Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Didn't I See That Last Week?

Super Cena reporting for duty, sir.

After watching any of the weekly wrestling shows or pay per views, I’ll go online and read other people’s thoughts to see if the general opinions are positive or negative.  One that becomes clear is my opinion of the show is usually about 165 degrees different than everyone else. I know you can’t really take Internet opinion seriously because die-hard WWE fans are going to be more forgiving for any horrible segments on Raw or Smackdown while criticizing every frame of TNA Impact.  And the opposite is true of TNA fans. I remember back during the Monday Night War days when WCW was popular, they could do no wrong while WWF could do no right. After the rise of Steve Austin and The Rock, suddenly WWF could do no wrong and WCW could do no right. It’s a vicious cycle. Right now with WWE preparing for Wrestlemania 27 and TNA putting on an atrocity of a main event at Victory Road it’s understandable online fans are more supportive of WWE programming.

The Miz
After watching the 3-14-11 Raw and reading fan’s opinion of the show, I was struck by how out of sync I apparently am with general fan’s way of thinking. I found the show to be plodding and uninspired with the only redeeming factor being the Miz-Rock. According to the online views, Raw was one of the best episodes ever. As I tend to do in my spare time, I started over analyzing why I don’t share the same sentiments as others. Here are the results of my highly scientific process.

One of my biggest complaints with the current WWE product is repetition. Every week it’s the same old same old. How many weeks have the Rock and John Cena verbally attacked each other only for the Miz to attack Cena by the end of the show?  How many times has Sheamus lost a match? I understand the concept of building to a pay per view match, but the way it’s currently done I get burnt out on the match before it happens. What I’d like to see (and by no means am I going to suggest anything I say from here on is the proper way to book a show. This is simply my opinion.) is for the writers to learn a way to cycle the wrestlers in an out. Instead of having the same guys are the show week after week, rotate them so one week Sheamus and Daniel Bryan gets some airtime and the next week Ted Dibiase and R-Truth get time to lay the ground work for a feud. If two wrestlers start a feud the day after a pay per view, why do they have to fight at the next pay per view? Especially if that show is only 2-3 weeks away. Give them time to get the fans interested and hungry for the match.

JR asks "why?" too.
Looking at the past few weeks of Raw, each week we’ve gotten Cena/Rock/Miz, Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole, Alberto Del Rio who isn’t even a member of the Raw roster and the ongoing CM Punk/Randy Orton feud. The Punk/Orton feud makes sense for each episode because Orton has been taking out each member of the New Nexus on his road to a match against Punk at Wrestlemania.  Of course, just because it makes sense doesn’t mean it’s entertaining. Nexus have never been booked to look strong in matches and Orton is quickly becoming the new Super-Cena like character so there’s no real drama in his matches.  So we get all these segments week after week with the same guys saying essentially the same thing and doing the same actions, why do I need to watch every week? I can take a week or two off, come back and not feel like I’ve missed anything.

What the del is he doing on Raw again?
Meanwhile guys like Zack Ryder, Ted Dibiase, R-Truth, Primo and others are never seen. One of my criticisms with the Wrestlemania 27 card is the lack of current star power and how there hasn’t been any new star, besides The Miz, created in the last year. I don’t count Alberto Del Rio because I don’t get the appeal and I feel he’s being shoved down the audience’s throat whether they like him or not. He’s the new Randy Orton. When the shows only focus on the same 6-7 guys for months at a time then no one is ready to step up when one of those guys gets injured or leaves. A lot of the booking seems to be focused on the now instead of the future.

Booking for now is as good as any way to segue into TNA’s booking. TNA in a way writes Impact as the opposite of Raw. A lot of times feuds and storylines don’t connect with fans because it’s hard to know what’s going on. Wrestlers will start a feud and then disappear for weeks at a time for no rhyme or reason. Crimson was a big part of the show before the second coming of THEY. As I watched Victory Road, I asked myself what happened to him. The same can be said about the Samoa Joe/Pope feud. They’re on the show one week and then there’s no mention of them for 2-3 weeks and then all of a sudden they’re back. TNA writing often appears to be the work of an ADD riddled kid on a sugar high. 

storylines that make an emotional connection with the fans while showcasing the talents of the entire roster instead of only the wrestlers who are currently popular.  Since Vince McMahon had stated WWE is in the entertainment business, and Vince Russo prefers to be called a writer instead of a booker, I’d recommend everyone writing for WWE and TNA watch the first season of Justified as an example of what I’m talking about. It’s possible to have an overall story arc while cycling characters in and out of the show. Of course this assumes the writers know where they want to be 4-5 months down the road and not just what’s going to happen at the next pay per view. Which is a whole other blog topic.

That’s my current thoughts on the weekly wrestling programs. I keep hoping for change, but currently Raw, Smackdown and Impact are getting some of their best ratings so I won’t hold my breath expecting next week’s shows to be any different than last week’s shows. If I want something different, I can always check out any of the independent promotions. 

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