WWE Issues: Storylines, PPV, Talent, Titles & More!
by, 02-19-2012 at 11:43 PM (1474 Views)
Thanks for reading my earlier blogs. I know, I need to be a bit more frequent, but it does get tough to be a regular poster on eWN. What prompts me to post a blog now and then, is the true fan frustration in me coming to a boil and then bursting out. Like it did with my previous blogs.
Now, this time round, I decided to step back and take a look at what exactly is going wrong with the WWE. Yes, we may have opinions on whether it actually is going wrong in the first place, but my view is that WWE is going down. Even stagnation is a way down, since we need variety as viewers.
Once in a while, you see a gimmick that really appeals to a majority of the viewers - it may be heel or face - but a majority of the viewers tend to take to such gimmicks. SCSA was great on the mic, but his gimmick of being a bad-ass beer drinking redneck really went down with many viewers. As did the Undertaker, or even JBL. The best you can do today is 'Funkasaurus'? I am sorry, there may be fans for him, but I really think this is very poor booking.
The problem is that we do not have enough gimmicks on the roster that appeal to us. The superstars are being distanced from gimmicks, which makes us think they are a bit more 'real'. But then, the stuff they say on the mic doesn't quite gel with that, since they follow a track. Or we can't really distinguish between characters since all of them fall under a similar character-stereotype (I always confuse myself between Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler). The WWE has to utlize some nice gimmicks and get the right stars to fit into them.
I would be addressing a related point a few paragraphs down, but this is the largest reason why their storylines are getting stale as well.
When pay-per-views are too many in number, you need a differentiating factor. Something that stands out in each PPV, so fans would subscribe to them, and those who missed it will ask for it subsequently. I find this a huge problem with the WWE over the last few years. No title changes, largely no-contest results, unwanted matches, reduced action time, placing focus on boring characters in the roster - all this make PPVs skippable. And when that happens, people don't want to see your PPVs. They would just read the updates online and watch a few videos streamed.
The solution - there is absolutely no need to have all major stars in all PPVs. You can keep storylines built in such a way that some stars get focus on one PPV and another bunch gets focus on another PPV. But at least do full justice to the ones placed in focus. When you have PPVs like Elimination chamber or TLC, those are high-octane action PPVs. Either show good action, or show title changes. Both are unfortunately, largely missing.
I know WWE wouldn't do this (which is exactly my grouse) but give the fans what they want. Don't give them what YOU want and then say that's what they asked for.
Probably the single largest problem that WWE has never taken face-on. They are happy pushing talents (?) that fall flat, and play a deaf ear to the fans. When fans ask for more of Zack Ryder or Cody Rhodes, they actually have a point. They believe these talents hold promise, they are willing to get behind them or give them heat (as the case may be) and they are tracking each and every mic/ring work of these guys.
Please, WWE, when you bring in a superstar who returns after a long hiatus, please don't over promise. We know that HHH and Undertaker are going to be sporadic in their appearances. We know Jericho is probably the only active returning superstar who we will see almost every week. We know the Rock told us he is never going away, but he will make very rare appearances. We know you brought back Nash and Road Dogg, but they are beind-the-scenes. And we know you brought back Mick Foley, but he is not in great shape. But we knew all this now. So, when superstars return, set expectations straight.
The WWE used to have some really good stables on the roster. It helped in utilizing more than one talent in the same air-time. It helped in building storylines. It helped cover for less action. It helped bring talents from that who could be pushed for singles glory.
All that seems to be down the drain. I was rooting for the HHH - CM Punk angle last year, since I thought it would help add some mid-carders to the feud and have a modern day version of the authority vs. rebel storyline (of course, modern day). But all that is not happening any more.
Bring in older superstars like Nash and Booker. Make them mentors. Give them more of the mic work. Have mid-card or upper-mid-card talents form stables under them. Pit them against one another every alternate week or once every 3 weeks. Keep going and culminate in a relatively less-bought PPV such as Vengeance. Helps use talent, helps use air time and might increase buy rates for those PPVs.
TITLES? WHAT TITLES?
WWE has really stopped caring about titles. There is no prestige associated with the IC title and we are less likely to see 4 tag teams fight for the Tag Team title in an 8-man tag match. Those days of booking are gone.
Bringing in good gimmicks and keeping the titles prestigious, really adds to the element of entertainment. Some of us are not here to see a reality show. And even if we are, use the tag titles, gimmicks and stables to create good threads.
When was the last time we saw a really good storyline that we remember? One that we would put up there? And one that the WWE cashed in on, without ending it prematurely or without over-doing it? I am largely at a loss, here. I do remember some good matches between Punk and Cena, but I don't quite get the storyline that went behind those. Good matches may be few in number, but it is the storylines that help you remember them. And good storylines help you cover up for weak matches in between, because the larger story-arc keeps getting interesting.
The solution to the storyline problem has to start with good gimmicks and characters. Then you know whom to pit against whom.
We all know what the WWE is going to about these points, right? Absolutely nothing. And we will be screaming for what we want and will be getting what we don't want. But then, once in a while, you want to vent the frustration boiling inside you. You want to give them some constructive advice, in the hope that they don't squash the product.