Hello WNW people! Mitch “Big M” Adams here welcoming you to my fortnightly editorial on Wrestling News World called…THE HOUSE OF “M.” This being my house, I get to talk about what I want to talk about and share my opinions on the art form known as Pro Wrestling. Although, I should point out that I’m only renting this house from WNW, so obviously the views I express here are solely mine alone!
If you don’t agree with me, I’m more than willing to hear you out as you are as entitled to your opinion as much as I am entitled to mine. But, just remember you're a guest in my house, so try to keep things civil!
I have a confession to make WNW people. There are few things on WWE programming that get me excited anymore. And the few things that do almost always turn out to be massive disappointments. And right now in 2017, the only times I feel the same excitement, the same rush for Pro Wrestling that I used to have when watching WWE, I only get when I am watching New Japan Pro Wrestling! I mean, how bloody good was Okada vs Omega two! I was on the edge of my seat for the entire sixty minutes of that piece of pure Pro Wrestling art. After watching that match, a crazy idea came into my head. Could New Japan ever truly compete with WWE?
Yes, they are touring the U.S. soon, and tickets sold out in mere hours, but still, no one expects them to take a huge bite out of WWE’s market share do they? But then I kept seeing parallels with WWE today, and the WWF just before WCW debuted Monday Nitro. Mainly the decline of show quality, TV ratings and a sense that long term fans were so dissatisfied with the product that they were begging for an alternative. Call me crazy, but just as it was the best possible time for someone to challenge WWF in 1995, it is now the best possible time for someone to challenge WWE in 2017. And if you will indulge me, I will attempt to explain why!
This one should be obvious to everyone at this point. No matter what WWE does these days they just can’t seem to push the needle. In my opinion, in has nothing to do with who is and who isn’t getting pushed (it’s the brand that sells these days) and has more to do with how WWE’s higher-ups and most of the creative team are completely out of touch (more on that later).
Yes, the advent of streaming content and changes to the TV industry means ratings would naturally be lower than they were five years ago. But still, WWE should not be struggling to hit three million viewers each week for Monday Night Raw! Especially as they have the deepest roster in their entire history! But it’s not the roster’s fault ratings are down!
I think even the biggest WWE fans would agree that by and large the writing and booking of the product today absolutely sucks! The writing team is so devoid of good ideas in this day and age it sometimes becomes painful to watch the crap they put on screens every week. Now I could go on and on about all the awful ideas creative has but that would be too long and boring an article. So I’ll just focus on two recent ones on Raw. The Bayley and Alexa Bliss program and Samoa Joe/Brock Lesner Program.
The segments and matches Bayley and Alexa Bliss had should have been something extraordinary given the amount of talent and fanfare both women have. And what did we get? One of the worst segments of all time in “This is Your Life Bayley” and a five minute Kendo Stick on a Pole match in which both women played keep away and tug of war with the bloody stick, Ugh! No wonder Triple H is upset with Vince over they way his NXT guys are being booked. Bayley has essentially been buried on the main roster!
Now we move onto the Samoa Joe and Brock Lesner program. They were off to an amazing start with Joe and Paul Heyman cutting great promos. Joe choking out Heyman and then a week later starting a brawl with Lesner. Then the writing and booking become inconsistent when Samoa Joe backs down from Roman Reigns after one punch when a week prior he attacked Brock Lesner without fear in one of the more memorable segments in weeks! I get that Roman is Vince’s pick for John Cena’s replacement, but come on, that kind of stuff simply makes no sense! But to be fair, that one isn’t on WWE creative so much as it is on WWE’s higher-ups.
Higher-Ups Are Out Of Touch
Vince McMahan and his army of yes men, like Kevin Dunn, simply no longer understand the Pro Wrestling audience of today. They didn’t understand why fans wanted to see Daniel Bryan main event Wrestlemania 30 and not Batista. They don’t understand why fans are not 100% behind Roman Reigns despite all the time and money they’ve spent pushing him. And they don’t understand why so many fans are dissatisfied with the WWE product as a whole. Like it or not, this is a problem. And the fact that higher-ups keep stating things like “profits have never been higher” and “no-one gets a reaction like him, so he must be over” are proof that they have no interest in acknowledging the problem!
Yes, profits for WWE have never been at such ridiculously high levels as they have been now. But that’s because they have exploited and exhausted every possible revenue stream available. When you look into it a little deeper, you start to see cracks in WWE’s long term plans for the future. The fact that the WWE Network still has not reached two million subscribers that they thought they would have had within a year as well as low TV ratings and lower ticket sales are all going to cause them a great deal of problems in the future I can assure you.
And as far as stating anyone who gets a reaction has to be over is concerned…I HAVE NEVER HEARD ANYTHING SO STUPID IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!! Any idiot can get a big reaction from a crowd. Hell, I could get a big reaction jumping the guard rail at a WWE show and streaking in the arena. Doesn’t mean I would be over with that crowd does it? Do you want to know what does get people over with crowds? Great matches, great moments and great storytelling. And guess what WWE, more and more people are looking elsewhere for those things now!
The Buzz Around Other Promotions Is Only Getting Stronger
I’m sorry to say this, but simply stating that most Pro Wrestling fans only watch WWE and have never heard of other promotions yet alone watch them is no longer true. Yes, WWE is still the biggest promotion in the world. But are they the best? In my opinion, they are not even close! And yes, companies like Ring Of Honor and New Japan don’t come close to WWE today regarding exposure and profit. And yet they are still around, putting on amazing shows and always leaving fans happy they spent the money for a ticket or PPV or streaming service subscription. And audiences for both shows continue to grow every single day. Do these promotions have as many eyes on them as WWE? Of course not! But to say they are only drawing a small audience is complete nonsense!
Not to mention that matches other promotions put on, like Omega vs Okada at WrestleKingdom, seem to be getting more attention online than almost everything WWE puts out these days! WWE, despite having HUGE budgets and the deepest roster in its entire history struggle to keep fans tuning in every week. Call me crazy, but that feels like the beginning stages of a power shift in the industry!
I know many of you will read this article and dismiss everything out of hand. And that’s fine! And I may be dead wrong about anyone being able to challenge WWE as the top company in the industry. And that is also fine! But just do me a favor ok? Look, I mean really look hard at WWE today with unbiased eyes. Then look at a company like New Japan with unbiased eyes. Now try and tell me honestly that there really is no chance of anyone ever taking a bite out of WWE’s domination of the market. Because honestly, I don’t think anyone could do so without it being a lie!
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