WWE Saturday Morning Slam: What's the Verdict so Far?
WWE has been busy adding to its TV lineup. Saturday Morning Slam is yet another option for entertainment-starved fans, but specifically the very little ones.
Its Saturday morning show is clearly designed for a younger audience, with its focus on WWE's lighter side and its TV-G rating.
There are some kid shows that adults can enjoy alongside their little ones. Spongebob Squarepants actually has some higher-level jokes snuck in there. Phineas and Ferb features some sophisticated humor alongside its slapstick and sight gags.
Saturday Morning Slam is more along the vein of The Wiggles, unwatchable for anyone over 10.
WWE wasn't trying for Raw is War here, though. Does it succeed with its intended audience? Is it something to recommend to your John Cena-clad nephew?
The short answer is yes.
Kids don't have the high expectations from their wrestling shows that adult fans have. They just want to see their favorite superstars on TV, for the good guy to win and feel like they are getting bonus entertainment.
Saturday Morning Slam is a fast-paced show that lasts 30 minutes, minus commercials. It generally features one match surrounded by superstar interviews and other filler.
The exclusive match has so far featured midcard performers and superstars more over with kids than adults.
Brodus Clay fought Curt Hawkins. Sin Cara faced Michael McGillicutty. Kofi Kingston went up against Heath Slater.
Spoiler alert, the face wins every time.
Much was made about WWE's decision to tone down the violence of these matches by outlawing moves to the neck. As these matches aren't hour-long epics or brawls in the crowd, that change doesn't affect the matches all that much.
Essentially what this leads to is more pre-match pantomiming and showboating as well as more body slam-type moves. The action becomes the equivalent of light beer, thinner and less robust.
Kids will enjoy segments like Miz's tips on how to be awesome or having John Cena say a few words to them. The jump cuts and rock background music attempts to please this target demographic as well.
The show's real strength, though, is in its reverence for WWE history.
Alongside clips of current superstars are bits about wrestlers of the past. Adult fans who were around to see Lex Luger or Randy Savage wrestle don't need to be told who those guys were.
For kids, it's a brilliant way to deepen their enjoyment and appreciation of the art.
Each episode, a wrestler gives kids a pop quiz about past WWE matches and wrestlers.
The difficulty of these quizzes would make any self-respecting mark snort derisively. Children, however, are sure to be fascinated by the wrestling world that came before them.
Saturday Morning Slam is one of a multitude of options for getting a WWE fix. Whether or not it's worth watching comes down to a simple equation.
If you can visually represent your age with a show of fingers, then you'll probably dig the show. Otherwise, stick to Raw, SmackDown, NXT, etc.
It's a place for wrestlers like Brodus Clay and Santino Marella to thrive, as well as a starting point in a child's pro wrestling education.
The show is much like a magazine: full of pictures and snippets of information, but lacking any real depth. Saturday Morning Slam is crammed in between episodes of Justice League and Dragon Ball Z, another array of eye candy for kids to chow down on.
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