For months, we've sat and debated exactly what's wrong with the WWE. Many, including myself, have found very little of what the WWE has produced the last 8 months enjoyable. In fact, a lot of us think it totally sucks.
There have been a lot of suggestions as to how to help the product. Some say that Hunter should drop his belt to an up-and-comer, and feud in the midcard to make those feuds important. However, if the WWE did this, they would run the risk of losing fan interest in all facets of the show, instead of spreading interest. Some have said that it's time to tell Taker, Hogan, and Hunter to retire, but that idea isn't so hot either, because it's impossible to make new stars without old ones to build them up. Some can't possibly understand why Benoit isn't put on a gigantic winning streak building up to a world title shot, in order to get him over. History shows that the Goldberg push only works rarely, and often leads to fans turning on the characters the WWE tries to shove down their throats as main eventers. Some (including myself), have suggested ending the brand split, because nobody wants to watch matches like Rikishi vs. Nunzio, and Chris Nowinski vs. Maven. The point is legitimate, but having two major main events every PPV has to be good for buyrates, and multiple main eventers must be good for merchandise.
However, what the WWE really needs is a concept change. No, it doesn't need another NWO type angle, and no, changing Raw's name to Nitro won't change a thing either. Wrestling won't recover until the style, format, and attitude of Wrestling changes. Dog shit is dog shit, no matter what you call it.
But what style change? Clearly, the days of Attitude are dead. In 1998, D'Lo's race-baiting persona may have gotten over, but today it has no chance.
* Live fans, and fans at home, love important interviews, for the most part. Interview segments still do amongst the best in the ratings. However, the current problem is that only the main event stars get twenty minute promos, and/or extended nonwrestling angles to get their programs over. This is mostly because Vince is stuck on the Russo formula that works as follows: * 20 minute interview * plethora of 2-4 minute matches, lots of T&A. * 8-10 minute main event.
Well, it's time to change:
Why not have *more* interview time on Raw. In fact, why not cut HHH's twenty minute interviews down to 10 minutes, and give the Dudleys, Jericho, Sean O`Haire, Shawn Michaels, Booker T, Lance/Regal, and RVD in-ring interview time and extended angles to get their feuds over. Nobody cares about locker room attacks, we care about feuds that are front and center.
"But, if there are so many interviews, there won't be as many wrestling matches, this is a WRESTLING SHOW, remember?"
Well, yes and no.
Yes: There will not be as many matches. Crap like D'Lo Brown vs. Test will be cut from the show, as well as stuff like Tommy Dreamer vs. Chris Nowinski.
No: The matches that do stay will get a lot more time to shine. When RVD and Chris Jericho have a match, and it only goes 4 minutes with a dq finish, because room must be made for a 3 Minute Warning match, I want to break my TV screen. An RVD vs. Chris Jericho match that goes 10-15 minutes would get over with the live crowd, and keep viewers that watched in the beginning of a match watching the whole time...
The flip side: Nobody wants to see Jamal vs. Buh Buh Ray Dudley in a 30 minute iron man match. I know this. This is why you give guys like this only one (or maybe 2) matches a month, and keep them short. Let them build their feud through interviews and angles, because nobody wants to see them wrestle. Of course, this leads to the bigger question: Why push people nobody wants to see? Ah, a question for the ages....Remember when fans determined who the WWF would push to the main event? There's a reason Austin and The Rock were so big.
This past monday, Booker/Golddust faced Regal/Storm for the tag belts. Seeing as this was Black Gold's last match, why couldn't this have gotten 15-20 minutes, a la Edge/Benoit vs. Team Angle? The crowd was into the match for the short period that it lasted, and I'm sure they would have appreciated a 15 minute ***+ match that these teams can put on. But no...we had to make room for the awful Dudleys match and the D'Lo Brown vs. Maven match.
In the end, here are the basic steps to changing things: 1) Make every segment you possibly can matter or build towards something bigger. 2) If a segment doesn't build to something bigger, let it be a long, good match between two good workers. Wrestling fans like good matches. Go rewatch the Royal Rumble. One way to accomplish this is to bring in workers like Spanky, Low Ki, and other solid indy workers. Give them interesting backstories, and let them put on a show. 3) Absolutely eliminate the "ratings killer" matches like Maven vs. Tommy Dreamer. 4) Give every PPV feud significant in-ring promo time. 5) Make main events matter again. Remember when we had world title matches on Raw all the time, and you never really knew who would walk out of Raw with the belt? That atmosphere needs to return, and if your champion can't wrestle, take the belt off of him. When's the last time we had a legitimate world title match on Raw where fans actually thought there could be a title change? More than a year ago?
1). All for this, but you will need time killers. If you are building up to a PPV that is 3 hours, with two rosters that put on 3 hours of wrestling a week apiece, some stuff is going to be on the show that doesn't lead to a big PPV blowoff.
2). I'm all for getting good matches, but the fans don't necessarily pop for workrate heroes. Watch the "submission match" Angle and Benoit put on last year. The one that was full of mat wrestling and psychology that fans sat on their hands for. Undertaker or Hogan getting a 10 minute match will get a much better rating/reaction than Knoble or Spanky.
3). Maven is a winner of a highly publicized show that had a fan-base outside of the WWE. Dreamer is a locker room leader that is really only being used to work with the new talent. He is filling a "Bob Holly" -ish role right now. There is dead-weight to be cut, but remember, we need jobbers and lower carders to make the upper and mid card look good.
4). Agree with you here. It seems that some PPV matches are just thrown together on the fly. If there is just a random table match between the Dudley's and 3MW at the PPV, and 3 Raw's ago, they had already had a table match, why should I care about the PPV one?
