He can run a two minute drill in the Super Bowl, but can he run WWE RAW? Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be next week’s WWE Guest Host. Big Ben promises to bring his entire offensive line with him. More importantly, will he bring some of those Monday Night Football fans with him.
The signing of Roethlisberger is a huge coup for the WWE. The WWE annually see their Monday night ratings drop once the football season starts back up. What better way to combat the NFL than by using one of their biggest stars against them? Before you start crying foul, the NFL did fire the first shot when they brought in The Rock to kick off a MNF game a while back.
[adinserter block=”1″]My first thought is that it is really odd for Roethlisberger to commit to something like this in the middle of an NFL season. He isn’t even on a bye week! I would be a little concerned if I was a Steelers fan that a day after losing a critical division game to the Cincinnati Bengals, Roethlisberger is booking himself out for WWE appearances. I doubt many Pittsburgh Steelers fan will be too excited to see Big Ben goofing around in a WWE ring if the Steelers lose on Sunday.
For the WWE, it is a brilliant move. Die-hard NFL fans will stick to MNF, but casual fans will definitely check it out. Big Ben will be the second professional athlete to play WWE Guest Host. Shaq was the first and in my opinion, the best of the entire bunch. The crossover appeal paid huge dividends in the ratings as well. The WWE needs to be more proactive in recruiting all of the pro athletes that happen to be big WWE fans for this gig. Believe me, there are no shortage of WWE fans in pro sports.
The timing is definitely coincidence for the WWE. MNF will host arguably the most anticipated NFL game of the year when Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings take on Favre’s old team the Green Bay Packers. This is definitely a reaction to the big game by Vince McMahon. NFL fans have had October 05 circled since Brett Favre returned in August. I can’t see a whole lot of them changing plans because Ben Roethlisberger is on WWE TV.
[adinserter block=”2″]This really could turn out to be a wasted opportunity in the end by the WWE. I think the barometer for the RAW ratings will be set much lower than usual with such a big game on ESPN. I don’t think this has much to do with gaining new fans and beating the NFL. I think this has more to do with retaining their current fans and bringing the NFL to them. On the other hand, I would expect a lot more NFL players on WWE RAW if this turns out to be a ratings hit.
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