THS: How Fox can save the WWE from banality Submitted by The High Spot on 10/19/2018 at 05:23 PM
By J.D. Bachman
Banality -- it's a word not used so commonly to describe to what is "boring", "mediocre", or "stale". However, as of late, the WWE product on its two flagship shows have been nothing but banal. (With the exception of the bad-assery that is Becky Lynch, and the dream matchup of Styles vs. Bryan)
At the moment, with seemingly countless overseas special events, recycled storylines, recycled talent, and a World Cup that features exclusively American-born talent -- The majority of WWE programming has mostly been nothing more than a string of televised house shows as of late.
However, according to reports, FOX is looking to make some large adjustments to the product, mainly to gear Smackdown to a more sports-based show.
A concept like this is nothing new if you've been following Japanese wrestling promotions over the past few decades, and with National promotions such as Ring of Honor, Evolve, and as of recent, Impact Wrestling, there has been a definite and continued shift to a type of product that resembles more of what you may see in New Japan Pro Wrestling -- which isn't at all a bad thing, as NJPW is what I consider to easily be the #1 promotion in the world in quality and presentation.
Against the fans wishes, the WWE tends to take their product as more of a joke, sometimes making diehard fans the butt of it. But if Fox gets their way, and we see a shift towards a sports-oriented product, it could change everything.
-Imagine a product presented not with a screaming Michael Cole who yells "DID YOU SEE THAT?!" every five goddamn minutes, but someone along the lines of Mauro Ranallo or Don Callus, instead.
-Imagine legitimate strategy discussed between differing styles of two wrestlers, where the story of the match itself is how distinct movesets and finishers collide between two superstars -- and not a seedy love triangle we've seen dozens of times before.
-Imagine post-match press conferences backstage with building storylines surrounding conflict in these interviews.
-Imagine a hard-hitting, realistic style with higher work-rates and technical expertise.
-Imagine a Wrestlemania main event that actually delivers for once because the wrestling is of 5-star quality.
-Imagine if the word "wrestling" was used again on WWE programming...
Basically, Smackdown could become the WWE's answer to New Japan. I would welcome this, but the end result would be creating a product that would likely outshine Raw on a weekly basis. This, in effect, would likely influence Raw to change their product and presentation, and leave the old ridiculous stigma that Vince's brand of wrestling still carries with it out to dry.
In the end, money talks -- so while these are just rumors, I fully expect that Vince can somehow buy his way to keeping the flagships the family-friendly, unoriginal and mediocre shit-shows that they are now.
Until then, take the short amount of good with the mostly banal and sometimes awful in WWE programming, and utilize YouTube to the best of your ability. Access to New Japan, ROH, and Impact Wrestling clips are aplenty online, and collectively, they are truly offering an alternative that should be the wrestling norm in 2018.