Let’s be real here and not sugar coat anything- the quality of WWE’s product at the moment is really not at its very best. The WWE continuously relies on part time wrestlers to drive the ratings upwards, with wrestlers like Sting, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker continuing to be used as rating boosters. In addition to this, so much attention is focused on these part time wrestlers, as opposed to the ones that are present every single night. This is just the beginning of many other problems that we will touch base on in this article. Other problematic areas range from overused and abused storylines, to simply meaningless programming. There is no doubt that today’s product is in need of some big time changes. With that said, here are 12 things wrong with WWE’s current product, and that desperately need to be modified or changed completely.
12) Storylines Dragging On For Way Too Long
With meaningless PPVs comes storylines that drag on for way too long. Let’s recap, shall we? Wyatt and Reigns have been in a program since ‘Money in the Bank’, which took place in June. Rusev and Ziggler are still somehow going at it (their program spans all the way back to May when Ziggler kissed Lana), and The Undertaker and Lesnar are still working their feud which escalated once again at Battleground. This is just a small example of repetitive feuds that the WWE just simply overbooks. Whether it’s laziness, a lack of creativity or whatever else, the WWE really needs to end these long feuds that are becoming way too repetitive.
11) 3 Hour RAW
A 3 hour episode of RAW sounded like a dream back in 90s, but unfortunately it never happened. The difference as to why it would have worked better back then, as opposed to now, is roster depth. The WWE had the tools to go 3 hours years ago, but today, they simply do not. The WWE’s roster is just not deep enough, causing programs and feuds to run longer than they really should. Half of the show at times consists of RAW recaps of the past show (or past shows), as there is constant need of meaningless time fillers. 3 hours is just way too long, and WWE executives also feel that it is long, with Triple H himself admitting that booking a 3 hour show is extremely challenging. Going back to 2 hour shows is something the WWE should seriously sit down and think about. Ridiculous to think that a Monday Night Raw runs longer than most PPVs.
10) Tag Team Division
I hope the WWE didn’t think that bringing back The Dudley Boyz would fix up this division. The truth is, asides from the champions “The New Day”, there is nothing fresh or exciting about the division. Sadly, this has been the case for a while now. There aren’t very many established teams in the division, as a matter of fact there aren’t very man tag teams altogether to begin with. The division is in major need of reconstruction just like the divas division needed. NXT seems to be the logical answer to recreate the division, because sadly their division is already superior to the WWE’s, with teams like Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, Blake and Murphy, The Vaudevillians, Dawson and Wilder, Jason Jordan and Chad Gable and the team of Gargano and Ciampa. The question remains; how long will it take the WWE to bring up these new teams from NXT before this division becomes relevant again?
9) Intercontinental Championship Picture
Remember the days when the most talented superstars on the roster competed for the Intercontinental championship? Well, those days are certainly gone. I have to give credit where credit’s due though; giving the title to Kevin Owens was a tremendous idea and will help bring back some momentum to the title. Although before Owens, the title was simply in shambles. You know things are bad when Big Show, The Miz and Ryback are competing for the title. Previous title reigns also hurt the championship dearly, with Dolph Ziggler losing the title after 3 weeks, and Daniel Bryan vacating the title after sustaining an injury. In fact, Daniel Bryan claims the title is cursed, and he also went on to say that the title has been overshadowed by Cena’s US Title reign. Bryan planned on defending the title exclusively on SmackDown in an attempt to create some prestige around the championship. Unfortunately, this never happened. The WWE desperately needs to recreate this division. Kevin Owens is more than capable to do so, now surrounding him with talent will be the key. Bring back the days where the likes of Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, The Rock, Triple H and many other greats took the belt to a whole new level.
8) Eat. Sleep. Tag Match. Repeat
It truly pains me to see almost every other RAW end with a tag team main event. It’s obvious that they are just basically trying to squeeze in as much talent as they possibly can in the final segment. Embarrassing to think that out of the last 6 episodes of RAW, 4 were main-evented by tag team matches. Even the house show I recently went to in Montreal ended with a tag match! WWE’s creative team needs to wake up a little bit and stop packing so many superstars into the main event slot. Just because it isn’t a PPV, wrestling fans are still entitled to a watchable main event.
