WWE & NBA : Same format?
by, 02-22-2014 at 12:57 AM (908 Views)
What do Michael Jordan and Hulk Hogan have in common? Nothing really other than the fact that both men were the face of their respective industries. They both are household names and huge stars. They both had big divorce settlements with their first wives. They both think they are the best of all time. Ok maybe they have more in common than I thought. What do the NBA and WWE have in common? More than you would like to admit. They both follow a similar format that has kept them relevant and popular for quite a while now.
The WWE is and always will be about star power. Names like Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, The Rock and John Cena have carried the WWE with their star status. They all at at one point were the face and main attraction of the WWE. Others like Andre the Giant, The Undertaker, Macho Man and Bret Hart deserve notable mention. These were all A+ players that kept the WWE afloat. Rivalries like Austin vs Rock, Hulk vs Andre and Rock vs Cena helped cement each stars legacy and drew some of the largest ratings in professional wrestling's history.
Speaking of rivalries how about Magic vs Bird, Magic vs Jordan, Jordan Vs Everyone, Shaq vs Duncan, Kobe Vs Lebron. These rivalries helped make what the NBA is today. The best rivalry I can compare to the WWE is that of Kobe and Shaq. This has WWE written all over it. The best thing about this rivalry is that they were teammates and hated each other and they wanted the spotlight all to themselves. These guys threw away a dynasty over their own personal selfishness. If there ever was a case to be made that the NBA was about individual stars it would have to be Kobe vs Shaq. Sounds like a WWE storyline to me. The NBA became very popular when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird put a league on their backs and showed them what star power and rivals could do to a league. Michael Jordan took it to the ultimate level and now its Lebron playing the face of that league. Not that there werent any stars before Magic and Larry but the league did not capatilize until these two went on a rivalry thats yet to be duplicated. See a trend happening here?
Ok we all know the WWE is staged and predetermined and is technically not really a sport. I'm not here to debate that. But there is quite a few people that would say the NBA is rigged and has some pre determination involved. David Stern, crooked referees, David Stern, 1985 NBA Lottery Draft, David Stern, Finals matchups and did I mention David Stern.
Lets get back to the format that they share. Vince Mcmahon has always been a star maker and would not be in business if it wasn't for these stars. Whether its finding wonders of the world like Andre the Giant, creating Hulkamania or giving Austin the opportunity to prove he was indeed the man to lead the WWE to heights never seen. People think the NBA has been so popular for so long. Thats not really the case. They were actually in trouble before Magic Johnson and Larry Bird had the greatest rivalry in basketball history. Now David Stern might well indeed be a piece of garbage but he's no idiot. He changed the NBA into a star driven league that focused on individuals like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaq and Lebron to carry it. See a similar trend now?
Both the WWE and NBA need to have star power to keep their product thriving. Its not like the NFL where no one player is bigger than the league. When have you ever seen a superbowl that didnt draw? The game is bigger than any one player. What happens when you have a crappy card at Wrestlemania? Low PPV buys. What happens when teams like the Spurs or a team with no stars make the NBA Finals? Low ratings. Both the WWE and NBA have a format that requires stars to carry them. Without this they both would be in serious trouble. The WWE likes to say no one person is bigger than the WWE. That couldn't be farther from the truth. If it wasn't for guys like Stone Cold and The Rock there would not be a WWE right now. We would be talking about WCW. Who am I kidding they probably still would have gone out of business if they had won the war.
If you don't believe that just look at how Vince Mcmahon is still hoping that CM Punk will come back. He would never had let a guy pull this crap back in the day. He would have buried this guy like he did countless others. It just so happens he's in short supply of what makes his business thrive, star power. CM Punk is a star and there's not many guys in the WWE right now that can make that claim. He's arguably the number 2 guy in that organization and some rank him as the top dog because he has such a loyal fanbase.
The WWE is really short on talent. The last time they were this short on talent was during Shawn Michaels title runs when WCW was running wild on them. The problem is there is no WCW right now to push the WWE. No wonder John Cena cant take a break. Imagine if John Cena, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton were too suddenly get injured for long periods of time or couldnt compete for some reason. The company would be in serious jeopardy.
Thats one of the reasons they are pushing this Network so hard is they are trying to sell the past because the future dont look too promising. If they dont create new superstars quickly this company will be in trouble and not because of some rival but because you can only hold an audience for so long with mediocrity.
I dont ever remember seeing so many midcarders acting like Main Eventers in the WWE. At least during the Michaels Era the titles still held prestige and only two or three guys on the roster were in the hunt for it. Now you have guys like Del Rio, Sheamus, The Miz holding world titles and main eventing pay per views and even Wrestlemanias in the case of the Miz.
There is some intriguing talent who can finally strip John Cena as being the face of the WWE. The Wyatts and the Shield look promising but I will be surprised if any of those guys ever become household names because even Daniel Bryan whos super over is not a household name and hes really over. I dont think Daniel Bryan can carry a company. I think he's now become a star but I just don't see him taking the lead like Cena has or The Rock or Stone Cold did before. I dont think CM Punk could carry the company as well but he was a star. CM Punk should not have walked out because he should have honored his contract as a professional but the wrestling business has always been sort of Taboo so its not unusual and he shouldn't take any heat because who knows what goes on in that circus world of wrestling.
I got a little off track there but hey this is a wrestling site so I doubt many here want to read about whats wrong with the NBA. I think I made my point about how similar the WWE and NBA are in terms of how they have been molded into what they are today and what they have been the last 30 plus years. They have much more similarities than one would think.