#2 WWE: Did you smell what The Rock was cooking?
by, 06-10-2011 at 06:39 AM (6225 Views)
I did. Gold. Pure gold.
Yesterday I posted my first blog here touching on the subject of TNA/Impact Wrestling and my opinion on the product as a whole and I don't think it's fair to write about TNA (which I've only just scratched the surface of what I really wanted to talk about) without comparing it to WWE. TNA after all, are a wrestling company, something they try to mark on every fan with a branding iron.
Some years ago I began to watch WWF for the first time around the start of the "Monday Night Wars" in 1994/5 and was immediately interested. Without the internet back in the day, everything storyline and match was a complete surprise to me. I got all my information about WWF either by staying up stupidly late to watch it on cable (I was around 8 or 9, mind) or get all my information from my older friend, Terry. Back then, I didn't understand wrestling was fake. In fact, it took a botched move a year or so later to figure things out.
Manyy of my years of watching WWF came from the Attitude era. Something almost every wrestling fan will know of. It was edgy, it was fun, and it still had one over on WCW; the wrestling. The WCW and WWF "war" was amazing, it's something we're lacking today. WWE doesn't have the competition that it did then, there's no reason for the company now to try and best another. The closest possible company to challenge WWE is TNA, so where's the challenge?
There isn't, but WWE is still at fault here. The Attitude Era had so much more to give it's viewers than it does now. I've recently started watching WWE programming in recent months, and it doesn't hold a candle to what they had before. RAW lacks star quality. That's right, I said it.
The massive problem they face is WWE is like any other entertainment program, which Vince to his credit doesn't try and pull the wool over our eyes and tell us otherwise, is that WWE can't risk getting stale. I loved the Attitude Era, but as Bralon23 said in my first blog, at what point do we move on? Completely correct and it was something I wanted to bring up.
Like any other entertainment show, WWE had to evolve into a different product. They fully understand that their key demographic is people under the age of 16. The same way Paul Heyman knew that ECW's demographic was people over the age of 21, and adjusted his show to occupy that. If WWE kept the Attitude Era going, people would still complain as I am now because it would get stale. When The Rock came back to WWE programming to announce he was hosting Wrestlemania 27, I saw shades of the Attitude Era coming through, and it's what re-sparked my interest back in WWE programming. TNA are trying to emulate this constantly. Russo knows that WWF was popular back then because of the Attitude Era. What they idiot doesn't think about is the current fan-base, and tries to push a TNA version of the Attitude Era. Hence why they're showing blood every other match.
Point being, WWE now have a chance to swing back to an Attitude Era version of their product. They won't, but they can.
The problem with TNA is they bring in wrestlers that WWE have dumped. Glamour Girl disagreed with me in yesterdays blog about this statement. Unfortunately, this is the truth. I can't think of a WWE star that has left WWE voluntarily to join TNA and still made a name for themselves there, aside for Kurt Angle and possibly Jeff Hardy, but what a deal the latter was for TNA!
Now, on the flip side to this, WWE bring in wrestlers they use improperly, or fashion wrestlers that are just not good. Case and point; The Miz. I'll get to that idiot in a minute. WWE programming is predictable to say the least. At least TNA still has the odd element of surprise, though, mainly because they enjoy abruptly ending story lines rather than an actual thought process.
I'm finding myself sitting through boring crap like TNA waiting for the decent stories and matches. WWE keep finding new and innovative ways to bullsh*t people into thinking they're still a good product but the bottom line is they've fallen so much further in recent years, especially after the Attitude Era.
I'm going to break it down in to a little more detail as I did with #1.
I meant to address this yesterday in the TNA blog, so I might as well start with this. Get rid of them. I cannot say it any clearer than this. WWE and TNA are identical in the fact they believe that a Woman's division within their companies is actually a good idea? It's not. I'm not sure if it's a diversity thing or not, but both the divisions are not only lacking in development, but they're lacking in talent.
TNA are the worst culprits in this. I watched a match a few months back at a PPV where once again, TNA managed to screw up the ending. A 9 stone, twig of a girl managed to roll up a 14 stone, quite muscle-y girl for a good 30 seconds while the ref gets back into the ring. That's one of the many, many bad Woman's matches I've seen in both TNA and WWE. People keep saying how WWE bring in Women from TNA and vise versa, but it doesn't matter! If you trade a bag of sh*t for another bag of sh*t, what have you got?
The achilles heel of wrestling is the Female divisions. You can't win. The only reason they are there is for eye candy. Why do I want to see thin, attractive, big breasted women wrestle around in the ring... Okay, okay. I take that back, but the point stands. It's not wrestling, it's cat fighting. I remember rumours that Vince wanted to create a Women only show and I truly wish he did. He would've seen how unbelievably low the figures would've been, and would have scrapped the division all together. It's a win-win as TNA would either follow suit, or go in the complete opposite direction like they usually do and over promote the Knockout's division. Although, I think the Knockout's already have too much exposure.
Get rid of it.
WWE have the awful habit of pushing the wrong superstars, and the reason for it is simple. Revenue. WWE are a company that make a bucket load of money, and they know that promoting a star that is over with the children will make them the big cash. Why do you think you never see Cena as a heel? Because he makes them money and they know that making Cena in to a good heel will stop a massive amount of revenue into the company. He's a cash cow.
John Cena is like your favourite Pokemon in one of the games. No matter how popular he is, he can only learn four moves at a time.
Since superstars like The Rock and Austin left the WWE, they've had to find and promote new stars that will stay with the company for the long haul. Randy Orton, Mysterio, Edge etc, are all great examples of this. They're over as faces and more importantly, they're over as heels (with the exception of Mysterio). I've watched them progress through the roster since they started and WWE are using them correctly.
However, WWE have the habit of mis-using stars. The Miz is a perfect example. He's just something that management within WWE saw $ signs and quickly snapped him up. He pulls decent heat, but the thing's he says and the way he acts is similar to how I would when I was 9.
And again, WWE have the habit of having stars with so much more to give than they let, like CM Punk for example, who I don't believe is being used as he should. He's a great heel, pulls great heat, and has the wrestling skills to match.
I'm only breaking this down slightly because of all the people who moaned about Christian dropping the title the day after he won it. This had point. WWE did something right when they made Christian drop the World Heavyweight Title the night after he won it. WWE are predictable. I don't watch PPV's, so I'll read the results, and I already know that if Cena is in the main event with a title on the line, he'll more than likely win.
Making Christian loose to Orton on Smackdown the day after was genius. Now Christian is the top heel on Smackdown and he's making it work! Orton as a face is something I don't particularly enjoy because I think he's the perfect heel, but the chemistry they currently have is the best program I've seen in WWE in recent years and has the potential to go on for a while. And as Christian has dropped the title unexpectedly, one can presume WWE will try to catch us out again.
As I stated above, I don't watch PPV's because they're mostly predictable and have been for a while now. Back in the days of The Rock and Stone Cold, matches could end with a simple roll up, or a sudden, out of the blue finishing move. Now, stars like Cena have to go through a very strict set of rules before he gets pinned. I think WWE wanted to push the boundary at the recent PPV with Cena vs Miz, which I happened to catch as my flatmate had it on, and I heard the recording of Cena saying "I quit" and I just left the room. It was pathetic.
Well, this has now become an article rather than a blog but, if you have actually read all of this article firstly, thank you for reading, and secondly, please don't take my antagonism towards WWE as me not liking it. As a whole, I do like WWE and I will continue to keep up with it until it reaches a point like TNA. I'll be writing #3 sometime next week on ECW and WWE as a wrestling company, and a business.
Thanks again for reading!