Things are serious when even Mick Foley publicly says he’s about done with WWE.
For the past week, he’s commented on the topics fans themselves have been talking about recently. Creative is horrible at best, who can’t seem to come up with great ideas to help their talent flourish in WWE. NXT Talents are not prospering on the main roster; they’re lost in the shuffle. WWE should’ve could’ve and would’ve. We’re all frustrated at the way things are going. We’re all on the same page.
And what’s saddening is WWE is blind to the situation at hand. I’m not talking about just creative; Vince McMahon has just as much responsibility too. The producers and agents constantly defend the product on social media. The arrogance displayed thru social media is crystal clear and says it all. Honestly, they believe there’s nothing wrong with their product.
“You can leave, but you’ll always come back.” Almost all of us watch because we love pro wrestling, and we love the Superstars and Divas that take up the roster today. We want to cheer them on and support them anyway we can. I’ll use the analogy that fans have been using; it’s like supporting your favorite football team. Say, like the Browns. Everyone knows the Browns have faltered year in and year out. My Dad is a huge Browns fan, and has been most of his life. Despite the shortcomings and disappointments, his faith and pride in his team conquers all. He’ll even join in on the Browns jokes.
That’s how we are as wrestling fans. We may complain and joke, but at the end of the day we’re proud of being pro wrestling fans. WWE frustrates us and gives us headaches as to why they do the things they do. But we still love it because it’s part of who we are. But that’s where the similarities stop. Football is two teams battling it out; the best team wins. Pro wrestling is pre-determined.
It’s not the talent, its Creative booking and use of the talent that’s hurting them. Fans understand this, but are losing patience. Over time, like Foley said, people will grow tired of the game and lose interest. It started months ago and continues to trend.
Reports keep saying that Raw ratings drop at the lowest since 1997. You know what else started in 1997? The Attitude Era. WWE knew they had to do something to get ahead of WCW. With the Attitude Era came new stars, and compelling storylines that got people tuned in every week. Used to, you couldn’t wait to see what happened the next week. Now you could care less. And don’t even blame dirtsheets and blogs. Even “The Walking Dead” has spoilers but people still tune in. Because it’s that good and attention-grabbing.
While in hindsight some things should stay in the Attitude Era, when people say they want it back, they mean they want to see legends and icons being born and great storylines to talk about years from now. Everyone in the Attitude Era had a purpose, and their talent wasn’t wasted. WWE had time and the drive to get over the hump to beat WCW. With no real competition now, WWE is just sitting back and letting the disorder play out.
But they can’t lounge around for long. WWE needs to do something and fast.
The major problem is that WWE doesn’t seem to want to take the chance of pushing newer stars. They had every opportunity at Survivor Series to stick with Roman Reigns or Dean Ambrose the new WWE Champion. Either man could’ve turned heel and joined the Authority. As each man despises the villainous group, you would’ve tuned in to hear their explanation the next night on Raw as to why they joined the dark side.
Well it didn’t and it didn’t. We will never know what that would’ve been like. Instead, they went the cheap, predictable route in Sheamus. He’s struggled to fit the heel role he’s been placed in since his return in the spring. People were not taking him seriously beforehand. So you really expect us to take him serious now he’s cashed in his Money in the Bank contract successfully?
If anything else, I felt cheated with the ending at Survivor Series. There was no real payoff; the tournament was a waste of time. The payoff would’ve been much better with alternative finishes, but instead we got a rehashed storyline from SummerSlam 2013. At least with Daniel Bryan, we saw Randy Orton finally turn heel. And the good guy did win in the end, getting a much deserved WrestleMania moment in New Orleans.
Now they’re doing the same exact thing with Roman Reigns it seems like. But this time, fans seen this coming a mile away. Again, this goes back to creative. Reigns is suffering greatly from the creative mishandling of his character. Reigns is and looks like a bad ass, stop making him laugh at the Authority on Raw every week. On last Monday’s Raw, he should’ve started it off steaming from the night before, ready to fight and tearing things up as he takes out his aggression. Wouldn’t you be ready to destroy everything in your sight if the Championship was literally stolen from you?
Again, it didn’t happen. Meanwhile, Ambrose is back in Kevin Owens’ business with the Intercontinental Championship.
One thing Foley did say and I 100% agree with, NXT talents are constantly being called up and “treated like jokes”. NXT has a strong following with talent presenting even stronger resumes. You wouldn’t know that with the way they’re treated on the main roster. With the exception of Kevin Owens, this has been the fate of many who came from Full Sail. Your biggest examples are Neville and Sasha Banks. Two very talented athletes, lost in the shuffle since they stepped on the scene. Neville should be in the run for the Intercontinental Championship, while Banks should be in the Divas title picture.
Should be. But it didn’t happen that way. Banks and Becky Lynch put on a classic at Takeover: Unstoppable back in May. Fast forward six months. They got 4 minutes last week on Raw, a three hour program. Four. Minutes. What’s Neville doing, again?
WWE has all the tools to create the change that’s desperately needed. There’s plentiful talent, then legends and Hall of Famers to help young talent get over in a storyline. But between WWE’s ignorance and train of thought, it won’t change until the ignorance is eliminated and their train of thought is reformed. On the flip slide, John Cena is due to return soon. So guys, don’t hold your breath for change.