I used to be a big wrestling fan and loved the WWE. I first got into wrestling back in the 80s when it was shown on Channel 10, when Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and Andre The Giant ruled the ring. In the early 1990s Channel 10 dropped the then WWF and it wasn’t until we got Foxtel in 1996 that I again began watching the wrestling, although this was WCW Nitro, as Foxtel did not pick up the WWF Raw Is War until 1997 a few months before the Montreal screwjob. That is when I got back into the WWF and stars such as Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels, The Rock and Triple H. I watched both WCW and the WWF until WCW was bought out by Vince McMahon and continued to be a big WWE fan until the death of Eddie Guerrero. For a little while I took a vague interest in WWE but the Chris Benoit, who was once my favourite wrestler, went and brutally murdered his wife and son before committing suicide. Since then I have tried to get back into WWE but every time I watch something happens that turns me completely off. I want to watch and enjoy the wrestling like I once did but I think that some changes need to be made before I can do so. So in that spirit here is a list of things I would do to fix the various problems that exist in the WWE.
- Get rid of the stupid RAW guest hosts.
I don’t know why the WWE continues having Z-list celebrities host what should be its biggest TV show of the week. Worse still is that there is a rumour that Vince wants to extend this practice to Smackdown. Apparently Stephanie McMahon wants RAW to be like Saturday Night Live but unfortunately she has forgotten that at least SNL has actual celebrities hosting and nt some random baseballer, NASCAR driver or boxer. The WWE should remember that they are in fact a GLOBAL brand but the celebrities that they have had on have all been known only in the USA. It’s sad when the celebrities that the WWE have hosting their show are less well-known that the WWE wrestlers themselves. They don’t add anything to the show and you cannot get excited about someone who you have never heard of hosting the show. Worse is that most guest hosts have been terrible and have made the show a complete train wreck, fit only for Wrestlecrap.
I also don’t like the idea of the guest hosts making decisions that are usually reserved for a management type figure. It is annoying that some ‘big’ star will make a PPV match up yet he doesn’t even know the name of the PPV. For example when Jeremy Piven (who?) mistakenly called Summerslam by the name of Summerfest. It’s just stupid.
- Have some respect for women.
The WWE seems at times to have no respect for women at all. Take the current ‘Piggy’ James angle where Michelle McCool has been taunting Mickie James and calling her fat, even though in she is not fat at all. This one angle would alienate 100% of the female fans of the WWE, but we know how Vince and the WWE thinks that normal women should be stick thin with impossibly huge breasts.
Another example of this is the ritual humiliation of Vickie Guerrero, the wife of one of the most loved superstars of the WWE, the late Eddie Guerrero. despicably Vicki has been flat-out called fat and ugly various times on TV and every time I see her being humiliated on TV all I can think of is that Eddie would be spinning in his grave. I don’t blame Vickie because she probably needs the money after her husband’s untimely death, but surely the WWE could just give her a little respect.
The TNA wrestling competition treat their women wrestlers so much more respectfully than the WWE. They treat their women as proper wrestlers and give them actual storylines. While they sometimes have stupid angles that are pure t’n’a (pardon the pun), the Knockouts are a highlight of their show. Their best Knockout, the awesome Awesome Kong is treated like the great wrestler she is, where I am sure if she was in the WWE the only thing that would be mentioned would be her weight.
- Enough with Hornswoggle already
We all know that to Vince McMahon that midgets = hilariously funny but that in reality Vince that is not the case. Hornswoggle started a as sort of funny, kid friendly character, which is OK, but please don’t put him in with the main eventers like DX and certainly don’t put him over really good wrestlers like Chavo Guerrero. The joke has become really stale now and most wrestling fans I know just change the channel when Hornswoggle appears on the screen. It is so frustrating as a viewer that the horrible comedy skits that feature Hornswoggle take up so much screen time while there are talented wrestlers who don’t get on TV much at all. Maybe if Vince really wants to give Horny a job he could do it in a way that that doesn’t insult the intelligence of the viewers and doesn’t take too much time.