7) The Death of Smackdown
I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched a full episode of SmackDown in years, but the good news is, I probably didn’t miss anything. It’s quite evident, SmackDown has become the WWE’s “B” show. Most of the show is revolved around RAW replays. Ironically, the WWE network emphasizes how the introduction of SmackDown helped solidify WWE’s dominance against WCW with its great matches and plethora of talent on the show. WCW’s downfall was that Thunder was a “B” show, and there was simply no star power, nor any storyline on the show. Hard to believe the WWE is doing the exact same thing, years later. Despite some of the stars competing on the show, there is absolutely no change to any storylines with each passing SmackDown. You can safely miss the show without anything really changing.
6) The Hall Of Fame
The WWE continues to be very quiet when it comes to their Hall of Fame inductees. The system is just straight out flawed and in desperate need of some way to establish real credentials on what it takes to get in. Why so many great wrestlers still haven’t been inducted remains a massive question mark. So puzzling that people like Drew Carey are in the Hall of Fame, as opposed to so many brilliant names that are still not in. Names such as the Honky Tonk Man, Vader, Owen Hart, The Fabulous Free Birds, Paul Heyman, the Hart Foundation, Chyna, Miss Elizabeth and Sting. The Hall of Fame is in desperate need of a shake up and certainly needs a lot more clarity onto what exactly it takes to get in.
5) Production Laziness
As a child I can remember being so excited to see what type of set up the WWE and WCW would use for their PPV. I’ll never forget some of the greatest set ups ever, like the Armageddon stages, and who can forgot the tremendous WCW Halloween Havoc decor and stage? Today, for some odd reason, the WWE refuses to change any of the decor on the stage asides from WrestleMania. Personally, the stage is outdated and straight up boring, it is in desperate need of a fresh new look. Those days of new stages were a thrill to look at as a child. For whatever reason, the WWE always chooses to use the same damn set up every night. Is it because of cost cutting? Doubtful, as this seems to be because of laziness if you ask me. The WWE is in desperate need for a fresh new look for not only their PPVs, but RAW itself.
4) Too Many Live Events
With such a busy schedule for WWE superstars comes a decline in performance. The truth is we want to see our favorite superstars well rested and competing at their very best during live broadcast events. Many wrestlers on the roster look extremely over used, thus leading to an abundance of tag matches every week. Reportedly, wrestlers are also told to tone down their style in order to be more durable (Dean Ambrose was recently told this by WWE officials). Financially, live events aren’t doing very well, either. In 2014, the WWE drew some crowds of 2,000 fans in places like Glens Falls and Kalamazoo. In 2014, it was said that the average number of fans in attendance during live events in the US and Canada, was a little over 4,800 per show. Now, I am not saying they should cut live events all year, but creating a more workable schedule can benefit many wrestlers and fans greatly.
3) Meaningless PPVs
Let’s face it, unless it’s SummerSlam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble or WrestleMania, the chances of seeing a WWE Championship title change are quite slim. With so many meaningless PPVs, there are so many dragged on storylines (as we are currently seeing with the product today). It seems like the only time there is a buzz around the WWE is when there is a big PPV in the horizon (unfortunately there are only 4 big PPVs a year). One of two things need to happen in order to improve the current situation. Either cut PPVs and build great storylines for those big events; or create events better than Battle Ground, PayBack or FastLane that will get fans talking more than 4 times a year.
2) Loyalties To Wrestlers
It’s no secret, the current WWE product favors certain wrestlers over others. It is quite puzzling to think that just a couple of weeks ago, Big Show defeated Cesaro cleanly. It actually hurt me watching Cesaro be put over by a guy whose days are long behind him. Other wrestlers also manage to stay relevant because of their strong ties with management. Wrestlers like Kane, Randy Orton, Sheamus and John Cena continue to be pushed while others like Cesaro, Rusev and Bad News Barrett continue to have no clear character direction, despite their obvious talents. Favoritism has plagued the WWE for many years now, and hopefully this epidemic will one day finally change.
1) PG Rating
At the end of the day, many limitations to the program are caused by the PG rating, and many call this the reason for wrestling’s demise in the past couple of years. The edgy, ‘in your face’ raw material that hardcore wrestling fans fell in love with is pretty much gone. Today, wrestling is much more scripted and promos are nowhere near the entertainment value that they used to be, and this is in large part because of the restrictions caused by the PG rating. Wrestling had an edge in the 90s and more importantly, you never knew what to expect. There was simply something so much more real to the product than the dry one today. It seems that all the new PG rating has done for the product is cause barriers and limitations. This has played a major role in many aspects of the company state today.