|By Raj Giri||July 23, 2012 | Comments|
WrestlingINC: Did you hear horror stories when you came in of Brock Lesnar and WWE? Him being difficult to deal with or things like that?
Bauer: Nope. No negative remarks about that. I think, if anything, the thing with Brock was that they really hope they win the lotto, kind of thing. Vince never brought him up in the creative circle. He was someone that we had hoped to have access to.
WrestlingINC: As a fan, watching how his return has been handled, what do you think so far?
Bauer: I'm disappointed. I think they did everything right up to a point that night that they brought him back for Extreme Rules. Then, they made a few very big errors. They left a lot of money on the table. I think there's a time and a place to beat Brock Lesnar, but that's not one of them. I don't think that's any brilliant analysis on that, that's really textbook, 101 booking with how you present talent. Especially a guy that's dangerous and positioned as a monster and an outsider.
Let's look at WCW: if you have brought in Scott Hall and Kevin Nash and at that Bash At the Beach pay-per-view and beat them? [Laughs.] What would have happened to the NWO? No one would have ever cared. The thing I've realized since looking at this since I was a kid, and I grew up in New York. I was a WWF fan as a boy, knowing the rich history of the company. You look at Vince McMahon and he's an incredible, prolific, promoter, branding guru and hands down, the best promoter that there's ever been. But, he always chokes with the sure thing. Whether it's Ric Flair coming in as the real world's champion, Legion of Doom vs. Demolition or doing Brock Lesnar and his re-introduction. Or [Eric] Bischoff coming in. The ECW re-boot, the WCW invasion. He always chokes on the obvious, big thing. I don't know if it's that he decides everyone expects him to take a right turn, so he feels he has to take a left turn or if it's just the pressure of trying to handle something so unique because he didn't build it. Whatever it is, if you look at the one commentary on his career where he failed, obviously outside of doing the non-wrestling ventures, it really is the sure thing. The sure thing. If you look at the ratio of success to failures on those creative concepts -- whether it's Bill Goldberg coming in or the various versions of that -- there's obviously a fundamental flaw in what he does as a booker.
It's not conventional booking and sometimes, giving people something predictable is not the worst thing in the world. If you do it all the time, then, obviously, it is. But, I think that sometimes getting to clever for your own good is getting too clever for your own good. It doesn't work.
If you look at UFC and their success, so much of their success is building anticipation and building to something that is pretty relative to a sure thing. Either GSP wins or Nick Diaz wins. Either Chuck Liddell wins or Randy Couture wins. But, you're setting the stage, you're setting the table and then they feast on it. But Vince kind of leaves off the utensils. It's very strange but it seems to be some kind of pattern that he's followed for most of his career.
WrestlingINC: The 1,000th episode of Raw is [tonight] and with that, the show will then be moving to three hours. What are your thoughts on that?
Bauer: Can't wait. Well, I once had a conversation with Vince McMahon and he told me that the ideal show would be 90 minutes in length, once a week. I whole-heartedly agreed with that. [Laughs.] 90 minutes is just right. When I was doing MLW and producing, 60 was too short and 2 hours is too long. That sweet spot, it really is 90 minutes to me, in a perfect world. But, the problem is: what network is going to want a 90 minute show and then you have to fill that 30 minute gap? Vince doesn't want the Best Of Raw in that 30 minute gap. He wants new, original programming because it gets confusing if you tune in hypothetically at 10:45 and you see Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat. It's like, 'What's this?' You don't want brand confusion.
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