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> There have been some notes from Chris Harrington and others regarding the drop in women watching Raw as compared to men. In the recent year-to-year declines it has hit women harder. Basically the key is this. When wrestling was at its most popular two decades ago, it was usually about a 70/30 men/women split, similar to most sports. Due to the popularity of Total Divas, the women’s had audience increased while the men’s audience decreased significantly. The split has noted by Raw and Smackdown breakdowns was closer to 60/40 once Total Divas got running. At times, there were even 50/50 splits and occasional shows where among teenagers, more girls than boys watched the show, although those instances were the exception, not the rule.
> What has happened this year is that Total Bellas and Total Divas have declined greatly in ratings, and thus, that women’s audience has also declined. It’s notable that this is taking place at a time when women are being treated as characters with more respect. The belief was that this change might help the women’s audience but could hurt the men’s audience, with the idea women want to see women treated respectably and as athletes rather than sex objects, but a lot of men watch the women only because they are hot and could care less if they could wrestle well or not. In fact, the opposite has happened. Really, I don’t think the portrayal of women is as much part of the decline in television numbers as much as just the product itself overall, and that all of television except some major sports and a few hot shows are declining.
> But the decline in Total Divas, probably because of the show being on for so many seasons and shows like that run out of steam, and perhaps a big part if the Cena/Nikki break up since it was their relationship that was the key driver, has led to fewer viewers, and that “new” women’s fan base is now declining significantly. The funny part of that decline is it came at the same time Ronda Rousey became a regular character on Raw, and she was a huge mover among women on her UFC PPV shows. That also says that while Rousey is popular with wrestling fans, that the Rousey MMA sports fan and older women fan base, did not follow her in significant numbers to WWE television. In the third quarter, in the 18-49 demo, as compared to the same July through September of 2017, Raw was down 19 percent with women, which is very significant, and five percent with men. Smackdown was down 13 percent with women and six percent with men
> There are those in the company pushing for the idea of the NXT TV show going two hours because they have so much talent, and to also increase the time of their Takeover shows. I could see the idea of two different one hour shows if one moves to a television platform as I’ve suggested in the past, and even could see a 90 minute show, but two hours seems like too much product. Similarly, the Takeover shows are the one thing in wrestling that isn’t broken and doesn’t need fixing. A key is that they already have one hour in the building before Takeover since they have to tape then next week of TV. So if they try and increase from 2:15 to 2:40 or so and go over three hours, you’re talking about a four plus hour live event, and that’s the night before a five to six hour live show
> Bryan and Brie Bella recently sold their home in Phoenix and have moved to San Diego for filming of the “Total Bellas” reality show, but in November they are looking at buying a new home in Phoenix and returning. Bryan also was mad on social media about the treatment of his wife. He basically said what we wrote in last week’s issue, in that sense that everyone in wrestling has accidentally hurt someone once or botched spots dozens of times and not received this kind of response, noting he once knocked out Orton with a kick and nobody said a word
> The real issue on that spot last week was not the accident, but the follow-up. Anyway, from someone in WWE regarding that incident last week, this is what came out regarding an investigation of sorts. The ref did not know Morgan was injured. He counted when Brie covered Morgan and Morgan did instinctively kicked out as it was a flash knockout and she immediately recovered. Brie talked to Morgan who talked back, so thinking she was at least somewhat okay and conscious, she tried to get her to the corner, and Morgan attempted to go to the corner but didn’t have her legs under her and stumbled. Brie then said “She’s out,” at this point, the ref, Logan, Riott, and Brie Bella were aware she was legit hurt. Riott tagged herself in at that point. Those backstage at Gorilla asked the ref what was going on, so they didn’t fully recognize it. Although to me, I did immediately and it felt like a lot of fans did, maybe not on the first kick, but it was pretty clear on the second kick that it landed brutally, and the second kick was not errant but that Morgan’s head dropped because she was rocked by the first one and as it fell, it fell right into Brie’s second kick. Logan carried Morgan off the apron to the floor.
> Backstage medics and Dr. Christopher Amann came out to tend to her. The match continued. The ref was looking at the floor. At one point the ref missed a cover because he was checking on what was going on at ringside. Brie yelled about the cover that Ruby was making on her and the ref counted to two. The ref was apparently alerted backstage that this was now 2-on-3 handicap match and to tell the other women. For the six-way suplex spot, Morgan saw it and wanted to do it. The ref told her not to get in the ring and he said she’s fine, did the spot, and got rocked and was dizzy after. Then they went to a commercial break. While back from the break, for whatever reason, Cole was either told to say, or said on his own, that Morgan was backstage, even though she was still on the floor being tended to. That was weird. As soon as the match was over Riott went right to ringside to talk to Amann and Morgan.
> The question was how the medics and Amann allowed Morgan to jump back in, although she may have just jumped into the ring on her own before they could stop her. After several days of her being the Twitter lightning rod, even after she apologized, Bryan, who at first ignored it, addressed the situation basically saying what we said last week. The reality is she had no reputation for being dangerous, this was the first time she’d hurt anyone, which in and itself is amazing given that everyone in wrestling was hurt someone. Bryan noted that just a few weeks earlier he kicked Almas right in the head by accident, just like his wife did, but luckily Almas wasn’t hurt, and noted giving Orton a concussion with a kick causing him to miss a PPV and his own dangerous matches. He also noted that he’s done dives where he got his leg caught in the ropes as happened to her a few weeks earlier. That stuff is hardly unusual in Mexico, even with the good flyers . I don’t know that it helped, but luckily for him, he’s pretty popular because if it was somebody else who wasn’t as popular defending their girlfriend or wive, being totally rational in the arguments, he’d have become the next lightning rod.
> But there were things to learn from here as far as all talent, doctors, referees and those in the back are concerned regarding something being knocked out in the middle of a match. Still, there are situations like Undertaker’s concussion in his Mania match with Lesnar when he still had the streak, and the plans of ending the streak that night and scripting history, building Lesnar up to make Reigns, where the protection of Undertaker’s long-term health and the right medical thing to do becomes a real interesting issue. Fortunately, most of the time someone gets a concussion, getting them out of there immediately without risking another bump can be done with minimal issues. But even if it’s not Undertaker-Lesnar, we will have concussions in PPV title matches and major stip matches in the future