Crowd Reactions

Hi Scott, My question isn't really about whether the WWE product is any good or not (although the answer might be relating to it), so here goes: what's up with crowd reactions during matches lately? By lately I'm focusing on the last year or so. What I mean is that I see some guys come out and get good reactions…but then no one seems to care about them during the matches; like, people don't pop for anything they do in the ring. At least is doesn't feel like they do. Case in point, all these main eventer guys now. The shield alums, Bray Wyatt, even lower tier guys like Neville (whom fans seem to care about, and love his finisher, but he was getting the shit kicked out of him a couple of weeks ago and I could hear crickets). All these guys get great pops when their entrance music hits, but as soon as matches start, no one gives a shit. Eventually audiences come around once the match has hit almost 15 minutes or so, on Raw I mean. But where does that initial pop go during the match? Is it an issue with people just not being stimulated by the actual action anymore, and really just liking the concept of the characters? Or is it a generational thing, or an overstimulation thing with so much wrestling programming they're probably consuming on the network, or maybe even other networks if they're smarks and watch njpw or lucha underground? Just curious if you have any opinion or have noticed it at all in the last couple of years or maybe even decade.   Yup, we (the collective “we” on the blog) have definitely noticed it, and it’s a major symptom of the three-hour RAWs that are completely burning out crowds in general.  It’s just too much wrestling for fans to pay attention to.  And WWE isn’t helping, because their solution is to deflect blame onto specific cities (“Oh, that’s just because it’s City X…”) while we get week after week of dead crowds.  I think the specific problem with the matches is part of the same problem we got during the Attitude Era, or more accurately during the Russo era:  Crowds are trained not to care about anything until it’s time for the run-in or DQ or whatever, and so they don’t.  For example, on RAW there was a Ziggler match where Lana came out near the start, so the crowd knew not to care until she got involved for the finish.  The problem is less obvious on PPVs because typically they do more clean finishes there, but RAW has been plagued with epic shit finishes for a while now, to the point where “Kane finish” is going to become as ubiquitous as “distraction finish” it feels like.  

BB16 – Christine Crowd Reaction

Hi Scott,

What in the world was that reaction?  That had to be the worst exit reaction we have ever seen on the show – surpassing even the racists from last season!  Does America find flirting while married to be more despicable than racist jokes and comments?

Were you as shocked to this reaction as I was? It caught me completely off-guard.

​Now that I've actually seen the episode…
I was pretty shocked because I know the feedsters really hate Christine but didn't think it was gonna be some Hester Prynne-level slut-shaming stuff.  Maybe the audience was really into the sanctity of marriage?  
Also, worst double-elimination episode ever. So boring.
Also, Victoria for the win, just because it would be HILARIOUS.  ​

Is the crowd a draw?

I pretty much quit watching WWE over the summer for the first time in a long time, but have continued reading your RAW recaps and seeing occasional things on social media, etc.  Ever since the Royal Rumble, I have found myself watching at least a portion of RAW every week in anticipation of the "WWE Universe" hijacking the show.  Any time Batista is on TV, I put down the remote and it's got nothing to do with him.  It goes without saying I've got Monday's RAW from Chicago already set to record.

Am I the only person who is compelled to watch the current product solely to hear the fans crap on it?  Because to me the ONLY compelling question about WrestleMania is "Will the crowd hijack the main event?"  But it's still enough to get me to watch the show.

I do kind of wonder if Punk returning on Monday will be something of a disappointment for people waiting for the giant trainwreck to occur.  Even moreso if they actually manage to save the Wrestlemania main event by putting Punk into it as a three-way and putting him over.  

How to win the crowd back for Batista


Instead of coming up with creative backstage segments and camera/audio tricks to mask the negative crowd reaction to Batista, why doesn't WWE take the path of least resistance to getting Batista's babyface heat back? Create a situation in which Daniel Bryan is getting beat up by some Authority goons and have Batista make the save. Or have Bryan team up with Batista in tag match, or have Bryan talk up Batista as his good friend, or have Batista say when he wins the title at WM he's going to give Bryan the first shot. Basically use Bryan to get Batista over again. Seems easy enough, right?

The fact that they haven't done this yet makes me believe WWE is really planning to turn Batista heel and have him feud with Bryan, either before or after WrestleMania, which is why they're keeping them separate for now. Thoughts?

You'd be wasting Bryan on him.  I'd actually have Hulk Hogan make the save and do the posedown routine with Bryan to give him the rub in the same way he did with Edge in 02.  Fans would see right through the babyface act if Batista was doing it and would just keep booing him anyway.  Trust me, they tried it already a million times with John Cena and it never works.  

Working the Crowd

With all these hostile fans lately, it might behoove HHH and Orton to watch this classic masterclass in dealing with a hostile crowd:

But seriously, how great was that promo? 

Yeah, but people LIKED Shawn and were willing to forgive him being a massive troll to them.  I don't think Hunter or Orton would get that kind of leeway.  
Shawn was really brilliant in that whole Hogan feud, though.

Night After WrestleMania Crowd

> Over the last couple of years, we've seen that the die hard fans who have traveled from all over to come to WrestleMania stick around for the following night's Raw.


> If the Royal Rumble was a harsh lesson in crowd psychology, what the hell are we going to get the night after WrestleMania if anybody but Daniel Bryan walks into that building with the WWE Title?


Greatest WWE Crowd Reactions – Part 1 – WWE Top 20

Some REALLY good choices here.  Frankly I’m kind of excited to see what they picked for the top 10 next week.  If we’re confining it to WWE matches, then I’d have to think Stone Cold’s run-in during the Rock-Mankind title switch is #1 by a wide margin because that was one of the loudest noises of any kind, wrestling crowds or otherwise.

Crowd reactions at WM for Rock & Cena

I have no interest in watching Rock/Cena wrestle again. But I am actually interested to see how the NYC/WrestleMania crowd reacts. So what do you think is going to happen?

I ask because I think the NYC crowd is going to be 100% behind Rocky. I was at Raw Monday night in DC (and THANK GOD the tix were free) and it was like 90-95% against Cena. A far cry from the rough 50-50 split at the last WWE show I went to.

Yeah, you'll note they're not even putting up the facade of "Team Edward/Team Jacob" this year.  Cena is clearly going to get booed out of the stadium and will hopefully play heel to adjust.  
Far more intriguing to me is the Brock-HHH reactions, because it's a market where people love someone like Brock, and HHH doesn't generally deal well with crowds reacting to him differently than he tells them.  That one could get ugly.