WWE: Problems with the Product, Part Three!
Welcome to the third installment of my series in which I offer constructive criticism of WWE's current product.
This article will address the Divas and Tag Team divisions, the state of WWE's champions/championships, and the WWE ''Universe.''
It is most likely the final article of the series, unless I find something else to write about!
Weak Champions/Weak Championships
Absolutely no segue needed here—you all know what I'm talking about.
World Wrestling Entertainment has been paying ''Pass the parcel'' with the world titles for the last few years. Long gone are the days of Triple H's seven-month title reigns.
I have to admit, it has been more prominent in the Smackdown brand though.
Since October 2009, we have had five world heavyweight champions.
- Undertaker defeated CM Punk at Hell in a Cell on Oct. 4, 2009. His reign lasted 140 days.
- Chris Jericho won the title by defeating Undertaker at Elimination Chamber on Feb. 21, 2010 after interference from Shawn Michaels. His reign lasted 37 days.
- Jack Swagger cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and defeated Chris Jericho on March 30, 2010. The show aired on Friday, April 2. His reign lasted 82 days.
- Rey Mysterio won the championship at WWE Fatal Four Way on June 20, 2010. His reign lasted 28 days.
- Kane captured the title on July 18, 2010 after cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Rey Mysterio. As of publishing time, his reign currently stands at 31 days.
Now, compare those reigns to the reigns of Triple H and Batista in 2002 and 2005 respectively. These reigns lasted 280 days and 282 days, respectively.
They pale in comparison, don't they?
On the Raw side of things, we have had five championship reigns and three different champions—Sheamus (2), Batista (1) and John Cena (2).
The reason I mention the WWE Championship is because it brings me to my next point, weak champions.
Sheamus won the WWE Title at Fatal Four Way on June 20, 2010. This marked the 100th WWE Championship reign in WWE's history. As of publishing, Sheamus' reign currently stands at 58 days.
During Sheamus' two reigns, he has defended the championship on seven different occasions—including against John Cena and Randy Orton.
On those seven occasions he has never, I repeat never, picked up a clean victory.
Whether it's outside interference, self-inflicted disqualification, or count-outs, he has never won a match by pinfall or submission.
That, to me, is a weak champion.
Sheamus is continually branded as the ''Future'' by WWE management, yet it hasn't booked him in a clean finish.
Also, look at Summerslam and last Monday's Raw. He was dominated by Randy Orton after the match—making him look even weaker!
That is either lazy booking or idiotic writers. I'll let you decide.
Tag Team/Divas Division
Maybe that sub-headline would be more apt if the words ''Lack of'' preceded it.
We all know that both divisions are on life support at the moment, although there has been a nice improvement in the divas division on Raw in the last few weeks.
Firstly, the divas.
Today it's more about your looks rather than your wrestling ability. If you've got good looks and you're between the ages of 18 and 30, chances are Vince will hire you.
It's the classic case of throwing crap at the wall and seeing what sticks.
I know that the division has suffered because of the losses of Melina and Beth Phoenix to injury.
However, WWE still has no excuses. It still has had talents like Michelle McCool, Tamina, Natalya, and Maryse. By the way, you can add Alicia Fox and Layla to those names as both are improving.
The division seems to have had a new life breathed into it as of late, mostly because of the return of Melina, who captured the Divas title almost instantly.
Perhaps the return of Melina, and later Phoenix, and more importantly the possible unification of both women's titles will further improve the division.
Now, onto the tag team division.
If memory serves me, the only real teams currently in WWE are The Hart Dynasty, The Usos, Hawkins and Archer, and The Dudebusters.
Other than that, you have random pairings including R-Truth and John Morrison, and in the past Rated Y2J.
Go back a year or two, and the division was in a better state with teams like The Colons, Miz and Morrison, Showmiz, Jerishow, DX, and Rated Y2J.
Now, all of these teams are gone with the possible exception of Rated Y2J, which may be reforming in the future.
TNA has WWE beaten in this department hands down.
Look no further than Victory Road. TNA booked a great match between Beer Money Inc and the Motor City Machine Guns.
They then topped that with a best-of-five series between the two that produced five amazing matches.
The best part was that the most deserving team won the series.
TNA listened to its fans and responded accordingly.
WWE, if you're reading, and I suspect somebody from your company is, take a leaf out of TNA's book—listen to your fans.
We want decent tag team and divas divisions with credible matches and some emphasis on the relevant titles.
The WWE Universe
Many of wrestling's trademarks are lost on today's target audience. The fans are too young to understand the true meaning/history of certain matches or segments.
Hear me out before you go crazy. I'm not talking about anybody who is reading this. I'm talking about anybody who is under the age of 13 or 14.
For example, remember when Edge left Smackdown after the draft?
Christian tried to start the classic ''Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye,'' song. But only a minority of the audience joined in, as the majority didn't know the words of the song.
Need another example? I'm your man!
Remember when Matt Hardy and Christian had that brilliant promo before Money in the Bank?
The IWC, myself included, raved about how great a segment it was—and with good reason!
However, the fan reaction to the segment was very poor simply because the children didn't understand the history between the two athletes nor the nostalgic stigma attached to it.
As far as they knew, Christian and Matt were just two good guys who shouldn't have been fighting with each other.
They also just knew Christian and Matt Hardy as the characters they are portrayed as today—talents who rarely face the main event guys in WWE and who job to other up-and-coming stars.
But, that's not the fans fault. It's not WWE's fault either.
However, it is a problem.
Well, that wraps it up for part three. To be perfectly honest, I don't know when part four will be published.
I'm heading back to school soon, so my articles will be few and far between. So don't expect a lot of activity from me after next week!
Thanks for reading and, as always, please let your opinions be known....
Until next time!
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