Twins will appear at one session (probably E!’s to promote the Total reality franchises they produce) while John Cena & Ronda Rousey work another. When Fox presents their partnership with WWE, it’ll be Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Big Show, Cena & Rousey.
Or two executives & occasional on-screen authorities, a trio of part-timers, a couple retired wrestlers and one on a possibly permanent hiatus.
If lack of star power is one of the things causing WWE’s ratings to plummet, this is pretty telling. The people the company is looking to impress advertisers with are all past draws, not the men & women currently trying to grab eyeballs and ad dollars.
Just another sign there probably isn’t a quick fix for the company’s viewership and attendance issues.