Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Viewer's Choice: Either Go Full on or Don't Do It at All

Power to the people my  hairy white ass
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Last year, I was convinced most of the selections for the Viewer's Choice RAW were rigged, or if they weren't rigged, the choices were contrived in such a way that there was only one choice that could win. Then, for the main event, the dream match scenario of John Cena vs. Rey Mysterio came up, and the WWE Universe fanbase proved me wrong and voted for CM Punk. The resulting match produced one of the most surreal moments in 2010, as the Nexus debuted and not only laid waste to Cena but to the heel Punk and his Straight Edge Society henchmen. It was there that I was convinced that the voting, at least last year, was legit, because there was no way that they didn't want Rey, their other cash cow babyface, to be the other beatdown victim from the new marauding stable of rookie malcontents. Of course, I still maintain Punk was the better option all along because it reinforced that the Nexus really wasn't going to take shit from anyone, bad guy or good. It also provided delicious irony for later in the year when Punk assumed control of the group from Wade Barrett, but that's fodder for a whole other blog post.

So, I thought we'd see more of the same last night, right? Gimme choices, followed by maybe a poll where Zack Ryder was involved in and won despite being the guy who was clearly sent in as "fodder". Yeah, then Mason Ryan was selected as an opponent for Evan Bourne over Sin Cara. I wanted to see that match just for the lulz, but at the same time, I knew there was no way that the fans would have turned down the opportunity to see Bourne and nee-Mistico make the 4th of July come early, especially for a musclehead who is still learning how to work.

Well, turns out I was right. WWE posted a press release on their website saying that voting was "inaccurate" and that choices weren't reflective of what the fans wanted. On one hand, it'd be stupid to think that a staged performance would leave the show up to chance. On the other hand, when you promise "Power to the People" and don't deliver, it's just another bait and switch. For those who were born yesterday, bait and switch tactics are bad form.

Honestly, if they wanted Mason Ryan to obliterate Evan Bourne, then there was no need to get the fans' hopes up to do it. Yeah, they're probably going to have a make-good match on Smackdown between the two high-flyers, but it's not the same at all. You don't need to be a psychologist to figure out that people like to have a say in things, whether they deserve to or not. Why else do 50+ million vote in American Idol each year? Hell, why do you think people risk their lives for democracy? When you transparently act as if that choice doesn't matter, and then later on in the week blatantly tell them that it didn't, then you make for a lot of angry people. Angry people aren't great customers.

Granted, I doubt the WWE is going to lose a lot of business over this, but it's the general principle. If they keep doing things like this, or like advertising a dark match main event and giving them Mark Henry standing in the ring looking all pissed off looking for Sin Cara, then they risk alienating some fans. If I were them, I'm not sure I'd be in the business of intentionally alienating anyone. Sure, no decision they make is going to be 100% popular, but fucking with people is never a good idea.

So, here's what they should do next year. If they do Viewer's Choice again, then actually have contingencies for every option the fans may choose. If not, and if they have a specific booking plan in place, then don't fucking do Viewer's Choice. It's as simple as that. I don't want to hear 3 hours of John Lennon singing "power to the people" and feel like it's a lie. Throw me a bone or don't tease it. It's as simple as that.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

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