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The 7 - Guest Columns - Stone Cold Deserves the Award & More Ratings Analysis Register and log in to post!
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skorpio17
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#1 Posted on 21.1.03 1550.10
Reposted on: 21.1.10 1553.57

Stone Cold Deserves The Award & More Ratings Analysis



The award for Raw Superstar of the Decade deserves to go to Stone Cold Steve Austin. Some people are saying that the WWE shouldnít have given the award to him since he didnít show up. This is the stupidest reasoning Iíve ever heard. If you are giving an award for the Best Golfer; do you not give it to Tiger Woods because he doesnít want to show up to accept it? Does his not showing up affect his golfing ability? The AMA award for best artist went to Eminem, even though he didnít show up to accept it. Does that make his music any less enjoyable? I think you have to be honest and give it to the most deserving person. Whether he shows up or not is a different matter entirely.

I think Austin deserves this award. He is the face of the Attitude era. At one point his Austin 3:16 T-shirts accounted for 80% of all their merchandise sales. He took the WWF from when it was down and brought it up to the biggest heights it has ever seen. Just like Hulk Hogan was their biggest superstar of the 80ís, Austin is the man for the 90ís. Letís look at some other criteria.

Most Memorable Moment

Austin won this award as voted by the millions of fans. He deserved it for the beer truck incident. Everyone was watching Raw to find out what crazy thing Austin was gonna do next. He had 4 of the 10 greatest moments in Raw history. The Rock and Degeneration X each had 2. That shows Austinís importance to Raw. I didnít vote for the Owen Hart show because Owen shouldnít have died in the first place. He shouldíve been trained enough so that he was comfortable using the harness for his stunt. The tribute show was fairly well done with interviews, but I wouldíve preferred for them to showcase Owenís best matches instead of having live matches that didnít mean anything.

The moment Iíd personally pick is when Austin broke up the wedding between the Undertaker and Stephanie McMahon. This took place on 4/26/99. The Ministry kidnapped Stephanie and the Undertaker couldnít decide whether he wanted to sacrifice her or marry her. So he decided to do both, with Paul Bearer officiating the ceremony. Before he could finish, Austin ran in the ring and made the save. He overcame tremendous odds and defeated the entire Ministry. Then he gave Steph back to Vince and didnít expect any gratitude as the reluctant hero. This was the first time Austin had accepted a traditional hero role. It was a classic story where the hero rescues the damsel in distress. The only difference is that Stephanie was tied to a cross instead of railroad tracks and getting hit by a train is only slightly worse than marrying the Undertaker.

Most of these great moments shown can also be seen on the DVD: Best of Raw, Volumes 1 & 2. They all occurred in 1998 and 1999. The last time the WWE had something Iíd consider a memorable moment would be last February when Austin and Booker T were fighting in a supermarket.

Longevity at the Top

Austin was the champion for the longest time on Raw. He spent 80 weeks as the champion of Raw. This is longer than anyone else nominated. I like Mick Foley, but as you can see he was hardly ever the champion. He was spent 6 episodes as the champion, not enough to deserve serious consideration. On the other hand, Shawn Michaels spent 56 weeks as champion, more than anyone other than Austin and Bret Hart. For this reason he deserved to be nominated. I think he deserves a place between the Rock and the Undertaker as the 5th best choice. Here is my order and their number of weeks spent at the top.

80 Austin
78 Bret Hart
46 Triple H
41 Rock
33 Undertaker
6 Mankind

Flashpoint:

5/10/99 Ė Raw had been getting ratings in the low 6ís and WCW Nitro had ratings in the 4ís. On this day, Nitro was pre-empted on TNT for the NBA playoffs. The WWF made the most of their opportunity and had a main event of Austin, Rock, and Vince McMahon vs. Undertaker, Triple H, and Shane McMahon. This was their highest rated show ever at 8.1. The NBA playoffs only got a 1.3. WWF picked up many WCW viewers and knocked Nitro out of the 4ís for good. Austin was the champion at this time.

