For many wrestling fans there is always something to complain about. Whether it is how WWE misuses superstars, the PG era is ruining WWE or Raw moving to three hours was a mistake, there are always people who think WWE can do better in some way.
This brings me to my main question – should wrestling fans blame the writers or the wrestlers for the issues in WWE? The simple answer would be that it depends. Sometimes it is the writers’ fault and sometimes it is the wrestler’s fault.
Let’s take WWE superstar Zack Ryder as the first example. Although he started out in a tag team with Curt Hawkins, Ryder found his greatest success when he became the Long Island Broski with a self-created YouTube series. At a time when social media is clearly a huge focus in WWE, the writers have seriously misused Zack Ryder. Instead of pushing Ryder to be a top babyface and promote social media in WWE, Ryder has been sporadically used on WWE TV, humiliated by Eve and Kane and has only held one singles title, the United States Championship. This was such a missed opportunity by WWE. What is it about Zack Ryder that stopped him from being a main event star? He has a great look and gimmick and his mic skills are up to par. It just doesn’t make any sense.
Now let’s discuss WWE superstar Tyson Kidd who has spent the majority of his WWE tenure as a tag team specialist. I found Kidd’s situation to be at its best when he was part of the Hart Dynasty. He is the most recent graduate of the famous Hart Family dungeon and WWE was using that to their advantage. He was teaming with fellow Hart family members Natalya Neidhart and David Hart Smith. Then, WWE decided to break the group up. Smith is no longer employed by WWE, while Kidd hung out in limbo until forming a new tag team with Gabriel.
This is a situation that I would put the blame on the wrestler. Kidd has great in ring skills, but his lack of charisma and mic skills made it very difficult for WWE writers to do a lot with him. The Hart Dynasty may have lasted longer or Kidd may have gotten a serious push if he had the charisma and mic skills of WWE main event stars such as John Cena and Shawn Michaels.
Wrestling fans’ negative opinions on the PG era generally come from the older audience who enjoyed the Attitude Era and the way WWE was prior to 2008. This is a situation in which neither the writers nor the wrestlers should be blamed for. The PG era has more to do with sponsors, upper management and the McMahons. The people at the very top of WWE make the decisions. Then, they work with the writers to make sure things go as planned. Finally, the wrestlers are given the scripts and their roles. Therefore, if you are going to blame someone for the PG era, blame the people who sponsor WWE and the McMahons. Not the writers and not the wrestlers.
When WWE decided to extend Raw to three hours, who would be blamed for the success or the failure? It would be difficult to argue that the wrestlers should take any blame. The writers’ job changed more than anyone else’s when WWE made the move to three hour live episodes of Raw. It is up to the writers to find a way to make Raw entertaining, enjoyable and fun to watch for three hours rather than two. The episodes in the summer were not up to par due to tons of squash matches, recaps and some episodes finishing early. However, I will give the writers credit for improving. Over the last few weeks, except the two holiday episodes, Raw has not dragged on as much and WWE writers are using the time more efficiently. So at the end of the day, the WWE TV shows’ success or failure is more on the shoulders of the writers than the wrestlers.
So next time you are angry, frustrated or upset about a storyline, how a superstar is being used (or not used) or how WWE is running their show, think long and hard about whose fault it is. It may be the writers. It may be the wrestlers. It all depends.
Seth M. Guttenplan is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and host of OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW!? PWPRadio’s weekly radio show covering all wrestling news and rumors. To read more from Seth follow him on twitter (@sethgutt) and check out guttwrenchpowerblog.com.