With a roster to rival the glorious yesteryear of the WWE, why is today’s product so stale?
I’ve been a fan of the WWE for 25 years now since it first started airing in the UK. WrestleMania 5 was my first experience and since then I was hooked. Granted I’ve had little periods in recent years where I’ve drifted away, dismayed with the product, but I can’t ever stay away.
I am WWE through and through. I always felt that watching WCW and more recently TNA, was like betrayal to my beloved WWE, so I never did. That’s how important the WWE is to me and what it means to me.
Today I just can’t help but feel frustrated at such opportunities being wasted and chances missed for great storylines. I sometimes feel as if the creative team (led by Vince) have become lazy and continually take the easy option year after year.
I’ve been fortunate to experience the golden era first hand. And I’m realistic enough to know that we won’t ever experience the era that was dominated by Hogan, Warrior, Savage, Rude and a little later, the likes of Michaels and Hart.
But there is potential to get close!
I would go as far as to say that today’s roster has potential to rival it and when I look at the talent at their disposal, I get excited at the thought of the potential and possibilities. But time after time the management screw it up.
Instead what we get is storylines repeated every couple of years, we see the same feuds, over and over again, nothing feels fresh anymore and worse of all, they devalue some of the most important aspects of the WWE – their championship titles.
The reason for this? Laziness and making money.
Sadly for pure wrestling fans, the WWE has such a large fanbase that there are millions of fans out there that will pay whatever, shows, merchandise, etc etc, regardless of what product is being produced.
They have too many shows which doesn’t help storylines, but obviously helps the bank balance. 3 hours of RAW, 2 hours of Smackdown, plus Superstars and Main Event and the other various shows, means we are never ever likely to see a fresh feud between wrestlers with little or no history between them.
There are far too many pay-per-views as well and with every one that rolls round, it always feels rushed. They no longer build feuds, captivating the interest of the audience anymore.
Vince and his team are not prepared to take a risk anymore. Because risks might mean failures which might mean lack of revenue. Instead we get the cycle of John Cena and Randy Orton hogging top spot. Now I have no problem with these two, but I don’t want to see PPV after PPV based around them.
As things stand we are heading to WrestleMania 30 – a land mark PPV – with a probably Randy Orton v Batista match to headline…. We saw that 5, 6, 7 years ago. No one is excited for that. But Vince doesn’t care because he knows it will sell because he knows they are household names.
But for me? I’d rather see Daniel Bryan leading into a feud with Roman Reigns for example or CM Punk building a feud with Seth Rollings.
Both Bryan and Punk are very similar in the fact their popularity was pretty much self made. They ran with Punk a few years back, kind of. They made him champion, gave him a long title reign, but they buried him at every chance in favor of Cena.
Punk was the champ, he was the man, but Cena was headlining PPV’s. So they never really gave CM Punk a chance did they? And the same will happen to Daniel Bryan. And why? Because Vince doesn’t like it when something is successful that wasn’t his idea. I’m convinced of this.
I respect everything Vince has done for wrestling in general, but if he wants to progress further he has got to do what he did 30 years ago – get out of the comfort zone and gamble with something new.
As I already mentioned, feuds and angles are rushed through to fit the next PPV and that is the main reason that promising stars that get given a push, ultimately get dropped back down to earth, that coupled with the over-reliance to have the same people grab the headlines.
I’m all for Batista making a return, I’m sure he’s got lots to offer, but not carrying the company forward he hasn’t. Right now Vince has the hottest property in Daniel Bryan, he should be giving him the ball and letting him run, but he won’t, because it wasn’t his idea and he doesn’t want to be being seen as we told you so Vince.
And now Triple H seems to have more and more say, that trend is carrying on and those who should be getting exposure and a push, are not getting it and that must be frustrating.
Bray Wyatt is another who I think could be massive. He could genuinely be one of the company’s best heels in the last 15 years, I really rate the character and think he is superb. But will creative take the risk and got the whole hog?
I ask this simple question, if Bray Wyatt got into a feud with Cena and they built to a match at WrestleMania, could you really see Bray Wyatt winning that cleanly? I could only see them plumping for a Cena win, so as not to damage him and in turn, their revenue.
But the minute that happened, most people will look at Wyatt’s defeat and think “Ok, he isn’t going to get the push we all thought he might,” and that’s why great potential stars soon disappear to mid-card level. It’s not people losing interest, they just lose faith, knowing that another potential superstar has taken second fiddle and kicked to the side again.
One thing, above all, that annoys me is the misuse of the championship titles. Unless it is around John Cena’s waist, then the World title usually becomes second fiddle. It hasn’t been so bad lately and the unification has helped it back to prominence. But as we saw with CM Punk’s reign, making money was more important.
The Intercontinental was once such a prestigious title and was a stepping stone to World title level, but now it’s almost like they pick someone to have the title who they may want to push, then they end up leaving them in limbo land, barely defending the title and not building up any feuds of any significant note.
Same with the tag team division, it’s steadily built up and it’s the best it has been competition wise for 4, 5 years I think. But they don’t give it any proper significant airtime especially at pay-per-views.
The common theme of this post has been creative, which the WWE is not right now. But they won’t really care as the money rolls in and whilst we moan and vent our anger, they will only look at the bank balance. Sadly for us and great for Vince, TNA are even more inept at running a promotion and until there is a genuine rival promotion, Vince and those around him will only go with the safe, easy, money making options.
About the author: Lee Richardson has been a fan of WWE for 25 years. You can follow him on Twitter @Thewwevoice.