Just had a thought that never occurred to me before, and I wanted to run it by you and the BoD.
We historically conceptualize the notion of being a draw as someone who pops ratings when they show up. Ratings don't get popped, therefore no one in particular is a draw. People are loyal to the brand itself, and when ratings go up or down, it's because of the overall creative direction.
But, couldn't it be argued that a “draw” could just as easily be someone whose presence keeps current viewers from lapsing? People will say, “they haven't gained any new viewers, they don't have any draws.” But given that rosters really stay stagnant for years on end these days, it kind of obfuscates the power that certain wrestlers might have over longer time periods.
So can you think of any situations where someone could be considered a draw not because their arrival led to more eyes on the product, but rather because their absence resulted in fewer eyes, and/or viewership remained rather steady once they settled into their roles?
An example might be Shawn/Bret/Taker in the 90's. They didn't necessarily bring in new fans, but they did keep the ship afloat until people like Austin and Rock legitimately brought new eyes to the product. Same with Sting until the nWo and Goldberg.
I guess, but even though you can make all excuses for WWE today, Roman Reigns is a proven ratings draw this past year so it shows moreso that they just suck at making stars with everyone else.