WWE is a multi-million dollar company and Vince McMahon is a billionaire. It is pretty safe to say that he has his share of problems with his gigantic ego. A power hungry, control freak billionaire is the last person in the world who you would want to go up against. There is only one winner in that argument and usually things end with Vince McMahon getting what Vince McMahon wants to get.
Vince McMahon has held the veto card in terms of creative control in the company for decades now and to his credit, Vince has come up with some very entertaining angles along with some outlandish and well, some downright ridiculous angles. But regardless of the outcome, the WWE has stuck to its guns and have even gone against the common consensus or the general plea from their audience on several occasions. It is almost as if the WWE does not care what the fans want and here we look at 15 times when WWE did not listen us.
15 The Mystery Surrounding Zack Ryder’s Push
Truth be told, Zack Ryder is one of the most likable guys on the WWE roster. Zack Ryder was a jobber and he got over with the fans thanks to his YouTube channel series called “Z! True Long Island Story” in 2011. Fans loved his comical web series which was a collection of short comments from Ryder, containing references to wrestling and pop culture.
Fans started chants like “We want Ryder” at Raw and also at pay-per-view events when Ryder was not even supposed to feature. He sold merchandise without featuring on television and WWE finally decided to give him a push. He had segments with John Cena which is like the highest level of screen time you can get in WWE.
But as things unfolded, although Ryder did win individual titles over the years, somehow he got buried even before he could spread his wings. Be it thrown off the stage by Kane or losing his Intercontinental title to ‘The Miz’ just one day (yes, one day) after winning it at WrestleMania 32, he always seems to get less than he deserves. Ryder’s career pattern remains a mystery and even with the fans loving him, WWE does not seem to be consistent enough with him.
14 Selling The $9.99 WWE Network
February 24, 2014 is a very momentous day in the history of the WWE. That was the day when they launched the WWE Network, which was available at just $9.99. Miss some of the old matches? Well, you can watch them on the WWE Network for just $9.99. Pay-per-view event? You know you can watch them on the WWE Network for just $9.99.
There was a $9.99 flag flying over WWE’s corporate headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. The WWE announcers kept on rambling about the $9.99 WWE Network on television and if that was not enough, the Authority and the WWE Wrestlers brought up the $9.99 in their promos too. It was on TV, in the ring and on the website too. The extensive advertising done by WWE for the WWE Network was beyond cringe worthy at one point of time but that did not bother the WWE who continued to push their product.
13 Banning Seth Rollins’ Curb Stomp
One of the most iconic moments in WWE would be Seth Rollins cashing in his ‘Money in the Bank’ contract at the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania. The crowd was on their feet as Seth Rollins delivered his signature finisher, the Curb Stomp, to Roman Reigns and won his first ever WWE Championship. But as it turns out, the WWE decided to ban Seth’s finisher and now we may never see WWE playing the historic WrestleMania 31 footage of that winning Curb Stomp ever again on television.
When reasoning the decision, WWE termed the move “too dangerous” and Seth Rollins himself was quoted saying, "It was a decision that was collectively made from a PR standpoint. Curb stomp just seemed like it was too perceptually violent, I guess you would say. I never hurt anyone with it. It was just something we didn't want kids trying on each other."
Clearly, the Curb Stomp was not the most dangerous move out there and the fans realize the same but with multiple lawsuits hurled at WWE by former wrestlers, the WWE turned a blind eye to what the fans wanted and banned the move permanently.
12 The Disaster that was the Divas Revolution
The Divas Revolution was meant to raise the standards of the women’s division in WWE and the looking at the talent coming in from NXT, the fans were genuinely excited for the takeover. The Bellas had overstayed their welcome at the top of the food chain and the WWE’s desire to take away AJ Lee’s longest title reign was successfully completed too. It was time for a change and fans were ready for it.
But the whole Divas Revolution had so many flaws and looked so clueless that it ended up as a complete disaster. There were random stables formed for no apparent reason, great in-ring performers like Sasha Banks and Natalya were not at the centre of it all. Also, as good as Charlotte is as a wrestler, the whole ‘Flair’ angle took over the revolution eventually.
By the end of it all, though, the Divas division got introduced to fresh new faces, the primary objective of the whole Divas Revolution brigade failed miserably. The Women's Revolution has gotten off to a much better start, with Sasha Banks having recently won the Women's Championship.
