MR. TITO - How to FIX Brandi Rhodes in AEW Submitted by Mr. Tito on 11/11/2020 at 08:59 AM
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What's missing right now in Pro Wrestling are CASUAL VIEWERS. You know, the ones who want to jump on that "wrestling bandwagon" when a hot angle (like the NWO, Austin vs. McMahon) or when top drawing superstars appear (Rock, Austin, Hogan). But what we're also losing is catching anyone flipping the channel and having something stopping them in their tracks. That is why someone like a Sable or a Sunny were big draws initially for the WWE and why Torrie Wilson or Trish Stratus was popular later.
And that's what I want to discuss today, specifically for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and their AEW Dynamite show that is airing on TNT weekly. As you can see by the viewership numbers, they cannot remain consistently above 800,000 viewers on a TNT Network that is available in approximately 85 million homes. The HOPE is that with the Elections being over, maybe people will resume normal viewership... But as you saw last year from 2019, AEW was already on their way to being permanently below 1,000,000 viewers per week.
The reality check that AEW needs to face is that they are only appealing to their diehard wrestling fanbase who likes the wrestlers whom they've signed and the storylines that they've been pushing. Beyond that, it's crickets. They are not appealing to casual fans whom they could potentially convert into loyal fans. They seem content on drawing under 800,000 with their famous 18-49 age demographic consistently drawing under 400,000. If that is your business model and you can pull excessive funds from that 800,000 fan base, then more power to you. Congrats on becoming TNA Impact, though with HALF of its viewers during their peak on SpikeTV of all places.
However, I want AEW to succeed and at the very least, challenge the WWE to become a better promotion itself. After all, that is what the Monday Night Wars did... WCW Nitro finally obtained the right tone, the right free agent signings, and created the best storyline of all time to not only challenge the WWE, but to consistently beat them for 83 straight weeks between 1996-1998. WWE could have folded but instead they decided to try pushing NEW wrestlers and putting some adult edge on their storylines. By 1998, both promotions were drawing 4-5 million each and the money was flowing in not just for the promotions but for the wrestlers to see their highest paydays ever.
That was all done by casual viewers... New World Order was a brand name and also a vehicle to create suspense on "who will show up next" or "what will happen next". Degeneration X was also a brand name who pushed USA Networks Standards & Practices to the limit with their adult themes and antics. And then you have the beautiful Sunny and Sable... It was a simple "what will they wear next".
See, this is what our politically correct and overly corporate wrestling promotions of 2020 don't understand. As much as both promotions try to suggest that they want to attract female viewers, they still can't. WWE's sanitized audience is still 60-70% men and will always be that, as most of the women watching are there because their boyfriends/husbands are watching or because family (moms watching with sons, dads watching with daughters). WWE's own statistics, which they've crunched repeatedly, don't lie. They've tried and tried to market to women for YEARS but they no interest in watching scripted contact sports. Other sports leagues see the same issues... They attract men because we like sports and seeing other dudes smacking each other. Guys also like to obviously watch hot women as well, which WWE has not attempted to push since the 2000s based purely on looks...
Right now, the WWE refuses to even dip into any adult themed storyline or pushing sexuality that made the WWE Attitude boom into a ratings monster. You can thank the Corporate sponsors and WWE's very own networks, owned by Corporate Comcast, for that. They are forever handcuffed to this PG Era and are 100% unable to push sexuality despite having a loaded roster of beautiful women who could help them pull it off.
WWE's ignorance on what draws could be to AEW's advantage. And seeing what the TNT has aired in the past, such as "Sons of Anarchy" and I remember very sexual stuff being pushed on the "Dallas" reboot in particular, AEW could take full advantage.
And they have a PERFECT 10 female that they could push RIGHT NOW if they choose... And she desperately needs it because what we've seen from Brandi Rhodes within AEW from 2019-2020 has been a tough sell to wrestling fans. She should present herself more as a sex symbol instead of trying to be a wrestler, a diabolical member of the Nightmare Collective, and just a brick in the wall on Cody's extensive entourage.
Let me very clear on what I'm about to say... The purpose of this specific column is to NOT push misogyny. I respect who Brandi Rhodes is as a person, as I've listened to her a handful of times on interviews conducting herself well. She has a Bachelor's Degree from the University Michigan and Master's Degree from the University of Miami... Brandi Rhodes, in addition to being very beautiful, is extremely intelligent... I would hope that this intelligence would cause her to realize that her role in AEW could actually help them draw much more viewers.
Now, am I asking her to wrestle in lingerie pillow fights? Am I asking her to wrestle in mud?
