I have been deep in thought over the WWE product for some time now.
I hate to say that I've been missing enough episodes of SmackDown and Raw to be close to being out of the loop of the storylines occurring.
I'm perplexed over the fact that the crowds at the WWE events are bipolar to the point of being stone-cold silent to sporadic cheering.
The source of why I'm frequently missing more of my WWE programming can be found in the content of John Cena's tweet:
Yawn..stop looking at this bizz in black and white. I am not a 'heel' or a 'face', I am me. I find it comical that u truly believe that archaic ideology still exists. Today, wwe fans cheer for who they please, which is why I love this company. I should mail u a pair of my shorts, because your stuck in 1993. I thought I made it pretty clear at contract signing where I stood. I guess there's a lot of folks out there whose capacity is as limited as "my offense". :) I back those who back me. And those who back me, get ready for one Helluva few months! Rise Above Hate. This 'soap box moment' was brought to you by Fruity Pebbles. :) Thanks again to ALL those who never give up.
The WWE has abandoned the face/heel formula to the point at which 90 percent of the roster is in the gray area.
How in the blue hell am I going to be able to cheer or boo anybody if they are in the gray or the natures of their characters are left up to me to decide?
In theory letting fans decide to cheer or boo sounds fantastic, but in practice it's pretty damn stupid. The crowd is pretty much dead for most of the time, aside from the pops wrestlers get while entering the ring.
The fact is that the face/heel formula works!
Fans cheer for the wrestler who does good deeds and is heroic to a fault and boo the wrestler who is devious in his tactics and vile in his approach.
The crowd is mostly dead nowadays as they have no clue whom to cheer or boo.
Alex Riley has stated that he only a face because the crowd made him so is utter BS! He's essentially a face who still acts like his heel self but only faces heels and feuds with The Miz because he was sick of being his lackey.
We need wrestlers to clearly portray being faces and heels to get crowds against/with them.
How are we as fans going to effectually decided when we have a bunch of characters deeply rooted in the gray?
I'm not going to just cheer for Kofi Kingston just because he goes "boom, boom, and boom" in the ring as he shows why he's a face with his acts.
Another thing is that we barely know the wrestlers that we come to see as all we know of Evan Bourne is that he can do the shooting-star press or of Daniel Bryan that he is a great submission technician.
We cheered for Shawn Micheals, Edge, and The Undertaker because all had fleshed-out back-stories with defining characteristics.
What do we know of Kofi Kingston? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. And what is sad is that he's been around in the WWE for five years.
CM Punk is an example of being a fully fleshed out character in the WWE.
In his first days with the WWE, he stated that he does not and never will do drugs or drink and proudly exclaimed that he's straight edge to the WWE fans.
He proved it by refusing to partake in JBL's drinking contest and in his critically acclaimed feud with Jeff Hardy.
As a face, his actions centered on his straight-edge lifestyle and doing the typical face routine, albeit in CM Punk's special way.
As a heel, he preached his lifestyle to the point of forcing it down peoples' throats, becoming a cult-like leader until his recent turning into a face, but one who rebels against the injustice of the WWE.
CM Punk is being himself, but he makes sure is character is fully either in face mode or heel mode as we never seen him in the gray area.
Cody Rhodes has effectively been well developed as he went from being dashing to portraying this Phantom of the Opera character, so to speak, giving paper bags to fans while having a pity party for his damaged face, despite his face's being perfectly fine.
Developed characters like CM Punk and Cody Rhodes are few and far in between in the WWE universe.
With the majority of the wrestlers in the gray, fans won't know for whom to boo or cheer and will most likely sit on their hands while the crickets chirp.
The archaic face/heel ideology is needed as without it WWE programming will be dull and only get duller.
Maybe I'm alone in this opinion; maybe John Cena is right.
The bottom line is that I need defined faces and heels. I need fully developed characters. I need the WWE to create captivating superstars that are fleshed out as characters.
Being in this gray area to let fans boo and cheer for whomever won't work as we as fans NEED to have reasons to boo and cheer!
Is that too much to ask?