On Tuesday, April 21, NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski was traded by the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so he could rejoin Tom Brady. Not only does this officially end Gronk’s retirement from the NFL, but it also marks and interesting cross promotion between the WWE and NFL as Gronk took the WWE 24/7 Championship with him.
Gronk even took to twitter Wednesday night (April 22) to say he would keep the 24/7 Championship.
Mr. 24/7 pic.twitter.com/7arvEqEOP7
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) April 23, 2020
Seizing an opportunity
Gronk won the title by pinning his buddy, Mojo Rawley, at WrestleMania 36. The title, as many fans know, is defended 24 hours a day, seven days a week, hence its name.
The problem here is fans really don’t care about the title, so Vince McMahon doesn’t have a problem with soiling it further by using it for cross promotion. And judging by the news sites that have shared this story, it’s working to bring the WWE into the mainstream if only for a few seconds.
The problem here is the NFL has a rule against their players partaking in “risky activities” such as professional wrestling. Given how much many are paid and what they mean to their teams, obviously no one wants to see a star player get injured doing something stupid. Remember Jason Pierre Paul’s Fourth of July incident a few years back?
But we think McMahon is good with this as he sees Gronk’s future with the WWE, and the fact he may have the belt in press conferences (I’m sure the NFL won’t allow that) or at his side during photo ops is worth making the title look more worthless than it is. They may even have him lose it with a soft pin like with Brisco, Patterson, and others.
Any advertisement is good advertisement
This is showmanship at its finest, and it’s a boost the WWE needs as their stock has fallen to 2018 levels and McMahon has released roughly 40% of his employees in a cost cutting/recouping maneuver.
In short, the WWE is floundering, but thus far have managed to stem the blood flow by making new deals.
Of course, these deals have negated the net loss monetary-wise from their stocks as they still managed a profit, or as McMahon put it, business was “Largely unimpacted” by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020’s first quarter.
The real problem is, and we’ve harped on it many times, they don’t seem to have a creative direction. They’ve been putting gout a mediocre product, pushing people the fans don’t want, and the entire thing has made them unwatchable to a lot of people.
They don’t have to return to the raunch of the Attitude Era, but stop treating matches like they’re a video game and give us matches and wrestlers like in the Golden and Attitude Eras than made us fall in love with the sport.
At some point, McMahon will have to listen to the fans and not his ego.
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