When I first heard the news that WWE was no longer happy to be associated with wrestling, I thought it was utter nonsense and so did many others. However, the past week has clarified this decision, and I now understand why they have taken this decision.
The company now wants to be an entertainment company and wants to justify its lack of wrestling to the fact that it is no longer a wrestling company.
I am sure many of you have noticed that a lot of TV time is taken up with promos, interviews and other non-wrestling activities. In fact, actual wrestling takes up less of the time than these other factions of the show.
By removing "wrestling" from the name, the company has already dealt with critics who are going to use this as an argument.
Let's use the latest Monday Night RAW as an example.
We had wrestling, sure, but it was not the focus of the show. The focus was on The Rock's birthday. There was a lot of mic work from the birthday boy. There were two stars present to sing for The Rock (not counting Lillian Garcia, who opened with the national anthem because of another reason), Pitbull and Mya. There were a lot of backstage scenes.
Now, I don't mind these, but the only one that actually offered any buildup to anything was the short contact between John Cena and The Rock.
Next question: Was this even necessary?
We all know that they are going to be involved in a match at WrestleMania 28 (that is if the name of the PPV is to remain the same). We all know that The Rock does not like John Cena. We all know that he was the reason for Cena losing at WM27. We all know that Cena has since then won the WWE title.
I am pretty sure that Cena having to tell him that was unnecessary.
With Over the Limit so close, I would have expected more build up with that in mind rather than a whole show dedicated to the Rock.
For all of those who are going to say that this was done as respect to The Rock, I want you to take a few things into consideration.
The Rock comes from a family of wrestlers whom he is very proud of. He came to WWE to be just that, a wrestler.
The best way they could show respect for him is by keeping that tradition alive. Instead, they are doing all these things which, in my opinion, only serve to "suck up" to him, hoping that he won't run away again.
But perhaps this is the only way they can get him back. He has had a sensational wrestling career and would not want to ruin it. So if he can just "entertain" on a show where he used to "wrestle," then the chances of him staying increase.
I am by no means blaming him for this. I am a huge fan, and he is just being a good business man who is making use of a good opportunity.
The other thing is WWE's insistence on commentators and retired wrestlers performing. It started out as harmless fun, but viewers started feeling the pain in their pockets when they were made to pay for shows that had commentators like Michael Cole and Jim Ross actually involved in matches.
Jerry Lawler is retired and we see more of him than we see some current superstars. We have seen them on two PPVs, and I am wondering if there is still more to come, seeing that Cole has not lost.
How can WWE deal with this criticism? By saying that this is part of entertainment and they are a entertainment show.
Perhaps the main reason why WWE would have chosen to distance itself from the word "wrestling" is that some superstars who do not wrestle a lot during the year are the headlines for the biggest show of the year, WrestleMania.
This is where all the hard work done by the superstars for the whole year pays off—they get to headline WM.
However, we have seen that the crowd will pay to see legends even if they have not really been involved during the year. For example, Triple H and the Undertaker did not have a single match before WM. The eventual match was great and worth the money (in my opinion).
However, I see a similar thing happening all over again.
This time, in the case of The Rock.
I am very skeptical of us seeing too much of him in the traditional buildups of feuds format. It makes sense for the moment because of the fact that the match was announced a few days shy of a year in advance. It would be a little boring to have him versus Cena for a whole year. Now he does not even have to fight before WM28 because WWE is no longer associated with wrestling.
This, too, will make the actual match more interesting, since it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So again, it works nicely for WWE.
I can go on (talk about movies, etc.), but it I don't want this to get too long.
The bottom line is that the newest idea can work for the company because of the new road they are taking in the field of entertainment. While I understand why they will want to do this, I have my reservations about it.
As a wrestling fan, I would like to remain with that title and I am a little offended to have been one of those defending WWE for all those years when people would say to me, "It's a soap opera."