Earning Your Spot: The Countdown to Wrestlemania XXX – Raw, April 8, 2013

12 Apr

ziggler

Anyone who follows wrestling news on the Internet probably has read at least one story dealing with the resentment felt by a member of the WWE’s regular roster toward the “part-timers” such as the Rock, Brock Lesnar, Triple H, and, to a lesser degree, the Undertaker, regarding their roles at Wrestlemania 29.  The argument (voiced most recently by Dolph Ziggler, I believe), is that the individuals who show up every week are the foundation of the company and that their work should be rewarded by a prominent spot on the Wrestlemania card. Instead, you have guys like Rock, Lesnar, Triple H, and the Undertaker who are absent the majority of the year but end up in each of the three main events.  Regardless of what I believe in terms of whether that’s right or wrong, it did make me wonder who, if you went by TV time since the preceding year, “deserved” to be on the card and how prominent that spot should be.  So I decided to figure it out for next year’s Wrestlemania.

Here’s my plan. I’m going to keep track of how much TV time each individual personality has on every show WWE airs, keeping a running total until next April.  This includes Raw, Smackdown, Main Event, and maybe Saturday Morning Slam (I’m pretty sure that’s on TV, right?).  I’ll also include each pay-per-view in the count.

Before I began, I thought it would be useful to establish some guidelines as to how to calculate time.  For example, from this week’s Raw, I didn’t include any of the Wrestlemania promo videos that showed an overview of the event in general, or those covering related Wrestlemania-weekend activities.  I also didn’t count time for Michael Cole, JBL, or Jerry Lawler; if I did, Michael Cole, at a minimum, would “earn” the main event spot at next year’s show since he is constantly present throughout the entire broadcast.  I realize that the announce team is often involved in storylines, and I will include them when that happens.  I counted the time spent on all replays, as that’s certainly something the WWE uses to push select individuals.  Additionally, much as I hate to do it, I’m going to keep time for any celebrity appearances (such as Kurt Warner) solely because of how prone the company has been in the past to include them in angles and matches.  I’m sure there are some other weird quirks that will need to be dealt with as time goes on, but that should do it for right now.

So, with that said, here is the breakdown of how much TV time each personality had this week on Raw:

John Cena 26:01
Sheamus 23:49
Randy Orton 22:47
Mark Henry 16:18
Ricardo Rodriguez 16:15
Alberto Del Rio 15:47
Jack Swagger 13:17
Zeb Colter 13:17
Wade Barrett 12:16
Miz 12:01
AJ Lee 11:18
Big E Langston 11:18
Dolph Ziggler 11:18
Fandango 08:57
Fandango’s Dancer 08:57
Undertaker 08:08
Big Show 07:20
Daniel Bryan 07:16
Kane 07:16
Booker T 05:23
Brie Bella 04:41
Cody Rhodes 04:41
Damien Sandow 04:41
Nikki Bella 04:41
Brodus Clay 04:32
Cameron 04:32
Naomi 04:32
Tensai 04:32
Drew McIntyre 04:13
Heath Slater 04:13
Jinder Mahal 04:13
R-Truth 04:13
Santino Marella 04:13
Zack Ryder 04:13
Chris Jericho 03:58
Dean Ambrose 03:45
Roman Reigns 03:45
Seth Rollins 03:45
Ryback 02:50
Kofi Kingston 02:14
Vicki Guerrero 02:11
Paul Heyman 01:43
Kurt Warner 01:12
Brad Maddox 01:07
Triple H 00:57
Brock Lesnar 00:16

So, for example, if Wrestlemania were booked solely on the basis of those superstars with the most amount of exposure, as of right now the card for Wrestlemania XXX would be, assuming an eight-match card:

  • John Cena v. Sheamus
  • Randy Orton v. Mark Henry
  • Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) v. Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter)
  • Wade Barrett v. Miz
  • Dolph Ziggler (with AJ Lee and Big E Langston) v. Fandango (accompanied by his, as far as I know, unnamed dancer)
  • Undertaker v. Big Show
  • Some random GM activity with Booker T
  • Team Hell No v. Rhodes Scholars (with the Bella Twins)
  • Brodus Clay and Tensai (with Cameron and Naomi) v. Three Man Band

First, this is absolutely a show I can see WWE running, albeit not at Wrestlemania.  It also manages to get every title on the show except for the Diva’s and US Championships.  Undertaker, Triple H, Brock Lesnar, and the Rock do not warrant a spot on the show under this method.  CM Punk would also have the night off.

I don’t know if there’s any point to doing this whatsoever; I think, though, that as time goes by and we get closer to next year’s Wrestlemania, it will be interesting to see who has had the most exposure versus who actually is booked in the main event spots.

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2 Responses to “Earning Your Spot: The Countdown to Wrestlemania XXX – Raw, April 8, 2013”

  1. cowboyography April 13, 2013 at 10:52 PM #

    the reason the part timers come out for wrestlemania is to get people like me, who used to like wrestling but cant stand the product anymore to be curious… Oh rocks back? I will watch, for free of course as I will never drop a dime for any of vinces crap ppv shows. But undertaker, HHH, Lesnar, they sell the show for the fans of yesteryear that cant stand what its become

    • popculture420 April 14, 2013 at 3:32 AM #

      Oh no, I totally understand why the part-timers are booked. But I think an argument can be made that it’s very short-sighted; during the Attitude Era, WWF constantly mocked WCW for relying on stars of the previous decade so heavily…and yet that’s exactly what’s happening now. WCW failed, in part, because they didn’t build any new talent, relying instead on the established stars that worked before. More than anything else, I think that’s the problem with WWE right now; they don’t build new talent. Maybe if they didn’t put so much of the spotlight on the Rock and Brock Lesnar sporadically throughout the year and focused on building new talent, we’d get the next Rock, the next Lesnar, the next Austin.

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