There have been numerous articles written over the last several months about how the WWE is getting tough to follow and watch. Along with these articles come the numerous comments of bloggers telling you not to watch or asking why you still follow. However, the reality is we all still watch in some form or facet, leaving us to critique the current model that seems to be doomed.
First, let me start off by saying that the WWE does not care what we think or what we believe. The statement, “We give the WWE Universe what they want,” has as much credibility and authenticity as Paul Heyman’s checkbook back in the ECW days. If they gave us what we wanted John Cena would be a Heel, Brock Lesnar would show up at live events, and the Divas would be having lingerie matches on RAW. The WWE is a business which employs writers and creative directors to lead their product in the way they see fit. There is no competition; there is no Monday Night War. TNA is now on a channel that has to be googled to be found. The Indie circuits are exciting, but will never compete or pretend to try. Therefore, the best thing for business is for Vince to sell WWE tickets and Merchandise, which is something he will continue to do.
The money will continue to flow in from all the sales mentioned above, but there is still one thing Vince McMahon hates more than anything in the world, which is bad publicity. Vince wants to be on top and be thought of as the class of entertainment. When storylines break such as CM Punk’s fallout interview, Vince works viciously trying to spin the story the other way so his company can be seen in a positive light. The Stone Cold Podcast was a good example of how he took the negativity and spun it into something positive by giving the fans answers they wanted, even though they were probably scripted. This is one of the reasons why I think the WWE seems to have entered into change or a rewind perhaps, to concepts that were popular and proved to be a success.
- One of the first changes in this movement was the announcement of a Triple Threat match at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship. When was the last legitimate Triple Threat match for the WWE Title? It’s been awhile since these matches have been used, but their popularity remains unmatched. In my opinion, the unpredictable finishes and exciting in-ring action are things that have been sorely missed.
- The next rehashed event to return for Vince was the announcement the other day that the popular Tough Enough Series will be returning. Tough Enough was scheduled to return to the WWE Network last year, but plans for a new season were ultimately scrapped. The reboot of the show will feature a completely new format as well as elements that will make it live and interactive. There is no news on whether or not Hall of Fame “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will return to host the show. Obviously, the biggest names to come out of this competition have been The Miz and Matt Morgan, but it still was a suspenseful twist to watch on a week to week basis.
- One of the better moves in my eyes is the return of Smackdown to Thursday night. There was a point in time when Smackdown wasn’t looked at as the minor leagues, but instead as a rate producer, which at one time was bringing in more viewers than Raw. I think this will be the lead into separating the brands again to bring back more excitement to the show. They already did the announcer shakeup for the 2 shows, so I’m sure there will be more changes on the horizon.
These are the changes that have been documented, but I feel like Vince may have finally felt the criticisms of his declining product and decided to market his product in the way that proved successful in the past. With that being said, he didn’t do it because the WWE Universe asked for it and have been complaining about the lack of excitement. He did for his wallet and personal ego. In my opinion, his wallet and ego can continue to grow as long as we can have a product that is watchable and worth our time.
What if more changes are on the horizon? Jim Ross returning? WWE back to 2 separate brands? King of the Ring reborn? I am curious to see what you guys think…Thoughts?
Tony Cutillo (@TCutillo23)