Commute Communion #8 – Wrestlemania and Big Business
I’ll probably write about this more on a day where I’m not typing on a phone keyboard but this is something that has been poking at me for a bit.
I watched all of the main Wrestlemania show and it was likely the worst 4 to 5 hours of wrestling I can remember. I watched a lot over the mid to late 90s and through 2002 or 2003. There were arcs that were bad but the content was pretty damn good.
There were some shining moments in the program, hard not to be in something this long, but ultimately it felt like Batman V. Superman where the great moments were overshadowed by lots of blah.
I’ll give it it’s own review sometime I think just because of how negatively it made me feel but it’s not necessarily the focus of this post. It is more a prime example of a strange state in business.
There comes a point where a business survives in spite of itself. A massive creature too large to have genuine predators that lumber along basically existing.
We’ve got them in banking, gaming, physical goods, and beyond. It seems to be the default state. A business gets on top by listening and then something changes. Perhaps hubris or perhaps fear, something sends the company awry.
They follow superstitions, some old and some new, which do not help them. But these failures are masked behind the sheer scope of the business and the truth that some number of people out there like what you did.
Jersey Shore had a viewership range of something like 8 to 10 million people. Which is not small but in perspective about 1 in 33 people. So for every one hundred people you passed, 3 of them watched something that was heavily marketed.
This is similar to the WWE, they market extremely hard and see about 4 to 5 Million viewers. So 1.5 out of 100 people, if my back of the brain calculations are not too bad.
They could be doing so much better. If something as vapid as the jersey shore can pull in twice as many people with minimal effort and basically bottom of the barrel production value.
But like everyone else their size, they won’t. Especially when you are publicly traded the superstitions run rampant.
They closed a single story at the event with no twists and a lot of very low content performances. All of this seemingly to sneak in old favorites in some relatively lazy ways.
It’s a shame, to watch companies get large and to know they will, likely without fail, dive in quality.
Especially once they have consumed all their perceived competition.