WWE's booking is always the subject of criticism or praise, as the company is constantly pumping out content without a seasonal break. Often times, fans and the "experts" enjoy being critical instead of being optimistic about the company's booking decisions.
That being said, the criticism is, at times, justified, because there are times where WWE seems completely out of touch with its fan base based on the booking decisions they make.
Since 2000, the company has made plenty of good decisions, as they're making more money now than they ever had. But, while there has been some good, there has been a few bad decisions throughout the last 19 years, and here are just a few of them.
The opening match back at WrestleMania 28 featured Daniel Bryan defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against that year's Royal Rumble winner, Sheamus. Going into the match, Bryan had gained a ton of momentum by introducing his signature "YES!" chant, but the company had failed to recognize that. Instead, the company had Sheamus squash Bryan in less than 20 seconds, as the company believed that a quick and decisive win would launch "The Celtic Warrior" into super-stardom. Long story short, it completely backfired, as it got Bryan over instead.
When the New World Order's original three members Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash came into WWE back in February of 2002, most fans were hoping to see an epic showdown between Hogan and Steve Austin.
Unfortunately though, while Austin did feud with WCW's former top faction, he ended up wrestling Scott Hall instead of Hulk Hogan. Of course, The Rock was the one who went one on one with "The Hulkster" at WrestleMania 18, and it turned out pretty good. However, the match that everyone wanted to see was Hogan vs. Austin, as they were the two top guys in their respective eras, and in their respective company during the 90s.
Prior to Rey Mysterio's first WWE World Heavyweight Championship win, everyone in the company was behind the idea of the future Hall of Famer winning SmackDown's top title, with the exception of Vince McMahon. In the weeks leading up to Mysterio's title match at WrestleMania 22, he was being booked to lose almost every single match he participated in. Then after he won the title, he was regularly losing to guys like Mark Henry and The Great Khali, as the WWE chairman already had his mind made up about whether or not Mysterio was going to be a successful top guy. The whole situation was unfortunate, because if they would've fully invested in him, he might've become the biggest star in the entire company.
At the tail end of 1999, WWE's top man "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was in need of neck surgery, so the company decided to have a mystery man run him over as a way of writing him off of television for a while. In the end, the man who ran the "Texas Rattlesnake" down wasn't Triple H, and it wasn't even The Rock. Instead, WWE decided to have the mystery man be Rikishi, who admitted to doing for The Rock, which needless to say, was quite underwhelming. At the time, Rikishi was far from being a main event level guy, and if this was an attempt to get him to that level, it completely failed.
Due to the fact that both guys were set to leave the company immediately following WrestleMania 20, the fans in Madison Square Garden were less than thrilled to see Goldberg go one on one with Brock Lesnar at WWE's biggest show of the year.
WWE tried to circumvent this by making the legendary Steve Austin the special guest referee, but even the beloved "Texas Rattlesnake" couldn't save this match from being a complete bomb. Of course, the company did end up doing the feud correctly over a decade later, but their first attempt at it was a total miss.
Back in the early 2000s, the ex-WCW stars weren't booked well to say the least, and Goldberg was no exception. Upon bringing the former WCW megastar in, Vince McMahon tried to change him up a bit, and make his character more WWE friendly by having him do comedy skits, which didn't work. Then, at SummerSlam 2003, he was booked in an Elimination Chamber match, where he was pinned by the then World Heavyweight Champion Triple H. Then after the match, he was beaten to a pulp by the Evolution faction, and needless to say, this caused the previously undefeated star to lose all of the momentum he had prior to the loss.
In recent years, Steve Austin himself has said that him deciding to turn heel and join Vince McMahon back at WrestleMania 17 was a mistake, but at the time, the "Texas Rattlesnake" believed that this would spice up his character.
No matter what the company did to get the fans to boo Austin, they just kept on cheering him, and eventually, WWE and Austin realized that they had made the wrong move, and as a result, they turned him back babyface. Unfortunately though, he just wasn't the same anymore, and he ended up leaving the company just a few months after he was back on the babyface side of the roster.
The CM Punk vs. Undertaker match back at WrestleMania 29 ended up being the last classic match involving "The Deadman" at WWE's biggest show of the year. It was also the last year that the steak ended up in tact, as Brock Lesnar would break it at the following year's show. But, an argument can be made that CM Punk would not only still be in the company if he would've been booked to beat The Undertaker back at Mania 29, but he probably would've benefited more from ending the streak than Brock Lesnar did. Sure, it might've made him a heel for the rest of time, but that's a role that he probably would've relished.
Just a few weeks prior to 2015's Royal Rumble event. Daniel Bryan announced his comeback from a potential career ending injury, adding that he would participate in the upcoming annual 30-man match. This gave WWE fans hope that he'd end up winning the match, thus putting him in the main event of WrestleMania 31 against Brock Lesnar. However, WWE decided to have Roman Reigns win the match, which was the worst decision the company could've made on that night. It was so bad that the fans even booed The Rock when he came out to endorse Reigns. It's very possible that if Bryan would've won that match, the fans wouldn't have decided to reject Reigns' initial push.
Back in the fall of 2011, there was no one hotter in WWE than CM Punk. So, what did WWE decide to do with a guy who many believed was about to become the modern versio of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin? They decided to have him wrestle Triple H, who wasn't a regular member of the active roster at the time, at a secondary pay per view, where "The Game" pinned Punk clean in the middle of the ring. While Punk still remained one of WWE's most popular wrestlers, he was never able to regain the momentum that he'd built previously thanks to his legendary "Pipebomb" promo.