- Bring back managers
I don’t know why but it has been a long time since any of the WWE wrestlers have had a manager.I think that whenever some heel wrestler needs to get some heat with a live crowd they give them Vicky Guerrero as a mouthpiece, but that’s about it. I remember the old days when Bobby ‘the Brain’ Heenan and ‘Captain Lou’ Albano used to be such immensely popular figures in the WWF. And there was of course Miss Elizabeth as well. Managers used to be used as mouthpieces for those wrestlers who were not that great on the microphone. Now we get guys like Randy Orton, who could use a manager, stumbling and bumbling their way through promos and generally boring the crap out of viewers. Imagine how much more over Orton would be if he had a manager to assist him with his promos.
- Bring back Tag Teams
Remember the Hart Foundation, Demolition, the Legion Of Doom and the Steiner Brothers back in the 80s and early 90s? For those who grew up watching in the Attitude era, remember Edge * Christian, the Hardy Boys and The Dudley Boyz? What has happened to the Tag Team division of the WWE since those days. Now there is really only Chris Jericho and the Big Show and D-X in the Tag Team division, as well as some other teams like Cryme Time that no-one cares about. There could be a potentially great tag division if only the WWE saw it as being important.
- Give RAW a general manager
Even if the WWE persists with the stupid guest host schtick on RAW they should have a general manager appointed to at least make the guest host making decisions angle more logical. Then they could explain that the GM has spoken to the guest host and told them what they can and can’t do and updated them on the state of the WWE and RAW. The GM could also be with the guest host to help them when they make the inevitable stumble on live TV and need someone to guide them through whatever they are meant to be doing.
- Give the fans a reason to care / Try to get the fans involved more
A couple of weeks ago the WWE had their Slammy Awards where they made up some awards to give the wrestlers. Nobody knows who nominated the wrestlers for the awards or voted for them, because the WWE’s audience sure didn’t have any involvement. Surely in these days of the internet technology the WWE could make the Slammys legitimate and have their audience vote on the categories. This would add to audience interest, but perhaps the WWE doesn’t want this as then wrestlers other than those ordained by the WWE might end up getting awards. Still I think it would be good for the audience to have a say in something like this rather than it just be another way for WWE management to reward their favourite wrestlers. (Isn’t that what belts are for anyway!)
I could also improve the WWE draft which usually occurs after Wrestlemania, in the name of increasing fan interest. My idea would be for the WWE to have a draft month, where with the exception of each brands champions, the wrestlers, managers and commentators all become free agents and they have to negotiate contracts with the GMs of Smackdown, RAW and ECW to get a contract with the particular show. In this way we could have the Smackdown GM appearing on RAW and vice versa, negotiating with a particular wrestler who has always been part of RAW. This could be the month where the brands become more important that the championships, although when negotiating with a wrestler we could hear a GM talk about the history and lineage of a particular championship. We could also have the heel wrestlers make extreme demands of the GMs and commentators put over all this. (I don’t think I’ve explained my idea too well.) Also on each brand they could have try-out matches instead of building up to a PPV feud. All contracts would have to be signed by the end of the main event of the next PPV.
I can hear you say that my idea is good, except that it would leave the PPV empty, as there would be no championships on the line and no feuds built up. My idea would be for this PPV to be like the Bragging Rights one that was on in 2009, but this time we have a reason to care for the brands. We could also have a Clash of the Champions type main event, where there is a three-way dance featuring the WWE, ECW and World Heavyweight Champion. We could also have Intercontinetal vs US Heavyweight champion and RAW vs Smackdown Tag Team champions. No belts would be on the line, only the prestige of being the best brand and promoting your brand to wrestlers who have not yet signed a contract.
I do have more ideas on how to improve the WWE product but will leave that for another time. Perhaps this will become a series of posts?