Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host, Jeff Lane.
Wrestling Observer’s Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer were discussing the quality of WWE’s programming during this attitude era on one of their audio shows this past week. Alvarez says that WWE’s programming was very good in 1997 but it fell off of a cliff in 1998. Meltzer quickly pointed out that business was huge in 1998, regardless of the programming’s quality.
Russo gives Meltzer credit for pointing out just how good business was in 1998. Alvarez might think the programming fell off of a cliff but television ratings were at an all time high, and none of the mainstream viewers cared if Steve Austin or The Rock could wrestle or not. That’s not why those mainstream fans were turning in.
Meltzer went on to argue that WWE needs to debut more NXT babyfaces at the Royal Rumble, adding that Johnny Gargano would have received a huge pop if he would have debuted at the Rumble this year, much like Tye Dillinger did last year. Russo can’t even remember Dillinger’s debut, so he can’t imagine the pop being that great.
Meltzer also thought the RAW after the Royal Rumble this year was a really good show, but unfortunately it didn’t hold the viewers. Russo says this statement is an oxymoron. He points out that if you go to a movie and it’s good, you’re not going to walk out of the theatre halfway through. RAW’s viewership consistently drops from hour 1 to hour 3 because the show simply isn’t good.