11 Damien Sandow Released by WWE
Right from, the ‘Intellectual Savior of the Masses’ to his tag team reign with Cody Rhodes, to his latest action double gimmick with The Miz, Damien Sandow made way into the hearts of millions of WWE fans every single time. It seemed like Damien Sandow will be propelled to main event status at some point and that was further cemented when he won the Money in the Bank in 2013.
But as things turned out, not only did Sandow get buried or pushed over in each of his gimmicks, but he also became the first wrestler in WWE history to unsuccessfully cash-in the ‘Money in the Bank’ contract when he lost to John Cena, who virtually wrestled with just one good arm.
From being a ‘Money in the Bank’ contract winner, to being a jobber, to finally being released by WWE, Sandow’s career progression has been one of the most bizarre ones in recent years.
10 The PG Era
Before you start making judgements, the "PG” part is not what made the the "PG Era” bad, as much as the writing and the overall lack of creativity did. Fans remember the Attitude Era and the Ruthless Aggression era for the blood and the sexual content, but what it mainly provided was entertainment for adults.
The PG era had no blood and hardly any violence, the most violent thing was probably people put through a table. It was repeated serving to the kids, which was annoying to most adult fans. Yes, we get it. John Cena is a superman who ‘Never Gives Up’ and will eventually conquer the bad guys. Story wise, this is good but when it is only one John Cena who repeatedly keeps doing the same thing, that makes it boring. And WWE continuously fed the fans the same thing over half a decade and it was not at all entertaining nor fun anymore.
9 The Boring General Managers
Last decade, we had Eric Bischoff as the Raw general manager and Stephanie McMahon has the SmackDown general manager. It was one of the best and the most interesting times for WWE in terms of rivalries and storylines. They had the fans invested.
Fast forward few years, and we have seen the likes of John Laurinaitis who, although did get some heat, was so boring when he talked that it was painful to hear him put sentences together. If that was not enough, we had Bret Hart, Mike Adamle, a host of celebrity general managers who did not add much to the show and even a laptop (yes, a laptop) as the anonymous general manager which was later revealed to be Hornswoggle. Pretty sure, that explains exactly how bad the general manager merry-go-round was, which Raw, SmackDown and the fans had to suffer from.
Mick Foley and Daniel Bryan are much more inspired choices and it seems WWE has learned from past mistakes in this department.
8 Brock Lesnar Ending The Undertaker’s WrestleMania Streak
Should WWE have ended Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak or should they have let him retire with his legacy intact? Should Brock Lesnar have been the one to end the streak or should they have got some other legendary superstar to end it? There are some questions which have no definite right or wrong answers to.
Brock Lesnar is not a full-time wrestler at WWE. Brock Lesnar has even went on record to claim that WWE is just a business for him and that he is not as passionate and devoted to it as the others in the locker room. Add to that, the fact that the build-up to the Lesnar vs. Undertaker WrestleMania match was nowhere close to what some of the previous rivalries did which 'Taker had at WrestleMania.
Legends like Triple H and Shawn Michaels, both tried twice to end the streak and were unsuccessful earlier. Brock Lesnar tried once and got the job done. There could be multiple reasons behind the decision but it certainly felt that WWE certainly didn't have the fans' wishes in mind.
7 Muting Chants and taking away Signs from Fans
It is no secret that the WWE fans have started to voice their opinion A LOT more than they used to earlier. Right from posting on social media to the arenas, people make sure that they express what they feel. It is usually the good healthy chants which have been going on for years now but in recent years, the fans have been frustrated beyond their patience or so it seems. In all fairness, the WWE has brought it upon themselves.
Serving fans the 958th re-run of John Cena versus Randy Orton or having Big Show and the Kane jobbing to “The Guy” of the industry, has NOT been welcomed graciously by few live audiences. So much so that, WWE has had to mute some of the chants like “same old s***” and “please retire” hurled at Big Show, Kane and Reigns. There have also been instances when few signboards have been taken away from the fans. How can WWE do this to fans? Because they can!
6 No Push for Cesaro
Good looks. Super Strong. Wears a suit and shades. One of the most talented in-ring performers on the roster. He is the probably the closest thing to the ‘Transporter’ and Jason Statham that WWE have ever had and if you have watched the movie, you know that is some level of awesomeness. Yet, Cesaro having signed with the WWE since 2011, has not had a major main-event push.
When Vince McMahon was questioned about it by Steve Austin, Vince said that it was only because “Cesaro has failed to connect with the WWE audience probably because he’s Swiss.”
