Well, hello. As you may know, the WWE peeps are being encouraged to use Twitter. Twitter, if you don’t know, or live under a rock, is a “social network” that allows you to communicate in 140 characters or less. A lot of peeps have been on this for a while already; Chris Jericho’s random tweets about metal bands have been entertaining, and Tommy Dreamer has shown a fine line in self depreciating wit – and you haven’t lived until you’ve read one of Steve Austin’s bizarre stories about sharks.
The point of it? Twitter on the whole is a fun little distraction; but the WWE are obviously gonna try and use this to branch out. It can be used to draw visitors and attention to their website, or it can be used to further their on screen storylines, indeed we’ve perhaps seen it beginning with Matt Hardy tweeting about Drew McIntyre in the context of what’s been happening on Smackdown.
The problem there is when the lines between reality and entertainment become even further blurred. Over the past few years, the WWE have treated kayfabe like a light switch, turning it on and off as and when it suits them. Even something like Tough Enough or NXT would never have occurred during the old draconian era of kayfabe above everything, a time when the Iron Sheik and Hacksaw Jim Duggan got busted by the police, and the biggest problem was that a heel and a face were travelling together.
Recently, on the afore mentioned NXT, we’ve had Michael Cole railing against the fans on the Internet. This is more than likely Vince feeding him lines born of his own frustration at not being able to control the IWC or buy it out like anything else he’s come across in his life. It is still quite significant in that there’s an official acknowledgment of a community outside of the official “WWE Universe” that we have force fed down our throat.
The IWC has understandably been bemused by the treatment of Daniel Bryan Danielson on NXT, but to me, that situation has been managed well. Danielson doesn’t NEED the extra help that the NXT winner will undoubtedly receive; Danielson, with or without the help of the WWE, will be just fine. Look at the last multi time Ring of Honor champion to arrive in the WWE; the hardcore fans feared the worst for CM Punk – yet now, he’s a mainstay of Smackdown. I foresee a similar situation for Danielson in the future.
The established performers in the WWE don’t need the extra attention and visibility that regular Twitter postings will give them – will John Cena sell more shirts if he posts about the Boston Celtics NBA series? Doubtful. But it will give a bit of instant gratification to each of his approximately 30,000 followers on there. Making that link to people is what the likes of Twitter, and even the WWE Universe can bring to the table that can possibly change the way wrestling is presented to the fans.
Of course, John Cena didn’t respond to my tweet of “You can’t Twitter clap clap clap-clap-clap” so it’s not a perfect system by any means…
Until next time, whenever that may be… have fun, go mad.