Shore's Blog: Let's be honest, the Monday Night Raw crowd didn't really send WWE a message
By Chris Shore
It's been two days since the crowd in New Jersey decided to go into business for themselves. Much ado has been made about the crowd, both from a singularity and long term standpoint. Taken in a bubble, it was a lot of fun to watch. Every wrestling crowd is unique, both in what they like, and in how they react to what they like.
For two years in a row we have seen the post-Mania Raw crowd decide they liked something more than they were given. Last year in Miami it was Daniel Bryan and the "Yes!" chants. This year it was Fandango's theme. Whether Fandango's theme will catch on like the chant is yet to be known, though if the explosion of downloads in the UK is any indication, the answer is a clear "Yes!"
As to the long-term effects of the crowd, there are many who believe the crowd in NJ "sent a message" to WWE last night, and point to the Sheamus vs. Randy Orton match and "same old shit" chants as proof. But let's be honest here, while the crowd definitely said, "We don't like this," they did not in any way send a "nobody likes this" message to WWE.
Monday night, that crowd couldn't have possibly cared less about Sheamus vs. Randy Orton. The chants for other wrestlers started during this match and morphed into the Fandango signing, which was next. Reports indicate the mood was tense at the hotel bar after the show, especially with Sheamus--although it should be noted Sheamus did tweet about it jokingly the next day.
But as I already said, every crowd is unique, and this crowd proves that simply by its makeup. The post-Mania Raw is almost always attended by the most hardcore of fans. These are the people who use WrestleMania as a vacation and stick around for the grand finale in Raw. A "large group of UK fans" has been credited with starting most of the chants, something you probably won't see again until April 7 of next year--aside from the April 22 Raw, of course, which will be taped in London.
To believe that this one crowd, with such a diverse and different makeup than the average crowd, represents the WWE fan base as a whole is a bridge too far. No doubt they represent some portion of the fan base, but time and location skewed the sample in favor of the "smark" crowd--a term I mean no disrespect by. So while the crowd in NJ decided to go its own way--interestingly enough right at the start of the third hour--they did not speak for the general viewing audience because they were not comprised of the general viewing audience.
The crowd in Greenville, SC next week will more closely represent the true WWE viewing audience. I expect to see some Fandango singing, and maybe even a random chant or two. Wrestling crowds love to copy each other, that's why things like the "Yes!" chant catch on. But when Sheamus or Randy Orton step through the curtain, you can also expect the pop they didn't get in New Jersey. And that pop is the message WWE will hear.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
And read my first work of fiction: The Following Contest is a Dark Match available exclusively on ebook for all eReaders, smartphones, tablets, and PCs for only 99 cents.
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