The Gamut of Pro Wrestling has seen the rise, fall, death and survival and, at times, the Dominance of many promotions. While the original concept behind its creation has evolved on a regular basis the companies providing the action have not remained stationery and have either (rather mostly) died a death (for instance WCW, ECW, etc.) or are “Surviving” (for instance TNA).
We do get a ray of hope from the various Independent Promotions which are on a “rise” in terms of the popularity. But one company which is out of the norm and has continued to stand proud and be well known even after taking the test of time is the WWE.
World Wrestling Entertainment is one company which has been dominating the scene for a long time. Notice the fact that I have steered clear of the word “Survival” in WWE’s case which is an essential part of my article.
While many people are with the belief that “WWE” is in fact at a stage from where it is realty tough to come back from, I, for one, believe in the fact that the “this is just a phase” and the product is indeed alive and kicking. It might not be with the same vigor as it did a few years ago but in my honest opinion, saying that the current product will lead it towards the brink of extinction is pure blasphemy.
While there are many reasons to support my argument, I will touch on a few which constantly find their way into the IWC and are taken as the reasons for Doomsday of the company.
Code 1: WWE is making a lot of “Miztakes” by handing the title to undeserving superstars
First and foremost for those who think that this point relates to the current champion the Miz, and who does or does not deserve it, I would request you to calm down. As this point does not totally pertain to it.
This point is basically my argument against those who are of the belief that putting the title on someone or not putting it on someone will have a major impact on the people watching it and will thus drive them away from the product thus leading it towards Doomsday.
I won’t deny the fact that the product was more viewed when the Attitude Era was existent but that was because of the fact that it was adult-oriented programming and majority of the audience are adults.
The first thing I would like all the viewers to know is that the current product has evolved so much so to the extent that, men and women who fight in the ring are no longer called “Wrestlers” but are referred to as “Superstars” and the product we watch is “strictly” Sports Entertainment and not Wrestling, per say.
With that said, I would like to bring to your notice the fact that “wrestling skills” alone are not what will make you a top star in the company. There are many other factors which are prevalent in deciding your future in the company.
While there can be many reasons for achieving a push; i.e. being given the chance to compete with the top stars of the company. I, for one, believe that the “fans” and their reactions or the drawing power of a superstar has a huge role to play in making a main eventer out of a superstar. Allow me to elaborate.
First of all, I would like to say that “being pushed” and being a “main event player” isn’t exactly the same thing.
Being pushed might involve activities like:
1. Appearing in the main event match’s on either of the shows
2. Feuding with the top and well known stars of the company
3. Air time to cut promos and tell a story in the ring
Being a main event player, however, involves a person doing all the aforementioned things on a regular period. Whereas a “push” will give a person the liberties only for the time being when he is being pushed. From that point onwards, either he will be an established main event player or will be tossed down to mid card hell.
With that said, we can all agree with the point that being pushed alone does not make you a main eventer. You might be given the title, at times but if you are not able to hold on to it for a long time, i.e. not have drawing power then your push will be over and you will be pushed down again. For instance: Jack Swagger.
Now! We can finally arrive at the point that a Superstar’s drawing power plays a huge role in making him a main eventer in a company. We can also agree that drawing power simply means the ability to make an impact on the audience and make them want to see you whenever they are watching the product. All these explanations can boil down to the fact that a Champion “is, for and by the audience who are watching it.”
Allow me to quote some facts to make my case:
Back in the day when Randy Orton won his first World Title, he had many fans rooting for him and was given the right “push” by the WWE. He was involved in all the good matches, allowed to lock horns with as many legends as possible and was even given the title. All these things involved him getting “PUSHED” and finally reaping the fruits of a successful push, i.e. being a title holder.
Now many might not know this the original plans involved Randy facing Triple-H at Mania-21. However those plans were later scratched, and why? Simply because he wasn’t able to run with the title the way the WWE wanted do. Even after all the help he received from the creative staff and the booking department, he walked down to an almost “no reaction” when he faced Triple H for the WHC title at Royal Rumble in 2005.
When he won the title, he was getting a lot of love and was the rightful champion but with a span of 4-5 months he became stale as a champion and hence his time with the main event ended and could not let him establish himself as a main event player with all the support he had received. The following article from Wrestleview will further illustrate my point.
What do we gather from this piece of evidence? He received the title when he started to garner a lot of respect from the fans and once he became “stale” as a face and did not cause major impact, his push finally ended. Which basically means that Randy became a champion and later was pushed down simply because-of, for and by the audience, watching it or on the basis of his standing the WWE in terms of the Drawing Power.
So basically it was the audience which played a role in getting him the push and similarly played a huge role in getting him de-pushed.
Thus, we can all agree on the point that a champion (who has just received a push) is mostly of the audience’s choosing and is not simply based on who the WWE wants to push.
