We all know it, some refuse to admit, and some blow it out of proportion, but we all know it. The WWE product has been slowly, slowly deteriorating. Unique and fresh ideas are often few and far between. So just what are some ways WWEcan get out of this creative slump? Well there are quite a few steps WWE can take to get it out if they are willing to do so.
1) John Cena heel turn
Alright this is something that is WAYoverdue. WWE has been making out John Cena as a super babyface for a good five years at least. It is old and so stale I think I saw mold growing on it. Cena the supposed superman of WWE is getting booed more often than not. Here is the thing, when Cena first turned face, we were like awesome.
Than after, I don't know, about four years we were like...ugh. You can have a character like that. It sends a great message to the kids.
You can overcome adversity as long as you believe in yourself, yeah that is all well and good but it doesn't make good television. Cenais in desperate need of a heel turn. I would go as far as to say it would save his career, as we can hear the course of boo's increasing each week.
Cena can play both roles fairly well. You just need him to pick a fight with the right person to do it. It's possible. Maybe Jeff Hardy? At this point Jeff is probably the only person more over with the kids and families than Cena so it could work.
Who cares about merchandise? If your ratings are going up than you can still cut even, with good business decisions.
Here is something else, If Cena turns heel, due mainly to the fact that he has been beloved by all the kids so long, if he were to turn he would easily be the most hated heel in the company.
That would automatically put any one who challenges him in the position of a strong babyface...correct me if I am wrong but would that not increase merchandise sales?
2) The Brands
Oh my god where do I even start with this?
alright guys you got four shows. USE THEM RIGHT! At this point time I can easily say that Superstars is the only show being used correctly, as the only role of that show should be to elevate new talent and better establish midcarders.
Alright that leaves the three main shows. How would you use them properly?
Well let's say there are three basic demographics, Kids, Teenagers and Adults.(I'm a business major so I know there are far more than this but I'm just being basic)
Okay so let's make Raw appeal to kids 13 and under since it basically does anyway.
Teenagers are at a point in their life where violence is probably the coolest thing ever so let's make ECW more violent and actually have someone busted open once in a while and a few chair shots here there, maybe an ambush or two and as for Smackdown, make it appeal more to adults by using a little language once in a while and some dirty finishes.
If I was in Vince's position, as a good business man I would see the potential this set-up would have to offer in maximizing profits and elevating the status of the company. It would also build fan satisfaction amongst the three basic demographics.
3) Character Development
Let's be honest here. Nobody is going to cheer or boo someone they couldn't give a hell about. Chase and point: Vladimir Kozlov, the man is almost never cheered and I think they only time I heard him booed was during the series of matches he had with Triple H.
At this point in time WWE portrays the wrestlers as either clean cut Face or Heels. If that didn't work 15 years ago when they tried it with The Rock, whom many consider one of the best wrestlers of all time, why do they think it is going to work now?
As new wrestlers are brought in they either become cult favorites due to look or wrestling style, much like Kofi Kingston, or are brushed over entirely, left to the fate of becoming a jobber or being released, like Sim Snuka.
Well if their characters were developed just a tiny bit better maybe that wouldn't happen. We as fans are insanely fickle. If we see a guy and we don't like his look there better sure as hell be something else to like him for.
A strong character is always a nice alternative to a bad look, and it establishes someone the crowd can easily cheer or boo, It's also nice to see people with a personality as adverse to, You are bigger than me but I can beat you because I believe in myself, THAT IS NOT PERSONALITY!
4) Better Theme Music
I'll be honest this one really is not that important, but it is definitely something that might be called for. The theme music is a very important part of the wrestlers entrance. It should get a crowd pumped up for the wrestler, or at least let the fans recognize who is coming out.
How many people can honestly say that they didn't get pumped up or know who was coming when they heard the sound of glass shattering?
Alot of the current WWE theme music doesn't get me excited in any way shape or form...Raw is definitely in need of an opening theme changed. The song isn't as cool as it once was, Across the Nation was far better to begin with. Zack Ryder's theme may be a little weird but at least it helps him stick out.
A nice case of bad music is the theme Priceless uses. I'll be honest some people might actually might like this theme and to be honest it's not entirely bad, It's just annoying. I really don't have anything against Cena but he is definitely in need of a theme change.
Using actual songs wouldn't hurt either, for their recognizably. I think at this point I can count on one hand how many people use actual songs for their themes.
5) A little more respect for the Woman
look I'm not asking for much. I'm not asking you to magically produce the next Lita, or the next Trish, hell I'm not even asking for a bra and panties match, but for the love of heaven and all that is sacred please, PLEASE, can I have a six diva tag match that lasts longer than five minutes (and yes I did time this past monday's diva tag match and it was almost five minutes exactly)?
I've already said so much on this subject that there really isn't that much I can add at this point. The disrespect for the woman's division is pitiful and really needs to be put at an end.
6) Better In-ring work
The quality of in-ring work in WWE has been slowly improving as they pick up independent circuit gold like CM Punk and Evan Bourne, and well-trained wrestlers like Tyson Kidd (or T.J. Wilson which ever name you feel he should be addressed by) but amongst the main even and upper mid-card scene....ehh.
Every rivalry is a story and both Mic skills and In-ring work come together to tell that story. Here is a reality, It is not the 80's so you can not just tell a great story based on phenomenal in-ring work, and it is also not the '90s so you can't just tell a great story on the Mic. You need a good mix of both to tell a great story.
Let me better explain. It is often said that great in-ring work is story telling. However if In-ring work can be attributed to story telling than Mic work can attributed to writing a story. You can not tell a great story with a poorly written story, and in turn you can not hope to have written a great story if it is not told properly.
A great example would be the most recent HBK vs The Undertaker feud. Their promos wrote a fantastic story that was told through their match at Wrestlemania. It was a well written story that was told through a classic match fought between two veterans.
In-ring work is always something that can be improved. Every wrestler has that capablility. WWE just needs to let, and help, them do it.
7) Less Gimmicks
I think somewhere in another article I may have stated that the WWE has been getting way to gimmicky. This is true more so than ever. In fact WWE is starting to resemble TNA in the last couple of years in that they are practically inventing these types of matches as they go along.
I, for one, am absolutely sick of it. We don't need this stuff to have great matches. They serve as a nice end point to a rivalry, but their overall value has been greatly diluted as the WWE dishes out a high number of them.
Another more recent issue is sticking Pay-per-views with gimmicks. The final straw is Breaking Point. Who the hell needs an all submission based PPV?
Other than the fact that this PPV might have some of the best technical wrestling of the year, the idea is stupid and pointless, no one wants to see it and you can expect the order rate to only be in the hundreds of thousands.
and there you have it seven steps WWE can take to improve their current product. You know what the best part is? Most of this really doesn't cost much money, at least in WWE standards so money can't be used as an excuse as too why they can't do it.
The most costly thing would likly be getting actual songs to use for superstar themes and that isn't even really that neccesary as a strong bunch of in-house themes can make up for it.
Will these steps be easy? certainly not, but they can be taken long term and will gradually increase the overall product which is something WWE needs right now.
We as fans should not be questioning why we are watching wrestling and we should not be turning away from it, or bleacher report for that matter, simply because a company is failing to produce a good product.
You must remember that in what most consider to be garbage there is always something valuble, you just have to take the time to look.