Random Thoughts from the Office: August 13, 2010

Five years? Has it really been that long? Boy does time fly when you're having fun. Why it only seems like yesterday I was writing that Wrestlecrap Radio Year in Review for 2005, which I then promptly forgot about for 4 and a half years. I don't know what that says about WrestleCrap Radio or my own filing system, but damnit, it means SOMETHING and that's really what's important.

The fact is in Blade and RD we see pieces of ourselves. They never make it seem like they're bigger than the person listening in, and there are times you feel that you're actually there, maybe chilling with Johann and the Quartet actually taking part in the show. The phrase I always use is "True to Life" and I've mentioned before that in a lot of ways WrestleCrap Radio is like "Seinfeld", the infamous television show about nothing, in that you're not exactly sure what the point of the show is but you can't help but smile watching it.

Except RD isn't a total douchebag like Jerry Seinfeld. [And Kelly is perfect as Susan. But who would Blade be? And would Lord Alfred be perfect as George Steinbrenner? - PB]

Also a big key in the continued success of the show is the work that goes into it to stay fresh; whether it's the constant turnover of TNA correspondents, bringing out Gay Popeye, regaling stories with Sir Alec. You never know what you're going to get from week to week. A lot of shows, not just wrestling ones could stand to learn a thing or two from WrestleCrap Radio.

Which brings me once again to the door of Total Nonstop Action and their show Impact, a company who's idea of "freshening up" the show is calling up Doc Brown to see if they can borrow the Delorian.

First let me get something out of the way. I LIKED Hardcore Justice. When you consider the main bulk of the talent is stars who's prime was about 12-13 years ago and some (Well okay, just Simon Diamond) haven't worked a match in at least 4 years it was actually a darn enjoyable pay per view. But what does it achieve in the grand scheme of things for TNA? This was a big opportunity lost for them: they could have promoted the hell out of their Super Impact coming up by just having a guy like Abyss run in and wreck things, or have guys like Fortune come out and try and take the wrestlers out saying pretty much what they said on Impact: "Fuck you! This is our house bitch!" Instead they do nothing, they make a good show, probably a good buy rate, but how many of those eyeballs are you going to get back? How many are going to keep watching TNA when they notice that all the ECW guys aren't there after that one night? If you fail to keep one of every five new viewers who bought that pay per view you have failed as a company to help your brand get out there.

Look at the UFC. On the same weekend they put up Chael Sonnen vs Anderson Silva. Now Anderson's past few performances had been spotty at best; a lot of hardcore UFC fans turned off their televisions after his last fight against Damien Maia swearing to God they would never....NEVER buy another UFC card with Anderson Silva as the headliner.

This left UFC with a huge dilemma. On one hand you don't want to alienate fans by putting him out as a headliner. On the other hand, he is still the UFC Middleweight champion so you can't exactly put him down too far without pissing him off. But you have one weapon, one guy that could save the next Anderson Silva fight from disaster; Chael Sonnen, a man with a bigger mouth than anyone in the mixed martial arts world. And to their credit UFC saw this, they gave Chael the ball and let him run with it by doing what he does best, running his mouth. Suddenly people got re-energized to see Anderson Silva fight. Whether it was because they believed that Sonnen presented a real threat or they just wanted to see Sonnen shut up for good by "The Spider" didn't matter, UFC had its buy rate and gave a huge kick in the crotch to those in the WWE and TNA.

Why? Because they had beaten them at their own game.

Say what you want about how wrestling is fake (I do apologize if I did shatter the myth for anyone reading this) and mixed martial arts is real but UFC succeeds in something that has driven wrestling since the halcyon days of Frank Gotch and George Hackenschmidt, and they now do it better than the wrestling companies themselves. I've always called it Booking 101: Get two guys together, give them a solid reason for people to want to pay money to see them fight and then sit back and watch that sweet, sweet cash roll in.

UFC 117 Silva vs Sonnen is probably going to do close to 1 million buys. 1 MILLION buys. Compare that to a typical WWE pay per view, which can't draw 200 thousand, and a TNA pay per view, which if you believe the NEWZ~!sheets, can't draw 10 thousand. Sure a lot of people prefer MMA to wrestling, and a lot of people are sick of the WWE's PG-13 push, but that doesn't make up a 5 times margin. The fact is UFC is now in professional wrestling's house and it does a better job at booking than wrestling does, a fact that will continue well into the foreseeable future.

Finally though, I want to go back in this column to where I started, the 5th anniversary of WrestleCrap Radio. While there are great accolades that are fully deserved for the guys who put forth the program we all love, there's another bunch of guys who's dedication has also added to the appeal of Wrestlecrap Radio. The Co-Historians of wrestlecrapradio.com Farmer Iggy and Premier Blah, the two of them have shown true love and dedication in creating this here website for the purpose of keeping the record of the show we all love, a process that continues to this day with Blah taking time every week to take the notes and add to the record of shows every week. While he may complain and make little snarky comments in his reviews, [What you calling little? - PB] the dedication he shows shows the love he does have for the show. At least I think deep down he loves the show more than he lets on and like the show itself, his recaps are always entertaining, and just as the show has been entertaining so has this site, and long may both continue to be entertaining in the future.

And before you ask. No I'm not just sucking up to keep my job. Although I do accepts gifts, praise, maybe the odd cash payment.

It's worth a shot anyway.

Clarence "Showstealer" Mason

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