Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WWE Marketing Is a Mess

What Adam Rose is doing to his opponent here is what WWE has done to him in terms of marketing
Photo Credit:
WWE announced that Elimination Chamber would be returning to the special event slate after it had been unceremoniously dumped from its perch in February in favor of Fast Lane. However, the announcement was made that it would be a WWE Network exclusive. To be honest, it's the kind of thing that the company should have been doing from jump. Network exclusives that people want to see are going to get people to subscribe to the goddamn thing. The library is nice, and the discount pay-per-views are a huge start, but stuff like NXT, Legends House, other original series that weren't pitched by people scribbling on a cocktail napkin after downing a sixer of Schlitt's at the local hipster bar, and special events that you can only see via said Network.

So what does WWE go and do? It immediately enters negotiations to have the show broadcast on traditional pay-per-view outlets, if well-placed reports are to be believed. Of course, the availability on American outlets has yet to be announced, but reports are also saying the company has a deal for traditional pay-per-view in Canada via Rogers.

In a somewhat unrelated note, ESPN also recently aired a NXT-centric episode of its E:60 documentary series. The show chronicled the training process of three wrestlers: Xavier Woods, Corey Graves, and Adam Rose. The last one in that list was portrayed as a loving family man who was getting to live out his dream, and his story resonated huge with audiences. The image ran completely counter to both his most recent personae, both the party boy Aldous Snow homage he currently has been working as and the merciless big game hunter Leo Kruger that he inhabited until January of last year.

So what does WWE go and do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. IN the two weeks following the special, Rose has either been non-existent on WWE programming, or when he has appeared, he was seen still in his lascivious party boy character, making out backstage with Rosa Mendes. Instead of capitalizing on something that resonated in the moment in a timely manner, he was summarily forgotten because he's not currently already over or a hot member of the NXT roster on his/her way up that had gotten Vince McMahon's eye.

OR hey, how about Titus O'Neil winning the Mega Dad of the Year Award over competition that had more mainstream notoriety? Batista summed it up completely and correctly in one tweet. The same could be said for his tag partner Darren Young, whose story of being the first out and proud mainstream pro wrestler was good enough to tote around Twitter and the websites but not good enough to allow him to have a spot on the show. Or hey, if you want to open up old wounds, how about the time the company had a legitimate mainstream star on its hands in CM Punk and use the heat generated by his big story in the summer of 2011 to further a masturbatory angle featuring the COO and his chicken-legged best friend?

WWE is proof that just because a company is the market leader in a certain area that it doesn't necessarily have to be the best run. It could be argued that WWE could have more critical and financial success if it knew how to market its own roster properly. I'm not in the business of giving multi-billion dollar industries tips in how to run itself from the inside, because if they can't do it themselves, then they don't deserve help for free. But I will say that any wrestling company that is looking on how to present itself in an appealing, self-constructive manner should look at how WWE markets itself and do the exact opposite.