For the last 18 months, ratings for their TV programming have been falling week-by-week, several contracted talent have become increasingly unhappy with their role in the company, and more recently a new rival promotion with a billionaire owner have made waves in the wrestling industry, which could compete with them in the near future. So should the hierarchy at WWE start to worry about their product? And what can they do to get out of this situation.
For the first time in the show’s history, WWE Raw’s ratings fell to less than two million viewers, with a viewership of only 1.97 million. To put this into context, WWE averaged four million weekly viewers back in 2002, and the way the current product is going, that number is in danger of decreasing further.
The main issue that the current WWE product currently has is it’s inability to create legitimate megastars. The last megastar who carried the company on their back was John Cena, but now he has moved onto pastures new in Hollywood, it’s time for WWE to turn to someone else. WWE tried to build a new megastar in Roman Reigns over the last five years, but the fans didn’t take to Reigns as the top guy, and his monster push came to an end in October 2018 when Reigns left the company to receive treatment for his returning Leukemia. At this time it seems they are trying to mold Seth Rollins as the next megastar, and fans are taking to him better than Reigns. So fingers crossed for Rollins that he becomes the next face of WWE.
Another Issue that poses WWE at the moment is the resounding number of wrestlers that are contracted to WWE. The company has over 300 wrestlers under contract. Which means that several superstars aren’t getting the TV time that they’d like. This is making talent disgruntled and wanting out of WWE, leading to the exits of Dean Ambrose, Tye Dillinger, Hideo Itami and Goldust, with The Revival, Gallows and Anderson and Sasha Banks reportedly unhappy with their position in the company.
To make things worse for WWE’s current situation, a new wrestling promotion is now in town in All Elite Wrestling. So far AEW has put on two knockout Pay-per-views with All in and Double or Nothing. AEW will also have a weekly episodic TV shows in October, and if they continue their momentum for the next year, WWE could be in serious trouble of losing even more viewers. Which could see the return of the Monday night Wars from the late 90’s/ early 00’s, which would surely bump ratings for both companies.