I don’t know what has been going on internally with the WWE, but the last few weeks have been absolutely insane.
Wrestling fans are among the most passionate people I’ve ever met in my entire life. When we love something, we cheer with all our heart and soul. When we hate something, we yell and throw our beer. That’s the beauty of sports entertainment, you get to have those knee jerk reactions and opinions can change on a whim. Let’s face it, if you aren’t a fan complaining about wrestling, you’re doing it wrong. Sometimes I don’t always agree with the decisions that are made with creative or in the office. I often think, ‘If I ran the WWE, I would…’ and then I wander off in a wonderful daydream. Well, here are a few things that I would do…
First of all, the biggest story of the last two weeks is the abrupt departure of CM Punk. I thought he had a fantastic showing at the Royal Rumble, my pick to get the main event spot at Wrestlemania. He didn’t win and I was a little puzzled as to why he wasn’t on Raw to confront Dave or challenge him or whatever else he had planned. To be honest, I was let down a bit. After I heard what had happened, that he took his ball and went home, I was even more disappointed. Being a wrestler is tough, gruelling work and I get that but what I don’t get is why he turned his back on fans. Initially, I thought that they should have issued a statement right away, addressing the absence and at least giving a reason for it such as injury or something personal. Having sometime to think about it made me realize that I would have done exactly what the WWE is doing.
To deal with a talent that disgruntled, I would first give him time to cool off and get his shit together. There could be a pressing issue that needs to be sorted out, or it could just be burnout. I would let it go for another two weeks and then issue some sort of statement to the fans. The people who buy his gear, cheer his name, and spend their money to see him deserve to know why he walked away from them. If I was a real asshole, I’d make him issue a statement seeing as he is still under contract. By walking out, he not only left fan in limbo, he left his fellow superstars in a similar position. This would work in their favor, giving some of them the biggest opportunity of their lives to show what they are truly made of. Wrestlers aren’t interchangeable but absence breeds opportunity for some.
Another thing that I would do is make defending titles mandatory, not allowing people to go months without defending their belt. A perfect example of this being Dean Ambrose and his United States Championship, there are a few other examples but he has gone the longest without a title defense. I had almost forgotten that he had the belt until he came out with it around his waist on Raw this past week. To keep the title fresh in the minds of fans, I would make them defend it at least two or three times within a month or so. That may seem a little excessive but it would allow for more people to get in-ring time and it would keep interest.
Currently, the only titles we ever see defended on a regular basis are the tag team belts and the WWE World Heavyweight belt. The United States and Intercontinental titles may not be as ‘prestigious’ in the eyes of some people but every title is important. I’ve always said that it doesn’t matter what title a superstar holds, it’s how they carry the title that they have. The focus shouldn’t just be on the WWE World Heavyweight title, as important as that belt is to the WWE.
I would also make sure that John Cena and Randy Orton weren’t in the title race for at least 6 months. The other superstars need their time to shine and to show the audience what they can do. I get that those two guys are on the top of the mountain but that should enable them to be at any level of the card and still shine. New people need to be given chances because it is becoming more and more obvious that the audience is getting tired of seeing the same two superstars. I use the incessant booing and jeering that the two were subject to at the Royal Rumble as my strongest evidence. If that doesn’t say that fans are unhappy with those two being at the centre of everything, I don’t know what does. Variety is the spice of life and it’s not that the fans don’t like them but they don’t like them all the time. They want options as to who is going to be the top guy in the company, even if that person doesn’t fit the mould. A little cliché but I think I got my point across.
My final decision would be to no longer allow part-timers to come in and scoop the spotlight out from under the guys who work all year. Not that they shouldn’t be on television because they are obviously good for ratings and to get a strong reaction out of the fans, good or bad. However, I would make sure that if they wanted to be in title position, that they would have to work for it. There would be no more appearing once in a while, no more via satellite, and no more coming and going when you want. If you want to be in the WWE, for any period of time, you are there 100% with the other superstars (for however long their run is).
I generally am really happy with whatever the WWE puts out there for my viewing pleasure but a few things need to change or at least be considered. The biggest event of the entire year is just two months away and they can’t afford to have this many fans this unhappy with the product. Hopefully our cheers and chants are not falling on deaf ears.