In the fifth and final installment of my WWE Review of 2012 series, we take a look at four of the more negative aspects of WWE’s product over the past year.
It was widely accepted that 2012 was a pretty successful year for the WWE, and here I discuss four of the positives.
But the past 12 months have not been perfect.
This slideshow outlines the key factors that impacted success, explaining how they affected the WWE and why it may not be such a good idea to repeat such actions.
While I have come 'round to the idea of the Rock challenging CM Punk for the WWE Title, I can’t help but feel that the Rock’s announcement at Raw 1,000 was deleterious to the WWE’s final months of programming.
The more CM Punk’s feud with Ryback wore on, the less likely it was that Punk would drop the title so close to his showdown with the Great One.
It made some of the year’s final pay-per-views too predictable and tarnished what was actually a decent feud between the Best in the World and the Big Hungry.
I appreciate why the announcement was made so early, as it has certainly created a great deal of hype ahead of the Royal Rumble.
But was it really worth it, given that it meant sacrificing the excitement and unpredictability of 2012 PPVs such as Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series?
Maybe the company should avoid making such concrete plans so far in advance.
I’m sure this is a divisive issue.
While there is nothing wrong with an overruling heel-authority figure in the WWE, Laurinaitis was not the man to fill this role.
He regularly messed up his lines and was not a particularly great talker on the mic–a crucial feature of any member of management, whether kayfabe or real.
Not only was he difficult to listen to at times, he was also put on ridiculous matches, such as the one-on-one clash with John Cena at Over the Limit that was remembered more for the Big Show’s emphatic heel turn.
Though there was little wrong with the intent, the execution of this one was way off.
What could have been one of the better angles of 2012 soon turned into something of a shambles, and will not be remembered fondly in the minds of many a WWE fan.
One common complaint of the WWE is its hectic PPV schedule.
At present there are 12 PPVs per calendar year–resulting in an average of one show per month.
But the extended build given to WrestleMania usually means that the rest of the year sees its PPVs squashed into a shorter period of time.
As a result, Survivor Series, one of the company’s most historic events, received a measly three-week build. That, combined with indecisive booking, saw the event’s buyrate fall by 69,000 on its previous year’s performance.
By reducing the number of PPVs, more meaningful rivalries could be developed, increasing interest in the company’s product.
While a calendar of perhaps eight PPVs a year or less would be idyllic, it unfortunately seems highly improbable given the successful year that the WWE enjoyed during 2012.
Signing Brock Lesnar to a contract was one of the WWE’s better decisions of the year, both from a business perspective and from the fans' point of view.
However, the use of the former UFC champion hasn’t be so great.
Lesnar was expected to have agreed to around two appearances per month, with extra dates negotiable. At this time, however, we have seen him feature in just two short-lived stints.
When he’s around, there is drama and excitement. There’s an increase in PPV buys and general interest in the WWE, but for some reason the company has been all too sparing in utilizing one of its greatest assets.
Perhaps the speculated contract details were inaccurate, but if not one has to wonder why Lesnar has appeared so fleetingly.
Either way, let’s hope the WWE can create a strong run for the Minnesotan behemoth early in 2013.
Though the aforementioned negatives did detract from 2012's success, the positives made for a pretty successful 12 months for the WWE.
If the following year continues to build on such success, the WWE could be in for a return to its more prosperous days of old.
Feel free to comment with your thoughts on the year as a whole and the WWE Review of 2012 series.
Links to previous articles can be found below: