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The Airing of WWE Grievances: 2016 Edition by Brandon Lasher

I love Festivus.

Since Christmas has gotten so commercial, I have always enjoyed another holiday around my winter break from work. Why I have enjoyed Festivus so much I literally made a video about it. Seriously, search my name and Festivus on Youtube and you will find the one I created in 2011.

My favorite part of the Seinfeld-based holiday is by far is the “Airing of Grievances”. As you set down to Festivus dinner today, it is important to lash out at family and the world for all the ways they have wronged you in the past year. That is why in my now annual article I set my sights on the WWE.

I really believe a lot of us in the Tjrwrestling community consider the WWE to be like a member of the family. I certainly spent thousands of hours a year with it, plan vacations around attending events around the country and feel close enough to criticize it faults based on the excessive amount of time we spend together. Families fight and a good venting is what is really needed around the holidays when family are together. It is now the WWE’s turn.

With that in mind it is time for the 2016 “Airing of Grievances”. In the words of Frank Costanza, “I got a lotta problems with you people, and you are going to hear about it!” Here are some of my biggest WWE related grievances.

 

Cruiserweight Division

I loved the CWC. It was easily my favorite wrestling television show of 2016. With its emotional storylines, its sports-like feel and amazing matches made it seem special. I was excited to see the return of a great Cruiserweight Division like back in the WCW days on the main roster. I am still waiting.

Much like last year with the terrible “Divas Revolution”, the Cruiserweight Division started with a lot of meaningless six-man tag matches. It was a lot of Cruiserweight’s trading meaningless wins. Unlike the CWC, we had no character development as it simply was a parade of smaller wrestlers fighting in front of apathetic fans who may not have even watched the show on the WWE Network.

It certainly didn’t help that they played hot potato with the title between Brian Kendrick, Rich Swann and T.J. Perkins when they didn’t have much time to develop meaningful feuds with any mic time. I am hopeful that 205 Live will allow a development of the characters finally and return some of the magic of the CWC. So far it has been something to simply complain about.

 

Foreigners are Bad

Why is Rusev a bad guy? Seriously, in his feud with Roman Reigns he was simply defending his family and his wife. In his current feud with Enzo Amore and Big Cass he is also defending his wife, this time from a guy who wants to have sex with her. Have the “good guys” ever heard of sexual harassment?

It is the never-ending WWE style of making all non-Americans evil. Since we are in the global company it seems strange that people like Rusev are evil simply because of the fact he is from Bulgaria. They do like to tour overseas right? Maybe one day in the WWE world Rusev, defending his wife’s honor, can actually be a good guy. I look forward to that day in wrestling.

 

Raw Women’s Division

How can a division with my three favorite current female competitors (Charlotte, Sasha and Bayley) be so weak compared to the far superior Smackdown Women’s division? It is a sign of constantly weak Raw booking that impacts the division on a weekly basis.

Sasha and Charlotte have had a lot of great matches in the last four months, but what else is occurring in the division? Bayley has done nothing since debuting on the main roster in August. Bayley on NXT was an excited super fan who also put on great matches. On Raw, she acts like a little kid who plays with teddy bears and is afraid of boys. Alicia Fox’s only role is to feud over said boys on very rare occasions. Dana Brooke shows up for brief cameos to lose to Sasha Banks and Bayley and simply vanishes again. Nia Jax is the scary wrestler who takes weeks off of television at a time with little to show for her time so far.

Since the Smackdown division gives meaningful time to all of its talent and can produce two well-developed women’s matches at each pay-per-view, it is confusing Raw can be so unsuccessful. Get it together Raw in 2017!

 

The Waste of the U.S. Title

I haven’t always been known as the biggest John Cena fan, but I have to give him some major respect in these grievances. His work with the U.S. Title in 2015 was phenomenal. Having fantastic matches throughout 2015 made the title seem special. That is not the case anymore.

They started the year by playing hot potato with the title between Del Rio and Kalisto for months. Kalisto never looked like a strong champion and was mocked on a weekly basis by Ryback and Rusev. I was hopeful things would improve with Rusev as a Champion, but he was always made to look weaker when defending his wife’s honor unsuccessfully.

What is occurring now? Roman doesn’t defend the title that often and sometimes doesn’t even wear it down to the ring. What makes it seem even sadder is looking at the great work with the Intercontinental Champion on Smackdown in 2016. Sad to see all of Cena’s great work wasted in one year.

 

The Never-Ending Terrible Booked Push of Roman Reigns

I know, guy on internet dislikes Roman Reigns. I am so original.

However, it is not an issue of liking or disliking Roman Reigns. It is an issue they always seem to put him in the worst possible position to succeed and become the actual face of the company. It is almost like the WWE wants him to fail or has no clue how to properly book a babyface at this point.

Let us look at his year. He got beaten up in the Royal Rumble and missed most of the match before returning to be in the final few competitors. That certainly doesn’t make Roman look like the strong bad-ass he should be. This was followed by a slow-paced main event at WrestleMania 32 with Triple H after nearly six hours of wrestling. It was a tired audience with a main event they didn’t care about. On the plus side, we got to see Stephanie and Triple H do some “Game of Thrones” cosplay.

Where does unpopular champion Roman go from WrestleMania? Why two matches with the amazing over “heel” AJ Styles! The matches at Payback and Extreme Rules were really good, but Roman was the unpopular one in that scenario.

Not learning that lesson, the WWE placed Roman against the returning Seth Rollins. You know that really good wrestler we were all happy to see. I know when I was in attendance at Money in the Bank in Vegas, Roman got booed out of the building. They were doing him no favors.

After some good work with his former Shield friends, they decided to have Roman feud with Rusev. I have obviously discussed this already above and am confused how Roman comes across as anything but a jerk in the scenario. As Roman finishes the year, he is feuding with the really popular comedic duo of Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. I almost feel they are trying to get Roman over as a heel.

 

Conclusion:

Those are my grievances about 2016 in pro wrestling. I don’t want you to think that I am simply one of those fans that complain about everything. In fact I am a pretty optimistic fan overall. I simply feel as you become really invested you can see the good and bad in your family. After all what would fandom truly be if we were satisfied all the time?

I hope you have a good Festivus and bigger holiday season! It is time for me to perform the Feats of Strength!
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Feel free to contact me at lasher@pacificu.edu. Additionally, I have my Twitter account, WWEBNRL as well. I would love to hear your thoughts about your grievances about WWE in 2016. What was I missing or was I being too harsh?