Best Title Reign

Austin could point out his title reign during the middle of 1999. He spend 16 weeks as the champion and the ratings during that time averaged 6.42. Triple H could point to his 16 week title reign in the beginning of 2000. Ratings averaged 6.46.
The Rock had a 15 week title reign in late 2000 when the ratings averaged 5.87.
In fairness to the Rock, during his title reign Raw moved from USA to TNN. This move had a very adverse effect on the ratings. The Undertaker had a 5 week title reign in the middle of 1999 when ratings averaged 6.54. But, I think a title reign should last at least 7 weeks to be a big factor in the ratings.

Explaining the Ratings:

When Bret Hart was the champion in 1996, the ratings were 2.73. But when Vince McMahon was champion for one week in 1999, the ratings were 6.10. Does this mean that Vince was a better champion than Bret? NO. First off one week is not enough time to make a determination. Also, consider that before Bret won the title, Diesel was giving them a 2.45 rating. And consider that, as I said before, Austin was bringing in 6.42 in 1999 before Vinceís 6.10. The ratings have to be judged within their era and compared to the champion who came before them.

Iíd like to take a look at all champions who had at least 7 straight weeks of appearing on Raw as the champion. This will determine who made the biggest difference in ratings from the previous champion. Iím not including the ratings from 1/93 to 8/95 because that data is not available to me. From what I understand, the ratings were very low for that time period. Raw back then was like todayís episode of Heat. It featured mostly jobbers and rarely showed the top wrestlers or the champion. Besides, the WWE didnít include anything from that time in their Raw X show either. Iím also not looking at episodes that were moved to another day or shown 2 hours later. Iíll include all regular shows up to 12/30/02.

Best Ratings Impact:

The biggest impact on Rawís ratings was when Austin had his first title reign in 1998. He had just defeated Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania and was feuding with Vince McMahon. Excluding the one day fluke that was Kaneís title run, Austin had a reign of 30 weeks averaging a 4.62 rating. This is an increase by 1.26, 38%, over HBKís title reign. This was the biggest percentage increase of any title reign. It was the feud that allowed the WWF to win the ratings war.

For the second biggest ratings impact, Iíll take Austinís 1999 title run. Ratings increased by 1.37, 27%, compared to the Rockís first title run. This took place right after Austin beat the Rock in their first and best Wrestlemania match. It included the Corporate Ministry storyline that I talked about earlier.

The third biggest ratings impact is Shawn Michaelsís last title run in late 98. He won the title in the Montreal Screwjob. At the time, the IWC was assuming that WWF fans would switch to Nitro to show their allegiance to Bret Hart. In reality, WWF fans all took the side of Vince McMahon and felt sorry for Vince. The WWFís wrestlers, Bretís coworkers, were all by Vinceís side the next day on Raw. Mick Foley tried to protest, but nobody would join him. Shawn Michaelís deserves more credit/blame for the screwjob than he gets. He is the one that screwed Bret in Canada and took his title.

Vince and Shawn got the best revenge, better ratings. Under HBK, ratings increased by .70, 26%, compared to Bretís last title run. This came along with the rise of Degeneration X led by HBK. DX even had an In Your House PPV named after them. Shawn feuded with the Undertaker and Shamrock. It was Shawnís final title run. It wasnít highly regarded because of his back injury in January, but it was his highest rated.

The Undertakerís title run in 1997 doesnít get the respect that he deserves. The Undertaker has always been looked on as a transitional champion. His 19 week title run got a ratings bump of .68, 32%, compared to the first title reign of Sid. At the time, the Undertaker had just defeated Sid at Wrestlemania. He had a great entrance with the Druids of Darkness. He had been a main eventer for many years and this was the first time he was really given the ball. He was coming off some great feuds in 96 with Mankind. His title defenses were not that memorable: Vader, Mankind, Farooq, and Austin. But, he still deserves credit for being better than Sid.

It is also worth noting that a common factor in the Undertaker and HBK title runs is that they coincided with the rise of Austin.

Worst Ratings Impact:

You guys are going to hate me for saying this, but Kurt Angle had the worst title run ever in late 2000. Ratings dropped .80, -14%, compared to the Rock. I say it was worse than the others because it lasted longer. It was 17 weeks of bad ratings. This was not the ďIíll Make You TapĒ Ken Shamrock channeling ankle-lock using - Kurt Angle. It was the cowardly crybaby in love with Stephanie - Kurt Angle. In Angleís defense he had to feud with a heel Triple H and the Austin/Rikishi story wasnít doing him any favors.

Sid had a very bad title run in late 96. Ratings decreased by .60, -22%, compared to Shawn Michaels. Also, Sid hardly even wrestled on Raw. He only appeared once out of his 9 weeks to defend his title.

The Undertaker also caused some bad ratings just last year. Ratings decreased by .61, -14%, compared to Jerichoís title run. He had crappy feuds with Hogan and Triple H. You may say Iím being a hypocrite here because I just said the Undertaker was good for ratings. Let me clarify my position. The 1997 Undertaker was cool. He was the undead phenom with the supernatural zombie powers. The 2002 Biker-Undertaker is not cool enough to be a face and is not evil enough to be a heel. This past Rumble, everyone wanted the old zombie Undertaker to return and wound up with the Bikertaker. They may be the same person, but itís not the same thing.

Donít Diss the Rattlesnake:

Austinís detractors will point out that his last title run was a failure and the WWE doesnít need him. I will remind you that he carried the Invasion angle for months as a heel. The fans didnít want a heel Austin, they wanted the beer-drinking, ass-kicking face Austin. Even the heel Austin that the fans didnít want never got ratings in the 3ís. Just listen to the ďWhatĒ chants in all the arenas. They arenít being directed at just Kurt Angle anymore.

Donít worry that Bischoff wonít be able sign Austin either. They already did that angle last year and Austin signed with Raw on 4/1/02. If only Flair was still the commissioner to uphold the contract.

Table: Scroll Down



# of Weeks









































































































































































































































































# of Weeks


Champion


Rating


Difference


10


Diesel


2.45


17


Bret Hart


2.73


0.28


31


HBK


2.70


-0.03


9


Sid


2.10


-0.60


3


HBK


2.35


1


Bret Hart


2.10


4


Sid


2.27


19


Undertaker


2.78


0.68


12


Bret Hart


2.66


-0.12


18


HBK


3.36


0.70


13


Austin


4.62


1.26


1


Kane


5.44


17


Austin


4.62


0.00


7


Rock


5.07


0.45


3


Mankind


5.62


1


Rock


5.46


2


Mankind


5.81


5


Rock


6.12


8


Austin


6.44


1.37


5


Undertaker


6.54


8


Austin


6.39


-0.05


1


Mankind


5.60


1


Triple H


5.95


1


Vince


6.10


7


Triple H


5.87


-0.52


7


Big Show


6.00


0.13


16


Triple H


6.46


0.46


3


Rock


6.60


4


Triple H


6.40


15


Rock


5.87


-0.59


17


Angle


5.07


-0.80


5


Rock


4.76


25


Austin


4.85


0.09


2


Angle


4.45


9


Austin


4.23


-0.22


13


Jericho


4.43


0.20


5


Triple H


5.02


4


Hogan


4.43


9


Undertaker


3.82


-0.61


5


Rock


3.92


11


Triple H


3.54


-0.28


4


HBK


3.43


2


Triple H


3.40




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ges7184
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#2 Posted on 26.1.03 1221.21
Reposted on: 26.1.10 1229.01
I think most people were saying Austin shouldn't have received the award because he wasn't there were treating the awards as a 'work', instead of legitimate. I don't think who deserved the award is considered in their minds.

Even at that, it seems now to have been a rush to judgement, as it is clear that Austin wasn't there in order to set up the Bischoff angle.

If we are talking about legitimate awards, I think most people would be hard pressed to really argue that Austin wasn't deserving.

(edited by ges7184 on 26.1.03 1222)
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