NO, I'M NOT!!!
What I'm going to ask her to do is to watch tapes of what Miss Elizabeth did in WWF and what Woman (formerly Nancy Sullivan, became Nancy Benoit) did during WCW. In fact, I'm suggesting that her character become a hybrid of Miss Elizabeth and Woman at ringside... Sometimes, she's a "damsel in distress" but other times, she'll do whatever it takes to help her man, Cody Rhodes, win matches. That could involve something dastardly like throwing hot coffee on her Cody's opponents or raking their eyes as Woman used to do in WCW but that could also mean imitating Miss Elizabeth at SummerSlam 1988 to use her sexuality as a distraction for Cody's opponents.
What have seen seen instead... Well, she's at ringside and has been pushed as a "damsel in distress"... But we've seen over-the-top booking with Jake the Snake Roberts doing and saying weird things and at other times, Brandi is seen at ringside playing with her own AEW action figure. Then, her subpar matches and the whole Nightmare Collective angle which most AEW fans rejected completely. Who wants to watch that crap?
What I'm about to say is purely a compliment... Brandi Rhodes is HOT. There, I said it. The world needs to carry her parents on its shoulders because their genetics perfectly came together to create a perfect looking human being. She is beautiful... From the face, to the hair, and obviously to the body, you cannot groom that. That is from genetics that the likes of Britney Spears, Pamela Anderson, Heather Locklear, Christy Brinkley, Tyra Banks, Beyonce, Lynda Carter, Madonna, etc. have benefitted from and all used to their advantage to draw more money. Many of those who are born with perfect genetics use their looks to hide the lack of acting or musical talent. But Brandi isn't in that category, as she's a very intelligent human being with more to offer if correctly applied. She should use her beauty + intelligence to her advantage.
So far in AEW, however, she has none done that...
Brandi Rhodes has tried and tried to appear as a wrestler... Even within the arguably weak AEW women's division, she just looks out-of-place and uncomfortable in the ring. We've never seen a decent match from her in AEW and we're starting to understand why the WWE kept her as an announcer only. And think about that for a second... WWE's Women's Division was very welcoming and has promoted a few female wrestlers that aren't that strong inside the ring. Just look at the Iconics... For Brandi to miss that wrestling boat there means that the WWE saw something, or at least didn't see something, that AEW folks are overlooking. Some people just don't have the skillset to sell being a pro wrestler inside the ring.
And that's OK because when you have other talents, abilities, and God given gifts, there are more roles in a Pro Wrestling promotion than just performing matches.
That Nightmare Collective... AEW fans are passionate and they seriously attack me anytime that I'm mildly critical of their favorite promotion. However, the one time that we all agreed was when the Nightmare Collective was heavily pushed and featured on AEW through early 2020. Everyone rejected the Nightmare Collective, even the EVPs internally at AEW.
But I believe Brandi needs an image change, which is why I've suggested that she become a mixture of Miss Elizabeth and Woman. I do NOT believe she is meeting her full potential with Arn Anderson also there at as Cody's "Coach". She often looks bored and not engaged at ringside and then does goofy things like bringing her AEW toy figure at ringside. I love Arn Anderson but what is the point of Cody Rhodes needing a coach at this point? He's a freakin' veteran since 2006 and the best that Arn has provided him is the TNT Title that was just dropped to a 5'10" less than 180 pounder at Full Gear. This loss provide ample opportunity for Cody Rhodes to CLEAN HOUSE and it also provides Brandi Rhodes opportunity to clearly get into Cody's ear about Arn...
Arn has to go and immediately, Brandi Rhodes flips the switch on her character to show real concern about her man inside the ring and when the opportunity arises to interfere, she takes it... If a wrestler is at ringside, she kicks them in the groin... If the wrestler's head is hanging over the ring apron, she rakes their eyes hard. When Cody's opponents are about to score a win, she jumps on that apron to distract the referee. And when the moment absolutely calls for it, she recalls Miss Elizabeth at SummerSlam 1988 to completely distract Cody's opponents with her beauty. She should carefully watch tapes on how Woman acted during interviews. Just little facial changes and gestures goes a long way to seduce an audience.
Just push Brandi Rhodes hard as a sex symbol... By using her as a distraction ringside, they can sell that Cody's opponents are lusting over her and that not only builds heat for Cody's matches, but adds credibility that Brandi is the beautiful one that causes fans to buy calendars, posters, and other merchandise related to her.
