A JDB Short…
Triple H will undoubtedly go down as one of the all-time greats in this industry. However, acting in dozens of feature films doesn’t qualify you as being a top-notch director. The same goes here.
While it’s washed-down corporate speak, Mr. Levesque gets it wrong in so many ways with his recent comments towards “over-analytical” fans. Now instead of bashing Raw (which I don’t really watch for reasons below), I’m going just go through his quote line-by-line.
Let’s dig in:
“It’s a funny thing to me sometimes that in our business, everybody is so worried about where people are going to go or land or how is this going to play out long-term in the future.
How about watch it? Do you like it, or do you not like it? Do you have to say, ‘Oh I like it, but I like this other thing more.’ Or, ‘I like it, but I don’t like it as much as I like that one.’ Like, just watch it or don’t. You know?
And stop trying to figure out where everything goes. Fans ruin their own stuff half the time trying to figure out where everything goes and why it’s going there and how, and then trying to pick up their phone and go search for the thing to find out what it is that can ruin it for them so they’re not surprised when it happens. I don’t understand that.” – Paul “Triple H” Levesque
“It’s a funny thing to me sometimes that in our business, everybody is so worried about where people are going to go or land or how is this going to play out long-term in the future.”
Have you ever watched the NFL draft? Speculation is kind of how this process works.
As if a fan of Aleister Black wasn’t going to speculate about how he’ll do on the flagship brands post call-up. Honestly think to yourself how that sounds…
“Who’s your favorite wrestler?”
“Oh, rad. He just got called up from NXT, right?”
“Yeah, but I’m not going to worry about it.”
“But he’s your favorite, right? Don’t you care how he does?”
“Yeah, but I’m not going to worry about it. Whatever happens, happens.”
That’s like saying that I don’t care how well Zach Wilson does as a Jets fan. If you invest in these wrestlers, no matter if it’s an NXT call-up to Raw or a new talent signed to AEW, you care. It comes with the territory of being a fan of something. When Jericho debuted on Monday Night Raw in 1999, I cared greatly how he did in the WWF. He was my favorite in WCW, and now he was on the hotter brand at the time.
It’s called investment, dude.
“How about watch it? Do you like it, or do you not like it?”
Didn’t you address this in December of 2018 when you apologized to fans for a craptastic product? More on this later…
‘Oh I like it, but I like this other thing more.’ Or, ‘I like it, but I don’t like it as much as I like that one.’ Like, just watch it or don’t. You know?
You mean I should be an obedient wrestling fan that keeps my mouth shut? Re-read that quote…
He’s saying that instead of having preferences to parts of the show over others, to just enjoy all of it and to keep quiet.
Things people commonly do:
-Enjoy some songs on a new album, but dislike other tracks…
-Pick favorite characters in a movie, but are indifferent to others…
-Love certain storylines of TV shows, but do not like B-stories for some episodes…
As a fan of any medium; movies, television, sports, and professional wrestling — you get to have an opinion on aspects of said entertainment that you like and dislike.
Paul needs to stop invalidating the opinions of his own fans.
“And stop trying to figure out where everything goes. Fans ruin their own stuff half the time trying to figure out where everything goes and why it’s going there and how, and then trying to pick up their phone and go search for the thing to find out what it is that can ruin it for them so they’re not surprised when it happens.”
I majored in communication with a minor in writing. If I see poor writing, I’m going to notice it. Many other wrestling fans are generally creative, write as a hobby, and/or simply appreciate great storytelling. They are going to call out poor writing when they see it.
As far as spoilers go, there are plenty of fans who can enjoy a storyline while knowing exactly what’s going to happen. When you have good writing and are invested in the emotion that these wrestlers are putting out there — it doesn’t matter if you know what will happen or not. Twists and turns are fine, but we don’t need the Vince Russo stamp-of-approval on every storyline.
I may be wrong, but I still believe the likely talent to dethrone Kenny Omega of his AEW Championship at All Out in September will be “Hangman” Adam Page. It’s a story over two-years in the making, and will culminate in an emotional rollercoaster of a potential 5-star match.
Every fan in attendance will likely know that this is happening, and not a single one will be disappointed with the expected result. It has nothing to do with the predictability, but the emotion and substance to the story itself. Many WWE storylines, unfortunately, (and historically), lack this.
Educated and creative fans are always going to call this out, much like they would any movie or TV show they’re watching.
“I don’t understand that.”
As mentioned, in December of 2018, the McMahons “took over” and spoke of change. They apologized to the fans, and promised that better days were coming.
The lie detector determined that was a lie.
And this speaks to the heart of why so many fans DO analyze and criticize the product. It’s because of this one simple fact:
We don’t trust the product anymore.
Sure, you’ll have your sparks of excellence and feel-good moments over the years. Kofimania, Becky-Two Belts, Drew McIntyre at the top where he belongs. And to this day, most NXT shows are still pretty good.
There’s been glimmers of hope over the years. But those are few and far-between. They become lost in poor writing, start-stop pushes, and generally bad storytelling. Now I am a fan of
Aleister Black Tommy End, and as his character was getting new life, he is suddenly released without warning – and you want me as a fan to trust the product?
I get the corporate jargon. I know these things must be said for purposes of CYA. But if these are honest statements by Levesque, then it seems like he cares less about what fans truly want out of a product and more about making as much money off of mindless peons like his doofus Father-in-Law.
The correct response should have been to listen to what your fans are telling you. But he didn’t. And this is why so many of us continue not to watch WWE, aside from following results on news sites and review shows.
I’d rather invest my energy and time into a promotion that actually listens to their fan base. I’d rather invest my time and energy into a promotion that I trust.