Per a recent report, Vince McMahon has announced a rather bold new idea—one that could have potentially significant ramifications for WWE television if he intends to stick with it.
In this week's (subscribers-only) Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer notes:
For what it’s worth, at a recent meeting, Vince McMahon said there are no more babyfaces and heels. Vince has for years pushed no strong delineation because of the belief that in real life, nobody is completely good or completely bad.
Of course, if you've seen Raw or SmackDown in recent weeks, this shouldn't really be a surprise at all.
WWE world heavyweight champion Randy Orton seems to swing wildly from unruly employee to corporate butt-kisser on an almost weekly basis.
Triple H and Stephanie, meanwhile, appear to change their mind on Orton just as often. Sometimes, the married couple have claimed they see him as the new face of the company and someone worth investing hugely in. Other times, they've actively sabotaged him.
Additionally, the recent character development of The Miz makes about as much sense as your average David Lynch movie.
It's also very confusing.
Of course, it's perfectly valid for McMahon to say that in real life no one is ever 100 percent bad or 100 percent good. But wrestling is pointedly not real life. Case in point, Mark Henry fighting Damien Sandow on this Monday's Raw to “save” Christmas from getting cancelled.
Oh, and will we ever forget this, erm, classic moment:
And while a “shades of grey” storytelling may have aided critically acclaimed television shows like The Wire, Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, WWE's creative team is simply not in the business of picking up Emmys or garnering rave reviews.
Is Vince wrong to say there should be no more heels or faces?
Nor does any fan realistically go into Raw or SmackDown expecting HBO-levels of superior dramatic writing.
It's understandable that McMahon, seeing the astounding success of UFC, may want to give his product a more realistic edge.
But really, isn't this new booking just turning WWE television into an incoherent jumble?