Point 4: As it's been said in the initial announcements, one of the reasons for World Wrestling Entertainment's name-change to simply "WWE" is that they want to branch out into other forms of media besides just "wrestling" programs like Raw and Smackdown.
Already, to those of us who remember the XFL, this seems like a bad idea.
But honestly, that was a really stupid decision. How good could the XFL have really been? A WWE sponsored football league? I could've sworn the United States has some kind of "National Football League" already.
Even if some of the rules are slightly different, why would football fans tune in to the XFL and spend money to watch athletes play ball, when they could spend a little more and watch pro athletes that are nationally recognized as professionals.
In order for WWE to make good on its claim that they're branching out to other media besides just "wrestling programming," they need to flex their creative and dramatic muscles, but it needs to be done carefully.
I'm a huge video game fan, but aside from making a game geared toward little kids who like wrestling AND monster trucks and/or racing, I'm really not sure what the purpose of WWE Crush Hour could be.
Now, WWE All-Stars makes perfect sense! WWE is used to video game media that perpetuates its own brand of competition, and putting control of their best stars in the hands of those at home.
They've been putting out video games since the 90s, possibly even the 80s! So right there, All-Stars is a great start.
To say the least, WWE's movie production studio hasn't been the best. They tend to put on-screen "superstars" into roles that, on paper, seem to deepen the characters they portray in the ring, when in actuality, it kind of waters them down and ends up being confusing.
The Condemned, starring Stone Cold, was a movie about a deadly game where criminals get hunted in the wilderness. His character was close to being like Stone Cold, but not exactly.
You watch the screen and think, "oh yeah, that's vintage Stone Cold," but he's playing a completely different character. Most fans know that Stone Cold can't come to the ring with a bowie knife and slit the throat of a guy who talks trash about him.
Similarly, John Cena is a goody-goody hero most of the time he spends in the ring, yet those same fans know that if John Cena has his title belt stolen by a heel, he can't run them down and slap cuffs on them, like he were the cop from 12 Rounds.
The Chaperone, starring Paul "Triple H" Levesque, was a movie about an ex-con who gets out and plays chaperone on a field trip, only to get kidnapped by shady folks from his past. A zany comedy about kids foiling the bad guys. No way that's doing well.
Most of us know Trip to be funny and comical, but not to that degree. Wasn't he just making jokes about McMahon liking roosters a year ago?
Knucklehead might've been a moneymaker, as I'm not positive how many casual movie-goers know how comedic Big Show can be, but that didn't get half as much visibility as it needed to take off.
According to Wikipedia, the third-highest grossing movie from the WWE Films studios was Legendary, getting beat out by See No Evil featuring Kane at No. 2 and The Marine at No. 1. But while Legendary was a feel good story about a guy teaching a young kid how to wrestle, it didn't do anything to help John Cena's on-screen character.
John Cena's hardcore fanbase knows he can wrestle, and his critics aren't buying a feel-good story about him teaching someone else to wrestle as justification for his skills.
In my opinion, one good way for WWE to utilize their alternative media is to feature specials either on USA or SyFy about some of their on-screen characters specifically, in a direct attempt to tell more of their stories without eating up match time on Raw and Smackdown.
Feature them in interviews similar to TNA's ReAction program, only instead of them being shot as predominantly real, have them be fully scripted.
They can travel to where their character is billed as hailing from, and they can even feature actors or new superstars that WWE has in developmental contracts as past friends or enemies of theirs to establish relationships before they debut.
For instance, a special could be done on Kofi Kingston. His character can explain some of the motivating factors that brought him to be a WWE Superstar, an "old friend" can comment on him, even an "old enemy" can show up during one of his trips to an "old stomping ground."
Weeks later on Smackdown, during a match, that old enemy can appear and ruin one of his matches. And instead of that guy being completely unknown until the following week, we have some idea of who he is and why he's there.
Similarly, after Undertaker and Kane are both retired from active competition, what if a new special were done on a brand new character who's largely supernatural.
It could be an hour-long special, it could tell a great short story, introduce some friends and enemies, maybe even involve some existing WWE Superstars in some way, and after the special is over, short vignettes can air to announce their debut.
Guys like Taker and Kane had amazing backstories. As great as I thought See No Evil was, I'd almost rather WWE Studios do a movie telling the intricate details of Undertaker and Kane's relationship, leading up to their joining WWE, instead of a random slasher flick.
It would give the Superstars more time to flesh out the characters they play on TV, while telling us, and them, more information about where their characters are coming from. It would not only help us know more about who we're dealing with, it would help the competitors as well.
WWE could do this with guys they've introduced and never explained. Guys like Tyler Reks, Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, JTG, etc. It could help them guide fans to liking or disliking heels and faces and get more response out of crowds, which is what they want.
Obviously, the proper amount of disclaimers would have to accompany it, so that people didn't get the impression everything they saw was real, but if legal stepped in to double check it, I'm sure it could work out great.