Sports, especially individual ones, really do need/benefit from "Heels". Many fans tune into boxing matches or other events solely hoping to see a certain participant lose. Wrestling just has so little of this because College is the final stop for 99% and we don't really vilify kids at that level. Plus, a vast majority in the sport were taught to use the box phrase answers for everything. Humility and NO EXCUSES. Rinse-Repeat.
At this point, I don't know that switching to that type of "sensationalism" would draw fans. But, I don't see it hurting.
As an aside, I don't think sports viewership is really affected by "the almighty dollar". It really comes down to the fact that we now have a million, bizillion things we can do with our time and, as a result, sports are no longer pastimes. When the pro sports were at their apex, many people still didn't have tv's, Netflix, computers, video games and smart phones. That doesn't even mention instagram, facebook and twitter.