Why Kurt Angle, Marshawn Lynch and Rick Grimes Are TV’s Social Media MVPs of the Week

Here are the week’s most emotionally reacted-to TV personalities and characters

Kurt Angle
WWE legend Kurt Angle

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, a returning WWE wrestler and a fan-favorite from “The Walking Dead” had viewers talking passionately on social media over the past seven days.

The Wrap has partnered with Canvs, the emotion measurement company, for a weekly look at some of the characters and personalities that have TV viewers the most worked up on social media. The data below covers Oct. 18-24 and is drawn from the most emotionally reacted-to television programs, including broadcast, cable, streaming and PPV.

Marshawn Lynch sparked an avalanche of conversation during the NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders, which was broadcast on the NFL Network and received 94,859 Emotional Reactions (ERs). A scuffle between teams broke out after the Chiefs’ Marcus Peters delivered a late hit to Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, and Lynch actually ran off the sideline and into the scrum, where he ended up shoving an official. The Raiders running back was unceremoniously ejected from the game and given a one-game suspension. While some viewers were unimpressed by Lynch’s lack of restraint and called him stupid, others were at least amused by his actions.

The “WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs” PPV event on Oct. 22 received 72,328 ERs, with pro wrestler Kurt Angle being the most-mentioned participant. Days before the event, some of the scheduled fighters were diagnosed with a viral infection, leaving them unable to compete — so WWE called on Angle, a Hall of Famer who most recently has been the general manager of “Monday Night Raw” — to suit up. Viewers were pleased to see him in the ring, with some professing that he still has the skills.


The season eight premiere of AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead” generated 59,403 ERs and, unsurprisingly, it was the show’s main man Rick Grimes (portrayed by Andrew Lincoln) who drove the most conversation. Fans were thrilled to see Rick back in action, rallying his troops for a war again Negan and the Saviors. But viewers were a little confused during what seemed to be a flash-forward scene, with Rick depicted as an older man sporting a gray beard and using a cane while Michonne (Danai Gurira) appeared to be the same (non-flash-forward) age.