Bruce Prichard: WWE Used Smart Fans As Barometer In The 90s By Doing The Opposite Of What They Liked

Nowadays, social media is so ever-present that a single hashtag can Trend globally and start a movement. However, that wasn't always the case and perhaps no single entertainment entity has had to adapt more to the modern-age than WWE.

On the WrestleMania 11 episode of Bruce Prichard's Something to Wrestle podcast, Prichard explains that the opinion of the “smart fan” was not an overwhelming one back in 1995 and the only times they would use such an opinion would be to get a handle on what that segment of the audience didn't enjoy so they knew what they were doing right. According to Bruce Prichard, if that audience didn't like something, then that means it was extremely successful for what the then-WWF was trying to accomplish.

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“Even though it is a minority, the online presence, there wasn't that presence at this point in time,” Bruce began. “There wasn't a loud, boisterous group who would bitch and moan about every single thing that you did. You know, we would use as a barometer a lot of times whether or not that vocal minority in the dirt sheet group-- if they liked something, that usually meant we did something wrong. If they hated it, that usually meant it was extremely successful. So they were hating [Diesel as a babyface with Shawn Michaels as a heel] and we thought, 'Okay, well, this should be pretty good.'"

Currently, Bruce Prichard is the Executive Producer in charge of the Friday Night SmackDown brand. He took over that role from the inaugural Executive Producer, Eric Bischoff.

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