Whomever plans the dates for WWE pay-per-views needs to be fired. Who, in their right mind, puts the Royal Rumble up against the NFL’s Conference finals?
It’s a no-brainer for many people, this writer included.
I may not have a dog in the hunt, as the Cleveland Browns are the Dolph Ziggler of the NFL (and he’s appropriately a Browns fans), but it’s Sunday and it’s the semi-finals on the way to the Super Bowl.
The Patriots, Broncos, Panthers and Cardinals all have huge fan bases on their own, and then, as the line goes from the recent Concussion movie goes, the NFL owns a day of the week.
The WWE has no one to compete, not one star on its current roster that comes even close to rivaling the fame of a Tom Brady or a Cam Newton.
There was an easy solution — book the Royal Rumble for Sunday, January 31. It’s the off-week before the Super Bowl, the week without football (the Pro Bowl doesn’t count).
The one thing that works in their favour is the WWE Network. Unlike the days when it was destination programming and you had to order the pay-per-view and be there for it live, with the WWE Network, you can stream it later.
Just watch out for the spoilers.
The television landscape has changed over the years, of course, but nothing compares to the importance of the NFL.
Besides the Super Bowl being the most-watched show of the year in North America, the big three of Sunday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, and Monday Night Football all end up regularly in the Top 20 every week of the season. WWE does okay numbers for cable, of course, but that’s sort of comparing apples to oranges.
Perhaps someone might argue that there isn’t much overlap between NFL and WWE fans, but I disagree. For every John Powell who can’t stand sports in general, there are households that revolve around sports, whether it’s taking their kids to play games or watch games, or congregating with buddies over beers and nachos to enjoy the action.
It’s fun to watch wrestling with friends, too, of course.
But this Sunday, this household will be watching football.
ADDENDUM: This is worth a visit if you are a football fan. The logos of all 32 NFL teams have been reimagined as WWE-related, like The Rock in the logo for the Miami Dolphins. Here’s the link.