I don't want to be that guy -- because, really, to hell with that guy -- but I'm going to be that guy so you can say "to hell with you, Geno" and I'll understand.
In the immediate aftermath of last night's (Sun., June 1, 2014) WWE Payback pay-per-view (PPV) at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois, Twitter was lit up, of course. There was widespread praise for the event mixed in with some legitimate criticism.
Then, there were far too many folks proclaiming the show sucked. Not that it was average; that it sucked.
If you think Payback sucked, pro wrestling probably isn't for you. To be clear -- because I argued this on Twitter and people thought I was trying to start some sort of weird war with negative Nancy's or something -- it's TOTALLY okay if you think this show sucked. All entertainment is subjective, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, blah blah blah.
But if you can watch a show with good to great wrestling in every single match, great booking, a great angle, and everyone on the card very clearly working their ass off and still think it was terrible, well, I just don't know that there's ever anything WWE is going to do that will please you.
Again, that's fine. Maybe you've grown out of it. Maybe it just won't ever be like it used to for you. Maybe you're hate watching and I'm just wasting my words here.
Maybe it's time to find something you'll actually enjoy.
My colleague Scott Christ wrote about this over at Tape Machines are Rolling and he wasn't nearly as nice about as I'm being, but he makes a lot of points I agree with:
If you did not like Payback, quit watching WWE. Maybe quit watching wrestling in general if WWE is the only wrestling you watch. Or maybe start looking for other options - ROH, NJPW, TNA (lol), that stupid CHIKARA is back, I guess. There are other outlets. You have to work a little harder to find them, and it might cost you some moolah, but if you're sure you don't just dislike wrestling now, but still didn't like Payback, then try those.
Otherwise, I don't know how to tell you this, but I don't think you like wrestling anymore. It happens. I have gone through that period in my own "fandom," too. From 2007-11, I was pretty much totally checked out. I'd watch WrestleMania, I'd try to get back into it, I'd flirt with it again, and then it just didn't take.
People grow out of professional wrestling. This doesn't make you a bad fan, really, it's just a reality. Wrestling is not for everyone. And wrestling is not always a forever thing even if there has been a time in your life that you loved it. Sometimes, it's simple burnout. Or dislike of The Direction.
But in this instance, the problem is, The Direction is great. Whether you think CM Punk is the unwitting savior of WWE for quitting (which I find unlikely, but it's a theory that holds some water, I guess) and ultimately changing every plan they had, making HHH turn "real life babyface" and sacrifice himself against all his instincts to rule and conquer and keep himself The Man forever, or whether you think Punk was just burnt out/kind of a baby/plain wrong, it doesn't even matter.
"We want new talent on top!" OK, well, Daniel Bryan completed a great, long-term storyline by winning the WWE title at WrestleMania XXX, beating HHH, and then beating Batista and Orton in the main event, against all odds.
And The Shield are so red-hot as babyfaces - a very well-done turn, by the way - that it's indescribable. Why are they so hot?
A few reasons:
1. They're all great performers.
2. They've connected with the audience by being consistently great performers.
3. Their story has been excellently executed since their arrival on the scene.
HHH, Batista, and Randy Orton have made them look outstanding every time they've crossed paths, and never more so than tonight.
You're getting new guys being pushed. Triple H remains one of the best wrestlers in the company, and has done an excellent job putting himself in there to make Bryan and the Shield look great, doing that "pass the torch" thing everyone always wants to see.
The stories are better, the matches are better, creative is stronger, and there's a lot more variation than we've seen in years.
Meanwhile, feel free to tell me to go to hell for being that guy, but I'm sticking by this one.