(note: all data as of 5/26/2019)
Once you start looking at WWE's YouTube numbers, the company's "strategy" for pushing certain stars, storylines, and segments makes a whole lot more sense. Don't believe me? Just take a look at these stats about the company's most popular videos of all time…
* Four of the top five videos of all time feature John Cena (the only one that doesn't, No. 2, features a very personal Randy Orton/Triple H feud segment from almost a decade ago)
* No. 5 is the only one uploaded within the last 18 months. It's actually a "WWE Top 10: Stunning in ring proposals" video, but showcases the Nikki Bella/John Cena moment from WrestleMania 33.
* The Top 5 videos amassed over half-a-billion views. That's more than the entire United States population, which clocks in a 327.2 million (shut up, I know that's not how these numbers work).
* The Great Khali barely missed out… his winning the World Heavyweight Championship in a 20-Man Battle Royal back on a 2007 edition of SmackDown was the SIXTH most-popular WWE YouTube video of all time.
So yes, obviously John Cena is money (there's a reason the company brings him back at every chance they get), Triple H and Randy Orton are both still larger-than-WWE draws (hence their Crown Jewel Part Deux pairing), and Brock Lesnar + John Cena appears to be the Holy Grail, holding that top spot with pride from a segment that took place only a week after Brock Lesnar shockingly returned to WWE after exiting UFC back in 2012.
None of this is surprising. All of these stars came into their prime (sans HHH) right alongside YouTube itself. The generation of fans that follows them would also be the ones most-likely to be viewing their videos on the internet, right?
But also, you have to go back to the No. 10 spot to find a video exclusively featuring a segment and superstar from within the last few years. The three-minute clip, "Stephanie McMahon is furious with Roman Reigns," came from a 2015 RAW where Reigns was confronted by a very game Stephanie for beating the crap out of Triple H the previous night at TLC.
And if you consider that WWE only had around 90,000 YouTube followers back in 2010, and is now sitting at roughly 420,000…. And that the company is adding over 5 million views monthly… it seems like more recent segments should be sliding up the list.
But they're simply not.
One could argue The Nexus debut, sitting pretty at spot No. 19, features a younger batch of stars. Unfortunately, none of them (does Heath Slater still count?) are with the company anymore. A "Top 10 SmackDown Live Moments," which has the cover image of Eva Marie covered in a towel, is hanging tight at No. 24.
Which brings me to my next painful(ly obvious) point: sex still sells.
* Kissing-related clips occupy three of the top 25 spots.
* Relationship/sex-related clips (including cover images) occupy SEVEN of the top 50 spots.
* A clip of Vickie Guerrero in a sexually-suggestive position with Hornswaggle and The Great Khali sits at No. 51, only one spot behind (and 1 million views behind) the only clip focusing on your reigning Women World Champions, Becky Lynch and Charlotte.
So while we wonder why WWE continues to focus on aging stars, sex/relationship-driven storylines, and groan-inducing comedy segments, the company can point to plenty of online data points that argue those are the kinds of things its audience is into.
And if you talk about WWE's latest ratings-grabbing ploy - the Wild Card Rule - it makes sense why Vince would want Roman Reigns on every show possible. Not only is he the first modern superstar to crack the Top 10 of all time, his videos draw monster clicks week-over-week.
For example, this video titled "Roman Reigns' biggest wins" is the most popular of the last seven days. Not only that, it amassed 4.7 million views in just 24 hours time. So I mean, if your champion is supposed to be your top draw, maybe all those moments we saw as failures-to-launch were actually WWE getting it exactly right?