Maybe that spark came for me on Monday, June 6th during the opening minutes of Monday Night RAW. I knew that this would be the opening week of the much anticipated draft lottery. I myself was very excited, and I expected a big name star to be making his way onto RAW one the opening night. But when the music of the current WWE Champion, John Cena hit, I did all I could to contain myself.
Not that I am the biggest John Cena fan in the world, but to see the crowd reaction he received, and to see Jericho’s response as Cena came down the entrance ramp gave me just the spark that I needed. It helped me to realize that the next few weeks of WWE television are going to be very interesting, and more importantly, unpredictable. The WWE, and especially RAW, has always prided itself on having a “you never know what will happen next” attitude. Unfortunately, we as fans are now tapped in so intensely with what goes on behind the scenes that hardly anything seems to surprise us. Predictability inevitably leads to boredom. Yet I think this draft lottery is just the ticket out.
After watching RAW, I felt a sensation in which I haven’t felt in quite some time. I was truly looking forward to watching Smackdown. I wanted to see who would be the next person picked in the draft lottery. I did all I could to avoid spoilers splashed across every internet wrestling site, and must say I was pleasantly surprised, to discover completely unspoiled on Thursday night that Chris Benoit was the next men go to in the draft lottery. I felt joy in the fact that the WWE was finally giving me something totally unexpected. They are giving the fans something totally unpredictable, and giving us a convincing reason to tune in every week.
There are many critics of the current product WWE is giving us. I am not going to say that I am immune to feeling any ill feelings toward the WWE, but I am a “glass is half full” kind of guy and like to look at the upside of things. The draft lottery is just one thing in which the WWE is giving us this summer to keep the threat of boredom off our backs.
This Sunday WWE will host the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view. This PPV, like the WWE itself, has also had its fair share of critics. But, I again am being very optimistic. ECW had, and still has, a rabid following, and I hope that the WWE is smart enough to let loose for one night and cater to that following. My excitement for this pay-per-view has gone up and down as time has passed, but I am currently riding a high of excitement as it draws ever so close. I believe the WWE has the perfect opportunity to give us another “unpredictable, anything can happen” moment at the pay-per-view on Sunday. If they take this ball and run with it, I believe it could be one of the most successful pay-per-views of the year. If last Monday night and the draft lottery was the spark I needed to help keep away boredom, then the ECW pay-per-view will hopefully add fuel to the fire.
Both the ECW pay-per-view and the draft lottery will open up a whole new world of possibilities for the WWE. If the ECW pay-per-view is successful, the WWE has the chance to ride the wave of its popularity and carry it as far as they can imagine. As I said before, the draft lottery has given me a reason to want to tune into the WWE, but I believe that once it is over that will not change. Once the draft is over, there will be a great opportunity for new story lines and match ups in which we have yet to experience. The draft will be over, but I will still want to tune in to find out how this roster shake up is going to affect the product. I guess I could say that I’m excited.
And there isn’t a better way to put the exclamation point on the draft lottery and truly exploit the roster changes than at Summerslam. Summerslam has always been one of my favorite pay-per-views, and I hope that this year it will be extra special. I have great hope in it. As we see reformed rosters on both the Smackdown and RAW side, new feuds will take form and hopefully culminate at Summerslam. If this is the case, we will see the climax of many feuds in which we have seldom or never seen. I will admit that this is wishful thinking, but that being said I think the potential is there to make this a great pay-per-view, and to give us another reason to tune into WWE programming every week.
It is natural that we become bored with the product. Alternatives are few, as TNA currently has no television deal and the number three promotion, Ring of Honor, does not reach the masses like WWE does or TNA did. We see the same wrestlers, rehashing the same story lines week in and week out, every week, all year. It is only natural that we become bored. But being the kind of positive fellow that I am, the three things I mentioned above are just what I need to brush aside this threat of boredom that haunts so many of us. The draft lottery and its effects on the product, the forthcoming ECW One Night Stand event, and the culmination of a summer’s worth of story lines at Summerslam will be, I pray, enough to keep me interested each week. I don’t want to seem like I bow down and worship at the alter that is WWE, because I will readily admit it has its faults. But what company doesn’t? When your given lemons, make lemonade. I’m taking what the WWE is giving us, and making the best lemonade I possibly can.
Any thoughts or comments? Feedback is appreciated and welcome. My new email address is email@example.com.
Until next time, this has been Joe Pritchett’s Real Talk!