Over the last 18 months, I have had a great time writing articles for Bleacher Report, and most of those articles have been based on the things I miss in wrestling from years gone by. The readers of Bleacher Report have done a great job commenting on the articles and have really made the articles much better than I could have ever imagined.
This article is going in a different direction, though, as I am going to give my opinion on five of the most overrated and/or overused parts of WWE. These are strictly opinion, and I gladly accept the criticism and comments that make these boards so productive. Either way, thank you for taking the time to read and respond.
Three months ago, I am not sure that I would make this complaint. The various Twitter references leading up to WrestleMania were tolerable, but post-Wrestlemania has provided us with the constant reminder that WWE is trying to be a leader in social media.
I really do believe that most fans do not tune into Raw or SmackDown to see who is trending. However, an episode doesn't go 15 minutes without the reminder of what is trending. Over the last month or so, Tout has now been given to us as a way to watch the wrestlers provide their opinions on something WWE related. I think this would be more beneficial if we saw a different side to the wrestlers.
In a weird way, I think the Tout/WWE relationship "jumped the shark" after watching that passionate speech by Brock Lesnar this past Monday claiming that he was leaving WWE and never coming back. It was awkward watching that and knowing that he had no desire to be doing that Tout.
There comes a time in all shows that it is time to stop filming and call it a career, then move on to other things. Unfortunately, I think that time has come for Zack Ryder and his YouTube show. As Zack was trying to make a name for himself, this was a brilliant idea for him to market himself outside of the WWE. He wasn't getting a push so he gave himself a push using YouTube as his platform.
It worked, and slowly over the course of 2011, he was being pushed on-screen as his following off screen began to increase. Reaching the title of U.S. Champion, Zack Ryder was climbing the mountain, but somehow he didn't seem ready or go over nearly as well with many of the WWE Universe. While some superstars shine when the bright lights are on them, Ryder did not fare so well with his run.
Watching the episodes now do not have the same edge that they used to, and Ryder is no longer a wrestler that few have heard of. Granted, many people will say that when WWE took editorial control of his show, one could only expect the show to suffer. Even Ryder's Twitter account provides little value compared to what it used to. Here's to remembering what the show used to be.
This is the toughest one to post, but I think we all get to a point where we realize athletes/entertainers just aren't as good as they used to be. While it is nice watching the all-time greats compete, over time it seems as though the skills diminish and the impact is not as great as it used to be. As much as the WWE tried to convince us otherwise, the random schedule of wrestlers like Triple H mean nothing to the overall product of the show.
Triple H is one of the all-time greats, and he has a place among them, but watching him come out every 5-6 months and wrestle knowing that it will not be a consistent thing hurts the development of the other wrestlers, thus preventing them from getting their chance.
The Royal Rumble always provides us with the opportunity to see a legend, or legends, return to the ring, but after about two minutes, you lose focus of them, and realize you are back to watching the current superstars of the WWE. I think a partial reason of this is that today's audience does not remember the wrestlers of the past, and they have no connection to them, so the response is lukewarm at best. There are better roles for the legends, but the random participation by them is something that we do not need anymore.
This is the one that may cause a lot of disagreement with the Bleacher Creatures. Rarely, do I watch an event and the announcers cause the show to suffer. I know it can happen, but I have watched hundreds of sporting events this year, and do not remember switching because of the announcing.
I am in the minority when I say that I am a fan of Michael Cole, and I think that he has done a good job, but Cole doesn't make or break the show for me. Many fans want Jim Ross back as the full time announcer, but that is not going to happen. Jim Ross is a fantastic announcer, and may be the all time greatest. However, before Ross, Vince McMahon was great as an announcer, and Gorilla Monsoon was great in the '80s and '90s.
Announcers do need to be there and tell the story, and you do have to have someone there with credibility, or you have Matt Striker on your hands. However, a solid announce person is all you need for the show to complete the flow of the show. Pair him with a decent partner, and you have the basic essentials for the broadcast.
This one amazes me by its longevity. When wrestlers use their catch phrases, they do not last as long as the "what" chants. Somehow, fans in attendance think that it is still good to chant what during promos. The problem is, when those chants were popular, Steve Austin was playing off the fans with this phrase. As audiences try to start the chants again, wrestlers do not even acknowledge the chants, and the crowd sounds horrible trying to start them.
Half the time the crowd thinks the superstar is finished talking, and they scream "What?" Unfortunately, when the superstar continues speaking, the chants break down and results in noise from the crowd. At the peak of a chant or saying, the crowd provides so much energy that it is exciting to hear. As Daniel Bryan and the "Yes" chants break out, it is exciting to hear. What's going to happen when Bryan moves away from that, yet the fans continue to chant?
The crowd at Raw and SmackDown used to be on fire for these events, but have not had much to cheer about for the last few years.
This was one of the tougher articles that I have written, and probably won't sit well with many readers.
This doesn't mean that I am right or wrong, as many of you may enjoy what I have written about. I still love the product of the WWE, and the potential that it can provide. I value your opinion, whether it is good or bad, and I enjoy reading your comments at the end of the article.