Now, I do not know what show Vince watches week-in, week-out but on my screen I have seen a ‘Cesaro section’ in almost every arena that Cesaro has performed in. The fans love him and he has even improved considerably on his mic skills. But it does not matter what the fans think or the fans want, what matters is what the higher authority want.
5 Dolph Ziggler Buried
Dolph Ziggler is a fantastic athlete and has provided the fans with two very memorable moments in the last half decade. First, when he cashed in his ‘Money in the Bank’ contract against Alberto Del Rio on Raw, which got one of the loudest pops in RAWs history and second being when he overcame a 3-on-1 situation at Survivor Series 2014 to help Team John Cena pick up the win over Team Authority.
So how does such an OVER guy not get a push after such high points in his career and is eventually put into an awful “Love Quadrangle” with Lana, Rusev and Summer Rae? Some say he opened his mouth in interviews in ways that the higher authority did not approve of, while others just blame it on backstage politics. Whatever the reason be, when you keep making such a talented wrestler job randomly and do not write a proper storyline for him, you are disrespecting, not just the wrestler, but the fans as well.
4 Wyatt Family Being Wasted
When the Wyatt Family came to WWE, they had a scary aura about them. The creepy promos of Bray Wyatt and his family members created a sense of fear. The darkness which the Wyatts stood for was evident from day one. It was perfect for them to push up and go on to become one of the greatest stables in WWE history.
But what actually happened was an absolute rollercoaster ride. Having feuds against Daniel Bryan, John Cena to facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania, Bray Wyatt faced the top names in the industry and failed to beat them. He consistently pulled off great promos and when it mattered in the big matches, they pulled him down instead of putting him over. The Wyatts carried off The Undertaker at Hell In a Cell 2015, only to lose to the Brothers of Destruction at the following pay-per-view event Survivor Series and in convincing fashion.
They build the hype around the Wyatt Family and they extinguish it before anything productive happens for their characters leaving the fans in a dilemma.
3 No Daniel Bryan in the Royal Rumble
Alberto Del Rio entered at number 27.
Batista at number 28.
Big E got to the ring at number 29.
It was time for number 30 and the fans couldn’t stop chanting, almost desperately, for Daniel Bryan to enter the 2014 Royal Rumble match.
The arena was filled with “Yes" chants and the countdown to number 30 began. And it was…
The crowd favorite, the one name that the entire WWE universe wanted to win the Royal Rumble match, was not even a contestant in it. A returning Batista won the Royal Rumble match and the show ended with boos and “Daniel Bryan” chants and deservedly so.
The current Raw general manager, Mick Foley took to Twitter to express his displeasure about the decision after that Royal Rumble and he was quoted tweeting.
“Does @WWE actually hate their own audience? I've never been so disgusted with a PPV.”
It is very safe to say, his words are dead accurate.
2 Roman Reigns as the New Face of WWE
Until very recently, Roman Reigns was being shoved down our throats as the ‘New face of WWE’. He put up a great performance at his debut Survivor Series match. Reigns also broke Kane’s record for most number of eliminations in a Royal Rumble match. Then it was as if WWE decided to light up his tail and rocket him to the top even though the fans were clearly against it.
You could hear the fans booing, some still do, at the very thought of Roman Reigns being the champion. It was not until the last month that Roman Reigns suffered his first ‘CLEAN’ loss in a singles competition.
The whole ‘one against all’ gimmick does not work for a huge guy like Roman as compared to someone like an Austin or a Daniel Bryan. It's something the WWE never seemed to understand and continued to push him.
1 John Cena Heel Turn
“Hustle. Loyalty. Respect!”
“Never Give Up!”
“Never back down from a fight.”
“You want some, come get some.”
“John Cena kicks out at 2.”
“Big match John.”
“Cena wins LOL”
That sequence probably perfectly describes how people would picture John Cena and his baby face gimmick. Kids love him, parents love it that their kids love him. Vince loves it that parents buy their kids John Cena merchandise. It’s a complete win, isn’t it? NO!
Over time, John Cena just got boring. Do not get me wrong, John Cena is still one of the best wrestlers in the world. He has arguably done more for the company than any wrestler in the history of WWE. But as fans, people just got tired of Mr.Fruity Pebbles and were begging for him to turn heel.
In what seems a ludicrous and improbable wish now, but a heel turn at some point of time in his career would have helped John Cena’s character immensely. He has earlier proven that he is a great heel and reports suggest he was even open for a heel turn but the writers declined the idea.
The sales and the image would be hampered by a John Cena heel turn but that is what the fans were yearning for since years and it just did not arrive.