When it comes to professional wrestling, the WWE has always been one of the first companies to come to ones mind considering how large and successful of a promotion it is. Ask anyone who's not a wrestling fan if they know what the WWE is, and the answer you'll get 90% of the time is a firm "yes." The WWE is truly Sports Entertainment, and they try their best to appeal to more people across the globe then just hardcore "wrasslin" fans. Instead, WWE markets their product as "Sports Entertainment" (really just a fancy word for saying soap opera revolving around pro-wrestling). The WWE surely didn't become such a huge global organization without hard work and effort, and Vince McMahon is constantly praised for his dedication of putting the WWE on another level above all the other wrestling promotions.
However, no wrestling company is perfect (some worse than others, clearly), and the WWE definitely has its fair share of shortcomings. Speaking on shortcomings, if I'm going to be honest here, the WWE's product has been lacking in excitement and intrigue as of late, and many hardcore fans would call the shows to be somewhat "stale." I'd have to say that the WWE has been at its lowest point in years in terms of relevance and coolness factor, and there are plenty of unsettling facts or reasons behind this unfortunate reality. It's unknown up to this point if the WWE will ever fully recover from this "slump," though it can only really get better from here - I mean, how could the product possibly get any worse? (Don't answer that). Stay tuned, as this list divulges 15 unsettling (and true) facts about the WWE.
15 15. WWE Edits Taped Shows Sound In Their Favor
If you weren't aware, the WWE is widely known to "pump in" noise into their taped weekly shows (Main Event, Superstars) as well as the old SmackDown from Thursday nights which used to be taped live on Tuesdays. Also, the WWE is known to muffle out sounds they don't want aired on their YouTube videos (stuff like "Roman sucks" et cetera) to protect their "chosen Superstars." Instead of hearing these kinds of chants clearly and loudly, the WWE muffles out the sound so you cannot hear exactly what the fans are chanting.
Though some may consider this to simply be a business move, it's still fairly unsettling to know that WWE wishes to ignore their fans interaction with whatever is going on inside the ring if it isn't in-line with what management wants. Had crowds been chanting "Roman rocks," you'd be damn sure that the company would make those chants highly audible in their videos. As far as the taped shows, things such as pops, boos and cheers are all added into the broadcasts. One last thing, have you ever noticed that the boos for Roman Reigns live on television are recognizable, yet they aren't on YouTube? Well, this unsettling fact comes into play yet again.
14 14. WWE Puts In Little To No Effort Creating Intriguing Storylines
Have you ever noticed that the quality of WWE's storylines have increasingly gone down hill? If you haven't, then allow me to explain. Back in the "golden years" of professional wrestling, the WWE focused on creating not only intriguing characters, but exciting and well done storylines with a clear beginning, and a concise ending. However, as the years have pressed on (especially starting around WWE's "New Era"), the average WWE storyline is extraordinarily bland, boring, and simply not executed very well. Instead, the typical storyline is thrown together extremely quick, the "feud" circles around a few throwaway meaningless matches, and the storyline ends abruptly - no one usually comes out of a storyline any better than they were before.
It's as if the WWE are just "going through the motions" when it comes to their storylines, and for whatever odd reason, Creative seems to think that throwing together matches that sound intriguing on paper are enough to carry a whole storyline that lacks any depth. This is becoming increasingly clear with the WWE's recent feuds. Take for example the Jinder Mahal/Randy Orton feud. Instead of developing Mahal as a character to further enhance their storyline, WWE has simply repeated the stupid "intolerance" and "anti-America" shtick.
13 13. Most (If Not All) Promos Are Heavily Scripted
Like storylines, WWE continues to force their Superstars to regurgitate scripted and monotony-ridden promos on a weekly basis. Instead of allowing their Superstars even the slightest creative freedom to go out there and establish a connection with the audience and enhance their overall character, WWE waters down any such opportunity with the promos they give their stars to read literally word-for-word. The WWE is only focused on remaining a clean-cut organization, and they're too scared to take any possible risks because they don't want any Superstars blurting out something controversial that would garner the company negative PR.
Well WWE, when you play it so safe, the product is too boring for words. Have you ever found yourself watching a Roman Reigns promo and ask yourself "could this possibly be any worse and robotic?" How the WWE expects a babyface Roman Reigns to establish a real connection with the fanbase to encourage them to root for him with his scripted promos is beyond me. Fans can sense what's unauthentic, and everyone can see it with Roman's among most other current WWE Superstars' promos. This is truly an unsettling reality, and it continues to worsen which is pretty sad.
