A subset of wrestling fans has a consensus on the “this is awesome” chant. They concur with each other there is nothing awesome about it and agree it is done to death, tiring, and unoriginal. However, they should not blame the fans who chant it all that much. They should blame WWE more so.
Similar to how TNA and ECW fans would chant the company’s name after something cool happened, the “this is awesome” chant reflects how WWE presents its product. Presenting wrestling product with sports elements has always been an effective way to present a product. Much like sports, people become invested in the wrestlers, the stories, the stakes, the consequences, and so forth. No matter what, they want their favorite team to win. They do not care if it is a bowling-shoe ugly game or the best game ever played; they care about the outcome more so than anything else.
WWE’s product does not have a sports feel to it. It has a Harlem Globetrotter feel to it. It is flashy and showy but in hindsight, kitsch and ostentatious. Surely, their matches are awe-inspiring, filled with hard-to-pull-off athletic moves and spots, and choreographed well, but there is little to latch onto and little for the fans to sink their teeth into. Little story, little stakes, little consequences, little purpose. It is a show, a show entertaining fans (hence: the this is awesome chants), but in the long run, 99 percent of the matches are ultimately meaningless.
Of course, there have been exceptions to the rule. WrestleMania 30 was a perfect example of an example, an event where millions of wrestling fans saw Daniel Bryan’s long journey to the top of the mountain finally come to fruition. Even though Bryan had two great matches at the event, a “this is awesome chant” never broke out. Why? Because the fans were invested in the story. They were sitting on the edge of the seats, eagerly hoping Bryan would overcome the obstacles in front of him and obtain his long-lived dream in spite of the powers trying everything in their power to stop it from happening.
Think of the most memorable matches in WWE’s history, the ones you could not wait to see. How many of those matches did you want to see only because you thought they would be excellent matches? Nobody in the world thought Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant would be a classic 5-star affair, but to them, it did not matter. All that mattered was if Hogan could dethrone and overcome the Giant’s Brobdingnagian size and Herculean strength. The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 17 was not the main event of the show because it would be a scientific classic; it was about two beloved stars meeting each other at essentially the peak of their popularity, as never once were they so evenly matched and esteemed before.
For WWE, though, it will be difficult to put the toothpaste back into the bottle. Over and over again, they have preconditioned their fans to believe the outcomes of matches are irrelevant from champions losing on TV, wrestlers getting undeserved title opportunities, wrestlers losing and still being rewarded, wrestlers trading wins with each other, and WWE not fulfilling their promises (Authority gone forever, retirements that never stick, etc.)
A perfect illustration of this was at this year’s Survivor Series. WWE booked three traditional Survivor Series matches based around Smackdown vs. Raw. There is no problem with having a battle of supremacy, but due to the way it was built up and that nothing would change after the PPV was over, there was no point to the matches. WWE expected its fans to care about 3 matches, which took up half the PPVs time, that had no impact on the future of the company, since nothing on Raw or Smackdown would change after that show. The brand that won was not rewarded for winning, and the brand that lost didn’t face consequences for losing. It was all meaningless, and it is asking a lot from the fans to care about something that has no meaning or purpose.
The refurbishment would take a long time, though it would be worth it in the long run for WWE. The company needs to get back to the fundamentals, a time where storytelling mattered; a time where characters were well-defined, from the top to the bottom of the card, and triggered an emotional response from the fans; a time when the storylines were about good overcoming evil; a time when there were stakes, consequences, and ramifications for things that were happening or happened; a time when the product had a sense of meaning and purpose; and a time where there was no going back to a time before, with everything progressing to newer heights.
It is also time for fans to be emotionally invested into matches again, attached to the characters in the ring and story being told, rather than sitting on their hands waiting for the aimless action to kick into another gear so that they can finally become involved in the match, because “this is awesome” is not a positive chant. It is informing WWE that they are not invested in the characters, story, or potential outcome of the match. They are just entertained by the superficial glitz and glamour.