You know, say what you will about "WWE" (and I use the term loosely), ranging from ratings drops to bad gates. Here's the thing that worries me most.
All the shit that's been going down in the locker room, namely the Insurrection flight.
Now, I'm not exactly sure what happened, but it sounds to me like the once placid locker room is now erupting into chaotic bullshit. Thus, the pattern. The better the locker room, the better the TV.
Say what you will about weak writing, weak wrestling, etc. I think the heart of every problem that anybody can gripe about going on in WWE right now can be related directly to incidents like what happened on the plane. Imagine what we don't hear about here and other places on the internet and whatnot.
These guys are a team, and they travel around putting on shows in an effort to entertain their primary opponents, the fickle mob of a packed arena. Right now, since we fit in on that mob, whether you admit it or not (definition of smark: nerdy fan with a modem), we are being swayed just as easily, possibly because certain teammates can not get along to accomplish a common goal, put asses in the seats. And more we sway away from their attention, the more they begin to lose as a team.
While working security at a local indy show, I saw Ricky Morton's bare ass, and the next time I hear anybody out there say "playing Ricky Morton", the person they mention had best have a really nice ass.
Sounds like a chicken and the egg situation. Are the ratings bad because morale is low, or is morale low because the ratings are bad?
A year and a half ago, you could make the argument that the ratings dropped because the then WWF had switched channels. Then it was the loss of top names (Rock, HHH and Benoit). And then the week angles.
But by now, everyone knows RAW is on TNN. The missing wrestlers returned along with some other big names (Hogan and Flair) and while the Invasion and nWo were failures, there are still some decent feuds out there (RVD/Eddie, Angle/Edge, HHH/Y2J).
But the ratings are still dropping. That means the WWF is losing money while they currently have the largest roster in recent history. And Vince isn't above killing the split/extension if it's not good for business, even if it means firing a bunch of talent. Wondering if you'll have a job the next day is enough to foul anyone's mood.
Granted, a motivated locker room can put out a better product than an unmotivated one. The question is, what will it take to motivate them when the future doesn't look so bright?
I dont think the plane ride events were a big indication of the state of the WWE locker room. A fight or disagreement between employees or teamates happens in even the best of conditions. We dont really know exactly what happened but lets just say that perfect and Lesnar did tussle, the fight in itself probably didnt get Perfect fired and Lesnar in trouble. The fact that it was on an airliner post 9/11 probably had more to do with it. I can imagine the Airline folks were shitting bricks and the WWF had to act swiftly to avoid legal action or bad press. As far the Micheal Hayes thing, since it hasnt really been determined who to did what to who, Ill just leave that alone. Anway I dont think that the WWF locker room is all up in arms. Just like the rest of the WWE staff they ared doing their best to adjust to all the changes going around.
You know youre old when you try to convince some kid that was born in the freakin 80's that Samus Aran could whip Lara Croft's cave dwelling ass. Honestly, has there ever been a cooler weapon in the history of video games than the Screw Attack?
Then, it WAS "all along", though, being a mystery that drove storylines and got Rikishi over as a heel. THIS was a week long ratings pumper that wasn't much in doubt, done to set up a single match, then turn it into a fight.