WWE is terrible these days, it really is.
I’ve just finished watching – or should I say fast forwarding through – their latest PPV event, Tables, Ladders, Chairs & Stairs and I find myself with an interest in the product that is the lowest it has ever been.
And I know I said that earlier this year, but it’s just gotten worse.
This was an event that played out in front of a mostly dead audience as wrestlers put themselves through the mill, battering each other with tables, chairs, steel steps etc and throwing themselves through tables. Essentially, in a bid to impress, these guys were just hurting each other. What’s the point? Did I care when I saw Dolph Ziggler fall off a ladder for the thirtieth time that night? No, of course not. I’m completely desensitized to watching stuff like that and it’s actually quite sad to see these guys doing riskier and riskier stuff in the hope of seeming fresh.
But that’s the key word right there; fresh. WWE is not even the least bit fresh; rather it’s the stalest it’s ever been.
Not only is there too much of it on TV – we really don’t need to see three hours of this shit every Monday night and then another three hours every fourth Sunday – but the stuff that’s on just gets repeated ad nauseam.
Anything remotely interesting – like the once humourous Damien Mizdow stuff – gets squeezed of every little bit of appeal it has and then still gets done for months afterwards.
Meanwhile, the same booking tactics that have failed in the past get rehashed to the annoyance of the audience. The bit last night where Cena and Rollins went through the table together was a waste of time, while Roman ‘We’ll Accept Him Whether We Want To Or Not’ Reigns was pushed down our throats yet again. Do they not realise that by trying too hard with him, the core audience will reject him? Do they never learn?
Also, the same matches play out on TV and then on PPV week after week after week. How many times can we watch the same four of five tag teams having the same match? How many times can we listen to Lana talking about Vladimir Putin, or Rusev facing Jack Swagger? How many times can the Big Show turn heel and feud with John Cena?
You’ve only got to look at the talent roster to see the problem. This year as far as I can see, only three new male wrestlers were promoted to the main roster; Rusev, Bo Dallas and Adam Rose. The rest of them have been around for years. You’ve got guys like the Big Show, Mark Henry and Kane who have been kicking about non-stop since the 1990s and then a huge bulk of talent who have been active since the mid 2000s.
And they just face each other week after week and nothing ever changes.
Compare that to the NXT event from this past Thursday. Now sure, I don’t watch NXT every week, so it does hold a certain freshness that WWE just can’t copy, but it seemed a far better show in every way. The crowd was into it, the matches told stories rather than just ambled from spot to spot and it didn’t overstay its welcome.
So how can WWE overcome this problem with its main talent roster?
As far as I can see it would be to have less of it on TV, but that doesn’t seem likely. Beyond that, have more wrestlers on the roster to provide something a bit different, and also punt some of the guys who have been on the go forever.
Something has to change though, because I – like a lot of people I’m sure – am just watching out of habit these days.