The last couple of days have been filled with hate for the WWE creative team.
I've seen articles proclaiming the need for a new team. I've seen articles trying to place the blame for the creative team's burnout. Everyone seems to be displeased with the current story lines and outcomes.
I don't blame them.
These last few weeks especially have been very lackluster, even by PG era standards. The gimmick Raws and the deplorable Capitol Punishment pay per view have left many IWC members annoyed and angry at the product.
There's been fingers pointed at Vince McMahon for not rejecting terrible ideas. Blame has been cast on the creative team itself. Everyone is pointing fingers, but is not offering any real solution.
Now I'm not going to come in proclaiming I have the antidote to the poison of staleness, but I want to push forward an idea that may be part of the problem.
The creative team is overloaded.
For example let's look at last week. A three-hour Raw, one hour of NXT, one hour of Superstars, two hours of Smackdown and a three-hour pay-per-view with no commercials. All in all that's 10 hours of television to plan for.
That doesn't include the house shows they had to plan for. Now, when planning for 10 hours of television, great ideas will not be plentiful. Just trying to plan for all that is stressful on the creative mind, But doing that for the number one sports entertainment business in the world? It's no wonder why the product has suffered as of late.
It's very difficult to be a creative television writer. Search an interview called "Formerly Creative" and you will see (or I guess hear) what I'm talking about. Not only because of the huge amount of television, but they have the fans (namely the IWC) breathing down their necks to push certain superstars and feuds.
One of the big reasons the Attitude Era was so successful was that most of the main event story lines were brilliant. Add that to a boatload of talented superstars and you've got a very successful business.
The attitude era consisted of Monday Night Raw, with Smackdown added halfway through, and one pay-per-view a month. Today, we have those, plus two new shows and the occasional three-hour Raw. It's just too much for the creative team.
For the WWE to make progress in terms of story lines, they are going to have to make some cuts.
The first immediate cuts should be WWE Superstars and NXT. Neither of them are on television anymore, rather they are online at wwe.com. I'm sure the dozens that tune in every Tuesday and Thursday won't be too terribly disappointed.
I can already see the comments now. "But Ben, if we cut Superstars then the young people won't get a chance to prove themselves!" Well guess what. That's life. There were no opportunities like that back in the nineties. They had to wait their turn and prove themselves on the big shows. If they don't get that chance, well that sucks for them. The WWE knows who to have on it's main shows, it's the reason they are a billion dollar corporation. There's always other shows that the superstars can go to if they don't make it in the WWE.
Now that cuts down on two hours of television a week. While that may not seem like much, that is a huge amount when trying to plan for a week.
I believe Raw and Smackdown should be left untouched. The two hours each of them have is the right amount for the A and B shows. However they should limit the amount of three-hour shows and special shows. Last year there were nine, and this year there already is four.
I suggest there be three special three-hour shows. The draft, the Slammy's and another miscellaneous one in the summer. There's no need for any more because, quite frankly, the other ones suck.
Over the next year or so, the WWE should also drastically cut down on the number of pay per views. This idea has been echoed so many times throughout the IWC because it pretty much needs to be done. I suggest removing seven pay-per-views, which leaves the WWE with 6 per year, or one every other month.
With the rising pay per view prices, fans can't always afford to buy a pay per view every month. However, fans would be more content to buy a pay per view every other month as long as the prices stay the same.
It also gives more time for the creative team to properly build up feuds, and to build up the pay per view. It leads to a better product, and happier fans.
Different variations of the pay per view schedule have been presented, but here's what mine would look like.
January: Royal Rumble
May: Money in the Bank
October: Night of Champions
November/December: Survivor Series
Less is more if the WWE wants a better product in my opinion.
There is one counterpoint to my argument: Impact Wrestling, or whatever the hell they're calling themselves these days.
They have a two hour Impact per week and one pay-per-view a month. Yet they still are terrible.
The thing with TNA is that they have people in charge who have almost no idea how to correctly run a wrestling business. So until they get their priorities straight, the amount of television will not apply to them.
The WWE does have it's priorities straight in pushing the correct superstars, they just need some time to cool off and deliver good story lines. With Ring of Honor about to make a big television deal, the WWE will need to act fast to keep ROH far away from competition. It's definitely possible to have a great PG product, the WWE just cannot try to outdo itself as it's doing right now.
Should the WWE cut down on some television?
Less is more.
If you agree with me or not, please leave your opinion in the comments. Nice, healthy debate is good for the section and good for all of our intellects.
Also, don't forget next week to read and vote in the CvC 2.0 competition. The entrants have worked so hard to prepare their articles that they deserve some recognition. Above all, Joe Burgett deserves props for organizing the entire thing.
Thanks for reading, and don't forget to comment! (Also there's that props button down there that I would like you to click on. I've been stuck at correspondent for awhile now and props will help me move to analyst. So if you don't mind...)