WWE has lost its identity since the PG era started. 50-50 booking, questionable booking, popular talent burial, cringeworthy pre-written dialogue, and homogenized commentating are among the many mistakes they are currently making. The answers as to why this is happening are many.
1.527. That is one of the lowest Monday night RAW ratings ever. Dave Meltzer claims WWE insider contacts are saying that they “got the message“, but given their track record even if that’s true it will last one or two weeks before we go back to Vince McMahon‘s “I tell you what you want“ programming. Roman reigns was one of the most hated main event stars Vince McMahon has forced us to weather. The commentators were forced to ignore the rejection, crowds were muted, and the product suffered but still they persisted. They have never fully recovered and because of this – fledgling promotion AEW beat them in the coveted 18-49 demographic every hour of this RAW. Maybe that is because WWE seems to appeal mostly to children and people in their 50s possibly due to the sterile and safe weekly programming they are pumping out.
This isn’t hate. This is disappointment.
Watching one of the greatest entertainment companies ever created crash and burn is not something we take pleasure in. Since WWE went public and the financial bottom line became more important than the displeasure of their fans they have gone downhill. Sure their profits may be up and part of that is because of their network that makes the older programming available. People can go back and watch the product when it was good and interesting. There is no edge today – and no one is saying they need to go back to crash television – but with the talent they have and the few that the fans really get behind it should be a no brainer.
Wrestlemania remains a massive event because the live experience and the pageantry are things that cannot be replicated on TV. Every year before they hold it, right on time one of the wrestlers will drop the word “b*tch” to appear edgier. I cannot imagine the permissions they have to get from shareholders just for that to happen. Maybe they don’t and if that is the case it makes it even worse.
Another long running problem is Vince McMahon reportedly rewriting the show at the last minute, sometimes on the fly along with producer Kevin Dunn’s input. Kevin reportedly hates pro wrestling and anything related to what made it pro wrestling in the first place. WWE wrestlers are apparently not allowed to use terms like belt, title, wrestling, and other things said during periods when fans were rabid for the action. This gives the appearance that the higher ups are embarrassed and maybe even hold disdain for their own product. We all know it’s fake just like we know magicians don’t perform real magic but we still suspend our disbelief and immerse ourselves. It’s not a hard concept or one that is difficult to achieve.
It often appears that executives are more concerned about appearing on Good Morning America rather than keeping fans. The Goodwill and forgiveness they once received appears to be fading.
AEW has a real chance at being a contender because they have people who get it. They may not have the production value, the money, or even the resources that Vince McMahon has but they know how to use what they have. They get what pro wrestling should be and if the fans turn on something they change it to match their interest and it works. Hardcore fans won’t keep a product alive but they will be the core. Just like the Hulk Hogan era faded and the dreadful new generation era began it appears now that the attitude era faded that we are in new generation part two.
We are stuck with one dimensional characters that have a hand sign, numerous names for moves, and maybe a one-word catchphrase. They had a character whose gimmick was farting…farting. This is the same company that took the “I’m the man” bad ass Becky Lynch from being a hardcore and seemingly real character and covered her in make up and shiny clothes for Wrestlemania. It is mistakes like this that symbolize everything going wrong.
If WWE wants to stay competitive and popular they need to acknowledge that pro wrestling and not a homogenized, vanilla, bland, and formulaic corporate television product is what will return them to form. Let your wrestlers have their own identity and don’t use them as dress up dolls who robotically spit bad writing.
There are quite a few websites that appear to shill for the company that are downplaying just how bad this really is. You will find this with any large company who gives access to their athletes. This is not something to be taken lightly and something to keep in mind when you are reading WWE news. Only time will tell if they are truly listening to what their fans want and their shareholders get the message.
Stop pushing people who you think will sell products and let the fans choose which products to buy because of who they choose to love.
Treating your product like an arranged marriage is a mistake. We are telling you what you want and eventually you will just give in and love it.