Superstar Spotlight: Is Saturday Morning Slam That Wrong?

Bill Pritchard

Superstar Spotlight

WWEI know everyone has their opinions on the new Saturday Morning SLAM television show, and I have seen both positive and negative feedback. I am all for WWE promoting a kid-friendly show, but does it really need to eliminate moves targeted at the neck? The audience they are looking for isn't just a brand new one; some, if not most, of the people are going to be WWE fans already. They already watch RAW, Smackdown, and other WWE programming. They already see the same 'dangerous' moves performed by their favorite Superstars on a weekly basis. You don't think some of them will notice that CM Punk can't pull off the 'Go To Sleep,' or that Randy Orton can't perform a RKO? (The chances of Punk or Orton appearing on the show are slim, but you get my point.) How far does it go? Punk can instead go for the Anaconda Vise, because it's a chokehold, or is that too much pulling and stress on the neck? Is Orton's hanging DDT outlawed too? I understand the reasons for eliminating certain moves, but WWE should be more clear on what is and isn't allowed. They can put it on their corporate or kids website, and I would limit the Superstars who do appear on the show. If Orton can't do a RKO, be clear as to what he can do, so parents can explain the changes if they do notice it.

I see 'SLAM' as a show much like Superstars, where it still provides WWE programming but it's not focused as much on the two main shows. I actually don't think it is a bad idea to try a show like this; many people in the Internet Wrestling Community are slamming it because it's Linda McMahon's fault. WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO LIKE IT! IT'S A SHOW GEARED TOWARDS YOUNG CHILDREN! I will give it a chance just to see what content is actually in the show, but if I don't like it, I'm not going to watch it. I'm not the audience they want for that Saturday morning spot, and I have other prime time wrestling show to watch. Sure, I watched WWE Superstars and WWE Mania on Saturday mornings, but some of those shows were edited because of the time it was on. Some of the time, I watched it with my family because it was 'clean' programming. All this new show is doing is providing an hour each week which tells a parent that they can leave their child to watch it, because it's rated properly. It's fine with me, like I said I probably won't even watch it more than once; I'm not the audience and I can find some better things to do with my Saturday mornings. (They might catch me on Sunday mornings before football, but that's a different story…)

Older fans who seemed to be pissed off at the idea of a G-rated show need to step back and observe, or some just need to shut the hell up. WWE is a global business, so they need to keep making money and they need to bring in a new audience when the old one stars to dwindle down. Newsflash people: the audience we know from the New Generation and the Attitude Era is gone; they need to being new fans in and this is helping it. People don't like John Cena and I understand that from an older fan perspective, but he's a goddamn real life Superman to millions of kids. My memory may be fuzzy, but I don't remember Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold Steve Austin being this well-recieved… Oh wait, they were. John Cena is this generation's "guy" and kids love him, kids are part of the audience, yadda yadda yadda… We older fans aren't going to love everything they do, but we can't just expect them to cater to us anymore. We can hope, but it's not going to happen and the sooner people realize that, the more they might actually enjoy the show.

I get that the Attitude Era was great to watch, but it really wasn't all that it's cracked up to be. For all the bad ideas that came out of this generation, I can offer you one just as bad from the Attitude Era. You want to talk about how dumb Santino's Cobra is, OK, having the Big Boss Man feed a dog to Al Snow was really stupid. (R.I.P. Pepper) Daniel Bryan and Kane in "anger management" you say? I trump it with Katie Vick, which by the way they made reference to in one of the skits this week. Even WWE knows they do dumb shit from time to time to time, so have a sense of humor about things. They do.

Saturday Morning SLAM can be a good vehicle for WWE to bring in  a new audience. Think of it like this: you want a kid to start to baseball, so you would teach them fundamentals in tee ball, right? Why is it wrong to introduce wrestling to kids this way? (It's not.) As they get older, they can watch RAW and Smackdown, maybe NXT will find a network and that can be the next step in between 'SLAM' and the prime time shows. WWE can't stop and please the IWC fans and the audience who hates this idea because they are a business. The Great Khali gets reasonable TV time because he is immensly popular in India. Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, and Alberto Del Rio are huge in Mexico, and Antonio Cesaro has even been getting more coverage in Sweden. WWE tries to market to everyone; they might not do a great job every single time, but what company hasn't failed at something? I might not watch it, but I am glad there is something new for kids to watch because wrestling does need a new audience.

I don't want wrestling to go away, in fact I am glad that WWE is becoming more mainstream because it opens more doors and brings in more fans. If I didn't have wrestling to look forward to, I wouldn't even be writing this article! If WWE feels the need to create a new show for kids because that's their target audience, I'm all for it. Like I already said, I'm not going to watch it so it really doesn't bother me. I'm not getting up to watch it, but somebody's children will be. If you are worried about WWE becoming watered down due to Linda McMahon's Senate ambitions, just stop. It's not going to be a G-rated hugfest like people think, and if it ever does get to that point, just stop watching. WWE is looking out for Superstars' heath, but they are also pleasing fans and giving parents assurance that their programming is OK for their kids. People should stop complaining about 'SLAM'; if they outlawed head shots or snapping move on RAW, you would have a valid argument. It's not a show for you, so stop bitching. You will miss out on being entertained, which is the reason we all started watching wrestling in the first place.

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