WWE State of the Onion Address

Before we start it's not typo that you see, I really mean Onion, as the WWE has so many layers like a onion and most of the time like an onion the WWE makes you cry tears of joy/despair.

It was suggested I post this as a FanPost and do you know what, I'm taking that option and I'm adding more to it and making look all neat and tidy, unlike the state of WWE right now.

What got me started on this rant was the Rumor Roundup from Saturday Nov 30th, it was detailing the general direction or lack of at the moment with WWE and what they are doing with WWE Title scene and some of the players involved of late, details of which can be read in the link within this paragraph.

Now to start off, I get that things are fluid in terms of direction, I get that you need to back off at times when things are getting hot because you’ll run the risk of the fans backing burning out too quickly and the person involved ie Daniel Bryan could peak too soon and not recover to the same level again. To compare this to an event, you'll get a good match to start off with, a little settling down time, another good match, a quick toilet stop, a great match, the cool down match, the Main Event. If you had an event that was all great matches then although that would be awesome, you'd run the risk of everything else coming after it being compared to it. The same applies to a match and also to a storyline, the recent Daniel Bryan vs The Machine storyline is a perfect example, I can understand why they have pulled Daniel Bryan out of the main event scene as he is as hot as anyone has been recent years, and we run the risk of being saturated and he could fall into that dreaded Hogan/Cena trap.

Now to counter this it needed some creative direction and clever writing so as to let us know that he's being pegged back a little to save us getting all to giddy like a kid on a sugar rush, however it's been handled so poorly that it has come across that the WWE pulled the rug right from underneath his feet and more importantly our feet, because he's not fitting the mould or reaching that 'Brass Ring' (yeah that old chestnut). Now they could recover this with some clever writing and intertwining of storylines, however with their recent record... I'm no betting man... but it doesn't look good.

Now over the past few months they’ve 180’d so much their plans look like a drunken Spirograph picture. I’m usually quite a patient person and I am willing to let things flow for a while, because I can see that they will pay it off in some form or another. Whether it’s bad or good, it’s still a pay-off and you usually get a hint of what it’s going to be by design, as it has to be in order to draw in viewers and in business terms buy rates. At the moment however it’s incredibly disjointed with no clear idea of how things are going and people are losing patience, the plot is getting lost and they are pulling people from storylines like Big Show and they aren’t willing to go forward with it because it’s getting too popular or it’s getting lost because they’ve changed direction that often in the build up prior, that to recover it could make it worse.

The cover up is however seems to be the buzzword of 2013, Concussion, (Swagger!!!!....), I'm probably not the only person to be thinking that Daniel Bryan was pulled from the Main Event scene, to a) save burnout, b) to give us a taste of things to come, c) because Cena is back, and finally d) reasons (sorry couldn't resist). As a result Big Show was put into that position as he's getting to the sharp end of his career and WWE were probably going to give him that one last run, before reducing to a simmer to let new blood in. However pulling Big Show has made what could have been fairly logical reasons turn into #WWELogic... seriously WWE do you not read anything on the internet and realise that #WWELogic has become a derogatory term for the... well frankly messy logic you seem to run on these days (trying to be polite, kids might be watching).

To go from what looked like two fairly decent title matches (rumored) that could have been lined up for Wrestlemania in terms of the WWE title and World Heavyweight Championship, they are going for a unification angle instead, which I know some around here in CSS are in favour of, but to me makes very little storyline or commercial sense, especially using two guys who have feuded to death over the years. My quick reasons why unification makes little sense, they are rumored to be turning Smackdown live and making it three hours like Raw to bookend the week, as a result, we'll also have Main Event, Superstars and NXT which is a lot of weekly air time, which will no doubt need a larger roster to fill that time and for such a large roster to go for so little titles, considering the mess they make of the WWE Title scene at times makes me fear for the creative mess that the rest of the roster will get. As a result of more air time, Smackdown being brought to the same level as Raw in terms of time and being live, I would favour a return to a brand split, maybe not as complete as it once was but to a manageable level, and this would make sense for each major brand to have a title each, plus if rumours of Triple H's love of Tag Team is to be believed then bring back the World Tag Titles and make it Smackdown's.

