High Risk, Low Reward – An Unapologetic Probe into the WWE Landscape of Today
Do you remember when you were a true wrestling fan? A fan who hardly bitched and moaned, a fan who didn’t know ‘insider-terms’, a fan who looked forward to seeing their favorite wrestlers on Saturday morning television even though they knew that for the most part what they were about to see interviews promoting upcoming house shows and squash matches. It seems like forever ago, looking back on things with the power that the internet wields, it certainly feels like none of those shows ever mattered. They are not scheduled to be a part of the WWE Network, hardly spoke about, and if you are a current fan and don’t have an uncle or aunt, the terms “Action Zone. WWF Superstars, WWF Challenge, WWF Spotlight, All-Star Wrestling, All-American Wrestling, Tuesday Night Titans, Prime-Time Wrestling, Saturday Night’s Main Event, The Main Event, Shotgun Saturday Night, hell, even Super Astros is never brought up in any conversation as if they were never part of the giant corporation known today as WWE’s Lexicon. In latter years the programming started to include upper midcard talent competing against mid-card talent; which was slightly better than your usual ‘local enhancement talent’ such as weekend warriors Barry Hardy, Sonny Blaze or Nick Berc. With that decision being made, executives hoped that the ratings would increase guessing that fans would stick around for a promoted main event of Freddie Joe Floyd VS Mantaur rather than a graphic stating “Coming up Roddy Piper in action”.
In the 2000’s, WWE slightly changed the content of it’s shows depending on the rating. For example if the show was taped, promoted, and aired as a ‘G’ rating then all blows to the head and neck would be removed.
Imagine a PRO-WRESTLING SHOW WITHOUT THIS, BUT SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY THE WWE DID IT. WWE PRODUCED ‘EXCESS’, ‘ATTITUDE, ‘Confidential’,’Velocity’,’E.C.W’, M.S.G. Classics.’F.C.W.’
‘Saturday Morning Slam’ and finally another rendition of ‘Superstars’. Say what you want about the WWE Product whether RAW or Smackdown, but people still watch. People still complain Monday through Monday, but whether they are the minority or whether they just can’t help themselves. The people who bitch and moan are still tuning into the USA network at 9: pm on Monday night, As a journalist, I’ve lost interest quite frankly, as there isn’t much to report. The in-ring quality is at an all- time high, the athletes on the current roster top to bottom are in the best shape of any collection of rosters within the past 20-30 years, so what seems to be the problem here ? Why was RAW so boring to me this past mon night ? RAW was So boring or as ‘Shooter’ McNulty likes to say “It’s not RAW, it’s processed!” so much so that I didn’t bother even watching WWE Smackdown ? The answer is out there, and like an old adage would read “Seek and ye shall find”.
Beings that I missed the WWE Smackdown show, I’m gonna have to go on my vuse player, hit up good ole piratebay and help myself to a heap a helping hawkinslesshumanity. Because the lord knows I would fall fast asleep as that man is the most boring wrestler that ever lived. He has no flaws as far as footwork or within his transition, but he as a performer walks around the ring half-pregnant, void of any direction, and lacks confidence. It’s like he knows that we know that he knows that we know he’s not getting pushed. Very strange vibe and not in a good way. As a journalist, I don’t bury anybody in the wrestling business, but there’s just something about Hawkins that screams “NICE GUY” or” GOOD HAND” you can use any number of backhanded compliments that many do in wrestling circles to describe Hawkins current run. Hawkins is a microcosm of everything that is wrong with the WWE television programming- Too good to be considered bad, but not good enough to be considered great. Complacency! There’s no real competition, so there is nothing driving the WWE to step there game up, they aren’t fighting for advertising dollars with a rival company, they aren’t enticing that red, hot free agent to go to the WWE, They are not fighting for that hot new timeslot….THEY ARE NOT FIGHTING ! THEY HAVE NO FIGHT LEFT IN THEM ! THEY HAVE NO FIGHT !
And this lies in the problem with monopolies. A sad tale indeed. Look at how many times that the WWE and WCW/NWA would go toe to toe for every unspent consumer penny. Whether it was the 4 Horseman or the NWO, The Dangerous Alliance or Degeneration Sex. There was always a fight, always a battle to be won, but nowadays the only fight left is between your eyelids and eyeballs as to stay awake or fall asleep. This article could turn into a 12 part manifesto if I allowed it to, but the question remains unanswered.How do you fix the WWE television product ? How do you make it the shit that it used to be ? Please feel free to leave messages below as we converge to fix the problem . Is it the writing team, is it the production crew, is it the talent ? OR is the answer more simple than anyone could imagine. IS THE PROBLEM VINCE MCMAHON ?