No company is perfect, especially in the wrestling business. However, there are some companies that make way more mistakes than others and no company comes to mind quite like WWE. Since it’s the biggest wrestling company in the US (for now), it’s no surprise that it’s constantly held under a microscope and has its problems broadcast to the world. Well, this writer is no different. Here are 5 mistakes WWE has already made in 2019 in my opinion. Do remember that we only criticise so that the company may learn and improve.
WWE Super ShowDown
Let me preface this by saying, I’m happy that WWE is trying to bring wrestling to other companies but the way they’ve gone about these Saudi Arabia-based shows has been awful. Super ShowDown was no different as WWE brought that crowd a non-canon, low energy show that purely pissed off the WWE locker room. The heat was borderline unworkable for many wrestlers, the women were once again not allowed to perform and the main event was a disaster that never should have been booked. No one has come away from this show happy. WWE put barely any effort in booking the show and gave a slew of inconsequential, lacklustre matches with low energy and a waste of time. It hurts even more as there are kids in those crowds that seem genuinely happy to see those shows but most of the crowds only pop when it’s the older generations and legends. There is a ten-year contract in place so there is very little chance that these shows would be scrapped but something needs to improve or WWE will continuously be raked over the coals for this.
Shane McMahon: Best in the World
Some gimmicks have a shelf life. This is one of those gimmicks. Shane McMahon winning that trophy last year led to a nice little story between him and the Miz working to be the best team in the world. They broke up, feuded and Shane won by being a crafty, semi lucky heel. Now he is everywhere, beating Roman Reigns and dominating TV screens. No one really wants to see Shane McMahon as the top heel in the company. His style of wrestling is comedic and his over-reliance on henchman has just yielded repetitive matches with the same stars. This gimmick needs to be shelved and the big bad heel Shane needs to be pushed out of the spotlight so the company can focus on making more stars and better in-ring heels. Plus, this god-awful story is trapping Drew McIntyre and preventing him from being the future champ we all expected him to be by now. It was fun at first but now, everyone is bored of seeing the same thing week in and week out with Shane looking strangely dominant against wrestlers way younger than him. I will let this partially go through as Shane did have one of the best matches at WrestleMania.
The Brand Split and subsequent Shake-ups are usually meant to revitalise rosters and keep RAW and SmackDown Live fresh. Now there is a rule that completely nullifies those rules and means both products can be stale again. That is all that the Wild Card Rule has wrought. The same stars take up the top slots of every show and prevent the individuality of rosters from shining through. This has contributed to the Shane McMahon problem and leaves many roster members twiddling their fingers waiting for something to do. It’s always the same wrestlers coming through too, never anyone different or shocking. It’s hardly a wildcard rule if you can predict every wrestler that’s going to make a “shock” appearance on a show. It’s usually just Shane, Drew, Roman or Sami Zayn. It seems rare that anything breaks this formula. Considering they brought in this rule to deal with rebellious stars, it’s oddly just made their lives easier whilst not providing anything to the average star who could benefit from more appeal across shows.
Tag Team Ignorance
Who likes tag team wrestling? A lot of wrestling fans. So why the hell has WWE gone out of its way to ignore all three of its tag divisions on multiple occasions? We’ve only just seen the RAW Tag Titles appear again after the champs have been absent and a new team holds the SmackDown Live Tag Titles with very few teams present to challenge them. The Women’s Tag Belts are suffering a similar fate as the champions are around but there is very little action happening in the division. The IIconics are a fun team but it’s easy to forget they are the champions given the lack of challenges or attention brought to the belts. Not to mention there are countless worthy and less worthy teams waiting around backstage wanting a chance to show off. Let’s not forget that The Good Brothers are still waiting in the wings for any chance to be used. As are the Kabuki Warriors, Beth and Natalya and other women’s and men’s teams. Right now, the tag team division seems to have been left in the dust despite a strong selection of teams to choose from.
In recent weeks, we have seen and heard about the problems going on backstage in WWE. Be it the creative process, lack of usage or just pure annoyance at the company hoovering up talent and locking them down. It’s commonplace now to hear that superstars want out of the company, have nothing to do or are just waiting for their contracts to run out. The WWE roster is massive, with so much talent that could go out and have time to themselves but they’re being pushed aside in bad angles or completely dropped from TV to make more room for Shane McMahon. There are stars who are away, former stars like Jon Moxley explaining how bad life could get backstage and the ever-looming threat that audiences no longer want to watch the programming. This is not an easy fix either. They need to work on building bridges with their workers, better handling their NXT call ups and better diversifying their on-screen programming before they alienate any more talent. The wrestling market should start getting more competitive soon and I hope that WWE can keep up.
So, there you have it, a short list of the mistakes WWE is making in the current age. Whilst many mistakes people see are subjective and personal, it’s hard to deny that the company is going to through a rough period. Morale is low, tag teams barely see the light of day and Shane McMahon is heel overlord of a company more and more people are checking out of. It’s not impossible for them to come back from any of these and we’ve seen time and time again that WWE can bring it back from the brink. Hopefully, soon we see better programming coming soon and the main roster can bring us the programming we want to see. If not then they are just setting themselves up for a very rough ride as the competition increases.
(All images courtesy of wwe.com and njpw1972.com)