This past Monday, Vince McMahon said that he was going to “shake things up”. We were promised new content, new faces, new matchups, better stories, and all that good stuff. He then introduced his family. You know…”new” people.
Triple H said that they were “taking RAW and Smackdown back”. Intricacies of whether or not kayfabe is still alive notwithstanding, correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Vince own the company? Isnt HHH the COO? Don’t Stephanie and Shane have stakes in the company? Taking what back from who? Taking RAW back from Baron Corbin?
This is all a part of WWE’s act of self-parody. Basically, this is when WWE pokes fun at their own incompetence. Last week, Seth Rollins basically cut a worked shoot on the chosen GM by those at the top for RAW, Baron Corbin.
He relayed all of the issues that have plagued RAW for the past couple of months. Most noticeably, segments involving midget managers pissing themselves, 3 on 2 BS handicap matches that give the “good guys” unfair matchup advantages and more nonsense beyond that.
Of course, this isn’t Baron Corbin’s fault. We are supposed to believe this is Baron’s fault because that’s what the story is supposed to be. The biggest red flag in WWE’s professed shake-up is thinking Smackdown was part of the issue. Smackdown was fine. RAW is the problem. But since WWE cares far more about what happens on Monday, if fault is found with Monday’s product, then Tuesday’s Smackdown must be guilty of the same faults by proxy.
Those who realize that what they are watching is fake and that who we see on television are force-fed roles that they have play week after week, you’d know that this is the fault of Vince. Why? Because every match and segment that airs on RAW and Smackdown each week have to be approved by him first.
And guess what else? Vince signed off on Seth Rollins’ promo last week, and he signed off of Corbin trying to defend himself. So basically, he acknowledges what’s wrong with the product, but he’s just using a mouthpiece.
Getting back to what Triple H said, WWE really takes its fanbase for idiots a lot. They’re always the ones in power, so how are we supposed to believe that what happened before won’t happen again? What was RAW’a first match?Baron Corbin vs. Kurt Angle. Well, not really. It was just the same good guys except for Finn Balor from the night before at TLC jumping Corbin with chairs and making him lose. What’s new and fresh about that?
We also had some of the same old segments done in different forms once again. We had multiple backstage Baron Corbin segments. We had Bobby Lashley and Elias taunting each other for the 9023482nd time. We had singles matches that went on with commercials but without a finish.
The same problems still exist, but WWE has conditioned us to believe that if WWE acknowledges they’ve done a poor job, we’ll get a better product. They say that we are the Authority, and we are going to get what we want. I can assure you the majority of fans, fair-weather or smark, wouldn’t ask for a 6 on 1 handicap NO DQ match featuring Corbin when the same exact thing happened the night before.
Another promise made was that there would be new faces and fresh matchups. Names such as EC3, Lars Sullivan and Nikki Cross do ring a bell from NXT, but let’s face it, are they changing the overall structure of the show? They aren’t Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa, Ricochet, Adam Cole or even the Velveteen Dream. They will simply be fit into a certain mold.
I can’t see Nikki Cross being anything more than somebody who would be nice to have in a Gauntlet match. Lars Sullivan is just Snitsky without the whole kicking a plastic baby deal. EC3 has potential, but depending on how he’s used, it’s possible that opportunities won’t come immediately. There will be new faces, but those new faces will quickly become mundane. Just look at Bobby Roode.
Let me give you an example of how WWE’s promise of fresh matchups sometimes works against them. Dean Ambrose held an open challenge and Tyler Breeze answered the call. Breeze didn’t get much of a reaction. Why? Because he’s barely promoted and doesn’t get regular time on RAW. Breeze’s match against Ambrose was his first one since a squash at the hands of Bobby Lashley on October 15th. If he’s lucky, Tyler will be on RAW once a month. You can’t just bring him from out of nowhere and expect people to get excited even though Ambrose vs. Breeze is technically a “fresh” matchup.
Imagine if Brock Lesnar held an open Universal Championship Challenge (when pigs fly) and Mojo Rawley came out. It’s the same thing. There are too many characters that serve no purpose because WWE doesn’t invest time in developing their character, and when they do get airtime, it’s only to enhance someone else. Why should we believe guys like Lars, Lacey Evans, and Nikki won’t suffer the same fate? Look at The Revival. Look at Bayley. Look at Tye Dillinger. Look at sAnity.
Maybe we are fools. Sometimes, WWE is so bad we cannot get away from watching it. They know that no matter how low ratings may get for RAW, people will still purchase tickets to go see them live, people with nothing better to do on a Monday or Tuesday night will tune in and watch from their couch, folks such as myself will give my opinion on what they are doing, and folks like you will read about it. They understand its an inevitable cycle, and therefore, WWE’s creative team lives in a world of no consequence.
They don’t have to put in the maximum effort because they know people will still watch whatever they put out, even if they know its not their best work. It is the reason why Roman Reigns constantly gets to main event WrestleMania. It’s not because he’s good or bad at a job. It’s because he garners reactions, be it positive or not. The only thing that matters is if people are watching it.
Unless something monumental, such as a country-wide strike against WWE or a massive uprising in those refusing to watch RAW takes place, no change of monumental proportions should be expected out of WWE’s “shake-up”. WWE not too long ago held a PPV event in a country accused of killing a journalist. But did people still tune in? Of course they did!