First, this isn't a PG issue. I don't believe it's the cause of WWE's problems. Therefore, I don't blame Linda McMahon and her run for Senate either, seeing as how it was most likely the cause for the switch to PG in the first place.
Both can be overcome by good creativity, storytelling and delivery.
(If you don't agree with that, I suppose you can go ahead and skip down to the bottom now and begin your arguments.)
WWE understands that today is a technology-driven era. They clearly see the importance of social media and "staying connected". But even with those forward-moving ideas, they're moving backward in the most important part of their company -- their product.
Take CM Punk as the perfect example. In fact, he's my only example. His heel turn has felt forced the entire time. Why? Because it has been. And it remains forced every week as they continue to try and find ways to make fans boo him over Cena.
As a result, you get a lesser version of Punk. He's being restricted in every possible way, all to try and convince fans (that don't want to be convinced, mind you) he's a "bad guy".
"But Chris, he's pulling it off! He's a great heel and him and Paul Heyman are great together!"
Number one, your opinion really doesn't reflect the "average wrestling fan". Surely, you already know that. Mine doesn't either. Simply saying something similar to that quote at all means you're not reacting the way Vince or Punk or Heyman want you to in the first place.
And my point isn't that Punk and Heyman are doing "bad". They're not. But they're also professionals, paid very well to "not suck". It's like asking great chefs to make great food -- it's their job.
My point is, they both can be BETTER.
Punk proved it a little over a year ago when he sat down on top of the stage and cut a FRESH promo. Notice, I didn't use the word "shoot". Why? Because it wasn't a shoot; it was a promo, like all the rest. It was just better than anything else we had heard in a LONG time.
But it couldn't last. It was likely never going to last. Vince reeled him back in quick, as soon as he got him to sign that new contract. And no, I'm not insinuating one has anything to do with the other.
Okay, maybe I am.
The other part of the equation is John Cena. Cena's role as the number one babyface of the company and Vince's rufusal to turn him heel is also the reason we're getting "this" CM Punk. As Mark Madden reported a few weeks ago on WZ, that's primarily why Punk wanted to turn in the first place.
The problem is that he's now settling. He's settling for less.
CM Punk might still be better than the rest, but he's not better than the CM Punk we were introduced to on June 27th.
And this leads me back to WWE, and the problem of principle they face. It's the ancient idea that wrestling -- and everything and everyone involved with it -- has to be black and white. Good vs evil. Heel vs face.
It's counterproductive anymore. It's crap anymore.
Fans are smarter, period. They expect more. Society as a whole is evolving. News and information is nearly instant. Reality TV is still thriving. "Real" competitive sports are being driven by incredible stars and well-told storylines. MMA draws huge even in podunk towns with nobody-knows fighters.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...WWE is just coasting along with the same old, same old.
All of this despite ratings and numbers proving they need some sort of change. And CM Punk proving he could have been, and still could be, just that. WWE still finds it more important to make fans cheer or boo a certain way.
By the way, this isn't an anti-Cena or anti-WWE column, although it's gotten dangerously close to being one without me even noticing until now. It's meant to simply point out an obvious issue that's not going anywhere anytime soon.
WWE needs to evolve, and everytime I see CM Punk right now, it reminds me of the fact they don't seem to even care.
It makes me miss Vince Russo. WHAT!?
Follow Chris Cash on Twitter @RealityofChris. You can also catch him live every Monday, before and after Raw, hosting the Voice of Wrestling show and VOW Reaction. Visit VOWLive.com for details and archives of previous shows.