This week Vinnie Mac was going to deliver a “State of the WWE” address before he was thankfully interrupted by CM Punk which led to yet another wrestler/owner fight.
Which, truth be told, is probably one of the best ways he could have delivered the state of the WWE.
Because the state of the WWE today is that it’s yesterday once more.
Let’s look at a few of the common complaints about the current state of the WWE, shall we?
1. Cena’s on top. Even when he’s not champ, he’s the focus.
Well, true. He is on top. His feuds have more prominence than the champion/s around him. That’s crazy! That’s ridiculous! That’s… the 1980s and 1990s all over again. Hogan was champ for, what, almost four years. Then Savage beat him and no matter who Savage was facing for the title, Hogan was always around somewhere until, of course, the feud became against him. Then the Ultimate Warrior became champ, and yet Hogan’s feuds were highlighted much more. And then Hogan wore that stupid helmet with the fist on it. Of course, then we had Hogan in WCW doing exactly the same thing, only worse than he had in the (then) WWF.
2. Women’s wrestling in the USA is really in the doldrums.
And? The Jumping Bomb Angels were way ahead of their time, the Fabulous Moolah and Wendi Richter looked like they could handle themselves in the ring… and then what? Trish Stratus started as a valet and God-awful in the ring. Yes, she improved, and yes she became good (though not brilliant), but who else was there? Lita, when she wasn’t valeting, I’ll give you that. Victoria, sure, at times. And? Jazz? The Kat? Sable? Stephanie freakin’ McMahon? How were they better than the plastic dolls we have today? And what happened between Moolah and Stratus? Alundra Blayze (Madusa) and… Bertha Faye? And then when Blayze had her puppies super-sized she seemed to lose half her agility and ability, so she went to WCW.
3. Wrestlers people are sick or are not over of are being pushed down the fans’ throats.
There are so many we could name! Aldo Montoya (Justin Credible), Tugboat/Typhoon (Shockmaster), Billy Jack Haynes, Hercules, Paul freakin’ Roma. Sure, they may have had success elsewhere, and maybe even have been over briefly. But the fans in general simply did not care. Sound familiar?
4. There is no longer a real tag team division.
Ah yes, I remember the 1987 and 1988 Survivor Series showing that WWF had enough tag teams to have a tag team survivor series match, five teams a side. By 1992, this was reduced to 2 teams a side. The Attitude Era had New Age Outlaws, and then the late 90s had the Hardyz, Edge & Christian and the Dudley Boys. Yes, in those mid-90s, there were a few teams, but the titles were held by such combinations as Shawn Michaels & Diesel, The 1–2–3 Kid & Bob Holly, Owen Hart & Yokozuna, Steve Austin & Shawn Michaels, and Steve Austin & Dude Love. The titles were merely there to further existing feuds or create new ones. And the real teams were often just fodder for the super-teams.
5. The WWE is toning down their product because of extraneous things the McMahons are involved in.
Yes, this senate bid by Linda McMahon is terrible! It’s meant we have a toned-down PG product, it’s meant that smaller people with greater skills like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are pushed to the top, it means that there’s no blood pouring out of every single punch, it means the buyrates have dropped. But this really is unprecedented, like when the steroid trials were going ahead and smaller guys (comparatively) like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were suddenly pushed, the product was toned down, wrestling skill was emphasised, buyrates dropped down… hang on…
So the state of the WWE? Well, really, it’s in the same state it’s been in the past. It’s different to the Attitude Era and the Monday Night Wars, sure, but, statistically, there have been only 2 real “boom” periods for wrestling – the Rock’n’Wrestling period and the Monday Night Wars period. We’re just going through a not-boom period at the moment, and it’s just like all the other not-boom periods before. Older fans don’t like it, but there’s enough people buying PPVs, merch, DVDs, etc to keep them kicking along strongly. They still make profits – they’re not losing money hand over fist.
State of the WWE? Simple: Same as always.
And that’s this view.
So, now for some Australiana. Australia’s new National Anthem.
Tags: Bret Hart, cm punk, Diesel, Hulk Hogan, john cena, Randy Savage, shawn michaels, Steve Austin, Tag teams, Trish Stratus, Ultimate Warrior, vince mcmahon, WCW, WWE, WWF