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5 things the WWE needs to do to improve ratings in 2019

Wrestlers lined up at WWE Raw
5 things the WWE needs to do to improve ratings in 2019. Pic credit: WWE

Heading into the end of 2018 and the WWE is watching their two weekly shows — Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live — reach historically low ratings for the company.

In a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez was talking about the ratings and the WWE’s plans for 2019.

According to Alvarez, the WWE has what they call a “master plan” to raise the ratings again and this plan should start to turn ratings around again in the new year.

While the entire plan is unclear at this time, Alvarez said that this is a “big event” and it will happen in January.

“Apparently, they have some sort of idea and they think it’s all turning around in January and that the ratings in January are going to be good again,” Alvarez said. “The show is going to be better and something big is going to happen.”

While that is all good and well, something has to change. Here is a look at 5 things the WWE needs to do to improve ratings in 2019.

Listen to the fans

WWE fan holds up a sign
The first thing the WWE needs to do is listen to the fans. Pic credit: WWE

The fans are loud and they always let the WWE know what is working and what isn’t working. However, the WWE often seems to ignore these same fans.

For years, the fans booed Roman Reigns but the WWE kept pushing him as the face of the company, ignoring the fans boos.

Now, the WWE is booking an authority figure angle that fans have turned on … not because they hate the heels but because they hate the storyline itself.

The only way to bring back the fans and the only way the WWE can improve ratings in 2019 is to start to listen to the audience more.

Limit authority figure importance

Standing up to Baron Corbin in the ring
The WWE should limit the importance of the autority angle. Pic credit:  WWE

The biggest storyline on WWE Monday Night Raw is the authority angle with Baron Corbin as the acting general manager.

Now, there is the argument that fans today are too short-sighted to even appreciate the storyline. Corbin has to abuse his power for the fans to care about him losing it.

The problem is that Corbin is unable to recreate the magic of a Mr. McMahon or Eric Bischoff. He isn’t even able to recreate the magic of Big John Laurenitis.

Baron Corbin is very similar to Stephanie McMahon when she was the acting authority figure and the fans just don’t care because it is too one-sided. It is time to back away from the strongarmed general manager somewhat if the WWE wants to improve ratings in 2019.

Have champions that are full-time wrestlers

Brock Lesnar makes a rare appearance with his title belt
WWE fans have not enjoyed Brock Lesnar’s title reign because he’s never around. Pic credit: WWE

One of the things that fans really seem to hate is a part-timer holding the biggest title in the WWE.

That is Brock Lesnar, and as long as he is the Universal Champion, there is no major title on Monday Night Raw to promote.

As much as fans hated Roman Reigns chasing the title, at least when he was champion for that short period in 2018, he was there every week with his title and even defended it on television.

If the WWE world champion is not on Monday Night Raw every week, why should fans care to tune in since the biggest title in the company is never even talked about on television?

Pay attention to the women

The women of WWE can get just as rough as the men
The women of the WWE need to get more credit. Pic credit:  WWE

It seems strange. As the WWE heads into their TLC pay-per-view, there is very little talk about the men.

While Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles should steal the show and Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose is the biggest feud on the men’s side, those two matches are only getting part of the talk.

When Charlotte Flair fought Asuka on SmackDown Live and the match ended with those two women and champion Becky Lynch just destroying each other with kendo sticks, it was more exciting than anything the men have done heading into the event.

As a matter of fact, not even Dean Ambrose and Daniel Bryan’s heel turns matched up to the excitement that Becky Lynch developing an attitude did in the WWE.

Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Asuka have fans excited. How many men can say the same thing?

Relax the PG reigns somewhat

The attitude era was one of the best times for the WWE
The attitude era was one of the best times for the WWE. Pic credit: WWE

Whenever fans are asked what they think can help the WWE improve ratings in 2019, one of the main things they mention is bringing back the Attitude Era.

That will never happen.

The WWE would lose too much money in advertising revenue if they returned to the adult-oriented sex and violence of that era of wrestling.

However, looking at what the Becky Lynch era on SmackDown Live has done proves that loosening the reigns on the PG era can go a long way into getting fans excited again.

There doesn’t need to be gratuitous sex appeal and unlimited profanity, but upping the violence level somewhat and having the wrestlers cut promos that have more edge and are less scripted could be a perfect way to bring back fans.

What are your thoughts? What do you think the WWE needs to do to improve ratings in 2019?

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos

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