How "The Invasion" Angle Of 2001 Forever Altered Sports Entertainment
I can remember the night. Oh wow, it was something every WWF fan wanted. Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon being broadcast on both Raw and Nitro on the same night. The announcement: The WWF had purchased WCW. After the ratings war, and all the back and forth trading of superstars, the WWF stood alone as the lone brand in Sports Entertainment. What a day. As a loyal follower of the WWF (E), I thought this was going to make the company I loved even stronger. Well sadly, over time, I have learned that WCW being purchased by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon forever changed the company and the approach to running it.
Long before the Cena’s and Orton's and Batista's, the WWE was headed down on a slippery slope. Many like to blame the current superstars, but they weren't around yet. In 2001, we got to see matches we thought we would never see. Who would have ever thought that The Rock vs. Booker T would actually happen? Then once the companies became one after the invasion over the summer and fall of 2001, productivity and creativeness seemed to gear off a bit. I don't fault them for that really. When you have a locker room full of new talent, you have to figure out how to use them and see what the fans want from them. I was willing to patiently wait it out. Until a concept became a reality.
In the spring of 2002, the WWF (E) came up with an idea. The idea was to split the two weekly shows Raw and Smackdown into two separate rosters. The result was a lack of ability to put wrestlers into feuds that kept the fans satisfied and entertained. Since then the matches have gotten much shorter, divas get more airtime, and the story lines and finishes to matches never deliver and are so predictable on some nights. I miss the swerves in the story lines. Who didn’t hang their jaw when Stephanie McMahon hugged Triple H in the middle of the ring after he had just beaten her father to a bloody pulp at Armageddon ‘99? That is the writing I have been yearning for.
With the current situation being that in addition to Raw and Smackdown, we now have ECW back into the fold, thus thinning out the rosters even more. Now we have a collection of wrestlers who feud with each other here and there every year or so. Then, every 2 years, they try to freshen things up by doing another draft. I understand the need to do it. It has helped guys like Cena, Orton, JBL, Edge, etc. reach main event and even championship status. The problem is, the finishes, the promos, the general excitement and quality of the program has suffered as a result. Of course this is one mans opinion but I do believe that the shows should be brought back together and ECW should be scrapped. We are not fooled into believing that this is the ECW of old. So to the WWE and their writers: Please, before it's too late, save the company i love and loved before it's too late.
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