12 12. Commentators Are Constantly Being Told What To Say By Vince McMahon
Vincent Kennedy McMahon definitely likes to keep a tight leash on his company, that's for sure. Commentators are a crucial part of the wrestling business, as I'm sure most of you enjoyed legendary commentary from the likes of Jim Ross during matches which only added excitement to the bouts. That's what commentary is supposed to be - it's supposed to add excitement and play-by-play talk in an authentic, non-scripted kind of way. However, like pretty much all other aspects related to WWE, everything has become watered down with time.
Instead of allowing their commentators to genuinely interact with fans watching from home, the WWE has key employees backstage barking in the ears of the commentators to spew out propaganda that better suits the company. Have you ever noticed when Michael Cole goes on a tangent about how strong "The Big Dog" is, or how great of a spot something was (when it really wasn't), that's all Vince McMahon. Of course it makes sense to some degree to keep the commentators talking about relevant things during a match, but it comes across as overly scripted when everything coming out of the likes of JBL's, Byron Saxton's and Michael Cole's mouth sounds unauthentic.
11 11. WWE Continues To Squander Away Talented Superstars
One of the most unsettling facts about current WWE is that they continue to squander away talented performers. When you think of underrated performers that are being misused or mistreated, who comes to mind? For me, names such as Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, Tye Dillinger, Cesaro and Luke Harper come to my mind as WWE Superstars who are being squandered away in mediocrity. All of the names I've mentioned COULD be potential big stars or main eventers if WWE presented them as such, but instead, WWE continues to book all of them extremely poorly as if they don't care whatsoever about their futures within the company.
Sure, Dolph Ziggler may be nearing retirement now, but he could've been a solid upper-midcarder with credibility for his entire run. Guys like Rusev, Dillinger, Cesaro and Harper could all be utilized as much larger key players - the stars of tomorrow. Instead, WWE throws these select guys (among others) under the bus time and time again, and the company feeds them to the "chosen ones." You can't have a dynamic and interesting roster with five guys, and all of these mentioned performers among others could help bring some relevance to WWE if they actually booked them with some thought.
10 10. The Cruiserweight Division Has Been A Complete Flop
When the idea initially started to circle around among the wrestling community, you would have found very few fans who weren't excited about the possibility of having a Cruiserweight Division once again in the WWE. When the CWC aired, fans began to feel true excitement considering the event was delivering on every level (performances were fantastic most of the time). Everyone was excited when WWE went ahead with the idea of adding a Cruiserweight Division to their roster with a new weekly show "205 Live," but unfortunately, the show and the Division as a whole has been a complete and utter flop.
Yes, Neville has seen a career resurgence since joining the CW Division, but he's basically the only thing worth while in the dying Division following Austin Aries departure from WWE. Austin felt as though he was being held back among the Cruiserweights, and I certainly can't argue with him over that. Most of the wrestlers on 205 Live are solid, but most of them are the epitome of a "vanilla midget" or "spot monkey." On top of things, the storylines are atrocious most of the time, and very little thought is put into creating intriguing characters and feuds to convince fans to care about the Cruiserweights. Once again, an unsettling fact about WWE that's absolutely true.
9 9. John Cena Will Be Retiring Soon
An unsettling fact or truth that wrestling fans (specifically WWE fans) must accept is that John Cena will be retiring soon, despite always claiming that he's "never leaving." Even if John Cena himself wanted to remain a WWE guy, his expanding acting career will unfortunately take him away from the ring completely in the near future (his age is a huge factor as well) much like The Rock. Recently, Cena spoke with Complex News regarding a possible retirement, and John mentioned the following: "I don't know how many years I have left."
It's an unfortunate (and unsettling) reality, especially considering babyface Roman Reigns will be replacing him. Cena's now a "free agent" who's able to work on both Raw and SmackDown, and this move tells me that WWE are trying to get as much as they possibly can out of John Cena before he calls it quits. John Cena is undoubtedly the biggest draw the company has, and without him, I seriously can't begin to imagine how his absence will affect the WWE as a whole. Though some fans despise him, for the majority of us, John Cena's impending retirement is truly an unsettling fact that's hard to accept.
