Going Broadway: Is WWE purposely over-complicated? Submitted by Going Broadway on 06/24/2019 at 05:40 PM
By Broadway Joseph
Another Monday Night Raw is on the horizon, and whether you're reading this before or after the show, one thing will likely remain consistent: 50/50 booking, repetitive PPV rematches, and storylines that the layperson will just sort of shrug their shoulders to, much like a person biting into leftover pizza.
However, I'm going to theorize something that I haven't seen posited anywhere else in the industry. The lead in for this theory is that WWE writers aren't incompetent or untalented. They likely have more writing and television experience than most. But what if...?
What if booking a wrestling show is actually so easy that WWE makes it seem harder than it actually is?
Let's try a quick thought experiment -- with myself. Much like Heath Slater's "I Got Kids!", well, "I Got a Writing Degree!" -- so as a writer, let me see how fast I can simplify a sometimes over-saturated and sometimes over-complicated product. I am going to start by bullet-pointing quick changes that I will brainstorm as I am typing this:
Commence Armchair Booking
-Keep the brand split. (You'll see why)
-Unify all championships, leaving only the WWE Championship, Women's Championship, Intercontinental Championship, WWE Tag Team Championships, Women's Tag Team Championships, Cruiserweight Championship, and for shits and giggles, the 24/7 Championship.
-Allow the Wild Card rule to apply ONLY to title-holders for ease of jumping shows.
-Allow the authority figures to dictate the "feel" of a show. Raw and Smackdown should feel different, and this can be accomplished with separate authority figures. In this case, I would simply suggest Paul Levesque for Raw, and if available, Paul Heyman for Smackdown.
-Push NXT to two hours. Keep it developmental mixed with rising stars. Dump extra and under-utilized talent on NXT. Yes, it is popular enough to stand as its own brand. Throw in a few part-timers to make it interesting. I, for one, would love to see John Cena in NXT.
-Rate your roster according to a "Triple Threat" mentality. In theater, we have what is called the triple threat. This is if a performer can sing, dance, and act. We can apply this to the main roster with relative ease. If a talent can sing (mic skills), dance (wrestle), and act (charisma/personality), then they belong in the upper tier and should always be towards the top of the card.
-Understand that the likes of Baron Corbin, Lacey Evans, Shayna Baszler, Shane McMahon, Bobby Lashley, and others ARE NOT TRIPLE THREATS -- at least not yet.
-Build your shows around your triple-threats. These are the likes of Joe, Zayn, Owens, Styles, Bryan, Rollins, Balor, and others.
-Promote your matches via Tale of the Tape for EVERY BOUT. Give it a legitimate "sports" feel.
-Start Post-Raw and Smackdown press conferences. Yes, this is lifted straight from Japan, but it worked for the nWo, right?
Now this doesn't automatically qualify me as the next generation in WWE writing talent, but I will bet you that to MOST readers, everything I just mentioned is sort of obvious.
So if it's so obvious to so many, why isn't it happening?
...because booking a wrestling show in this modern era is not that difficult, and any admission of that could make this billion-dollar corporation -- with it's investors, board of directors, and family-friendly advertisers -- make it seem a little less impressive.
Unfortunately, the WWE writing team is sort of a facade; or at least that's what reports indicate. Much like servants to a King, it's not that the King truly needs them, but they are their for status. For Vince McMahon, it's likely in a similar vein.
"Look at my glorious TEAM OF WRITERS...that I usually ignore..." he might think to himself.
If you go to the "Who We Are" section on their careers page, the very first sentence begins with this:
"WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience."
IT'S A f***ING WRESTLING SHOW.
Look how complicated that first line is. No mention of "wrestling", no mention of "sports" mind you -- but just "entertainment". All the pomp and flash of that line to impress would-be advertisers and investors all for pro-wrestling show. This isn't complicated, and McMahon and company KNOWS this. And while the company has shifted from evolving their talent to branding them with merchandise and myopic catchphrases, the ratings have dipped and attention has turned to other promotions such as New Japan, and rising competitor All Elite Wrestling -- and why?
Well, because fans want a wrestling show. That's it. It's not hard, and it's not like writing the next season of Handmaid's Tale or Stranger Things.
It's just wrestling -- and McMahon has purposely over-complicated it.