I was just listening to Aaron Rift’s No DQ&A video, where someone asked him if WWE was being sold because of the poor performance of the WWE Network, which of course inspired me to write my thoughts on what would increase the subscription rate.
Stop having PPV feuds touching so often
It’s not best for business to try to get me to pay money to see things I’ve already seen before, or even worse, that I KEEP seeing for free on TV. It seems like WWE wants too badly to build to matches that they do all these singles and tag matches on TV before the PPV. A lot of fans are crying ‘burial’ because Cesaro lost in 2 falls to Dolph Ziggler. But… Cesaro ALSO lost an IC title match on SmackDown, aired two days before the PPV. He lost a title match on Main Event. They have fought several singles and tag matches in the last month. I came away from an exciting back and forth between two great affletes hoping to not see them work together again anytime soon, and not all that excited to see THAT match because I’d SEEN it just two days before. Think about boxing and MMA… Floyd Mayweather, for example, is not gonna fight his PPV opponent on free TV then ask you to pay $50 to see the SAME fight.
Bring back the cruiserweight/light heavyweight division
One of the biggest complaints many fans level against WWE is that the talents have similar builds and work styles. One of the things WWE reminded us recently on its Network show, The Monday Night Wars, is that one of the things that made WCW number one in the ratings WAS its cruiserweight division. And you could see how they buried the division by having the announcers and wrestlers speak so derisively of the cruiserweights. If we’re keeping it all the way 1000, it’s pretty hard to book guys like Rey Mysterio, and Daniel Bryan to beat Big Show clean and have it make sense. That much is a given. There is no need to book the smaller talents to get squashed each week. Raw is three hours. SmackDown is considered ‘the wrestling show’. Does it NOT make sense have guys like Sin Cara and Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater show off their skills against each other and not get fed to heavyweights with regularity? I look at the NXT talents like Tyson Kidd, Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami and think… their futures are bleak if they DON’T reboot the cruiserweight division.
Bring back blood
I’m NOT calling for a return to the Attitude Era where it seemed every other match included color. I am saying there should not be weapons and cages involved in matches where there is no color. At HIAC I saw people’s faces get raked against the cage and nothing came of it. That detracts from the whole notion that that match shortens careers. They didn’t even bleed. You show highlights of the old matches… crimson masks abound. THAT’S the biggest difference.
Do away with themed PPVs/bring back King of the Ring
WWE is doing away with the Elimination Chamber PPV. Next they need to get rid of HIAC, TLC, MITB. As much as I have enjoyed the MITB shows, they can easily put that match back on the Mania card now that there is only one world title. WWE has gotten lazy with booking its feuds with interesting stipulations because now the only time you’re going to see them is during the month that stipulation falls in on their calendar and not necessarily correlating to the progression of the storylines. The ONE themed PPV WWE needs to have is one it hasn’t done in many years: KOTR. King of the Ring is a fucking star making tournament and the PPV also. The Mick Foley/Taker HIAC was at KOTR. KOTR gave us Shane McMahon vs Kurt Angle. HHH, SCSA, Edge and so many greats have KOTR wins on their resume. It is my opinion that, used right, KOTR will help WWE create new stars.
Stop hiring TV/movie writers and hire WRASSLIN veterans to do creative
WWE’s creative can be so wildly hit or miss. I honestly think most of it is these people frankly, do not understand the sport of professional wrasslin. Paul Heyman and Jim Ross are two names that immediately come to mind as people I believe “get it” and could easily provide the quality control WWE needs to stop trying to shovel shit into our eyes on a weekly basis. Wrasslin works when you have guys competing over championships to prove they’re the best, or people fighting over a personal issue. I neither feel most of the roster really want to be great or like they hate each other. A true wrasslin mastermind would bring that out. Vince has gone further and further down the “I’m in the entertainment business” road and the product has suffered for it. Getting back to his company’s wrasslin roots by bringing in more wrasslin minds would help a great deal.
Stop relying so much on part timers while not putting anyone over
If you remember that Batista was supposed to beat Orton in a one on one match before CM Punk quit and caused a deck reshuffling… you remember that the guys WWE brings in to work on top don’t put young talent over. I qualified that last statement with “work on top” because all Chris Jericho and RVD do is work a couple months losing to young talent. In the midcard. Maybe WWE will have Lesnar put over Reigns… but he has only worked with Cena going on four times, HHH three, Taker, Show and Punk once each, since 2012. He will be used to put over one man. I’m NOT saying he should be losing to any and everyone, just making the point that older talent literally comes in, cashes a check, and no one new got over in the process. WWE cannot make new stars by only having the old ones work on top, only putting over already made stars.
Stop protecting everyone/stop jobbing people out
It is amazing to see how WWE manages to over protect guys and job most of its roster out all at the same time. Let’s review how Cena got his ass beat by Lesnar at SummerSlam, missed ONE week of TV then beat the brakes off the entire Wyatt Family in one night. Then in his rematch with Lesnar he miraculously was beating Lesnar up and Lesnar lost by DQ when Rollins tried to cash in MITB. Those two sentences are retarded to me. Look. I get Cena is the top guy. I get that never giving up is his entire gimmick. But he still did not need to beat up a group of young up and comers to prove he would be different against Brock Lesnar. He did not need to gain ANY kind of victory against Brock Lesnar to still be who he has always been. And now he’s getting ANOTHER match against Lesnar. Lesnar should not lose. Cena usually doesn’t lose. SOMEONE HAS TO LOSE! Bray Wyatt has been off TV to the point where if I didn’t have this superlative memory, I’d forget he won a feud with Jericho. I remember him and two big niggas getting suplexed all over the ring by a man who in storyline, I’ll grant you, had something to prove, but in reality, had nothing to prove. And now, Dean Ambrose is coming off a main event PPV loss. He slides down the card in a month to face another man who cannot RETURN to lose. (Sorta like Lesnar losing his re-debut to Cena after a month of claming to be “legitimate” and an asskicker.) So that’s some more interesting booking decisions to watch play out. I can encapsulate most of the other WWE “superstars” by saying they’re glorified jobbers who lose on TV or PPV more often than not. Then WWE wonders “where are the new stars?” Miz main evented WrassleMania three years ago… jobber. Ziggler loses all the time, but seems to win midcard title matches. Cesaro is a jobber. Just smh. I hope it doesn’t just make sense to ME to say WWE has to stop overprotecting guys by having them trade wins or having screwy finishes… while at the same time, not having guys out there losing every week.