8 8. WWE Continues To Rely On Part-Timers To Draw In Fans Instead Of Establishing New Stars
One of the most unsettling facts about the WWE today is in regards to the company continuing to rely on big name "stars of the past" in order to draw in fan to their product. This all falls back on the company's lack of building up an established roster with newly created "stars". And what I mean by "stars" is not just great in-ring performers, but I mean legitimate-feeling Superstars who are booked as such. One example of this notion is the WWE's usage of 50 year old Bill Goldberg. Instead of creating new and intriguing storylines, the company decided to bring Goldberg out of the retirement home (obviously sarcasm for effect) to re-hash a feud with his former foe, Brock Lesnar.
Sure, this sounds interesting on paper, but few fans were at all excited for their WrestleMania clash whatsoever. Another example of this notion is the recent return of the greatest professional wrestler of all time, The Great Khali. Jeez, I mean how could things possibly be any more screwed up? The WWE has a full roster of potential stars-in-the-making, but the company would rather give us established old names of the past who work a couple of dates for a big fat paycheck, and then leave. This is not how you draw in fans for the long term at all. This tactic is nothing more than a short-term fix which only compounds the problem later on.
7 7. Booking Doesn't Matter Anymore
As the SmackDown's lead writer Road Dogg blatantly stated via Twitter last year in regards to a tweet about Kevin Owens continuously losing his matches: "wins and losses don't count, it's about character and he's a winner!" I honestly don't understand how the WWE could imagine that wins and losses don't matter. Sure, pro wrestling's a work, but to the fans, it's supposed to be somewhat "real", so how could wins/losses not matter? You can't create Superstars by having them lose most or every match. Do you think The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, John Cena, Batista or any other big names would've become such huge stars in the fans eyes had they lost more matches than they won?
Back in the day, there was a clear separation between the top guys, the middle guys, and the bottom of the barrel guys. The booking clearly reflected where certain performers stood on the pecking order, and the fans knew exactly who were "the stars." Now a days, everyone (besides a couple huge names) are booked almost identically with what we all call, "50/50" booking. Sorry WWE, but no one ever gets ahead in the fans eyes if they win one night, and then lose the next. It's definitely an unsettling fact, and it's one of the factors as to why the current WWE product is suffering.
6 6. Triple H And Stephanie McMahon Will Eventually Run The Company
Though some fans may be happy that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon will eventually take over the WWE, for others, it's an unsettling fact or reality that must be accepted. Vince McMahon has long been dubbed Vince "out of touch" McMahon for some of his wacky and downright awful ideas, but since Hunter has stepped up into more prominent positions, the current product couldn't really be any more lackluster.
Sure, fans can appreciate the fact that Trips has been bringing in some "Indy darlings" to create a more dynamic roster, but the majority of the storylines, the booking and overall presentation of its talent hasn't really ever been worse. Obviously we can't just blame Hunter for this, but he's far from being a genius. Regardless of what people say, Vince McMahon is slowly passing over the reigns to Hunter and Stephanie, and he's giving them more responsibility within the company. However, I'm not convinced up to this point that the WWE will have a very bright future with this duo at the helm.
5 5. Current Creative Team Is God Awful
One of the most widely discussed unsettling facts about WWE is in regards to the current Creative Team. No one knows exactly who's on WWE's Creative, but whoever the group consists of, they should all immediately be removed. The current storylines that dominate the WWE scene today are quite often beyond boring and cringey, and it would certainly take a bunch of people who have absolutely no idea what wrestling fans want to see to be creating many of them. Many Superstars lack a solid direction, many feuds seems like nothing more than "filler feuds" (John Cena versus Rusev in that Flag Match at the Battleground pay-per-view being one of them), and the promos performers are given couldn't be more bland and robotic.
Who can be blamed for this aside Vince McMahon himself? The Creative Team and its writers. Creative Writers are in charge of almost everything regarding the WWE's Superstars, and they are the first ones who can be blamed for providing all of us with boring television. Many WWE Superstars have gone on record to talk negatively when it comes to WWE's current Creative Writers, and I think it's high time Vince looks for a new group of writers who possess the slightest knowledge of what works, and what doesn't in professional wrestling.
4 4. WWE Focusing On Making As Much Money As Possible Over Pleasing Its Loyal Fanbase
An unsettling reality about current WWE is the fact that they're now more focused on bringing in as much money as possible over pleasing its loyal fanbase with a better overall product. Recently, the WWE have embarked on a mission to expand their company's presence in the very diverse and large country, India. If you weren't aware, India is one of the largest WWE-consuming countries around, and the WWE is looking to "cash in" on this market. However, despite this all sounding like a good strategic business move in theory, the overall negative effect it's having on SmackDown specifically is something concerning.
