Now it’s no secret that the WWE has been lacking in the grandeur and awesomeness it had in the attitude era.
I know that no single event contributed to the lack of consistently good WWE television, but was there one point in time that WWE started to go downhill? One point that started the domino fall that was WWE’s popularity with teenagers and adults declining? There are a few points that I have decided could be the turning point, and I will leave my choice at the bottom of the page. I also want the IWC to weigh in their opinions on their view of WWE’s turning point and why.
1. Vince Mcmahon buys out WCW, ending the Monday Night Wars.
The Monday Night Wars saw great shows from both WCW and WWF, which led to a huge increase in wrestling’s popularity. Both companies were putting on sensational shows in order to beat the other in the ratings. WCW was winning the Monday Night Wars, beating out WWF for 84 straight weeks in the ratings. With the birth of the “Attitude Era”, however, WWF started to gain ground and started to beat WCW in the ratings. WCW then started having financial troubles and started losing stars. In March 2001, Vince Mcmahon purchased WCW, and then proceeded to bury it. ECW folded a month later, therefore ending all mainstream competition to the WWF. With no competition, the WWF didn’t have to put on sensational shows anymore to keep up in ratings, they had to put on “OK” shows to just keep fans, and that’s exactly what they did, and are doing today.
2. The Rock Retires from WWE.
The Rock was arguably the greatest WWE superstar to ever grace a ring. His mic skills are phenomenal, his in-ring skills were great, and he was more popular with the fans than if all the Divas were to have a topless battle royal. When he had his last match at Wrestlemania XX, he has only made sporadic appearances on WWE television. He was rumored to come back to WWE for an appearance sometime this year, but that has yet to be confirmed. His retirement from wrestling caused the WWE to lose one of its main guys, and one of the best superstars ever.
3. John Cena is made the face of the company.
Many of the IWC will say that this is the huge turning point that led WWE downhill. The decision to make Cena the face of the company was not a bad decision; it’s how they handled that made it seem like a bad decision. Today he is superman. If he loses, it’s due to interference or some other thing like that. The last time I recall him losing cleanly was to Sheamus at TLC. His move set is now limited and it’s always the same story with his feuds, which drastically drives down the quality of the program.
4. The Chris Benoit Incident.
This horrible tragedy may have changed the landscape of WWE for some time. After the incident, Vince Mcmahon and WWE came under great scrutiny from the media for allowing chair shots to the head, which could have affected Benoit’s brain. Since then Mcmahon has become too safe with his storylines and superstars. I’m not saying we need chair shots to the head and everybody busted open every night, but I do think we could have good programming without it, which brings me to the next thing on the list..
5. WWE makes the switch to PG.
Like the John Cena thing, this wasn’t the worst decision in the world. It’s how they handle it is what makes it bad. We have terrible skits with Hornswoggle, Cena wins every single match and is the champion most of the time. The storylines are old and repeated and the only people getting a push are not the ones with the talent, but the ones the kids like. I do not think they need to switch back to TV-14 to have good programming again, but they need to liven up the storylines a bit.
So my decision on what was the turning point?
John Cena becoming the face of the company. They still had some good shows after WCW was bought out, and they had guys ready to step-up once the Rock left, but the Cena becoming the face, combined with the Benoit incident, has resulted in WWE becoming PG, with bad storylines and non-quality programming altogether.
I would love to hear what the IWC has to say on this matter, and I would like to remind you that Chuck Norris has counted to infinity. Twice.
~The Awesomeness has Spoken.