Incoming Rant: The Increasingly Poor Decisions of WWE
Here we are, yet again, coming off of a pay per view and the ratings for Monday Night Raw set a new record low. I'm sure you're getting tired of reading it, and quite frankly I'm getting a bit tired of writing about it. Its hard to finally admit it; but as a fan of WWE for the better part of a decade and a half, WWE is kinda shitty right now.
Survivor Series was not a good show by any measure, save for the spectacular ending. After spending the better part of the day scouring the internet for reviews and impressions of Sunday's show, I'm convinced that I'm the only one that enjoyed the ending, but that hardly made up for the other 160 minutes.
Survivor Series aside, the state of flux that I've written about previously has clearly passed. In it's wake, the state of the company, and WWE as a whole is clear: it's shitty. Pretty shitty in fact. Its so shitty that less than three million people watched Monday Night Raw. This is the first time this has happened since the program went to three hours.
Things are so bad in fact, that one of the architects of the company stands by my side, ready to cast WWE to the side in favor of a company that actually respects the sport of Professional Wrestling. Mick Foley had this to say on Facebook regarding the status of his WWE fandom.
My article should be done right there as there isn't much that I can add to that factual statement. Yet, the more I read what Foley wrote, the more pissy I got. I am tired of Cesaro not getting pushed, especially after we cheered him out of the building. I'm tired of the best wrestler on the roster losing every non title match he's in for the better part of two years. I don't want everything; I just want something. I want WWE to care about the sport I love.
Want proof that WWE doesn't give a shit about wrestling? During my experience at a Smackdown taping, a previously recorded promo aired featuring a main event bound, Cesaro. In it, he referred to “The Sport” he loved in addition to using the word, “wrestling” several times. The Pinnacle Bank Arena roared in applause and cheers, at least from the smarks in the audience. Guess which parts of his promo were edited for time?
In the three hours we spent in that building, there wasn't anything you could edit down to make way for the Tampax commercial that aired in it's place. Oh I don't know, if I were to pick something at random, maybe the Undertaker/Lesnar promo that had been playing ad naseum up until that point would be a good suggestion.
Going back an watching the promo, you'll discover that the line, “because I love this sport...” had been changed to “because I love this business...” Those cheers that took place wouldn't have occurred had he called it a “business.” In fact, had he referred to it as such, there may have been a few loud boos. But that is the wonder of television, feeding the smarks in the audience, the ones who actually care and purchase your product what they want, just to get the desired reaction to market to the ones who don't care. Scumonomics 101.
This is why the product stinks, as made evident by a Smackdown airing in July, because WWE doesn't care. At the forefront of this aura of indifference sits the writers team. I don't care how many tweets Road Dog wants to respond to; dropping numbers and an angry fan base do not merit patting yourself on the back. For years now, the dropping ratings have been met with a shrug from the company and at the top, Hunter and Vince McMahon's reply is a swift, “Well we like it.”
Perhaps employing a team of writers experienced in writing for television wasn't the brightest idea in the world. There are thousands of talented wrestling writers in the world, any of whom would eat their own shoe, (the whole thing) to get a chance to put WWE ink to paper. Or perhaps the writers room should be expanded to include former talent, those trailblazers that just might know a thing or two about getting a reaction from a crowd.
Stone Cold Steve Austin got a reaction from the crowd by believing and living his character. By being the man that the country needed at that time. WWE got a reaction from us by straight up lying to us. Cesaro is over, or at least he was. Pushing him and his character isn't a difficult task for the writers. Perhaps giving the man a live mic, letting him win a match or two and maybe give him a belt to hold would get him over the hump.
Instead, Cesaro was forced to sit back and listen as Vince McMahon shit all over him on a podcast. Adam Rose had to listen as a room full of know nothing know it alls said on camera, taped for a nationally airing documentary that he was a boring performer. Given a chance to walk back those comments, Bill DeMott doubled down, fitting as he is clearly familiar with the sandwich of the same name.
Ten years ago, Adam Rose would have been Intercontinental Champion and the crowd would have loved it. Today, he's a bleach blond “pissed off Emo (homo?)” that, even after a gimmick change still can't win. Adam, you're my favorite wrestler currently on the roster, but the writing is clear. The WWE creative team has no fucking clue how to handle a talent as large as yours. Get out. Get out now; take Dolph Ziggler and head to Ring of Honor while you still can.
Bringing this rant full circle is the apparent release of Solomon Crowe, a talented stick man and superb wrestler who never got a fair shake. Mind you, Crowe debuted with the blockbuster gimmick of a computer hacker; I can't imagine why that never worked. Honestly, I can't imagine why that gimmick never took off.
The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind, Bob Holly, Chris Jericho; none of them were computer hackers. They don't even use computers in the ring! He didn't need to wrestle at all; he could have just changed the results of the match after the fact. Crowe, if you were fired and this isn't just a gimmick change, call Adam and Dolph and see if there's room in the car. In fact, let me know if there is one more open seat, I just might be Ring of Honor bound myself.