During a recent interview on Busted Open Radio, Christian went in depth on WWE Backstage being cancelled and said despite what people think, it was not cancelled because of poor ratings. He said he feels the show was just a victim of the circumstances with the current situation in the world.
“I don’t think it went awry,” Christian said. I think it was like any other new show. It’s a working progress. Going back to talking about the Edge and Christian Show, the first half of that season, it was not very good at all and it took some different trials and errors to see what it was that fit and a show like hadn’t really been done before. So, I think that with the promo school and the different segments just trying to find the proper footing and I think that–like anything, some shows were better than others and that’s the way it goes when you have a show that’s infancy.”
“You’re trying to build it up, but even when it ended – it didn’t get canceled because of ratings if that’s what people thought,” Christian added. “The rating direction – really happy with the ratings. The ratings were actually very strong and whatever was in that timeslot before Backstage, did a fraction of the rating that Backstage did and then, also the replay often will do just as very close to the original ratings and then obviously, the YouTube views and the social media views. It was a really well-watched show actually. So, you can’t just go off that first number of that first viewing. There was more to it than that. So, I think it was a victim of circumstance for the kind of time we’re living in now and it was unfortunate and I hate to see anybody get put out of work for any reason at all. It’s tough.”
One of the biggest pieces of news from Backstage was CM Punk’s participation in the show. While he was technically under contract with Fox, it was the first time he had any participation in a WWE product since he walked away from the company in June 2014. Christian said he felt like CM Punk was fully present and did a great job when he was on the show.
“I think he took it seriously,” Christian said. “I don’t think he wouldn’t have done it if he was just going to commit and half-a-s it. I never have known him to be that type of guy. I don’t see why he would do that, but the few times I went on and he was on the show, he was 100% present and super into everything and had his finger on all the stuff that was going on. So, he took it very, very seriously and I thought he did a good job.”
Christian added that one of the hardest parts of critiquing wrestling now is trying not to sound like the old veteran that criticizes everything, but he is concerned for the lack of attention to detail in the current product. He also said he’s really interested to see where Mustafa Ali can take the Retribution angle, especially since we haven’t gotten to see much of his personality yet in his time with WWE.
“Well, it’s hard because you don’t want to be the crusty veteran that criticizes everything,” Christian said. “That’s not it, but I’m also a details guy. That was always my thing and I though the details added up and really made a match. I see at this point in time, a lot of details being left out and it’s a little concerning. I think it’s–I don’t know if it’s the age we live in where everything has to happen so fast, but actually, I know there’s a lot of talk about the Retribution thing, but I really liked Mustafa Ali with him being put in the forefront there. I’d like to see where that goes. That actually really caught my eye.”
“I think he has a lot of untapped potential and I liked – we hadn’t really had a chance to see many layers of his personality,” Christian added. “I think there’s a lot there, but I think that I’m interested to see how that unfolds and how he builds on it and now he’s got an opportunity and that’s what – everybody kind of works for that opportunity to show what they can do and he’s got it now. So, that’s really interesting and I’m hoping he can hit it out of the park on this.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.