5). Yes...and no. A heel champion weasels out of any title defenses while a face takes all comers. There are exceptions, but this is the general rule. Big main events are great on free TV every once in awhile, but why pay $30 for Angle-Brock if they already fought 5 times in the past six months?
I also have to really disagree about putting mid/lower carders on TV only one or two times a month. They will have a much harder time getting over if no one knows who the hell they are.
I don't know, this sounds like more of a personnal wish list than anything else. I mean, you say that giving the Booker T/Goldust angle a 20 minute match would have been a good send off and that it would give the teams time to shine, but I gotta tell you that if I had to watch Lance Storm and William Regal on my screen for that long I'd probably swear off wrestling for good. Between the two choices, I assume most fans would lean towards my reaction.
The thing is that there are many different reasons people watch RAW. Some watch for the wrestling, some watch for the T&A, and yes, some even watch for Regal. The fix isn't necessarily changing the Russo formula. It's using it better. 'Triple H vs. random guy' isn't needed every week. Maybe next week they give it to Test/Jericho like they just did, and then go from there. The problem with last week was that they were nowhere with it. The show should be like a book. When it was most successful they had an intro for 20 minutes, small segments before commercials keeping that story along throughout the show, and then the main event conclusion, with matches along the way to keep the show from being COMPLETELY about two guys.
They've lost the idea of having a "plot" of each show and seem to be concentrating on just filling in the spots with whoever they think will spike ratings. You still need a few 3-4 minute matches, but maybe a 10 minute one could go in the middle too. Give the backstage interview time to someone who could benefit from it, rather than just to kill time before the break (cutting midcarders out of the show will work for the first year or so, but what happens when all the feuds have been played out and you have no one new to throw into the mix because the fans have no emotional attachment at all to the guy?)
I don't envy the WWE's creative crew right now. I don't watch saying "I could do better than this by putting Benoit in the main event" or anything like that. It's gotta be a killer to try to find a way to please the most number of people while pissing off the fewest. The only critizing I do of them is when I watch HLA or Necro angles and think "Fuck, a week's worth of brainstorming for show plots and THIS is what they ran with? There HAS to be something better than this they could have chosen to do!"
It's not so much who's on top or who's go more time. It's about how you use people (even 3MW) and how to get the most out of everyone while still keeping the show moving, something Russo (like him or not) was VERY good at doing.
There are about 40 wrestlers on Raw. There should be at minumum 10 different stories going on, not 4. Ther fans decide what stories they like.
My division of time is: One main climax to a storyline--10-15 minutes. One one-shot--5 to 10 minutes. One or two with a bizarre twist--2-3 minutes each 3 ongoing ones, 1-2 minute each and 4 segments of beginning angles/lines or character development--about 30 sec-45 sec. each.
That's about 25-40 minutes of promo, with 45 minutes wrestling, 30 minutes of commercials and 10-20 minutes of hyping a PPV.
The divas should not be about T&A, they should be about Kicking A.
The show doesn't have to be horrible to have people flipping away. It just has to be uninteresting, which is the problem lately. If the show doesn't get their attention, many people will say "screw it" and go out with friends or just watch a (gasp) non-sports-related show instead. I know no one here would do such a thing, but I've heard rumors of it happening before.
Hell, most of Canada had just RAW on monday nights until the very end when we would get a clipped version of Nitro aired tuesday afternoons (so no flipping either way). Those commercial break segments not only keep people from switching, they keep the show moving in some kind of direction. Unfortunately, the best they seem to do now is "put this guy on tv for 3.5 minutes, then put this guy on for 2.4 minutes"
There's also the problem that they re-air each show 2-3 times over the weekend, plus with the "moments ago" parts, the re-air the show DURING THE SAME SHOW!
Originally posted by Tribal ProphetThere's also the problem that they re-air each show 2-3 times over the weekend, plus with the "moments ago" parts, the re-air the show DURING THE SAME SHOW!
Just to touch on this, the most frustrating part is during a PPV, when they do the "moments ago" spiel. I mean...we ORDERED THE DAMN PPV! Maybe I'm just weird, but when I spend 35 bucks for something, I dont go channel surfing. HELLO WWE, WE DON'T NEED RECAPS OF SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED 2 MINUTES AGO ON A SHOW WE ALL WERE MOST DEFINITELY WATCHING.
Originally posted by MichromeCrap like D'Lo Brown vs. Test will be cut from the show, as well as stuff like Tommy Dreamer vs. Chris Nowinski.
i can't disagree more with this statement. i, and i have the feeling i'm not alone, really have always enjoyed the lesser-knowns and perennial midcarders. i like test, i like jeff hardy, i have always liked al snow. are these guys "highest quality wrestlers" who should be given tons of time on tv and be the focus of the show? no. but cutting these guys' already very limited tv time is not the way to go either.
what's ironic about your assertion that this is the way to "change" the wwe, is that this is essentially their mindset now, and always has been; give the lesser known (read: not 300 pounds) guys a few minutes here and there, and give tons of interviews and backstage segments to the guys who the wwe (quite arbitrarily) deems "main eventers."
Originally posted by fuelinjectedBischoff's storyline time is up at the BEGINNING of RAW so doesn't that mean he's out of time?
Don't be foolish sir. By the time Bischoff's time is up 30 days will have passed since the angle began. Under WWE logic, rule #372B they can thus either alter the timeframe of the deadline or do away with it altogether, pretending it never happened.
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin
I still don't know why Lashley was booked to lose to JBL at No Way Out (apart from JBL being in with Vince and Lashley still being a bit green). I've been thinking for weeks that a Lashley/Benoit bout at 'Mania would have been pretty good.