by Kevin D’Hooge
Kids, gather round, I have a story to tell you.
There was once a strong, strong man named Roman Reigns. He was 6 foot 3 and weighed 265 pounds. He was a hero to all, smiled and winked for the cameras, told the most glorious fairy tales in all the land, and was beloved by fans of all ages.
But one day Roman changed. He turned on his friends and the fans. He entered out of the ramp and not from the crowd. He used a new theme song and ditched his body armor.
Roman even did moves other than clotheslines and shoulder tackles.
There was also a man named John Cena, who wore shirts and hats of all colors. He always went over young upcoming talent and did things fair and square, Jack. His merchandise sales quadrupled everyone else’s. He fought for all the kids and women in the audience.
One day John woke up and decided to drop his morals and decided to lie, cheat and steal his way to victories. He insulted all the superstars and even the audience members. Cena dressed in all black and ditched his fluorescent colors.
There were other happenings in this world too:
Cesaro and Dolph Ziggler won major championships and main evented pay per views.
There was also a big, big giant named the Big Show, who listened to the fans and retired.
Sasha Banks won the Diva’s championship from Nikki Bella and ended her nearly record breaking title reign.
The Authority crumbled to the ground. Sheamus left the company. There was a roster split: Triple H ran Raw and Paul Heyman ran SmackDown. It was a happy place! The end.
Silly me, fairy tales aren’t real and reality doesn’t always give us happy endings. If only things could be so story book. WWE fans have many wishes. We always want things to play out the way we want them to.
Like The Rolling Stones said, “You can’t always get what you want.”
And just because we want something, do we necessarily need it? Unless your name is Al Snow and you want a demented mannequin head, not necessarily.
If WWE fans (in particular “smart” fans, who tend to be more vocal at televised shows, pay per views, and on the internet) always got what they wanted where would the fun be? Part of the fun of being a wrestling fan is getting emotional, angry and opinionated.
If fan favorites always went over and characters instantly took on the mold we wanted, where would the long term fun be? Sure, things would be lively and enjoyable at first, but then what? The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Audiences can never be permanently happy.
Perhaps I am cutting WWE creative short. Maybe things could have a way of turning out fine if they gave into the WWE Universe’s demands. If storylines and characters were managed properly and didn’t wobble into Sheamus territory, maybe each and every one of the WWE Universe’s dreams could be granted.
On the contrary, what if the current state of the WWE is all a work? A charade. And we’re all the marks. It would be the ultimate slow burn. Just look at the YES! movement. I’m sure Vince McMahon would say the intention all along was to give fans a long storyline with the ultimate underdog, Daniel Bryan, prevailing. On the contrary, Bryan openly expresses that the intention was never for him to main event Wrestlemania or win the WWE WHC. Who’s right? Probably Bryan, but you never know.
WWE creative has an impossible task: they have to entertain audiences that stretch the entire age spectrum. Angles intended for kids instantly isolate more mature viewers and vice versa. Regardless, certain sections of the audience are guaranteed to be upset, no matter the direction of the story.
But that’s part of being a fan, no matter the sport, show, etc.
At the same time, there is a difference between good storytelling and negligence of talent. Either WWE is pulling out all the stunts to slow burn great storylines involving Sasha Banks, Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, etc…or they will join countless other talented superstars who meandered meaninglessly in WWE purgatory.
With the advent of social media, voicing our opinion has never been easier or more persuasive…at the same time we shouldn’t always be so quick to rush to judgment when it comes to booking.