Last week, one of my favorite things (pro wrestling) collided with something I hate (Jersey Shore)–and all for ratings. But it worked.
Snooki was the guest host of WWE’s Monday Night Raw when WWE rolled through St. Louis last week. She had a backstage scuffle with Vickie Guerrero, which led to Snooki slapping Guerrero in the face. By show’s end, Snooki had jumped in the ring, literally pounced onto one of the WWE Divas and started beating her up. This lead to Trish Stratus and John Morrison saving the day and an enraged Guerrero issuing a challenge to Snooki, Stratus and Morrison–At Wrestlemania.
A reality tv star with no training whatsoever is being showcased in one of the biggest matches at the biggest wrestling show of the year. As a wrestling fan who watches for the athleticism and talent of the WRESTLERS, seeing stars from other elements get tossed into a wrestling ring makes me question why I still watch the ‘sport.’ I know Sam Muchnick would be rolling over in his grave if he knew a fake-baked reality tv star will be a Wrestlemania headliner.
However, I can’t deny the tremendous amount of press coverage WWE is going to get from meshing with Jersey Shore. They have already been covered on TMZ and other celebrity gossip sites, and friends of mine who watch Jersey Shore but despise wrestling were talking about Snooki on RAW. People are talking about wrestling. Professional wrestling. And in case you haven’t noticed, since the Attitude Era lost its spark, next to nobody has been talking about wrestling.
Vince McMahon and his creative team are generating interest (and those ever-important ratings) the best way they know how–bringing the biggest stars in the entertainment industry to the forefront of their biggest spectacle of the year. Jersey Shore fans will tune into Wrestlemania to watch Snooki wrestle. Every celebrity gossip will write something about Snooki ‘putting the smackdown on Vickie Guerrero at the grandest stage of them all.’ Every entertainment news station will show clips of Snooki walking down the entrance ramp and giving Guerrero a clothesline or kick to the gut to show her ‘worth’ in the wrestling business.
And as much as that makes me cringe, it’s what has to be done to generate interest from the casual and closet wrestling fans. It’s what has to be done to get record-breaking numbers at Wrestlemania. Because, apparently, having a solid card and good build up to fueds just doesn’t work anymore. And in about 10 years, WWE will get another ratings boost when they induct her to the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame.