Directionless: My Rant on the Current WWE Product
For the past month, WWE has been producing lackluster shows. And before that, things weren't all that great either. I'd even go out on a limb and say that 2014 has been a horrible year for WWE. Sure, there's been some great matches here and there along with some moments to remember, but look at this year as a whole so far and you can't tell me it's been good.
WrestleMania felt like the start of something big after a disastrous first quarter. Unfortunately, the man that made the product worth watching again, Daniel Bryan got injured and was forced to surrender his title. Soon after that, Bad News Barrett got hurt in the midst of his push as well. The absence of Bryan, Barrett, and recent retiree CM Punk may have something to do with how lackluster things have been as of late, but in all honesty, it shouldn't have ANYTHING to do with how good the product is.
What am I trying to say? Well, I'm essentially trying to say that WWE should have had some guys ready just in case something like this was to happen. But they didn't. They have a talent filled roster yet it's like they refuse to put any effort into putting them into something worthwhile that will bring them into a whole new light in the eyes of the fans. They need to build up new stars in the mid-card so they can take that next step to the main event when ready or when they're needed such as when a top star is injured.
The jist of what I'm trying to say is this - WWE's current product has no direction. I think the only direction they truly have is to just get to the next show. Things feel so thrown together that it's become hard for me to watch. The Night of Champions PPV was a perfect portrayal of how the current product has no direction. Here are just a few examples.
Example 1) Dolph Ziggler. Wins World Title in spring of 2013. Gets depushed in the fall and jobs through the summer of 2014. Gets a bit of a push and wins the IC Title at SummerSlam from The Miz. Then one PPV later (last night at NOC), he drops it back to The Miz.
Example 2) Bray Wyatt. Feuds with John Cena and loses. Feuds with Chris Jericho and goes over. Two weeks later - not even on the Night of Champions PPV.
Example 3) The Divas Division. Paige debuts and wins the title from AJ. AJ returns and wins the title back. Paige wins the title back from her at SummerSlam. AJ wins the title back from her at Night of Champions. Aside from the short lackluster matches, the build to their feud consisted of weeks of them doing the SAME thing. AJ interrupts Paige's match and skips. Paige interrupts AJ's match and skips around the ring.
Example 4) Cesaro. Gets massively popular as a member of The Real Americans tag team. Gets pushed in the form of winning the first ever Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal and being placed with Paul Heyman the night after. Two months later, he's randomly separated from Heyman after unsuccessful mid-card title shots and is soon back to jobbing on the undercard until he gets another title shot against Sheamus and loses..AGAIN.
What's going on here? Above are four examples of why the WWE product has been inconsisent for months. Also above are four rising young stars who could have became superstars and major players in the WWE.
First you have Dolph Ziggler who has gotten an awesome reaction in every town he wrestles in since 2012 and look where he is now.
Second you have Bray Wyatt who was on fire coming into 2014 and look where he is now.
Third you have Paige who created buzz in NXT and got a fantatsic reaction when she debuted on Raw. Since that night, she's done nothing memorable whatsoever. Her feud with AJ has been like a broken record as the two have played hot potato with the Divas Title for the past five months.
Fourth you have Cesaro who became a fan favorite thanks to his sheer talent then got a major push at WrestleMania, only to flop in the months after.
It's honestly pathetic. WWE has missed SO many opportunites to create something great this year.
I will give them credit in that they booked The Shield perfectly until they broke up and now they are arguably just as directionless as everyone else. Beyond that, WWE is bound and determined to push Roman Reigns to superstardom when he's clearly not ready. I've stated this many times before so I won't go into details. If you want my full thoughts on that issue, check out this article: http://theprowrestlingtruth.blogspot.com/2014/08/my-reaction-to-brock-lesnars.html
As for Ambrose and Rollins, they've been the only thing worth watching in WWE over the past few months. Their feud has been consistenly good. From the matches to the segments on Raw, everything has been quality TV. So kudos to them for making something great on an otherwise shabby show.
Aside from Ambrose/Rollins, Brock Lesnar's rise back to the top has been booked great as well. He's looked at as an unstoppable beast and whether or not you like him being a part time champion, he draws. I'm not a fan of the champion not being there every week, but atleast they've put a little bit of work into his booking this year.
The only bad thing about Lesnar's future as the champion is that there's no credible contenders for him to face. Randy Orton is honestly the only person I can think of that's ready to take on Lesnar. It's just yet another example of WWE not making talent ready for the main event push.
Had they booked Cesaro strong through the Summer, he could get a shot at Lesnar and depending on how it went over, he might even could have been the guy to defeat The Beast Incarnate.
Had they capitalized on Bray Wyatt's momentum, he could have used his cult-like powers to conquer Brock Lesnar and become the New WWE Champion.
Had they took advantage of how popular Dolph Ziggler is, he could have been a valiant under dog challenger to Lesnar.
But instead of doing any of the things mentioned above and having several fresh match ups for Lesnar, they did nothing and we are rumored to be getting a Big Show/Lesnar feud. What a great decision. (Sarcasm)
And to those of you reading this and saying, "You just need to stop taking it so seriously and enjoy the show" - I can't enjoy something that is visibly thrown together.
And most importantly to those who will say "If you don't like it, don't watch. Stop bitching about it." - I'm writing this article because I care about the WWE. It's the mainstream representative for professional wrestling, whether they want to admit it or not, and pro wrestling is something I love. If I didn't give a crap, I would blindly praise everything WWE does like some people do. I could easily just stop watching WWE because there are several great alternatives out there that I'm enjoying more at the moment, but I can't bring myself to turn my back on such a talented roster. Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt, Paige, Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Big E - those are the people I still tune in to see despite the fact that the product has been barely watchable for me for weeks. Just look through those names and think of the possibilities there. I just can't say "Screw this" when there is so much potential there. Then again, maybe that's the problem. Maybe WWE knows people like me who truly have a passion for wrestling will never stop watching. So maybe if the product keeps getting worse, I might stop watching. Who knows.
But to get back on topic, I'm not writing this to make fun of WWE. I'm not writing this to put down WWE. I'm writing this to point out the effortlessness that is being translated onto my TV screen every Monday & Friday Night in hopes that it may spark some kind of change.
WWE has a brilliant locker room full of potential stars. The key is to let them become the stars that they are bound to become and to stop holding them back. The other key is to actually have a direction for each one of those young talents so they can be built into the next top star.
Beyond benefiting themselves, the WWE Universe would also benefit from this because we would get to the change we've been wanting for so long. Some people have given up hope in WWE and sometimes I come close to doing that myself, but I think sooner or later they will wake up and realize that they have a goldmine on their hands and begin to capitalize on it.
It could be tonight on Raw or it could be next year. Let's just hope it's sooner rather than later before I quit watching like I did in 2009-10.
None the less, this has been my rant on the state of the current WWE product. Tweet me your feedback on Twitter @ThePWTruth or @EthanPWT! Thank you for reading.