With that said, the same is the case for The Miz, we might go on arguing about his abilities but the truth is, that just like Randy when he was given a good push and decent rivalries and some air time, he too was able to draw people which lead into the WWE believing in his abilities and giving him the title.
So, how can we say that the sport is dying due to a certain individual getting a push when we ourselves played a role in getting him the title? We were the ones who gave the WWE the green signal and they finally put the title on him.
Now, many might say that he is not worthy of being a champion and is an “annoying and irritation” talker on the Mic.; what we are not realizing is that, we ARE being drawn by him and we sure are making him sell, which is exactly the reason why he was a champion in the first place.
Whether you love someone or you hate them, if you still love to watch WWE to hate on him and if you are still watching the WWE to hate him with all the power you have then the superstar has done his job and he is a success.
While the saying is not popular, but Chris Jericho once did tweet from his twitter, the meaning of which implied that “If Heels, can send people home hating on them and cursing them and calling them names then a heel has done his job.”
The same thing can be used while discussing the reasons why a certain superstar was de-pushed after they were given a mild push and not allowed to develop much...
Guys like Evan Bourne were not de-pushed because of any backstage politics or any other mysterious reasons but because they were not able to draw crowds with the same amount of added vigor with time. A main eventer is a person who is able to keep the crowd interested in him for a long time.
Sure, Bourne was able to generate a good amount of applause from the fans but over a period of time the impact generated was reduced. We might say that the WWE did not push him seriously but he would have never been de-pushed had he continued to keep the crowd "interested" in him...
Guys like John Cena and even Stone Cold Steve Austin had drawing power comparable to the top draws of the shows even when they were mid-carders and were not given a main event push. They earned their push on their own by making an impact so people did root for them to such an extent that the WWE could not avoid pushing them.
Same applies for a guy like Rey Mysterio. Back in the day when he wrestled for the Cruiser Heavyweight Division on Smackdown in 2002, he was never given any huge and considerable push up until late 2004 or 2005.
Just like Evan Bourne, he was not getting any huge programming, but still he managed to be a “considerably” better draw for the brand. This was because of the fact that he was able to draw people into watching him.
Maybe his “619” was considered more impact causing than Evan Bourne’s “Air Bourne” but the truth is that he has always remained a huge draw for the company. Even when he is not feuding with the main event players, he does manage to draw good amount of people.
The Merchandise sales of the various superstars, is a proof in itself as to who has more drawing power.
Someone like Daniel Bryan, whom I consider the most talented performer in the WWE today, does not have the “Look” or the great “Mic. Skills” which would help him in being a star. But in his case, his in ring skills alone are good enough to make the WWE believe in him, which is why he is not being wasted on RAW.
I would like to add that at times there may be situations when some superstars might not be pushed or not being de-pushed on the basis of my theory, but that is primarily because of reasons such as Backstage Politics, Vince not having confidence in someone’s abilities, etc., but for the majority, the case presented above does imply.
It’s simple, my readers. In the end of the day world, a champion who main events a company is a person whom we want to “see” the most. Whom we want to love or hate the most.
Seeing as Vince is one businessman who only cares about the money, he will surely invest in the right superstars who can put rears on seats and so far he has succeeded on doing what he wanted to do and is happily running the company.
Thus: The WWE is not making any “Miztakes;” they are continuing to sell the product well more than anybody else can.
Code 2: The Continued Victory of the WWE against the Test of Time
(Please note that I will be taking these two types of products as examples to illustrate my point that too much of a Racy product will not get you success on a regular basis
There is no point in denying the fact that the “majority” of the fans have enjoyed ECW and the Attitude Era more than anything and are not the fans of the current product. However, if I may ask, where did all the Extremity go? Where is the “original” ECW and why was it purchased by the WWE?
The answer to all the questions is simple: As extreme and amazing as the “original” ECW was, it was never able to draw the amount of audience or draw the amount of revenue needed to keep the Ship from sailing.
Don’t get me wrong, I never doubted the fact that the product was worth seeing. I can happily agree with the fact that the product might have had some merit but I can’t help deny the fact that the “Era of Extreme” had run its course.
I, for one, never was a huge fan of ECW. For me, a product filled with Violence and blood and involving all activities which would make you shriek is not something which I would be drawn to.
ECW Fans can go on defending their product but the truth is, if you are getting money out of your investments, then you are not doing it right and if you are not, then something is definitely wrong with the product.
Yes! There still are many hardcore ECW Fans who were always content with the product and would go back to bed, happy about putting their time and money worth, but still why could such a product not stand the test of time? Why was it not able to generate the revenue good enough to survive? And why was it being funded by Vince back in the day to keep it running? It’s simple, as much as we like an extremely violent product we could not deal with the same stuff for a long amount of time.
