After last week’s Raw received a 2.5 television rating (h/t SEScoops)—the lowest non-holiday rating in 15 years—WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon reportedly went on one of his vintage backstage tirades Monday night.
This time, it was the creative team that faced the scorn of the boss.
In what I am told was a "scary scene" backstage at Raw about an hour ago, Vince McMahon pretty much told the WWE Creative team that he wanted to see things change, and that no one's job was safe if they didn't.
Perhaps to illustrate his point, Brian Gewirtz, who has been the top writer for the company for a long time and especially oversaw the Raw side of things (Dave Kapoor wrote the show but everything went through Gewirtz, then Stephanie and Vince McMahon), has been dropped from the creative team.
While fans may remain unsure of how to make this situation out, it is clear that the WWE is being pressured by outside and inside sources because of the low ratings. When Vinnie Mac feels the heat, everyone feels the heat.
The WWE Universe should be readying for monumental changes to the product.
How This Helps WWE
While the low ratings are not good for the WWE, this is the kind of situation that forces the company to self-evaluate its direction and remember just how much the business side of WWE is predicated on the in-ring action.
The creative team has been flat-out terrible for a long time in the WWE and everyone already realized it except the people in charge. The hope now is that the right people got in Vince McMahon’s ear and the issues of poor superstar management and illogical booking will cease.
It’s a lot to ask from a company that has been going down the wrong tracks for a long time, but the WWE needs to revert back to simpler booking to unleash its creative team and its superstars.
With a roster as deep as the WWE’s, there should be several well-constructed divisions and viable threats to each and every title.
As of right now, there isn’t.
As much as threatening someone’s job isn’t the right answer to a problem, fighting for your livelihood can bring out the best in people. Maybe with careers hanging in the balance, the creativity will start flowing back in the veins of the creative team.
Their hearts are pumping faster today; that’s for sure.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is This the End of the PG Era?
While many fans want to believe that Monday’s McMahon blowup will end the PG era, those poor souls are sadly mistaken.
As long as Linda McMahon is running for a seat in the United States Senate on the conservative platform, there is no way the WWE will be reverting to their risqué programming like they had during the Attitude Era.
So, for the last time, stop trying to rekindle that fire, WWE Universe.
The WWE is a business that caters to a wide demographic of viewers; many of which are younger children that have the support of the parents’ money.
After all the years of John Cena as champion, it blows my mind that fans still don’t realize that the WWE pushes what sells.
Was it a coincidence that Cena wasn’t on the lowest-rated Raw in 15 years or is there a direct correlation?
Logical thinking shows that Cena isn’t the problem; it’s the booking.
That’s why the backstage blowup from Vinnie Mac may not have been the end to the PG Era many snarky fans are calling for, but it should bring a conclusion to the years of lazy writing and poor storytelling that has plagued the company for too long.
Merit Meter: 4 out of 5 Untainted Creative Meetings
While the creative team should be shouldering much of the blame here, this is also on the shoulders on Vince McMahon and the people closest to him.
With re-writes coming in up until the start of the shows and even during the live broadcasts, this process must be simplified and the plan must be followed through. No more re-writes and no more executive decisions that compromise the entire storyline.
If Vince McMahon wants his creative team to work in unison and come up with great ideas, he must allow them to stretch their ideas and develop them without constantly being stepped on.
The Chairman can still be there to control the writers when their ideas get too outlandish, but the majority of the ideas should be cemented during the weekend before Raw and followed through with on Monday.
As much as it will hurt Mr. McMahon, the boss has to take a big step back from the creative side and just become an advisor instead of the final judge and jury.
The current setup of the creative team obviously isn’t working and it starts at the very top.
While there is a good chance that this is just a facade for the company’s inadequacies and nothing will really change in the long haul, the lack of interest in the wrestling industry as a whole right now should be the kickstart the WWE needs.
It’s time for another wrestling revolution.
The product has grown stale and predictable over the years, and the wrestling industry led by the WWE hasn’t changed with the times. With a network complaining about the ratings and pressure from all sides, there is bound to be major changes to the way the programming is written.
The tag division is a perfect example of what kind of power the company possesses when it sticks to a creative idea and runs with it.
While just a few weeks ago no one cared about the tag teams in the WWE, Kane and Daniel Bryan are leading a score of talented stars in what is arguably the most interesting division in all of pro wrestling.
The creativity is obviously there, but it needs to be unleashed on the world; that means less of a Vince McMahon filter on the ideas and concepts coming from the writers.
There are many reasons why the WWE is struggling right now, but the biggest issue is and always will be Vince McMahon.
No amount of backstage blowups will save Mr. McMahon from handing the company over to someone else, and that may be the only way the WWE Universe gets the monumental change needed.
Hopefully, the change is already on its way.
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