A New Era In the Wrestling World
The wrestling world is about to change for the foreseeable future, next week is the first week of this new schedule. If your a true wrestling fan like myself you are super excited, so let's discuss the affects that this will have on the business as a whole.
A lot of these changes came about because of the emergence of All Elite Wrestling. This wouldn't be happening if not for AEW. The wrestling world was changed forever by them becoming the new number two as far as american wrestling goes. As we all know by now, they have the backing from a very wealthy family in the Khans, a TV deal that can rival WWE, a different product that will attract new and old fans alike, and the promise of being an alternative to WWE should be and is enough to have a good regular audience every week.
The question is, What do they have to do to keep the fans watching? Sure its great to have an alternative, its great they have this following so early on, mainly because of the members of The Elite, and its even better they didn't go and grab a ton of former WWE talents because we've seen that fail, more then once, with more then one company. The thing that they cannot do, is be 100 percent the opposite of WWE just cause, we've seen some of their original ideas already that aren't spectacular, they can't, put the people who are considered "EVPs" at the forefront all the time, because that will get tired. Also a lot of what their doing is feeling like WCW 2.0 all the way down to the name of their weekly show, AEW Dynamite, sounds awfully close to WCW Monday Nitro doesn't it? Keep the intrigue that got you here, and don't fall into a formula, and stick to it, remain to be different, and maybe work on some of the original ideas.
Even before all of this, WWE had a deal with FOX already in the bag, that was going to take place in October regardless, but in response to AEW, they put there biggest WWE Network show on the same network as RAW, the USA Network, and expanded it to two hours. A move that as I said before is a direct answer to AEW being on Wednesdays. My biggest concern about all of this, is the day of the week Smackdown is on, it is kind of an unwritten rule in television ratings that networks put shows on Fridays to test them to see how they do, and whether they should keep them. As most know Friday is usually the day people don't wanna stay in to watch TV, and FOX's biggest concern is TV ratings. So this move has definitely been puzzling to me.
Now those two Federations are sure to be going at each other's throats on Wednesday nights, and I'm very excited in general for that night in particular. As a fan of both I will be watching both, and I'll be DVRing one and watching the other after the fact, but that's how much I like this sport. What I really want to know is, what WWE is going to do different to keep the casual fans, because the only time they seem to try hard is when they have competition, as evident by most of the stories in the last 18 years. This is a wrestling boom period, and WWE can't go on as usual, and give us the same stories, no psychology matches, and the god awful continuity errors they give us every single week.
I want there to be stakes in every match, I want true storytelling, I want talent who haven't been utilized to their full potential to get more opportunities, guys like Buddy Murphy, EC3, Apollo, Cesaro, etc, who are all so good that can carry a division. Also it's time to get serious about tag team wrestling, for whatever reason Vince McMahon thinks we don't care about both tag team divsions when in reality its him who doesn't care, we love tag team wrestling, and want to see it flourish. I know this turned into a "What is WWE Doing Wrong" tangent, but, these are all things that need to be serious about to not only bring in more viewers, but make their business seem important again.
Shane on three segements isn't doing it, the constant not caring about the fans is not doing it. Things need to change, and with another draft coming, they need to be serious about that again too, because the "Wild Card Rule" was such a success....right!? Oh that's right it was steaming pile of crap. So I'm hoping, WWE gets serious again, starts actually caring about their fans, instead of doing things without any real thought. Instead of treating fans like we're stupid, and don't remember things, actually have continuity in everything you do.
Unfortunately I don't have much to say about the other federations, they are all very tiny blips on the radar that all have there own, share of great talent, with horrible TV deals, so if the likes of ROH, or MLW want to break out they need to get on bigger networks, Impact and WOW are just settling into this new venture with AXSTV so this is probably the best they can do at the moment and that's fine, there was a time I thought Impact was dead in the water, so if they can turn it around I give them props for that.
So thats gonna do it for me, it's surely a very interesting time in wrestling as a whole, and I'm excited about where it all goes from here, and with a WWE pay-per-view next weekend, and the new draft starting the week after that, WWE is certainly making the first move and I'll have future articles to discuss all of that for now thanks for reading, and I hope wrestling as whole benefits from all this and we all can just enjoy it.