As fans of the WWE, we have to admit it. We’re in a love-hate relationship with the company. Deep down, we love each other, but sometimes we just don’t know how to show it and instead of hugs, we have bitter fights. You know how you’re in a love-hate relationship with the WWE? You love several parts of the company, but hate other parts. There are intense emotions that stir in you but sometimes those emotions will lack deep connections. A never ending cycle of break-ups and make-ups is in your life as a WWE fan. As we watch WWE’s Monday Night RAW from our homes, sometimes the things they do just make us want to change the channel.
With hundreds of channel options for some people, WWE has a lot of competition and they don’t want you changing the channel. Like all relationships, sometimes the WWE just does things without realizing the consequences of their decisions. These consequences could be as small as fans changing the channel or a more drastic response, such as fans burning every single piece of merchandise they bought from the WWE. Without further ado, here are 15 reasons why fans have to change the channel when watching the WWE.
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15 Repeated Promos and Videos
How many times are we going to see the same promo or interview for a big match coming up? WWE loves repetition such as repeating the same lines or showing the same video over and over again. The strategy is a hallmark of their programming. We understand that the WWE wants to feed you a certain narrative and repeating it helps that narrative sink in, however, don’t you just get tired of seeing the same thing and want to switch over to another channel?
Constantly repeating a video or promo can draw away the attention of a fan who has already seen it enough times. When Roman Reigns comes out for three weeks in a row and says “I’m the guy,” you kind of lose interest. Showing the same results of a match three or four times during a RAW episode doesn’t help keep the viewer’s attention and repeating the same talking points gets annoying. This is why we change the channel.
14 Michael Cole
No offense to Mr. Cole, he is a workhorse, has always been professional, and probably has taken more bull from McMahon than many others who’ve passed through the company. He’s been with the company since the 90s and will be a Hall of Famer for sure. You can never talk about the WWE’s history and achievements without mentioning Cole. Plus, being the play-by-play man is the hardest job in commentary.
With that said, Michael Cole’s voice, demeanor, character, and mannerisms have been shoved down our throats for so long it seems as if the over saturation of Cole has us all wishing he got promoted to a more prominent position in the back. You can mute the television but that’s no fun and when Cole is spewing out obvious talking points, or is part of an interview segment, you just want to change the channel. New Era should mean new commentary.
13 Squash Matches
WWE has wanted to get back to squash matches within their programming for the “New Era.” If you don’t know what a squash match is, it is when an unknown wrestler, usually a local talent, helps advance the gimmick of another wrestler in the promotion by becoming a glorified punching bag. This was a prominent strategy used in the last century.
Today, WWE fans are seeing wrestlers such as Braun Strowman and Nia Jax wrestle squash matches with local talent. The only problem is that everyone over the age of 10 probably knows it’s a squash match and there isn’t any real substance to it. We get that Strowman and Jax are supposed to be indestructible warriors, however, when they squash a new opponent every week, it gets tiring and repetitive. It’s why we change the channel, because a squash match doesn’t have the same importance as it did decades ago.
12 Too Much Talking
We understand the WWE is about sports entertainment and not just wrestling. It’s why they have non-wrestling shows on their network. It’s why they bring in musicians, actors, and entertainers for certain segments. Telling a story is just as important as the wrestling, but sometimes it can be a little too much. How many times did The Authority come out to start Raw and literally talked for 20 minutes straight?
More than we can count and we bet many people changed the channel because of all the talking. We understand you have to set up the big angle for the night but do you have to go on every week and say the same thing over and over again? No, you don’t and we’re glad they've started to make changes to this during the New Era. With only a small minority in the WWE that can keep the attention span of the audience for a long time, let us have more wrestling and less chatter please.
11 Terrible Crowds
Crowds can certainly change the atmosphere of a match or event. It’s why ECW seemed so appealing, because every time they hosted an event, the crowds became part of the show. The same can be said for NXT at Full Sail Arena in Florida, as they can make any match seem very exciting. We would like to think wrestling fans are some of the craziest and best fans in the world and can make a difference in wrestling.
