Russo: Relying On Old Names To Pop A Rating

Can you imagine if you were the fan of a struggling sports team that's been playing under .500 ball for way too long? Your home team has brought up prospect, after prospect throughout the course of a decade but none has provided the spark/talent needed in order to get your team over the hump? So, with little to no options your home team decides to bring back a slugger, or ace, from the past hoping to pump some new life into the team and maybe sell an additional ticket, or two?

No, that's never really happened, has it? I know Air Jordan attempted it a few years back, but with time catching up to him it just wasn't the same. I mean, how can it be the same? How could any organization rely on a retired veteran to come in and point their company in the right direction when the glory years of that superstar are far behind him? Not the stars fault . . . it's just . . . well . . . time for them to be a spectator.

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With that being said, Bill Goldberg did about as well as he could do upon his return to the WWE this past week. Goldberg looked great, cut a hell of a promo and still had the intensity that he was always known for. Fact is---Goldberg knocked it out of the park. However, this really isn't about Bill Goldberg . . . is it? Rather it's about a company, the WWE, that has to rely over, and over, and over again, on bringing back familiar faces from the past in order to generate some new business and hopefully get some viewers back. The WWE clearly achieved both goals. The numbers were up and fans were rejuvenated to see their hero return.

But, exactly, what is taken from all this. Why is it always Triple H, the Rock, Mick Foley or Chris Jericho that always needs to return in order to gain a short-lived WWE BUZZ. The answer is simple, Vince McMahon has clearly has forgotten how to get people "over". Fact is, he really hasn't gotten anybody from mid-card to main event in YEARS. Nobody has reached the status of a Rock, or an Austin in the last 15 years with the exception of John Cena. In my opinion . . . no one has even come close with the exception of Brock who achieved that status simply because he's a freak of nature. And, I'm not going to go through the list of all the other names. To me, you are over when you become a HOUSEHOLD name, even in the homes of those who aren't wrestling fans. Everybody knows who John Cena is. Nobody, outside of wrestling fans, have a clue to the identity of Ambrose, Styles, Zayn or Owens. NOBODY. Part of that may be on them . . . most of it on the boss--Vince.

I just finished watching the first "in-ring" episode of Rocky Mountain Pro last night, with all the great athletes from the company. The show is only 45 minutes long. By the time we got to the main event, we clearly knew who the participants were through character building vignettes that we saw beforehand. Even being the first show, people could "pick a side". Whose side do you pick when the cruiserweights come out? If they cut a promo, all they talk about is winning the match. Truth is---it's vanilla and nobody gives a [email protected]#$%.

If you're not getting people over to the MASSES, you will NEVER grow your company, or the industry. You will remain status quo until even your loyals get bored with the same-old, same-old. The WWE has been status quo for literally years, and that is why I made the decision to no longer make RAW and SMACKDOWN part of my shows on The RELM Network and PodcastOne. I'm bored with it, and have been for years.

Vince, if you've forgotten how to get people over, give me a jingle and I'll explain to you how Ed Ferrara and myself did it. If not . . . there's always the Royal Rumble and Shawn Michaels.

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