*Too much reliance on certain themes that don’t work. The GM. “The powers that be.” Backstage power struggles. It’s all the same. The only time it worked was the first time, with Mr. McMahon. Just like the only “worked shoot” that ever fooled anybody was the first one, when Brian Pillman actually used it to get out of his WCW contract, then get more dough in WWE. (By the way, have you noticed that in these “backstage power struggles,” no one ever really gains or loses power? Dixie Carter’s still on TNA TV. John Cena never left WWE TV.)
*Coffeepot matches, i.e. matches made out of nowhere unsuccessfully imbued with false gravitas. (We called them coffeepot matches in WCW because some were literally born from on-camera conflict that occurred in catering…around the coffeepot.)
*Too much improbability. Like Edge kidnapping Paul Bearer for weeks. Or Cena attacking people backstage. Where are the police? (Then again, The Four Horsemen assaulted Dusty Rhodes in the parking lot of Jim Crockett Promotions. The Horsemen videotaped it, then broadcast it. That’s either idiotic, or a guilty plea. But it was great. Great trumps improbability.)
*Too many broads. Don’t get me wrong…for banging the boys on the road, I’m sure there’s just the right amount. But they clutter up TV and don’t draw a dime.
*No conclusions. It doesn’t matter who wins a match, or a belt, or a feud…conflicts are never really resolved. Things are left open-ended so, if desperate or lazy, bookers can just pick things back up later. Put together a few video packages and you’re all set, especially if you don’t mind boring and repetitive TV. If Vince Russo had booked Sammartino-Zbyzsko, Bruno would have spit on Larry as he left the cage at Shea Stadium…then wrestled him again six months later, and for no reason. It’s Sammartino and Zbyszko, and they still hate each other! Roll tape.
*They give away too much on free TV at the expense of selling PPVs. You’re supposed to WANT to buy PPVs, because they provide MAIN EVENTS and CONCLUSIONS. But you get main events for FREE on TV, and we’ve established THERE ARE NO CONCLUSIONS. So…marks buy PPVs by rote, no other reason. Smaller PPVs have suffered greatly.
WWE, the last wrestling company that matters, isn’t about to go under. But it’s not doing so hot. Want proof? WWE is playing Madison Square Garden Dec. 26. Easy sellout, right?
Then why is WWE already discounting tickets?
Y’know, I really thought Arquette had a chance against Orton.
Top moments of The Slammys: A mark screaming "LEX LUGER!" just prior to one of the presentations, and HBK telling wrestling to go f*** itself during his acceptance speech. Is HBK stealing my gimmick, or I am stealing his?
Did Jeff Hardy lose the TNA belt, or sell it for drug money? There is precedent: Bundini Brown once sold Muhammad Ali’s world championship belt, then used the proceeds to buy heroin.
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