With Vince McMahon notorious for his unwillingness to listen to the ideas of those around him, it would take a megastar stepping up and voicing his concern to get the WWE chairman to understand the severity of the company's current situation.
According to F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., it was WWE superstar John Cena that confronted McMahon weeks ago about the state of the WWE:
We noted a few weeks back that a top WWE Superstar lashed out at Vince McMahon backstage, pointing out that WWE's product was in trouble, the ratings were bad and Vince himself may be out of touch. Word now is that John Cena was the one to speak out.
Since the WWE and the USA network made the agreement to change the company’s flagship show to three hours each Monday night, there have been serious issues with the television ratings.
Even the episode of Raw after Hell in a Cell that was supposed to bring the masses of fans back couldn’t break the 3.0 television rating (2.95, according to F4WOnline via Wrestling News Source). With a lack of logical and long-term booking on a company-wide scale, the product has grown stale, and fans are starting to tune it out.
If it really was Cena who had a backstage verbal battle with Vinny Mac, though, there will be major changes coming to the company soon.
How This Helps WWE
There is no doubt that the WWE as a business has been struggling over the last year with the TV ratings, but it was the move to three hours that really magnified the larger issues with the company.
Just like any other TV show, the product must remain interesting to keep the majority of the fans tuned in. There will always be the diehards that watch no matter how terrible the programming is, but the WWE won’t be attracting new fans with the current way of booking shows.
The hope now is that Cena’s harsh words to McMahon woke him up to the changes that must be made. PWInsider via WrestleZone first reported the initial confrontation and what was said:
One of the top talents had a verbal back and forth with McMahon in front of everyone. In this exchange, the talent basically told Vince the writing sucks and that McMahon doesn't have his finger on the pulse of things anymore. Since McMahon is out of touch with wrestling in 2012, the talent told him he needs to start listening to people around him. The final note was the talent saying when WWE goes to 'hell in a handbasket' it will be all Vince's fault.
While this seems like a harsh thing to say to an employer, that statement is right on the money. McMahon doesn’t have his finger on the pulse of the fans anymore, and it’s time to infuse the creative team with younger blood.
Vinny Mac will never relinquish his creative control, but someone has to help the 67-year-old businessman understand that his ideas aren’t always the best. As we’ve seen over the last few years, his ideas have been more misses than hits.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will McMahon listen to Cena?
As much as the WWE Universe was relieved to find out that these tough words came from the company’s top star, John Cena, the fact that Vince McMahon has always been considered controlling won’t allow these words to have the full impact they should.
As we saw from the WWE Chairman’s segment with Vickie Guerrero Monday night or his involvement in a match with CM Punk a few weeks back, McMahon likes to flaunt the fact that he is still the top dog in the company.
Vinny Mac needs to put his ego aside.
McMahon may be leading the company, but he is running it into the ground, and someone has to save the product before there is too much damage done. The WWE is lucky there is no real competition, because this lull in the programming is the opening a viable threat would look for to overtake the world’s top wrestling company in the ratings.
The hope now is that the pressure from the network demanding ratings with the new third hour of Raw and the increasingly hostile superstars will show the head of WWE that something drastic needs to change.
It’s time to use the company’s creativity to get the fans excited about the product once again.
Merit Meter: 5 out of 5 Real-Life Attitude Adjustments
While there are serious concerns that this rumored blowup from Cena may have fallen on deaf ears, Vince McMahon will not ignore his top superstar.
Just like in any workplace, Cena likely spoke out to McMahon because of his good standing with the boss and his connection to the superstars in the locker room. After hearing the constant complaints of the entire roster, the face of the company knew it was his job to make the grievances known.
Cena may be the only contracted superstar (not named Triple H) whose opinion Vince McMahon truly values.
With McMahon alerted to the issues behind the scenes and the company already on the right track with some long-term booking (The Rock versus Cena at WrestleMania 28 and possibly 29 and even the reported match between The Rock and CM Punk at the 2013 Royal Rumble), the company just needs to create a more interesting product week to week.
The WWE brass like Vince McMahon and Co. should be planning out the general booking for feuds and title runs months ahead of time, but the weekly Raw, SmackDown and monthly PPV bookings should be part of the creative team’s job.
If it is the creative team that is not providing interesting stories, then the company must make the necessary changes to bring in people that create interesting angles. That also means the constant rewrites brought on by McMahon and his emotions must cease.
If the company starts to long-term book the major elements of the show—while still creating a weekly product entertaining to the fans—many of the viewership issues would stop and the ratings would once again climb.
That means the storylines must be creative and have continuity—not whatever the WWE calls the writing we have been served over the last year.
Despite the madness that was this week’s rewrites—the latest report from F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc. is that Monday’s Raw was totally revamped to incorporate all new matches because of the company’s unhappiness with how the Survivor Series announcement came off—the hope is that the WWE realizes the error of its ways and starts the slow transition to a different style of booking.
While long-term booking will be slower than many WWE fans demand, the payoff and story continuity throughout will make the shows much more enjoyable. This will also open the door for midcard superstars to build gimmicks and create depth for their characters; something that has been missing for a long time.
The WWE has already started to turn the company in the right direction by building a tag-team division and increasing the value of the world titles with extensive reigns, but the booking itself needs to be improved.
On the grandest scale, the WWE as a business could be better, but they are still producing a legitimate product that fans can stand behind. The only complaint is that the programming could be better on a week-to-week and PPV-to-PPV level.
Those subtle changes in creative writing could be sparked by Cena’s blowup with McMahon. That’s what the WWE Universe hopes, at least.
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