WWE deserves a ton of credit for building wrestling into the entertainment juggernaut that it has become in the past thirty years. Vince McMahon was able to capitalize on featuring high profile talents on a national stage, slowly building his empire over North America. Although he absorbed many territories, some refused to go down without a fight, giving the WWE competition during most of the 80s and 90s.
The WWE’s biggest competitor, which was funded by billionaire Ted Turner, was World Championship Wrestling. Although they battled for half a decade, WWE came out on top, and eventually absorbed their once fierce competitors. With all of his competition gone, Vince McMahon was forced to come up with another way to drive business, and decided to split up his own brands, making Raw and Smackdown two separate entities.
Internally the WWE encouraged a fierce competition between the two shows, which lasted for a few years into the late 2000s. After the WWE roster was combined again into one brand, the creative team began to get stale, with no competition to drive them to be better. With the lack of motivation to push the product, most things in the WWE became watered down, and lost their prestige. Wrestling titles were completely taken off of television, characters were not properly developed, and WWE programming became a shell of its former self.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there is a direct correlation between when WWE became a monopoly, and when certain areas in the WWE began to lose their prestige. This article will focus on the top 15 things that have lost their edge, with most of them taking place within the past five years.
As always feel free to let us know your opinions and what we missed in the comments below.
16 World Heavyweight Title
The World Heavyweight Title was always synonymous with NWA, and more specifically the Nature Boy Ric Flair. You may be asking yourself, “why is this belt on here, it isn’t even on WWE programming anymore”; well that is the problem.
15 WWE Championship
So you’re probably trying to figure out if this list is going to be about all of the WWE title belts; the answer is no. The reason that the current WWE Championship is added to this list, is due to the quality of reigns, and title holders.
14 Royal Rumble Match
”Oh man who is it going to be”
”I read that Kurt Angle is coming back”
2… 1… BUZZZZZ… “I AM THE BOOGEYMAN, AND I”M COMING TO GETCHA”
13 WrestleMania Undercard
WrestleMania is supposed to be the showcase of the immortals for the WWE, displaying the best of what professional wrestling has to offer. Over the past few years, with stars retiring, wrestlers losing a step, or just general bad luck in the company, the WrestleMania pay per view has lost a bit of its steam.
12 John Cena
John Cena has been the poster boy for the WWE for over a decade, carrying the WWE on his shoulders for most of that time. As the years have progressed, Cena has lost a bit of his edge, in fact the star doesn’t even split the crowd the way he used to.
10 King of the Ring
The King of the Ring tournament used to be a month long event, that would eventually crown someone as the next big thing in the WWE. When WWE deviated from the annual style of the pay per view, it was the first sign that the tournament was devalued.
9 Survivor Series
7 Vince McMahon
6 Monday Night Raw
When Monday Night Raw started, it was the first nationally syndicated wrestling television show. Fast forward about 25 years, and show is still going strong; in the sense that WWE has never missed an episode.
5 Money in the Bank Match
The concept for the Money in the Bank match was brilliant, showcasing 6-8 stars in a ladder match during the WrestleMania pay per view. What started as a great, unpredictable, entertaining match, has transformed into a gimmick that WWE has ruined. The concept itself is overused, having been turned into an entire pay per view for the past few years.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts used to finish off his opponents with a single DDT; let that sink in for a second. Now that you realize that matches used to end with a single finisher, think about every big match of 2015 - specifically the John Cena/Kevin Owens feud.
3 The Mid-card
WWE has always had a pretty deep roster, with most of the mid-card talents being top stars from other territories/promotions. During the Attitude Era you could turn on an episode of Raw or Smackdown and see an entertaining segment from the top of the show, to the bottom of the show.
If you took the win/loss record for everyone on the WWE roster right now, and turned them into a percentage, chances are most of the Superstars would be sitting at about 50%. Although this may seem like a good thing, as no one loses more than half their matches, it actually is one of the biggest factors that has hurt WWE in recent years.
1 WWE Ratings
The WWE Network has officially changed the game for all of entertainment. The awards and the recognition that the WWE has received from multiple outlets for the network has made them blind to any criticism for their weekly product. Because the corporate office knows that they have a steady stream of income with the network, it seems that the weekly product and ratings are less of a priority for the creative team. Prior to the planning of the network, WWE was working without a safety net; now they can afford to drop the ball from week to week and deliver sub-par television.
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