Both Miss Elizabeth (obvious babyface) and Women (obvious babyface) were beautiful for their time and thus Brandi calling upon their roles fits right in to what Cody Rhodes has been trying with his Babyface/Heel flip flips. When Cody needs to work as a Babyface, she's in concerned Miss Elizabeth mode... When Cody needs to work as a Heel, she's in "do whatever it takes" Woman mode. And because Cody flips so much between his roles, she can too... But all Brandi has to do is push her sexuality while doing so.
I'm not suggesting doing Bikini Contests as the Attitude Era repeatedly did... But yeah, it worked.
What All Elite Wrestling (AEW) needs to realize is that if they want to grow into a bigger company, they need to start doing things that the WWE won't do. WWE is hamstrung by Comcast and their Corporate Sponsors to remain clean on content. PG Era is permanent for them, especially since Comcast took over the NBC/Universal. By the way, that merger began to process during 2009 roughly around the time that the PG Era began. Comcast probably made it conditional that USA Networks clean up their network before acquiring the corporation.
TNT, however, pushes the envelop for their content. Granted, AT&T just acquired AOL/Time Warner and maybe this entire column is negated due to that. I don't know...
But AEW needs to strive to be beyond 800,000 viewers each week. That is embarrassing and I don't care what you do in the 18-49 demo. Seriously, the under 35 years old part of that demo DO NOT subscribe to Cable or Satellite services. With 0.30 ratings, you're only scoring something under 400,000 viewers. Is that what you want?
I seem to recall the WWE's Attitude Era BOOMING because teenagers wanted to watch WWE's Monday Night RAW for Degeneration X, Sable/Sunny/Terri, Steve Austin, Foley taking bumps, and the Rock. As teenagers were evolving from their child like states, they wanted something that appealed to their raging hormones. WWE was a perfect vehicle for their viewing needs at the time. And many might ask, "well, why didn't work in the 2000s". Because they didn't have Sable/Sunny, Austin was injured, Rock became part-time and left, Foley retired, and Stephanie McMahon took over Creative by late 2000. Any questions?
If you believe that I'm crazy, Brandi Rhodes, just watch video of Miss Elizabeth in WWF managing "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Woman in WCW managing "Nature Boy" Ric Flair if you believe that I'm wrong... And after that, just look in the mirror and be in awe of what perfect genetics has given you compared to everyone else in the business. You are beautiful... Use that highly intelligent brain that you obviously have to market the assets that you have.
No more wrestling and no more goofy angles like the Nightmare Collective... Both actually have diminished your brand for fans to consider your sex appeal. Many fans are still recovering for how BAD the Nightmare Collective was. We have nightmares over that collective group of crap!
Help Cody become the top level superstar that he can be and while simultaneously looking fantastic at ringside, both by helping him win matches and showing off your beauty.
And then you can use that sex appeal plus her legitimate intelligence to convince AEW Officials, whomever that may be on television, to REVERSE the AEW World Heavyweight Title ban on Cody Rhodes. Cody NEEDS to be AEW World Heavyweight Champion, period. Nobody else in AEW is as good as him as a wrestler or character. Wrestling and losing to 5'10" less than 180 pound goofs while holding a MIDCARD TNT Title has held back his potential growth in AEW.
I can already predict what will happen... "Tito is a horndog, a misogynistic", blah blah blah #MeToo. And then I'll point to wrestling history on what works with the wrestling business as watched by real men. The guys who have stopped watching wrestling are the ones who just want to drink a beer late at night and chill after a hard day's work. They want something entertaining and something that appeals to their interests. Guys beating the crap out of each other in combat sports and hot women always works.
BUT wrestling history also points to how successful Miss Elizabeth and Woman were as managers of top talent. Do we even need to argue about how GREAT that "Macho Man" Randy Savage or "Nature Boy" Ric Flair were? Why not follow in their footsteps within pro wrestling? It will help Cody Rhodes out bigtime... This entourage of people ringside has NOT helped his career and I say that as a huge fan of Arn Anderson. They add nothing... A beautiful and intelligent woman at his side who is instrumental in his decision making + can help him win matches, as needed, will create success.
In my humble opinion, Brandi Rhodes is one of the most beautiful women to grace this earth right now. However, nobody knows that because she's been horribly used in AEW. Well, I have given AEW the roadmap on how to use her better and to attract more outside attention. It would be more "sensory inclusive" to place a better adult themed AEW product on television for casual male fans to tune in instead of what's on display right now.
If pushed correctly as a sex symbol and as a Miss Elizabeth/Woman type managerial role for Cody Rhodes, she might be the key to AEW's success for 2021...
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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