Douces Wild: Staleness & Heartbreak: The WWE in Five Years?

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Another day, another dollar, another WWE column where I try to figure out just what in the hell this company is doing and why this million dollar corporation is not making the billions or the trillions that it should be making. Why this WWE Network of theirs, that was supposed to be a revolutionary thing (it is, to an extent) is not doing the business that it should be doing? Why four of out of the 6 months of this year, we have seen constant FREE months for the WWE Network? Why we’ve had three PPVs in the span of 6 weeks? It’s all pretty crazy if you ask me and it’s getting to the point where I don’t even know what to think anymore about this company and what it’s future holds.

To whom it may concern, I want you, whoever has the decency to read this, to think about what the company will be like in 5 years and think about that as you read the rest of this and then maybe we can bring this full circle. So…….where to start? I’m attacking the heart of the situation…….the McMahons. Now obviously, Vince is the boss and the head honcho of this company and he gives himself final say over everything but it also isn’t out of left field to agree that Vince may just be getting a little too old. It’s not anything out of the ordinary, Vince is in his 70s and a lot of sports owners (like Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders) get set in their ways and seem to be hurting their product more than helping it. He doesn’t have that fire and passion that he once had, he doesn’t have that killer instinct and he’s also not thinking outside of the box like he used to be able to do. I could sit here and talk about Vince being old and out of touch all day…….I have had my equal bones to pick with one Vince McMahon in the past (I’m currently watching the 2011 PPVs on the Network……..I’m am fucking STUCK in the middle of the Michael Cole heel run and I want to jab a freaking ice pick through my ears)……but he isn’t the full problem. I believe his daughter, Stephanie, should share some equal blame as well. Don’t believe me? The company started losing viewers, buyrates dropped and even more problems arose when it was Stephanie took over creative. Stephanie is one of the people responsible for getting rid of wrestling bookers and hiring D-list writers……hence why we have 30 jackasses running out trying to write a storyline instead of guys like Jim Ross, Jim Cornette, Bruce Prichard, Gerry Briscoe and Pat Patterson sitting in a room discussing this stuff.

Stephanie is a major problem here, the beginning of the downslide came when she was named Head of Creative, a job she was not ready for at the time and a job she has not done very well since. Poor Shane McMahon, once deemed the future owner of the company (go watch the Wrestlemania 20 video package of the shot of Vince, Shane and Shane’s son and see how well THAT holds up today), has been out of the company for 5-6 years……happily doing his own thing not WWE related. Shane saw the writing of the wall: his sister had a higher amount of power than he did and once Triple H began settling in, he knew he was screwed……so he got the hell out of dodge. Linda has also kept her nose out of the WWE, meaning it’s mostly Vince, Stephanie and Triple H running the show. The question becomes this: are these three REALLY capable of running the WWE? Triple H has done a marvelous job with NXT but will that translate to RAW? To Smackdown? To PPV? We won’t know until Vince is dead or until Vince, at least, lets Triple H run some RAWs and PPVs to get his feet wet. These three know how to make the COMPANY look good but, like all “awesome” corporations, they do a shitty job of making their workers look good. I mean, shit pay, shit job, shit staff……..who would seriously want to work in the WWE at this point?

One of the biggest problems, at this point in time, is the staleness of the product. John Cena has been the top dog for 10 years……..one more year and he’ll tie Flair’s 11 year run from 1983-1994 (the year Harley Race handed over the keys to Flair and the year Hogan stepped in to take Flair’s spot)! When it comes to Cena, I do not hate this man. His matches are mostly entertaining, he can be funny on occasion, he legitimately is a pretty awesome guy beyond the character and I respect everything he’s done in the WWE. But he has been around as the top star for FAR too long and he needs to take some steps backwards and begin thinking of a more limited schedule and think about the future. Many say he took a big step forward by losing CLEAN to Kevin Owens at Elimination Chamber but not everybody liked that actually. Some complained that Cena losing clean to a “minor leaguer” was horrible for the WWE and that it would do bad business for the company because this “unestablished” guy just beat your top guy! Well……that was rectified when Cena won at MITB, was it not? Back to the grind, as they say…..Cena loses but always gets his win back. However, the Owens/Cena feud is the hottest feud the WWE has going at this point and it is legitimately turning Owens into a star. The crowd loves the guy (killing Machine Gun Kelly is NOT the way to get fans to boo this guy…….because that was just awesome in my opinion), his merchandise is selling pretty well and there seems to be more of an upside for him than there was for Bray Wyatt and Rusev so let’s hope the WWE continues to build new stars.

However, Cena isn’t the only stale problem that the WWE has. The production of the show has not changed since 2008…..that’s 7 years of the same RAW and Smackdown set that has not changed, same camera angles used all the time, same video packages, same look and feel to the show……you could easily see the difference of 1985 to 1993 and from 1993 to 1997 and from 1997 to 2004 in the company…….I haven’t seen much of a difference in the past 10 years outside of tiny alterations and theme songs (they don’t even use RAW openings anymore). The wrestlers are beginning to become stale for one big reason: they are ALL stuck in a continuous loop of facing each other without no real sense of purpose, no storylines and no meaning. When you see the same guys stuck in a giant loop for so long doing nothing, you lose interest in them. I like Wade Barrett but he has constantly been shit on for so long that I give two shits about him. I like Sheamus but I’m tired of him always winning. I like Dolph Ziggler……I’m just tired of him being in the same spot for 6 years. I like a lot of these guys but NONE are being allowed to break out. The Shield broke out by the grace of God and now they are on top but even they are starting to lose their luster!! How many times have we seen Rollins/Ambrose or Rollins/Reigns (you know, we haven’t seen Reigns/Ambrose)? Dean Ambrose is stuck in that continuous loop as well, despite coming off a program with the WWE champion that was entertaining at times but poorly booked and handled at others. Reigns is quickly becoming the Lex Luger of the new era because instead of WAITING, the WWE decided to rush things and fans didn’t want to be rushed.