Jinder Mahal is WWE's latest front man being pushed center stage to attract Indian fans to become WWE Network subscribers (even though he's from Canada). Why is this bad? Well, if you haven't watched SmackDown lately, Jinder Mahal is the WWE Champion, and he's the guy steering the ship over on the Blue Brand. Considering Mahal has literally zero credibility with fans in North America, his sudden rise to the top has only negatively affected the perception of WWE's overall product. That said, with record low viewership plaguing much of 2017, this unsettling fact about WWE seeking to make money elsewhere over pleasing its fans close to home may prove to be fruitful - though it's pissing off the remaining loyal fans out here that have to witness Jinder Mahal as the flagship champ.
3 3. The Current Tag Team Division Is Doomed
Now I don't want to sound like a total "negative Nelly," but the unsettling fact regarding WWE's tag team division being doomed is all too real. A while ago, the WWE looked as if they were focusing more spotlight on the underrated and underappreciated (not to mention talented) tag team division with teams such as The New Day leading the division. However, as time has pressed on, it has become increasingly clear that tag teams are not one of WWE's biggest priorities at this point. Instead, the company has decided to split-up two tag teams prematurely that should have been the focal points of the division - Enzo and Big Cass, and American Alpha.
Both of these teams were extremely solid, and without them, the overall division is in shambles. Yes, we have The Hardy Boyz (soon to be broken up most likely), Sheamus and Cesaro, The Usos and The New Day, but the rest of the tag teams that make up the division are fairly lackluster. Most of the other teams are booked horrendously (Gallows and Anderson for example), and they lack any remote credibility to be taken seriously as threats for the Tag Team Championships. You can't have a prosperous division with only four solid teams, so the recent breakups indicate the unsettling truth that WWE isn't prioritizing their tag teams whatsoever. Instead, they're trying to cash in on potential singles stars in Big Cass and Jason Jordan.
2 2. Babyface Roman Reigns Is The Future
To most fans, likely the most unsettling fact about the WWE is in regards to the company's overall future with a babyface Roman Reigns front and center as the "face of the WWE." Though Reigns is far from being a "bad" wrestler (he's actually a very gifted athlete), Roman Reigns as a babyface screams utter failure. It doesn't seem like the WWE has been able to learn from their countless failed attempts of pushing Roman as a babyface character, and the company seems dead-set on presenting Reigns as such regardless of what the majority of their fanbase thinks.
And you guessed it, this is a horrible mistake. I'm not sure I completely understand who the WWE thinks they're pleasing by forcing Roman down our throats, but like most aspects of life, force usually indicates that something isn't working and needs to be reassessed. The thought of Roman Reigns replacing John Cena as the franchise babyface is a tough pill to swallow, as Reigns would be much better suited as a heel. Actually, let me add to that, Roman Reigns would be a money heel. However, our opinions seem to mean little to the WWE at the end of the day, and the unsettling reality of a babyface Roman Reigns leading the future of the company is inevitable.
1 1. World Championships Essentially Becoming Meaningless
By far the most unsettling fact about the WWE is regarding the company's World Championships (both Raw and SmackDown's) becoming essentially meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Over on SmackDown, we have a jobber-turned main eventer as the 50th WWE Champion, and on Monday Night Raw, we have a special appearance paper Universal Champion in Brock Lesnar. The company honestly seems like they're not putting in very much though when it comes down to who's carrying around the top championships, and as we delve into this supposed "New Era," the should-be most prestigious titles in Sports Entertainment are losing their value and importance at an alarming rate.
Instead of putting the belts on guys who have proved their worth to the company as a main event level talent, the WWE instead decided to hotshot the belt onto a complete jobber in Jinder Mahal. Now I don't hate Mahal by any stretch, but imagine the WWE placing the most prestigious title in the company on Jinder 10 years ago. Can't see it? Well, neither can I. The Universal Championship scene is no better with a paper title holder in Lesnar (and former champion Goldberg) who rarely appears on the show. It's truly unsettling to see just how diminished in importance the WWE's top championships have become. Imagine how devalued the WWE Championship would be if the company decides to give the likes of Mojo Rawley a run as the champ in the future (and yes, this is rumored to eventually happen).
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