Need a break watch this and be right back

Cena getting his shirt thrown back at him.

But I digress, all this talk of unification when you’ve got a shed load of guys (and gals) on the roster who have got in ring talent, who have got great mic skills and should be getting some promotion to help build the future, are getting pushed aside for the same old, same old. And don’t get me wrong I know you need the experienced guys to help the buy rates but to almost completely shun the new guys at their expense, they’re going to end up with a bunch of old guys that will admittedly get buy rates whilst wrestling with Zimmer-frames, but the young guys will get no attention because no-one knows who they are…. that’s not best for business in the long run.

I can see that NXT is a good thing for the WWE and their future, but if they are going to promote talent to the main roster to just mess them around with garbage storylines and 3 minute matches on Superstars, they would be better off in the Indies, where they can do what they love and have a good time doing it. As it seems at the moment that WWE is full of backstage politicking and you’ll only get a decent storyline if a few ‘in-the-know’ people like it and you happen to be involved in the big title scene (or buddy up with Trips), because they don’t seem to give a stuff about anything outside of that little bubble at the top, case in point, Ambrose is a damn good wrestler and can heel it up with the best, but why have they had him drag the US title around with him when no-one is actually pro-actively chasing it. A title should be something that people are constantly striving for, instead about 75% of the time no-one is giving a stuff about the titles and they just drape them over someone random.

Now it's not all Doom and Gloom in this rant of mine, I do have some solutions for what it's worth:

  • Split the creative team into groups that focus on areas, as in groups that do each title, a group that does non-title feuds, a group that deals with new talent and then a group to connect the dots, instead of a group focusing on the big title and everyone else can pick a toy from the toy box and play nicely. Now currently we know that Vince signs everything off which is fine, it is his baby, but I'm probably not alone in thinking that if he concentrated on the bigger storylines and delegated people to be in charge of the mid-card for example, it would make things easier for himself and would allow the creative freedom for the creative staff and talent to develop their characters (apparently they're welcome on the USA Network), this would enable them to experiment at the lower levels where it's not going to be as noticed, but if it works then they can take it to the next level and let the top end use the story or even better let the talent involved get promoted up the PR ladder.
  • Stick with a storyline from beginning to end, people would appreciate that more in the long run as we’ll get to see the ending, and once it’s done then they can then do the postmortem on the storyline and get feedback to see it worked or failed, so in the future they know what to do and what not to do. WWE don’t have the same fear that TV writers do on regular US television as networks can pull their show after two episodes cause some guy in Mississippi decided to watch CSI that week instead, WWE have the luxury of being able to pull off doing full arc storyline writing without it being pulled from the network because they are the network (no not the rumored WWE Network). Yes their headline story would need to work to keep the broadcast network happy, but the undercard storylines should be the proving ground for the future.
  • Listen to the IWC.... oooo..... Yes I went there, now I don't mean listen to everything that is said there is reason they don't let the lunatics run the asylum, but Vince and Trips have both said that they listen to the reaction from the crowd to see the direction they need to take. Newsflash, the crowd aren't just in the arena anymore as your constant Twitter and Facebook bragging confirms, they are being 'vocal' via social networks, blogs and forums on the internet. Maybe once upon a time the crowd were just those in attendance as you couldn't hear the folk on the other side of the gogglebox, but now they really do need to listen, perhaps they could even think of communicating via phone apps, I hear they're popular these days.
  • Give a crap about the Divas and let them become women and let them wrestle for France's sake, not do some slap and tickle that may show the boys up and make them look poor. Stop being sexist dinosaurs and let them show what they can do, when we do get an epic women's match it's beautiful to watch as it's usually more athletic than mens wrestling as they are usually more flexible, and I know that sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but I'm pointing out the obvious. Also stop calling them Diva's, it's probably my British sensibility but to me Diva's are akin to Drag Queens or overly demanding nightclub women.

For the tl:dr people:. Rant and Grrrr……

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.

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