Draw, pardner

The question about Savage’s drawing power got me thinking about who can legimately considered a draw… there are obvious ones like Hogan, Andre, Austin, Rock, Flair etc. Etc. But i was wondering your opinions on a few guys who have claimed to be draws or called so by others. I could list off many names but i picked these 10 1) LOD/Road Warriors HELL YEAH.  They were main eventers in the AWA and basically carried the entire promotion on their back for a while.  Everywhere they went, they boosted houses.  Until they got killed off in the 90s.  2) Vader
Yes in Japan, less so in WCW.  His main title run in 93 was not exactly a stellar time for the company.  3) Scott Hall in the Razor Ramon gimmick
He was never really in a position to draw on his own, but he did OK when he headlined WWF house shows against guys like Jarrett.  4) Dibiase Again, never really in a position to draw on his own, but his series against Hogan and then Savage in 88 did big business, and he headlined the C tour with Dusty for a good run as well.  So yeah, for a while there, I’d say so.  5) Sgt. Slaughter
Definitely in the 80s.  Both the feud with him and Kernodle against Steamboat/Youngblood and then the Sheik stuff in the WWF.  6) Mick Foley Not according to Tony Schiavone.  7) Demolition
Not really much in the way of evidence one way or another.  8) Sid
Nope, major bomb as champion and drew one of the smallest buyrates for Wrestlemania in history.  9) New Age Outlaws Never in a position to draw on their own, so it’s hard to say.  They did great ratings numbers, though.  10) Honky Tonk Man Yup.  Drew houses for months as champion. 

Savage as a draw

Scott –

Something I've always wondered: what kind of a draw was Randy Savage during his first year-long reign as WWF World champion? When Savage won the title at WMIV, was the plan always to have a year-long burn to losing the belt back to Hogan at WMV, or was that a decision made later?  Even if Hogan regaining the title was always the plan, what kind of numbers was Savage drawing as champion?

​I kind of thought we had covered this already, but I always enjoy talking about Savage and this is a quick and easy one.
Yes, they had the Hogan win planned from the moment Savage got the title.  He was always going to be getting it for the year and then dropping it back to Hogan.  And although he wasn't Hogan as a draw, he was still a giant star who sold out arenas against Ted Dibiase for months, and in particular caught fire at the tail end of his title reign after the heel turn.  He wasn't a flop like Warrior by any means, and I'd say he would be analogous to someone like John Cena, where business went down when he wasn't around but never really took the company to the next level or anything.  That being said, Summerslam 88 did 500K buys, which would be Wrestlemania-level today, and doing a scan of house shows from 88 shows that Savage-headlined B shows were doing between 7000-12000 people depending on the market whereas the C-shows were doing 2000-3000 (usually with some combo of Jake Roberts or Rick Rude or Jim Duggan on top).  So that's pretty definitive evidence that he was a big draw.  

Draw at Fast Lane?

Hi Scott,

Could the DB vs RR match at Fast Lane end in a draw? If the match ended with a double count-out (hypothetically), the WWE could then declare either:

A) Triple threat match at Mania

or

B) Wrestlemania 10 set up where the Brock vs Roman winner fights Daniel Bryan in the main event.

I'd say because the triple threat match occurred last year, that they should  go with the WM 10 set up.

Your thoughts?

​I'm very over the whole triple threat idea.  If they want to push Bryan, they should just have him win his spot and then beat Brock.  If they don't, then further stringing people along is only going to make them angrier.  The #1 contender match at Fast Lane is manipulative enough as it is.  ​

Bret Hart vs Daniel Bryan as a draw


Hey Scott,
I was just wondering if you could chime in on a debate that's been going on today on the blog. People have been debating whether or not Bryan is more popular now than Bret and Shawn ever were and that led into a discussion about whether or not Bret was a draw and if the actual down turn in WWF business was his fault for not drawing.
So 1) do you think Bryan is more popular than Shawn or Bret in the 90's
2) Do you consider those guys "draws" for keeping the WWF alive and enjoyable in the mid 90's or are there short comings (and not the growth of wcw/steriod scandals/loss of hogan and savage) to be at blame for the down swing in business.
Thanks!
I don't think Bryan is more popular because house show business hasn't gone up with him on top, whereas Bret won the title from Diesel in 95 and immediately the numbers went up noticeably.  Plus Bret was a legitimate mainstream sports star worldwide.  It's hard to do any other kind of comparison, though, because the business is completely different now and operates on a different model.  It doesn't matter who's a draw on top because people are only there to be part of the show or see John Cena.  You could argue that hijacking the show on behalf of Bryan has become as much of a part of the show as watching him wrestle, but that would send the debate too far down the rabbit hole even for me.  
So my stance:  No, Bryan is not more popular.  

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.  

NXT a Draw?

Hey Scott- In a follow up to the "why is NXT a better show" question, do you think that if NXT was in the spot Raw as in now (with the current existing Raw talent but booked the same way as NXT with the more concentrated show) would it be more successful? The same? Do you think your enjoyment of NXT comes from a place as a longtime wrestling enthusiast or do you think given the same level of promotion and star power as Raw that NXT could be the a suitable replacement for the current product?

Oh no, no, no.  Most of the charm of the show is that the characters and workers are NOWHERE near ready for prime time and you're watching them learn and improve as they go along.  Tyler Breeze has been turning into a standout character as we've watched, for instance.  But the show is so great because it's simply booked and basically just exists in their own little side-dimension.  Were you to do the same thing with the people on RAW, the ratings would crater because the audience has been trained to react to a totally different type of SPORTZ ENTERTAINMENT.  NXT is for us cranky old farts who long for the return of World Championship Wrestling at 8:05 EST on TBS.  

HHH As A Draw

Given the explosion of comments in the Brock thread, I can say that HHH is certainly a draw on the blog.  So let's keep beating that dead horse!
The whole "HHH is not a draw" fallacy really was shot down by Meltzer a few years back, when looking at the historical records of guys like Bruno and Hogan in MSG and the like.  Basically because HHH was on top of the company for such an ungodly long period of time (1999-2007 or so we'll say) he piled up a very large cumulative attendance figure, where yeah, Austin headlined for 20,000 people a night for 3 years and then left, but HHH did it for 10,000 people a night for close to 10 years, that kind of thing.  Really, just by virtue of being a top guy for so long and never leaving, HHH ended up nearly on top of the all-time drawing card list.  Which isn't to say that Austin coming back and headlining a stadium show is going to draw as many people as HHH headlining a stadium show.  Obviously guys like Hogan and Austin and Rock are much bigger draws in their own contexts.  But for sheer volume, HHH is right up there.