WWE | Pro Wrestling

Pro Wrestling needs to bring back the surprise element

WWE NXTFollowing the ending of the Monday Night War in 2001, professional wrestling has seen a decline in the ratings. Many within in the industry have been analyzing different scenarios for years. The product is stale, the product has been to predicable, both WWE and TNA have been using old recycled storylines, etc.

During the time when World Championship Wrestling was on top and live every week, part of its success was not only the fact they had the new and different New World Order storyline along with raiding half of WWE’s talent roster, but they gave you (and later WWE when Raw started to air live) a reason to tune each because you never knew who may show up on their show or what would happen next. This was the key factor for record breaking ratings within the industry.

The element of a wrestling surprise is what has been missing from professional wrestling and is one of the major factors in low ratings. Keeping the viewers guessing from each week to the next should be a big part of boosting ratings. The viewer’s choice Raw WWE did several months back was a good example. Yes, the show was blah up until the end when out of nowhere, come these NXT rookies to attack John Cena and demolish the ring and take out announcers, camera crew and anyone else who tried to stop them. This was great television. Matches should not be predicable, but unexpected.

The WWE had an ample opportunity with their 900th episode to make it memorable and full of surprises, but instead gave us the recycled lights on lights off in the arena Kane vs. Undertaker Storyline. I was looking forward to the unexpected that night, but felt that WWE dropped the ball. The whole purpose of live television is to expect the unexpected. Vince has become comfortable with being all alone on Monday Night’s.

The debut episode of SmackDown on SyFy this October will be live. One could hope, although very unlikely, that SyFy would see the benefit of a live show vs. taped on their network each week, and invest in having SmackDown live each week.

Even when TNA had their short Monday night run, WWE did not step up their game as they did when WCW was the number one promotion. For TNA, it is much harder being a taped show and with spoilers on the internet to keep fans guessing. If TNA and Spike could afford to go live each week it would be more beneficial. Yes, it does TNA could do it with their pay-per views, but who’s watching those anyway?

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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