Welcome ladies and gentlemen to what promises to be a fest of pessimism towards the show we follow daily. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, because this very show deserves its share of criticism, to a point where even they know they deserve it, but are too insolent and indolent to change it.
However, before we delve into this quagmire of negativity, a few shiny lines on what is good: we have lengthy title reigns, Internet darlings CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Paul Heyman, Seth Rollins (and many more) are relevant and used well and the tag team and divas division are emitting sparks, feeble they may be, but sparks nonetheless.
That, rather depressingly, was the good part.
A simple scouting mission over the cyber terrain of IWC would allow you to deduce that fans blame most of the problems on a) Linda McMahon’s Senate campaign or b) PG Era or c) WWE Creative or d) Sin Cara. Sin Cara creates his own botchy problems, so he’s out of this list.
Sorry buddy, next time.
Any problem can solved by attacking the root of it all, but what exactly is the root of our problems?
a) Linda McMahon’s Senate campaign
You may find that all three of these heels are interrelated, and juxtapose to form that vicious many-headed beast that represents everything that’s bad in WWE today (two of those heads belong to Alberto Del Rio and Jerry Lawler, respectively). Despite this connection, there is an independence of action residing with all three problems, and it’s up to us to find out whose action results in our disgruntled reaction.
As long as Linda McMahon harbors ambitious hopes, WWE and controversy will have to stay a fair distance from each other, though we are visited by good ol’ hypocrisy at times. Pro wrestling was a dirty, dirty sport filled to the brim with drugs, politics and backstabbing...the Montreal Screwjob being a fine example. We knew what we loved was extreme, which was one of the reasons we were compelled to watch. Controversy ignites interest...a lot of it.
Today’s WWE, however, tiptoes in fear of distorting its image simply because the chairman’s wife shouldn’t be linked to something bad which is stupid because your Be A Star Like Sheamus campaign won’t work if Sheamus is thrashing cars, puking in them, cheating in matches and being a bully. Don’t be a bully Sheamus, be a STAR! (with STAR in CAPS!)
AW’s Kobe Bryant joke was controversial, and got his team exactly the attention he wanted them to get. People had more reasons to boo PTP, and that was the point. Many promos and storylines from the Attitude Era would be chronologically misplaced in today’s WWE.
It’s excruciatingly difficult to compel viewers and stir up controversy while trying to maintain a good boy image. Good boys don’t stir up controversy and ergo interest, so this might very well be your lethal paradox.
b) PG Era
I don’t have a colossal problem with PG Era, I just have a problem with WWE’s perception of what is PG and their flirting around with it. Cursing and explicit jokes in promos were at times funny (Rock promos especially) but we can live without them.
However, WWE’s perception that extreme, hardcore matches along with copious amounts of blood will affect kids is flawed. I went in detail on this topic here (so if you love me, do give it a read), but kids today grow up playing games and watching movies filled with gore and corpses. When we were kids, we grew up watching barbed wire and inferno matches and we’ve all grown up fine people (hopefully).
PG Era is linked to Linda’s campaign, and under its influence it’s been sweetened further to make it sweeter than it’s supposed to be. That doesn’t mean WWE can’t create better television under the brand of PG. They can, they’re just playing safe.
c) WWE Creative
A lot of you might say WWE Creative is restricted by the dictums of both a) and b). They are no doubt, and I pity their predicament, but it doesn’t restrict their common sense. PG and Senate campaigns can’t completely affect the way you book stories and matches, so the blame lies solely on WWE Creative.
Numerous storylines in recent years have been squandered away (walk-out angle, Awesome Truth, Anonymous GM), new superstars have been booked horribly (Brodus Clay, Ryback, Lord Tensai, Sin Cara) along with some older superstars (Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre) topped off by lazy booking for most John Cena and now Sheamus matches.
What is annoying here is that, they can do better if they want to...they just don’t. They could’ve easily booked Ziggler as a more credible threat and champion material since 2011, but he’s still getting beheaded by Brogue Kicks. The recent Anger Management skits are an example of how great they can be if they actually try. If.
Hopefully, TNA will keep improving to finally jolt the WWE Creative and challenge them to bring out their best.
Anyway, who do you think is hurting WWE the most?
Thanks for the read all.
Shalaj Lawania is now virtually old enough on the Internet for you to recognize him, but still miraculously n00by enough for you to keep being mean to him (at least there's some progress, however minimal). He is also a contributor for WrestleEnigma.com, so do check it out if you love him and his works and are very sweet. For more love, you can follow him on Twitter if you have a good annoying tweets threshold. For the rest, use Wikipedia.