The End of the WWE
By Jonathan Brown
This is it, the end of an era.
Who would have thought that Christian would be the one to end it? In an early edition of Mr. Brown’s Class we discussed the need for a labor union to step in and protect workers from the deadly working conditions they face as professional wrestlers in the WWE. David Landons, author of Hardtime, wrote about the homosexuality that has become near common because of the tough road life workers face. The Butcher wrote about Asphalt Demons eating away at the very soul of individuals pushing them into drug abuse and unrepentant life styles. The list goes on and on. But what has the WWE become?
In most major sports, fans get control over the product in on of several ways. Fantasy leagues, sports talk radio and Internet chat rooms are all ways to gauge a product’s popularity. What does the WWE offer as a gauge to measure their fans’ interests?
I have been to many live shows and one of the loudest ovations has always been saved for the Hurricane. So what does the WWE do to his character? Destroy it of course. Christian was becoming “the man” on Raw prior to the Draft Lottery. So what does the WWE do? Ship him to Smackdown, strip him of his gimmick and force him to lose many matches. Internet favorites and performers that get good crowd reactions seem to get the opposite of what the fans want for them. Kane of 2002, RVD, Booker T, and the list goes on of performers that were very popular but got nowhere.
Even the interactive PPV, Taboo Tuesday is not designed to let true fan feelings through. HBK wins a match last week (remember this is scripted) and then gets a main event match the night before the PPV. Rey Mysterio and JBL appear on Raw while the other possible SD superstars are left home. Last year, Vince McMahon gave his “endorsement” for Shelton Benjamin’s title shot against Jericho and Benjamin easily won the “fan vote”. Ric Flair is begging for HHH to fight him in a steel cage. I wonder which type of match will win the “fan vote”?
Christians’ stand against the WWE is not the first action against the machine, but like Rosa Park’s famous action, it will be the most famous when the behemoth system, of injustice finally collapses. The WWE has withstood the departure of great superstars, but it is not the great super star that gets the fans to watch. With the WWE’s plan of keeping the main players in the back until the last 20 minutes of each show, good role players are needed for to keep fans interested in the program until the big dogs make their way to the ring.
Christian, RVD, and Jericho have truly established themselves as main event players that can keep fans interested in he beginning and mile of shows. Since the WWE does not value these workers the collapse will begin. No one envisioned that the departure from Spike TV would actually give hope to the WWE’s main vein of competition, TNA. While I am by no means a fan of the product, maybe the decision makers at TNA actually give a shit about their fans and what they want. Maybe the small opportunity they have will turn into a great opportunity.
Until the brass at Titan Towers decides that what the fans want is key, they will continue to be stuck with average ratings and mediocre buy rates for thir PPVs. I for one am absolutely sick an tired of the revolving door of my favorite superstars being ushered out.
Yes, I am the one that wrote that the roster cuts were good, but that is called playing the devil’s advocate. I miss the Dudleyz, I wonder what could have been with Sean O’Haire. Jazz was a bad bitch that was entertaining when she was not injured.
Until the McMahon’s stop playing voodoo dolls with their workers, the fans will always be taken for granted. Enjoy the demise of the product ladies and gentlemen and remember, it was Christian walking out of the door that will persuade others to follow his lead.