Meaningful chants can stick with a wrestler for their entire career, outstanding maneuvers, and spots that give us goosebumps are received by a standing ovation, and praising the efforts of wrestlers after match always is a great sight to see. When WWE strolls into a building and the fans are lifeless, then that’s a problem for both the WWE and those at home. Sure, terrible crowds aren’t a major reason for changing the channel, but it still can be one reason as to why you grab the remote. If the crowd doesn't seem into it, why should we be?
10 No Sense of Urgency
Storytelling is one of the most important elements in wrestling. You need a story to explain why these guys are battling each other. Give the fans a reason to cheer for their champions and boo those they hate. Stories are a key part of a three-hour show on Raw. The sense of urgency to stay glued to the program is lacking though. Many times when they cut to a commercial mid-match, all the wrestlers are taking a break outside the ring. A reason to keep the channel on and stick through the commercials isn’t there because you know the wrestlers will continue the match and you usually don’t miss much.
When the first hour of Raw is over and the second hour is just beginning, there’s no urgency to sit through the program to wait for what happens next. Surprises are minimal and the only storyline that they do give us some urgency with is usually the last match of the night. They rarely end with cliffhangers that leave you wanting more for next week and they don’t make every match seem important for every superstar who performs. With no sense of urgency, our emotions can’t get caught up into staying tuned in to find out what’s next.
9 Bad Segments
Terrible acting, cringe-worthy theater, and horrible storytelling can easily make a fan want to change a channel. It could be a segment backstage or smack dab in the middle of the ring, but a terrible segment can destroy a feud or idea. The intro music hits, an elite superstar comes out and you’re all hyped for what’s about to happen, but what happens becomes another terrible segment. Case in point, Vince McMahon’s “Million Dollar Mania,” in which Mr. McMahon would call people live on Raw and give them money.
It was a good idea but the segment was terrible as Vince dialling in a number and talking to someone came off as laughable at best. They ended the whole idea by making the set collapse on Vince, which wasn’t believable. Other segments include fake police, as everyone knows no one is going to be arrested and most recently WWE creative using Ric Flair’s deceased son in a segment with Charlotte. Stay classy WWE.
8 Meaningless Storylines
Some storylines naturally evolve in wrestling, others are just great ideas coming out of the creative department, but far too often, the fans have seen storylines that go absolutely nowhere. The main storylines for the titles do alright, but we're talking about the under-card to mid-card storylines that vanish within a few weeks of appearing. It frustrates us so much that there is no beginning, middle, and end. WWE just stops talking about it and acts like it never happened.
For instance, the whole dating affair between Lana, Rusev, Dolph Ziggler, and Summer Rae, ended as quickly as it began. All parties have gone back to their gimmicks pre-feud, so the storyline did nothing to evolve each character. Storylines that don’t push the development of a character shouldn’t be on television. From the bottom of the card to the top, everyone should have a meaningful story, otherwise, you’ll have fans changing the channel.
7 Celebrities No One Cares About
Some celebrities are true fans, such as actors Seth Green and Stephen Amell, and musician Snoop Dogg, however, we have also seen many celebrities that are only there to promote their project. Those celebrities are one of the reasons we change the channel. Who wasn’t vehemently upset when Kevin Federline made an appearance at WWE’s Cyber Sunday in 2006? I’m sure Cena haters loved that Federline pinned him, but still, Kevin Federline.
Let us not forget former Subway spokesman and now disgraced Jared Fogle making an appearance on Raw in 2012. What about Grumpy Cat meeting The Miz on an edition of Raw in 2014? Many fans don’t really care about these celebrities, so they change the channel. Sometimes, WWE can get it right with the celebrities that they bring in, however, each fan has their own tastes in entertainment and if they don’t like a certain person, they’re probably changing the channel.
6 Not Enough Improvisation
We've covered failed storylines, too much talking, and bad segments, but what if we told you there could be a cure to all these issues within the WWE? Improvising. It means to perform an act of art in a spontaneous way with no preparations. In other words, it means just winging it. Some of the best lines from movies and music come improvisation. Unscripted moments in the WWE are what’s best for business and what’s best for the fans.
