WWE's Overprogramming Is Overexposing Talent and Saturating TV Time
The WWE is the biggest wrestling company in the world because, well, there really is no competition. Once they bought WCW at the end of the Monday Night Wars, they had officially taken the reins as the only major wrestling organization left.
Sure, one can argue that TNA is a big company and that Ring of Honor is fairly popular. However, those two companies can't hold a candle to the size, strength and popularity the WWE harnesses.
One thing that has been noticeable for a while now is an overexposure of talent.
The WWE now has four TV shows airing: Raw, Smackdown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam. Add to that the few matches that are usually taped for Superstars and you have about eight hours of wrestling programming a week.
Even if some of these matches are just wrestling matches with no storyline behind them, that is a lot of wrestling and a lot of writing that the creative team must come up with.
Many people point to the PG Era as the problem with the WWE these days. Though I think that contributes to the problem, I would have to go with the WWE's over-programming as the reason the quality of TV time and matches has gone down.
Obviously, the quality of matches themselves have not so much fallen on hard times. The WWE has some of the best wrestlers in the game working for the company, whether it be CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler or Randy Orton.
But as cited by Eric Bischoff in the Monday Night Wars DVD, "the more programming a wrestling show gets, the more talent is overexposed and the more saturated the programming becomes."
Take for instance Raw Roulette in Las Vegas Monday night. In a program that followed one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year, a poorly put together show saw some of the worst segments in recent memory put on TV.
It was so bad, even Michael Cole and JBL were trashing the show.
Instead of putting on wrestling matches, which will bring me to my next point soon, we had to suffer through the Great Khali butchering Shawn Michael's entrance song, Tensai wearing lingerie and a diva's match so poorly executed that it made Khali's matches seem watchable.
It seems like these segments need to be done because of the eight hours of wrestling put on a week. The more wrestling you put on, the more matchups you have to make, meaning many guys will be wrestling each other a lot.
Repetition gets boring.
In the past year, I can't count the number of times I have seen Alberto del Rio squash Zack Ryder or Santino Marella when del Rio was a heel.
And how many times have we seen Sheamus and Wade Barrett wrestle without starting a feud this year?
Hell, how many times are we going to be forced to watch another terrible episode of Miz TV. I have a feeling that creative knows the show is not good, but they have so much time to fill that they throw it on the show anyways!
The sad thing is, the WWE has more wrestlers to utilize on a show-to-show basis, they are just hesitant to pull the trigger on them.
A guy like Alex Riley, who is surprisingly over with the fans, rarely finds himself on TV unless they need him to put over a top heel in a quick match. After attending a house show in December, I can officially say Riley gets a solid reaction from fans and has a great look.
Then there are the Usos who are also over with the crowd. They are solid workers in the ring and their unique entrance really warms the crowd up to their matches.
Every week on Raw now, we get some sort of segment that just seems to be burning time. If there is that much time to burn, why don't they just return to two-hour Raws?
Two hours was more than enough time. There was usually the same amount of actual wrestling matches in two-hour shows as in the three and a shorter time eliminates filler that takes away from the quality of the show.
I am afraid that if the WWE continues to overexpose talent, no new stars can take the top spot. It's bad enough that John Cena gets a large majority of the spotlight (sorry Cena marks if that is offensive), but when guys who have what it takes to get over get quieter reactions on a weekly basis, that is startling.
It wasn't long ago Ryback was getting some of the biggest pops. Now, with the combination of bad booking that was forced by injuries and overexposure, his reactions are getting quieter, which hurts his chances of nabbing a top slot in the company.
Add to that the fact that the brand split has ended and talent can work both Raw and Smackdown, and you have yourself a big problem. The more you are seeing of a wrestler who is taking up chunks of time on each show, the less you want to see him next time.
Chris Jericho always gets great reactions, but his six month hiatus has brought him two of the biggest pops in recent memory. The phrase "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is true because everybody needs some time away from others.
If I will leave you with anything, I will leave you with this: if the WWE wants to grow and keep fans around and paying for their product, they need to stop overusing talent and over-saturating the product.
Such overuse will result in disinterest in the product, an inability to create megastars and an overworked roster of wrestlers.
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