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WWE and Social Media: Not Taking Advantage

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​At first, I grimaced at the thought of Twitter’s influence on professional wrestling. I had every right to grimace, especially when you consider many of our favorite grapplers use the social media website as a means to get into petty fights with each other. There are times when Twitter is used in wrestling to help rivalries along, since it can give a feud more of a personal aspect, but other times the combatants come off as immature. If I wanted to see people air their thoughts in a middle school girl-like fashion, I will gladly indulge in the heinous, grammar-deprived messages from my yearbook.

At first, I grimaced at the thought of Twitter’s influence on professional wrestling. I had every right to grimace, especially when you consider many of our favorite grapplers use the social media website as a means to get into petty fights with each other. There are times when Twitter is used in wrestling to help rivalries along, since it can give a feud more of a personal aspect, but other times the combatants come off as immature. If I wanted to see people air their thoughts in a middle school girl-like fashion, I will gladly indulge in the heinous, grammar-deprived messages from my yearbook.

In all seriousness, WWE’s use of social media should be a big help since it gives the company a greater chance to interact with their fans. It’s just a shame that the company doesn’t take advantage of this.

WrestleMania 28 took place a little more than a week ago and the Miami crowd made certain that it was heard from the word, “go.” The event kicked off with a title match, the challenger Sheamus squaring off against the World Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan. Now, I am a fan of both men. I think Sheamus is one of the best big man wrestlers in recent memory and Bryan’s wrestling prowess and experience is apparent to anyone who has seen him compete. I was hyped to see two of my favorite current stars wrestle in what would be, no doubt, a clinic. The clinic ended with one kick to the face – and one new World Champion – in eighteen seconds.

It is difficult to clearly convey my feelings about this match without dropping many foul-mannered words consisting of four letters each. When you make a pay-per-view event, you want to make sure your crowd is hyped once the first match ends; it sets the tone for the rest of the show. To have a new champion crowned in under a minute is insulting to your audience, as you basically think very little of those who watch your product. Of course, the Miami crowd would have none of it and they started to chant the fallen champion’s name throughout the show.

The Daniel Bryan support train did not stop there, though, as the tracks continued on throughout the week. On the Monday night show, RAW, Bryan was constantly chanted for throughout and was only given a chance to truly wrestle during a dark match only the live crowd could see. People around the world continued to cry foul in terms of Bryan’s mistreatment and it seemed, to me, that it was the perfect way for the WWE brass to make a star out of him. Fan reaction is important; it helped build such stars as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock and even current poster boy, John Cena, got where he is at today because of crowd reception, for better or worse.

For some reason, WWE did not see to make an Austin-like star out of Bryan. Instead, on the taped SmackDown show that would televise on Friday, his chants and cheers are edited out and boos are laid over them. The crowd was no longer chanting the man’s name and instead they were vehemently against him, at least that’s how it seemed to those who don’t know better. Did you know that the live SmackDown crowd cheered when Bryan dumped his storyline girlfriend, AJ, in a move that would typically garner what the wrestling business refers to as, “heat?”

Bryan has had copious amounts of success, both in WWE as well as the independent promotions he would wrestle in; he is a reliable performer. Is it because he’s 5 feet 9 inches tall, a less than desired height for a wrestler? Is it because he accentuates wrestling skill over acting ability? Is it because WWE owner, Vince McMahon, did not create Bryan like he did such stars as The Rock or Sheamus? I think McMahon should swallow his pride and actually listen to people on social media sites. Bryan is money and it’s wrong that the company is cheating itself out of the next main event player.

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