Eric Bischoff has an interesting take on Jinder Mahal’s sudden push out of nowhere.
On a recent episode of his podcast, Bischoff said that one benefit of the WWE Network is that it gives the company a lot of data about who watches certain things on the Network. That data, coupled with information gathered about Network viewership all over the world, seemed to have influenced WWE enough to try giving Mahal a title program.
“I think one of the real values in that infrastructure (the WWE Network) is not so much the obvious. Meaning, it’s not just that they’ve got two million subscribers to the WWE Network and that generates x amount of dollars. What they really have, at the core of all of that, is the ability to do internal research. They can subtly and discreetly reach out to their database who are all WWE fans in different parts of the world. They can ask questions. They can basically do qualitative research and find out what people want to see in certain markets. I don’t know this for a fact but that’s what I would do. If I had that data I would be zeroing in on specific markets where I knew I could make money. Either because I knew there was an advertising market in that community or I knew there was a live event market I wanted to be in. Whatever strategic or technical reason I would zero in on that market and I would find ways to reach out to my database and I would engage them. I would ask them what they want to see, how they want to see, what their preferences were and what their reactions were to certain things I had already been doing. I would engage them in a way that would help me make really smart decisions. So you’re not constantly throwing stuff up against the wall and hoping it sticks. You are actually making decisions on great research. I’m guessing that is probably what WWE is doing and if it’s a big surprise that Jinder Mahal has all of a sudden come out of nowhere I would suspect there is some data that supports that decision.”
Mahal recently won a six-pack challenge on SmackDown to become the #1 challenger to the WWE Championship, currently held by Randy Orton, shortly after being moved from Raw to SmackDown Live during the recent Superstar Shakeup.
You can listen to Bischoff's podcast at this link.