The WWE has been a force to reckon in the sports entertainment sector. In fact, the WWE was the pioneer of sports entertainment. It was something that portrayed individuals larger than life and something that made you have an adrenaline rush. However, in recent times, it is failing to catch the eye of the public. The global viewership has seen a significant downfall and so has the in-house attendance. So, what are the possible reasons why the WWE seems to be falling apart? What has happened to that industry which made us sit at the edge of our seats and showed moves that made our hearts skip a beat? Here’s a look: –
Heavy Scripting: –
All of the WWE fans know that it is a scripted show and the athletes do not beef with each other. With that said and done, the performers had the liberty to at times go off script and add spice. This was done with mutual consent between the two performers but now the events are scripted. The scripting is done so much that the promos for main events are turning boring and hard to listen to. In the past, we had iconic mic drops from CM Punk, the Rock, and Paul Heyman but now the only thing we get is the performers forgetting their lines.
Covid –19 and the Lockdowns: –
There were times where the WWE arenas have had 1 lakh fans but due to the lockdown, the industry took a bad hit. Like every other industry in the world, the McMahon family-run business took a hit. However, the creative team of the WWE tried to overcome this by having matches at the WWE performance center and having a PPV i.e. Money in the Bank at the WWE headquarters. All of this creation looked great but it doesn’t cover up for the finances that were lost due to the absence of in-house fans.
Loss of great in-ring performers: –
To sell and market a product successfully your product needs to be authentic and amazing. Well in recent times the WWE has lost several charismatic performers. I honestly don’t know who thought it would have been a great idea to end the Undertaker’s streak at the hands of a part-time performing Brock Lesnar. Also, losing out on the passion and charisma that John Cena brought in. The illness of a crowd favorite Daniel Bryan did them no good either. Nor did their problems with CM Punk. All the mentioned athletes had the face value that the WWE wanted. Some fans only came to see these in-ring legends. The WWE did try to promote Roman Reigns as a babyface and had him as the face of the WWE for over 2 years but the experiment didn’t turn out as expected.
Taking Things to the Extreme Very Early: –
The WWE was doing seemingly impossible things back in the late 90s. You could see Mick Foley and the Undertaker fight on the top of a Hell in a Cell, you had the Big Show Chokeslamming John Cena through the lights and you had Shane Mcmahon performing a powerbomb from 40 feet high in the air. Things in the WWE were way too extreme. That did garner them, the big name that they possess today but now is turning out as a problem. Every time fans log into the WWE, they need to see something new, isn’t it? But with the WWE exploring all the extremities at the early stage itself, now they have a creative blockage. Moments in a No Disqualification Match or a Hell in a Cell Match or Street Fight have been seen over and over again. Those blows on the back by a steel chair, the kendo sticks, the sledgehammers, everything has already been explored.
The Onset of All Elite Wrestling: –
Having a competitor in a business never does wonders to the business, right? The same is the case with the WWE. In 2019 another sports entertainment business titled All Elite Wrestling was announced. The AEW already has done significant damage to the viewers of WWE. Performers such as Rusev, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, CM Punk, Chris Jericho, and Christian have signed up for the company and are performing iconic feuds and matches. The biggest steal made by the AEW was done by signing up Daniel Bryan in September of 2021. The AEW has also acquired the iconic commentator, Jim Ross!! The broadcasters now have a cheaper alternative in place of the WWE and the monopoly in the field of wrestling entertainment seems to have come to an end.
To conclude I would say that Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon are two smart people. They know what they are doing and hence have been dominating the business for over 5 decades now. And they also need not worry about AEW because a few years back there was also something called the WCW! The only thing that WWE now needs to focus on is getting their things together and doing what they do the best; entertain. And as a fan, I believe things will get back to normal in a year or two.