USA Network Heat on WWE Tough Enough?, Talk on Chris Jericho as Host and Wrestling’s Popularity
– According to The Wrestling Observer, sources at the USA Network indicate that officials there believe pro wrestling’s popularity is cycling downward, which is indicated by the decline in ratings.
Regarding disappointing numbers for WWE Tough Enough, it was noted by The Observer that USA feels the format of Tough Enough, with how it’s taped and live, isn’t working because it doesn’t give the Tough Enough judges enough time to make fair decisions, and the fans are only given a few minutes instead of a whole day or a whole week to vote. They feel this turns off the audience and leads to a poor word of mouth buzz.
USA officials also reportedly feel like Steve Austin was a dynamic presence with charisma that carried the previous Tough Enough season and current host Chris Jericho is seen more like a game show host. There is no blame or heat on Chris Jericho but they are blaming the format of the show because it feels more like a game show instead of a reality TV competition. USA is also reportedly concerned with how the last two Tough Enough winners, Daniel Puder and Andy Leavine, were released before never amounting to anything in WWE. The original idea behind Tough Enough was that the winner gets a WWE contract and is expected to become a star but there’s a feeling now that winning the show means nothing so fans don’t care.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter
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