In response to record low ratings for RAW, Triple H says the company will “take a hard look” at how it can draw more fans to the WWE product.
Dan Gelston of The Associated Press recently looked at how WWE has left the ThunderDome behind, and returned to the road with live crowds after the COVID-19 pandemic forced drastic changes in early 2020. It was noted how the July 5 RAW episode drew record-low numbers for the company – 1.472 million viewers.
WWE’s Executive Vice President of Global Talent Strategy & Development, Triple H, spoke with Gelston and said the company would “take a hard look” at how it can attract more eyes on the product each week. Triple H also said WWE sees the return to live touring as a moment in time to shift everything. He noted that there’s now a greater emphasis on using the spaces they have, and the TV aspect of the product, while still engaging the fans.
Triple H also reiterated a talking point that WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon has used as of late, about how the company is moving forward with lessons they learned with the ThunderDome technologies.
“It never is one thing,” Triple H said. “We see this as a moment in time to shift everything. I think you’ll see it in just the layout of everything, the set designs, the way it’s presented. There’s a greater emphasis on utilizing the spaces that we have and the TV aspect of it while still engaging the fans. A lot of that comes from the time we had to experiment inside the ThunderDome.”
WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns was also interviewed. He noted how WWE had to adjust to the times, and how live crowds keep the talent sharp.
“I do think if we were doing this in front of the live crowd, it would have been a situation that would have made me an even better performer,” Reigns said. “As a live performer, that simultaneous response keeps you sharp. We had to adjust and adapt to the times that were in front of us.”
Triple H praised Reigns for being able to keep entertaining the fans.
“People like Roman have been able to emotionally bring a performance that, maybe with people cheering over him, or booing over him or going into different directions over him,” have benefited, Triple H said. “But that’s the beauty of what we do, to go be entertained, however you want to be entertained. As a performer, sometimes that’s difficult.”
The first step to the aforementioned shift in the product is putting the fans back in the seats, which began last Friday with the live SmackDown on FOX from the Toyota Center in Houston. Reigns talked more about the role of the fans in the crowd.
“When we have that live crowd, sometimes they almost become the cameras for a lot of the performers,” Reigns said. “But when you don’t have that real-time, flesh interaction, the red light becomes the focal point for the performer.”