*Note: If you are hoping to read an article full of incomplete sentences, you will unfortunately have to look elsewhere.*
Baseball when time. Crap, I already blew it. Allow me to start over…
What’s going on in the WWE today? Let’s see… former CEO Linda McMahon lost her senate campaign to Dick Blumenthal… WWE creative continues to dumb down and further insult their beloved (and I use that term loosely) fans through poor presentation and storyline progression… and Undertaker’s body continues to break down to the point where he should consider calling it a day, or rather, rressst…iiinnn…peeeace. To top it all off, it seems like the driving force behind the company, Vince McMahon, seems to care more about diversifying his product to the global market than caring for or maintaining this same product at a successful level.
Simply put, someone needs to take the bull by the horns here. It’s evident that Vince cannot keep a watchful eye on his product while he is away doing business. At it’s peak, Vince McMahon had his finger on the pulse of then-WWF. This was when he, the owner of the whole company (mind you), played an integral on-air role while he played puppet master behind the scenes. There was still a viable form of competition with WCW airing a compelling (but declining) product full of superstars who would jump ship to whichever company would pay more for their services.
Vince’s purchase of WCW and half of the wrestling nation has resulted in the absence of an urgency to perform at a high level, thus dumbing down the product. I question whether many professional wrestlers are even trying to make a name for their selves in the ring, or if they are using wrestling as a stepping-stone towards an acting career. What is a wrestler’s motive?
Has a restriction in what wrestlers can do in front of their audience caused performance to drop? Some argue that a product’s success and failure centers on the actual wrestling, while others maintain there is nothing to cheer for if there is no reason or rhyme to why the wrestlers are having a match. While I don’t necessarily think that WWE needs to shed their PG rating tag, I do think they could improve their product in a number of ways. Who is monitoring WWE’s product while Vince is off in China making business contacts? The creative team. It is my opinion that this is where the renaissance begins.
What do you mean, Archangel? I’m talkin’ bout WWE creative actually creating a setting where their properly trained wrestlers can succeed. If the wrestlers WWE hire can put on a match and have or can develop acting and microphone skills (or visa versa for that matter), the creative team must follow through in utilizing their talent efficiently by putting on a show.
I would like to take a moment to quote Chris Jericho from his WWF (note the F) debut:
“The dawning of a new era…is what this once proud, and profitable, company sorely needs. What was once a captivating, trendsetting program has now deteriorated into a clichéd, let’s be honest, BORING snooze fest that is in need of a knight in shining armor!”
No one knew how prophetic these words would be over a decade later. In fact it’s almost as if Jericho (from the year 3000 of course…) read up on his wrestling history, boarded a time machine, and, rather than sending himself to 2010, accidentally pressed 1-9-9-9 because of short term memory loss caused by a recent concussion.
Back to the topic at hand: who is going to be the WWE’s knight in shining armor? Who is going to save—the double U—double U—EFF!?
Rumor has it that World Wrestling Entertainment is attempting to air their own television channel by January, 2011. With the amount of territories McMahon has purchased since 2001, I am surprised he hasn’t started a channel already. WWE TV is way over due, in my opinion, and if this channel ever came to fruition, not only would I crap my chinos in excitement, but my hopes would be so high that I would surely let myself down when I find out that whoever is in charge decided to air Knucklehead from 5 pm to 12 pm every night. That wouldn’t let me down, or anything…
What an opportunity this is for a floundering company to usher in a new era of smart, interesting, and ENTERTAINING wrestling. As technology has evolved, so should WWE programming. The internet has nearly killed kayfabe, and it is beginning to show on television. Less common are the characters, and so we are being introduced to wrestlers who more or less use their own names and have watered down gimmicks. WWE should be expanding their programming to develop their talent. A smart program listing would be smart business for McMahon and WWE.
I’ve compiled a list of programs that fans have expressed interest in seeing on a prospective WWE TV channel. Here’s my proposition:
Re-runs of weekly television programming – Unless Vince plans on moving Raw and Smackdown to air live on this channel, WWE could air re-runs of their shows for those who missed it during their live broadcasts. They would be aired daily.
TV programming recaps – An analysis-type show hosted by Josh Matthews (etc.) offering perspective on what happened during the show. Aired immediately after the live show either daily or a few times each week; paired with re-runs.
Wrestler talk show segments/etc – This applies to Cutting Edge-type talk shows which wrestlers host; Rather than making it a weekly occurrence on Raw or Smackdown, make it a weekly segment on the channel for the wrestlers to do their thing. Still air it live on Raw and Smackdown periodically to make it a special occurrence.
Wrestler profiles – Chronicles wrestlers, their background, special moves, etc. Include interviews.
Minor league wrestling shows – Now is the time to air some FCW and OVW shows. WWE should move some of their younger talent down to these federations for an opportunity to develop their skills. At least their work will be aired on this channel, as opposed to not having their work showcased at all. Plus, viewers will get to know the younger talent. Use it for an advantage!
Bring back some older shows – Sunday Night Heat, Superstars, and Saturday Night Main Event all could have a home now for mid and low card talent to get more airtime. NXT or Tuff Enuff and Diva Search also have a place to air, but keep the number of seasons down because we don’t want these shows to get repetitive.
Classic Matches – I think a match-of-the-day type of idea could work here.
Classic Pay Per Views – One per weekend, but air it each day.
Classic TV Shows – Find a rotation that works. People will love it.
Sportscenter-type news – People have mentioned an NFL Network-type newscast that could continuously air two or three times a day.
Pay Per View replays – Perhaps after a month or two (or after their dvds hit the shelves), WWE could air recent Pay Per Views on a weekly basis.
Documentaries – Air the DVDs that have been in stores for a while now. Monday Night War, Heartbreak and Triumph, etc.
Original programming – Is that Santino, Kozlov, and Eve show still on the front burner?
Original movies – This is inevitable. Expect to see Knucklehead, The Condemned, and Legendary every so often. On top of that, expect more of them.
I’d love to hear what you think—questions? Comments? Leave them here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you would like to see if WWE’s channel is brought to cable and/or satellite. And enjoy this: