WWE: 10 Stupid Trends in Pro Wrestling That Should Stop
You know this has happened to you before: You're watching an episode of Raw or SmackDown, and you think to yourself, "Man, that was stupid."
There are all kinds of things in pro wrestling that just don't seem to make sense, and we fans are the first to point them out and criticize the people who make them happen.
While it may seem petty or pessimistic of us, there are just some instances where the WWE does things that are quite puzzling and, thus, downright infuriating for the fans who have to sit through them. Perhaps most importantly, though, these things happen over and over again and start to become trends.
A word to the WWE (and even TNA): These need to end. ASAP.
Here are 10 stupid pro wrestling trends that have to stop.
10. Mid-Match Interruptions with Music
One of the WWE's most recent obsessions is having mid-match interruptions in which a Diva or Superstar's entrance is music is played.
I absolutely can't stand it, though.
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I thought that one main reason for a star interfering or interrupting a rival's match was the element of surprise. When his entrance music plays, however, there's no surprise whatsoever.
Instead, the fans' focus that should be on the match ends up going to Big Show, AJ or whoever's music it is that is playing over the loud speakers for some reason that I'll probably never quite understand.
Why a superstar just can't make his way to the ring through the crowd or the entrance ramp without any music, I just don't know. But it feels like entrance songs play mid-match at least once per show these days, and it's one of those small things that's grown to be really bothersome.
9. A Finisher for Some, but Not for Others
If a move is going to be a finisher, it should be a finisher for all who use it. Not just for some.
For example, Sheamus uses the White Noise as a setup for his finisher, the Brogue Kick. But not long ago, Finlay used the same exact move...and used it as a finisher.
Similarly, someone like Primo uses the Backstabber as a finisher, but Alberto Del Rio uses it mid-match and, for some reason or another, it doesn't have the same effect.
That's just too much inconsistency for me.
If multiple stars are going to use the same move and one will use it as a finishing maneuver, then both guys should be able to put their opponents away with that move.
There's no logical reason as to why a move should have an entirely different effect based on the guys that are using it—unless, of course, it's a power move and one is significantly larger than the other.
8. Bad Timing of Commercial Breaks
In both the WWE and TNA, the timing of commercials is horrendous.
I don't know about you, but I have exactly zero interest in seeing superstar entrances that I've already seen 200 times before. So, why does the WWE or TNA feel the need to show all entrances (in big matches, that is), but then have one or two poorly timed commercial breaks during the match?
For example, you might have a tag team match pitting Kane and Daniel Bryan against The Miz and Antonio Cesaro. Why on earth do we need to see all four of their entrances?
At least in my view, the logical thing to do would be to cut the entrances altogether and then show the match in its entirety rather than showing the entrances, one minute of the match and then cutting to commercial. In the latter scenario, we typically end up missing a majority of the match.
As bad as this is in the WWE, though, it's 10 times worse in TNA. Just about every week, the main event is interrupted by two commercials sandwiched around a 30-second look-in at the main event.
That's incredibly poor timing that really hurts the flow of the show.
7. Turning Stars Heel or Face Far Too Often
Both TNA and the WWE are guilty of this.
If you take a little break from watching either program, chances are you will tune in one day and be shocked that a particular star turned heel (or babyface) yet again.
In the WWE, it's usually someone like Kane, Big Show, Natalya or Alicia Fox, who have all changed sides so many times that it's hard to keep count. In TNA, there are guys like Samoa Joe and Mr. Anderson, who are approaching Kane territory with the absurd number of turns they've had.
Although I'm all for turns to freshen someone up, there comes a point when you turn a guy so much that the fans don't know how to react to him or, even worse, don't react to him at all.
Both of the country's top pro wrestling organizations need to learn to stay the course with a wrestler for a while and only change his heel/face alignment when the time is right.
6. Stars Reminding Us Who They Are in Every Promo
"My name...is Randy Orton."
"I am CM Punk, and I am the WWE Champion."
"My name is John Laurinaitis, and I am the executive vice president of talent relations..."
Geez, make it stop.
5. Get the Advantage on TV, Lose on PPV
Some people refer to this as the "Even Stevens" booking.
