Recently, the ever-so outspoken Mick Foley took to his Facebook page to harshly criticize WWE creative once again, this time mentioning that he is “getting close” to abandoning the product as a fan.
I’m going to quote an article from July, 2014, called “The Sad Case Of Zack Ryder” in which I wrote: “Eventually, people get tired of finding out that the WWE Superstars they have supported with their cheers, their signs, their purchases, their follows, and their likes aren’t real Superstars – and, little by little, those fans lose interest in WWE, find other interests, and become former WWE fans.”
I am one of those people on the verge of becoming a former WWE fan. I’m tired of being told through Raw, Smackdown and PPV’s that WWE superstars I have rooted for – from Ziggler to Cesaro to Kevin Owens aren’t top stars – no matter how strongly crowd reaction seems to disagree. I’m tired of NXT stars getting their big “break” in WWE, just to be treated like jokes.
Six months ago, my son and I traveled 12 hours – from Eastern Tennessee to Orlando, Florida to watch Sasha Banks wrestle Becky Lynch at #NXTTakeover. One of the greatest women’s matches of all time. Last night, in what I believe was their first singles match on #RAW Sasha and Becky were given four minutes. At a time when WWE desperately needs to make new stars – when they need to give wrestlers with talent the opportunity to break through – they gave Sasha and Becky four minutes. I turned the channel, and watched a pretty good football game instead. I think I can get used to watching football games on Monday night again.
I will be watching RAW this Monday. Maybe, as is often the case in relationships, they will give me just enough to remind me why I love wrestling – just enough to keep me coming back. Maybe they will even give Sasha and Becky a rematch – and a legitimate chance to show the world what they can do.
There is an old saying in politics : as Ohio goes, so goes the nation. Think of me as the Ohio of wrestling fans. If I leave, it’s not just one disgruntled former fan; finding something else to do on Monday nights. Instead, my leaving might well be an indication of a larger exodus from WWE.
I want to stay. I really do. So please WWE – next week on WWE Raw… Just give me a reason.
Great minds must think alike; I actually chose willingly not to watch Raw too, which is something I absolutely never do unless I have an advanced screening for a movie to review for another website. On average, I miss roughly five episodes a year, watching the rest no matter how disinterested in the product I am. To be fair, sometimes WWE is still pretty good.
While Mick touches heavily on the disingenuous “Divas Revolution” (something he is right about, because let’s face it, this company will never allow the women to compete at the level they do on NXT so long as guys like Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn are running the show), the straw that broke the camels back for me personally, was Sheamus being handed the WWE Championship simply for no other reason than the company is too f****** stubborn to actually make a new star. Even when they gave Seth Rollins the title, he lost weekly and barely won defenses on PPV. It’s not his fault, but his entire reign was a joke with very few moments of legitimacy.
To echo Mick some more, I legitimately feel as if nothing of great value will come to the guys and girls I and many others actually enjoy watching (Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks, Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, etc). Survivor Series presented an opportunity to reinvigorate interest in the product, whether it be from Roman or Dean turning heel, a surprise champion, or something else entirely unpredictable we haven’t pondered, but instead the company went with the safest route possible.
Do you know why Game of Thrones is currently the most popular show on television and actually sees its ratings increase from season to season? The answer is simple: there is extremely solid writing, creating characters easy to invest in, while placing them into scenarios leaving you guessing what could possibly happen next. Similarly, that used to be how I felt watching WWE back in the 90s and early to mid 2000s.
Everything here is stale, formulaic, bland, and most dishearteningly, full of shit. We are constantly told that our voices matter, except in reality they don’t. Oh well, if that’s how it’s going to be I will continue watching other programming on Monday nights, still checking up on news and PPVs frequently in false hopes of improvement. I will never give up on NXT however, because everyone on the booking team there simply gets it.