Gimmick matches mean absolutely NOTHING anymore……they are just thrown together for the simple purpose of attempting to pop a buyrate but even then, they have lost their luster. No offense, but when the thought of an Elimination Chamber PPV, one of your more deadlier matches, is met with more eye rolls than Hoorays, there is a problem. PPVs mean absolutely JACK SHIT at this point…….we just saw THREE PPVs IN 6 WEEKS!!!! Imagine that happening in 1997!!! The Royal Rumble is getting further devalued by the year, Summerslam is not what it once was, Survivor Series has been a throwaway show for years…….what is going on??? Oh and don’t get me started on Wrestlemania. Remember when, in 1998-1999, Stone Cold was feuding with Vince McMahon in a desperate effort to get his title back since September of 1998 that would culminate at Wrestlemania XV with multiple twists and turns in the story until Austin finally reigned supreme? Yea, those days are fucking gone and I believe equal blame should be shelled out at both the WWE and US, THE WWE FANS!!! Every year, people are clamoring for dream matches, returns, big moments, nostalgia and all that jazz……well, guess what??? YOU HAVE BEEN GETTING YOUR WISH!!!! BUT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE TALENT OF TODAY!!!! You know, instead of the Undertaker fighting Sting in some nothing dream match that is just there for instant gratification and has completely lost all of its luster by the time we get to Mania, why not have Taker fight Dean Ambrose (for example) and put him over clean? Why not have Sting job out to Seth Rollins clean? If Austin returns, why not have Kevin Owens beat him? If Triple H wrestles again, have Roman Reigns beat him!

And THAT’S the problem! We want these epic dream matches and Wrestlemania moments but we also complain about the underuse of the talent of today…….we can’t have our cake and eat it too. You can tell me all you want (“NOSTALGIA DRAWS MONEY!!”) but eventually, there MUST be some emphasis put on the stars of today and tomorrow. We can’t just stick the entire mid-card into a multi-man ladder match and have the rest of the card filled up with dream matches. Eventually, these stars of yesterday are going to want to stop wrestling. People have been saying for years that Austin should return and have one more match……..WHY??? He is perfectly happy where he’s at and does not want to risk further injury giving us morons a nothing match. Will it pop a rating? Probably. Will it make money? Yes. Will the crowd love it? Yes. Does it matter? NO!!! The WWE has been doing great PPV business without Austin wrestling for 12 years……I’m pretty sure they are fine. Taker needs to retire very soon, Rock can’t keep coming back, Hogan should never wrestle again, Sting needs to retire……DO YOU SEE WHAT I’M GETTING AT??? These guys cannot continue to do this!! The WWE cannot continue to book their Wrestlemanias centered around a bunch of nostalgia acts just for instant gratification!! We complain about this CONSTANTLY but we allow ourselves to continue to buy into this shit! The WWE doesn’t listen to us when we complain because, in the end, our complaints warrant jackshit because we don’t stand firm with them! I mean, Triple H beat Sting last year but yet everyone wanted to talk about HOW COOL IT WAS TO SEE D-X AND THE NWO IN THE SAME RING!!!!

Now, let’s bring this whole thing full circle: where do you see the WWE……and to an extent, Wrestlemania……in five years? We have the big show in Dallas next year……in my opinion, the nostalgic acts need to be FINISHED at Wrestlemania 32. Give them all one last day in the sun and then finally back off and do no more. “But what about Wrestlemania 33?” Well……without the nostalgic acts…..the WWE would have to resort to an old fashioned Wrestlemania WITH THE TALENT THEY ALREADY HAVE!!!! And what will probably happen??? The show will probably bomb and fail AND WHO’S FAULT WILL THAT BE????? It won’t be the wrestlers’ fault, it’ll be the WWE’s fault. How can the WWE move forward with Wrestlemania without nostalgic acts? How can they build a Wrestlemania season with no nostalgic acts or part-timers to fall back on? Why am I asking the questions that this MILLION DOLLAR CORPORATION HAS NOT EVEN BOTHERED TO ASK THEMSELVES ABOUT THEIR FUTURE?!!!! I don’t know the answer, they don’t know the answer and guess what……five years time, they are going to be up shit creek without a paddle and it is their fault. This conservative “we don’t have to try hard” line of thinking will be their downfall….the WWE has been flying too close to the sun for years and the wax is beginning to melt on his feathers, just like in the story of Icarus. So I want you guys to seriously think about this and come up with some ideas for how they can rectify this……..am I a rambling mad man or do I have a point? Do I not see the big picture or is there no big picture to see? Am I wrong for feeling this way about this company…..or am I just overreacting? I don’t believe I am one bit…….maybe I can just see the strings held by the puppeteer known as the WWE.

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