WWE: Stylistically Speaking on the Concept of the Action Soap Opera

Trey StylesContributor IIIMay 4, 2011

The Future of WWE Magazine?
The Future of WWE Magazine?

*Spoiler Free*

For those of you who don’t know this week’s episode of SmackDown brings a surprising twist.

The question remains however, why are we in anyway surprised? WWE hits the reset button for a myriad of different reasons. It is quite possible that the draft was done for just such a purpose.

With their recent booking and creative choices the “E” has truly taken two steps forward and three steps back. Their back to square one approach to many current situations shows a very high level of complacency.

I am not saying that they didn’t have their reasons, but the WWE have to look at their decisions and ask whether or not this is best for the future.

As it stands, things look extremely short-sighted. An elder person will tell you that while it is good to make a dollar today, it is much better to spend a dollar today to make ten tomorrow.

Dave Lagana once presented an idea to prevent overexposure and allow for better storyline builds. The top guys would not have matches every PPV. This would be akin to the UFC model of PPV build-up.

The WWE does not have enough guys with selling power to only fight three to five PPVs each year. The closest they could come would be a return to the brand specific PPVs; which failed largely due to a lack of talent depth.

 WWE’s NXT concept started with so much promise, pros mentoring new talent. The only talent that kept his pro beyond the show is Alex Riley; who has arguably gotten more screen time than anyone else from NXT.

This shows that the formula would work if the WWE would commit to it. Instead we get diminishing talent all around, lower tier superstars currently with NXT rejects.

Imagine the Nexus led by Wade Barrett and Chris Jericho as the Higher Power he once spoke of. 

Sure as fans we come up with what-if scenarios all the time and it would be nearly impossible to accommodate us all, but what would we see if we looked at the WWE five years from now? Because five years ago we had the re-debut of ECW, Rob Van Dam winning the WWE championship, Edge’s first WWE Title, Randy Orton Challenging the Streak; so much in the WWE appeared fresh.  

The WWE (Vince Mcmahon) has rebranded Raw and SmackDown as action soap operas.

Last I checked soap operas are a dying genre. Recent news has announced the cancellation of All My Children and One Life to Live. No less than five years ago there were approximately 12 soaps on television, now there are five with the two previously mentioned shows scheduled to be cancelled by January.

This does not bode well for the future of the WWE.

All My Children, for example, could be foreshadowing the WWE’s fate.

All My Children was once one of the top three most popular and watched soaps on daytime tv. Much like Raw was once the most watched show on cable.  All My Children (referred to as AMC from now on) had an incredibly charismatic star named Josh Duhamel.

Duhamel rose from obscurity to play the role of Leo Du Pres and eventually became the leading man on the show.  Duhamel decided to leave the show for Hollywood and has achieved a great deal of success including major roles in all three Transformers movies. Duhamel did quite well for himself.

AMC was left with a huge vacancy, and with limited time and options they chose Cameron Mathison to play the role of Ryan Lavery, a character that many people felt was a poor substitute for Leo Du Pres.

Mathison/Lavery usurped all the previous positions Leo Du Pres had from the same girlfriends/wife to the same job and possibly at sometime the same address. Fans were split by this. Some supported the new actor and others refer to him Ryass or Lavadouche. 

Eventually, all major storylines involved Ryan Lavery in some way and the show slowly started to revolve around him. This was a mistake they never made when Duhamel was on the show. AMC vastly overrated the importance of Cameron Mathison and Ryan Lavery; and now when the ten year anniversary of Leo Du Pres’ death comes around AMC will no longer be on the air.

B/R readers can interpret this anyway that they so choose, but this is what happened to AMC.

WWE has been on weekly for over 15 years, putting on approximately five hours of programming each week currently. AMC made it for 41 years, putting on approximately 5 hours of programming each week. Consider that before thinking that WWE is anywhere near untouchable.

WWE has always evolved. It cannot choose now to follow the path of instant gratification and attempt to rely so heavily on certain demographics that it alienates others.

If the WWE looks the same five years from now as it does now, everyone, fans included, should all be disappointed.

Stylistically Speaking,

Trey J. Styles