The same can be said about the much “beloved” Attitude Era. Sure, it had good storylines and was well booked and had intense passion which is missed by many of us these day. I can also go ahead and agree with the fact that it was a better product than the current one.
However, I would give the storylines, the script writers and the bookers the credit for running it well and won’t give credit to the “Attitude Era Label” for making it huge.
At the end of the day, the product did involve a lot of cursing, ample amount of racy angles, non-tastefully dressed divas and certain angles which were not worth watching. For instance the Katie Vick incident.
Now my question to you is, how is too much cursing, too much bloodshed and too much cheap treatment of women supposed to be entertaining for a long period of time? I can understand and agree with the fact that such things at times can be entertaining but only if they are not used in excess.
Who knows, maybe Vince took the right decision in heading towards a new direction with the company and he realized that the too much of the same thing will become stale soon.
Now! There is no point in denying the fact that the Attitude Era did indeed provide for multifold viewership ratings and that it did indeed put out an Entertaining product but a shocking fact worth noticing is that, the WWE is currently making more money than it was in the Attitude Era.
I did explain in article back in the day, and I will say it here again, that now the viewership rating is less because the programme is not adult-oriented and is focused towards the kids and seeing as majority of those who watch are adults, the dip was bound to occur.
But, in the present day world Vince is making a lot of money via his merchandise sales to such an extent that it is compensating for the drop in the audience watching the show.
The bottom line though, is the fact that at the end of the day, they are still putting a lot of money in their pocket and are continuing to survive.
Case in point, Vince has himself taken this decision and is not being controlled by anyone into doing what he is putting out and the situation is still under his control when it pertains to the life and the survival of the company.
Thus: to sum it all up, the WWE sure has survived the test of time and has enough resources to be sure about the future as well. We can go on arguing about how lame the product is but, at the end of the day, WWE is in good hands.
Code: 3 It Current Product is just a Phase
(This point is basically complementary to the point spoken about above.)
This past week on RAW, John Cena and Jerry "The King" Lawler had a lot of fun at the expense of Vickie Guerrero. While most of my friends with whom I speak about wrestling were satisfied with the segment, I, for one, along with a few other people, was unhappy with the way she was treated and made fun of by the WWE.
I openly ranted about this on my twitter page and as a result was treated with comments from two types of fans. Some called me names for not understanding WWE, whereas some showed me respect for what I stood up for.
One thing which I realized though, was that: “One man’s loss is another man’s gain.”
And this current era is just a phase in which the others, those who are not high on a racier and an edgier product, are having a good amount of fun at our “WWE Viewing” expense.
Same can be said about the past. ECW and the Attitude Era had a good amount of fans themselves and there were some who were not fans of a racier product. What was happening back then was that those who were fans of a racier product were getting what they wanted and those who were not were not having their needs fulfilled.
There are many such instances to prove my point. There were many in the IWC who were waiting to see Randy Orton win the title and were happy when he won the title this year, but there still were some who called for a youth movement and were not pleased to see him as a champion.
These are just some minute instances to make my point. Whereas “on the whole” many of us, including me are not as happy with product as we were a years ago, many people are happy with the fact that they can enjoy the product with their family.
The current phase or era is the one in which we are not the fans who are being catered too and the others with different tastes are getting their needs fulfilled.
However! I might be in the minority saying this, but the WWE is heading towards a new Era. We have new superstars like Miz and John Morrison in the main event scene with us heading into Wrestlemania, we have John Cena “The Embodiment of everything PG” diverting from his gimmick and sending out a message to the audience which is not necessarily good, all such things do point towards a turn of events.
Whether my prediction about a new era is right or wrong is a different issue, but the truth is that “we” or the fans who were earlier not satisfied with the product are slowly but steadily starting to climb the mountain of hope again and things sure are starting to change a bit in a way we have wanted to for a long time.
This year might not have been one of the best but after TLC and RAW, we can aptly say that for once the creative decisions being taken are better and we are not ranting about the same things we used to rant about.
To round it up, for those who think that the Product is dead and heading towards Doomsday, you can wait for that to happen as the WWE is not going anywhere soon. And for those who still have hope with the product and are of the belief that the "Phoenix" will rise again, they can for once breathe a sigh of relief as things sure are looking up.
Just remember: "What is someone else's gain todays will be your's tomorrow" and that too, pretty soon...
Kind Message to the IWC and the ever so amazing B/R pro wrestling community
I would just like to end this article by saying that the IWC needs to cheer up and try to enjoy the product. Sure, the product is not what it is used to be but it is definitely showing signs of change.
Also! I would like to thank all here for the wonderful experience and for the help all along in making me develop and improve as a writer. It has been a great journey and now is the time for a break, I assure you that I will be back with in a couple of months with my attempts to write articles worth reading. Wishing you all success ahead.
Follow me on twitter @SarkasmzDeal