he Hot Topic: Britain Is Better Part 2 And More!

Brian Einhaus

Robbie T is back and raring to go after a few weeks of crappy health… so that means it’s time for another THT!!!

As ever we start with my observations on recent events..

Taboo Tuesday was chosen by the fans? hmm… would they have chosen a guy who they KNEW from reports was injured?

Jericho is no longer IC champ… PLEASE trade him to SMACKDOWN…NOW!! Spare us JBL any longer!!

Kudos to the McMahon’s for the aftershow “leaving party” for Pat Patterson, and for stopping Trips attending… It is a sad moment for WWE, not only was he their longest serving employee, but a great “match man”… It is sad that Trips’s opinion seems worth more than Pat’s… WWE will be the worse off…

Onto my main topic, which is based off of a great column by my new WZ colleauge Trevor Lane… If you have not read it already, read his “British Is Better” column, before you read on here!!

WWE RAW and Smackdown in the UK was a massive event in the UK, not only cos it had never occured before, but it was a rare chance to experience WWE action before it’s usual audience…

Imagine this scenario… You want to watch a WWE PPV, say Wrestlemania… it’s Sunday Night, about 9 o’ clock, you go to bed, knowing you are up at 1 to watch the show, and not sleeping again till 5… and you have to work at 9 in the morning…

That is the reality for UK/European fans of WWE… Admittedly, we do not pay for as many PPV’s as the US market, 8 out of the traditional 12 are free, with only the Royal Rumble being one of the “big 4” that are PPV in the UK…

But…before you consider our lives rosy… we likely have to either miss work, or feel like crap through sleep deprivation, the following day, which has a bigger cost than a PPV fee…as Trevor found to his cost… The role is reversed if you live in Europe…for EVERY WWE PPV!

For a dedicated WWE fan, till now, once per month, a Sunday/Monday would consist of this, to see a PPV “live” you stay up late, feel like crud the next day for the privilage. If you want to watch RAW, you give up Friday night out at the pub, and to watch SD you get up early saturday morning!

As Trevor noted in his column “the fans in the UK were rabid maniacs…It must have been fun for the WWE stars to wrestle in front of such an enthusiastic audience”.

The audience at RAW and Smackdown were rabid for simple reasons, first off, this was our first experience of “real” WWE action since One Night Only… WWE’s last attempt at a serious PPV… Since WWE has basically brought House Show’s dressed as PPV’s over to the UK..but for the first time since Summerslam 1992, this set of shows put the UK in the driver’s seat, we saw it before the traditional “core” audience, the US market… Part of the rabid response was down to this fact, sad as it may sound…for once, we had a show YOU wanted to see… not the other way around!

But more to the point, we were experiencing WWE as those on the “other side of the pond” do routinely every show…in your own time, with no worries of late bedtimes or missing work (unless you get drunk!) even a “house show” level card takes on a different meaning if you can have a good meal before, a few beers and enjoy without worrying how you will explain it to the boss in the morning…

One point that Trevor made that was especially astute was the link to football…WWE scored somewhat of an “own goal” by havinbg Stacy wrestle in a Man Utd shirt… they went for the “hometown” rather than the nation…if they had had her in an England shirt… guys like me (who support other teams) would not have felt alienated, cos the hottie we came to see, was wearing our “enemies” colours…. however there is another link that makes WWE in particular so popular with UK audiences… If you delve into our TV ratings, you will see that Soap Operas, EastEnders, Coronation St, Emmerdale are the top rated shows other than Sporting events… If England play a football match, it equates to around 18m viewers, the same as a “good” episode of one of the shows mentioned… So WWE is perfect for a UK audience… it offers the storyline aspect of soaps, and the crowd participation of a sports event… While I hate admitting to watching EastEnders, I have no qualms admitting I watch WWE… In reality they are the same kind of show, a serial, with characters who’s lives advance through time…just geared more to guys…

WWE is in a wonderful position with it’s UK expansion plans, it has the chance to create a viable new territory, in the way that the original WWWF had the North of America… Somewhere they can send shows every 2-3 months, that will sell out provided they treat the fans with respect… what UK fans need to see are “world shaking” moments, title changes, not teased ones like Regal and Eugene’s tag win of a week ago.. If every UK show is a “must attend” cos something big will happen… then WWE is onto a winner!

Ask Rob is still open for business, you need to send your questions to robwilltaylor@hotmail.com or THT@wrestlezone.com

I look forward to hearing from you all soon!

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