To put it simply, it's the WWE's style of booking where whichever guy gets the advantage on the last Raw or SmackDown before a PPV is pretty much a lock to lose at the actual PPV show.
Let's say, for example, that Big Show knocks out Sheamus with a WMD on the last SmackDown before Hell in a Cell. Well, that essentially ensures that Sheamus is going to walk out of that PPV as the World Heavyweight Champion.
It's booking that makes sense in a way, but it also tends to make the outcome of big PPV matches outrageously predictable.
Perhaps the WWE should start changing things up for once and booking a guy strongly before he picks up a big win on PPV rather than doing exactly the opposite.
4. Debuting/Returning Superstars with Squash-Filled Winning Streaks
The creative team apparently isn't all that creative.
In 2012 alone, we've seen the debuts or returns of a number of superstars whom the WWE clearly had intentions of pushing. Yet creative did next to nothing to differentiate those stars from each other.
Brodus Clay, Antonio Cesaro, Damien Sandow and Ryback all debuted/returned by doing the same thing: squashing no-names or lower-card workers. In fact, Wade Barrett is in the process of doing exactly the same thing as we speak.
I don't understand why that's happened.
While guys like Ryback and Sandow are getting over big time, I still maintain that it would have been much more effective for the WWE to debut these guys in, you know, actual storylines rather than give them squash-match winning streaks.
It's a telltale sign of lazy booking and the creative team having no idea what to do with superstars who should play major roles in major angles.
3. Storylines Disappearing Without Any Explanation
I'm fine with some storylines (like ones that suck) being dropped because they just aren't any good.
But angles being dropped before they even get started? I hate that.
The list of "forgotten" angles would literally take years to compile, and it's grown exponentially over the last couple of years. Looking at 2011 and 2012, there's a laundry list of storylines that were dropped without any explanation whatsoever
Just recently, we saw the beginning of an angle where both AJ Lee and Booker T were being portrayed as "incompetent" GMs. But that angle evolved into, well, absolutely nothing.
I could give you more examples, but I think you get the idea. The WWE, and TNA to a lesser extent, starts far too many angles and then abandons them without giving us any real closure.
2. Authority Figures Dominating Storylines
Authority figures can be an integral part of storylines, but let me once again stress that can part.
The problem in both the WWE and TNA is that authority figures often dominate the show's top angles even though they're usually retired wrestlers who are up there in age.
All it takes is a look at TNA's recent Aces and Eights storyline, which has seen a heavy dose of both Hulk Hogan and Sting throughout each two-hour Impact. Similarly on the WWE side, John Laurinaitis, Booker T, AJ and even Teddy Long have recently played big roles in storylines as well.
Although these can work on occasion, for the most part all they really accomplish is taking valuable TV time away from actual full-time wrestlers and giving it to big names or veterans who don't need it.
Hogan's time has come and gone. So has Laurinaitis', Booker T's and Sting's.
We don't need these authority figures hogging the spotlight. A supporting role in a major angle is OK every now and then, but both the WWE and TNA need to know where to draw that line.
1. Top Babyfaces Being Booked so Strongly, Heels Losing Too Much
My no. 1 pet peeve in all of pro wrestling, ladies and gentlemen: The ridiculously strong booking of top babyfaces.
Look, I get that it's common in pro wrestling for good to triumph over evil. But especially in the WWE, the tremendously strong booking of its good guys has gotten to be borderline absurd.
There's supposed to be a struggle or obstacles for babyfaces to overcome, but instead, they dominate their heel counterparts all the time. It's rare to see top faces like Randy Orton, John Cena and Sheamus (who just had a 25-match TV/PPV win streak ended) lose without some sort of dirty finish.
On the flip side, recent top heels like Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Big Show and Alberto Del Rio have lost so many matches that no one really ever expects them to win. And this has unfortunately turned into a big problem for the WWE.
One of the main appeals of pro wrestling is to watch the good guy overcome adversity to topple the bad guy who's at the top, but if the good guys always win, where's the payoff? Why should we care?
That's a huge problem the WWE has created by its own doing, resulting in predictable storylines, a lack of strong top heels and a trio of nearly unbeatable babyfaces.
And until the WWE decides to book its top heel likes its top babyfaces, that problem will only get worse.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!