Mick Foley’s second fall during the Hell in the Cell at King of the Ring 98, The Rock talking to fans dressed up as Hulk Hogan, and the infamous Madison Square Garden Curtain call are just some examples of great improvisation that are remembered to this day. When a fan knows the exact mannerisms, delivery speech, and story, the program becomes stale and we change the channel. Improvisation can change all that.
5 Repetitive Matches
How many times have we seen the same two wrestlers duke it out on television before their big match in a PPV? Many times is the answer. Whether it’s live television or house shows, wrestlers in a feud are constantly working the same matches over and over again. Sure there are subtle changes, such as how the win occurs or what spots to take, however, it’s still the same two in the ring every week. It can get boring unless both wrestlers go crazy and perform new material every match.
What happened to not allowing two wrestlers to touch until a PPV? One example is an oldie but a goodie. In the 90s, Paul Heyman’s ECW pitted Taz against Sabu. Heyman, the genius that he is, made sure these two wouldn’t be in a ring together for the longest of times. Everything built up to ECW’s Barely Legal in 1997. Needless to say, the story and match became a success.
4 Predictable Outcomes
We can refer to squash matches as just one of many ways the fans see a predictable outcome happening. As fans, we love to be swerved and not knowing what’s coming around the corner. When you know the champion isn’t going to lose a title match on one of the television shows, or a wrestler is getting a push, the predictability of outcomes makes it harder to watch the program.
The same can be said for an obvious DQ in a match because WWE feels obligated not to make one wrestler look weaker over the other. You just know a chair shot or interference is going to happen due to the circumstances surrounding the match. We can give WWE credit as of late. For instance, both Finn Balor and Apollo Crews won clean matches in their respective brands to earn title shots at SummerSlam. No one saw that coming and gave a buzz to this year’s SummerSlam.
3 Terrible Booking
Booking a match or feud is just as important as the wrestling itself. You have to find the right chemistry and timing between the two or more wrestlers to get the fans really buzzing about something. For instance, timing Finn Balor’s arrival to the big stage with the debut of a spanking new championship (Universal Championship) is great booking. Having NXT’s most dominant tag team in history, The Ascension, debut by getting beat down by members of the nWo and The New Age Outlaws is bad booking. Many fans throw their arms up in the air and ask why these two wrestlers are feuding.
It’s the reason we change the channel, because we just can’t deal with terrible booking. A recent example of terrible booking with little to no explanation is when Neville’s mystery partner on Monday Night RAW was Sin Cara. Fans asked why and apparently WWE listened because Neville partnered up with Sami Zayn in a match against The Dudley Boyz at SummerSlam, where they won. Quite simply, bad booking means changing the channel.
2 Pushing Wrestlers Fans Hate
We believe everyone has an idea of who the main example would be for this. Vince McMahon loves pushing his own guys and doesn’t give care what anyone thinks. The obvious wrestler who has been pushed the hardest since John Cena is Roman Reigns. How many nights did he end a Raw with a Superman punch and spear? Countless episodes have been catered just to make him look strong and people get turned off when they know their being hoodwinked.
Reigns can be the poster child for the reason why fans turned the channel because they hate who is being pushed. It’s not Reigns' fault, anyone would say yes to being pushed. We blame it on one man and that’s Mr. McMahon. Reigns hasn't been the only one either, as you can make a case for Braun Strowman as well.
We all know that advertisements can drive the income of a corporation and this case can be made for the mass media conglomerate, Comcast, which owns the USA channel, home of WWE’s Raw. Give us a hell yeah if you were enjoying the opening match between superstar “A” and superstar “B” only to be devastated when Michael Cole says, “we'll be right back.”
Not only has the WWE cut off a match once, but sometimes twice because of commercials. The repetitive advertisements can take a toll on the television viewer as well, with Raw being three hours long, it doesn’t help the situation when the viewer gets bombarded with the same advertisements while trying to watch their favorite program. We don’t want to watch commercials from industries such as the pharmaceutical or motor vehicle industry, we want to watch wrestling.
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