It’s all about the he said she said bull–!
Back in the Attitude Era, when WWE was known as WWF, Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit was a huge fan. And what was not to love about the Attitude Era? You had amazing characters and edgy storylines. But after WCW was bought out by the McMahons, the content of WWE shifted to PG. Which made sense in a business standpoint because a family-friendly product meant more advertisers and a better stock portfolio. But the shift also caused a rift with the wrestling fans from that era.
For a long stretch of time following the PG shift, WWE’s storylines have been less than appealing. This statement is not to overlook some of the head scratchers from the Attitude days, but todays’ storylines have become disgustingly melodramatic.
The most recent offenders of partaking in a storyline reeking of melodrama have been Dolph Ziggler and Rusev. The Bulgarian Brute went from undefeated monster who crushed his opponents without mercy, to a babbling idiot jealous of his former mouthpiece Lana dating the Show Off. As for Dolph Ziggler, he recently signed a new 3-year contract and this is what he’s doing?
The actual matches haven’t been bad. Their clash at Night of Champions was really good, but there isn’t really much substance to go on.
Then there’s Summer Rae and Lana. Summer Rae wrestled in FCW and NXT, but hasn’t really made a name for herself as a singles competitor on the main roster. She’s been type-casted as the evil hot blonde girl. While Lana, also a very beautiful blonde girl, played the part of the evil mouthpiece to Rusev so well that she actually went over with the fans as a babyface. Which is all well and good, because she does have that Russian girl next door vibe, but to try and incorporate her as a wrestler down the line doesn’t make sense. That’s like trying to turn “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart into a wrestler.
However, plans for wrestling have now been put on hold with Lana out on the sidelines with an injured wrist. So with the main prize out of the loop, could this mean a possible end to the feud?
You would think, but we saw on both RAW and Smackdown that Ziggler was trying to get into Summer’s head. Is this just to prove how much game Dolph has in picking up women? Will Rusev revert to a hopeless romantic trying to find his one true Russian? Will Dolph put on a suit, befriend Rusev, tell him to suit up, meet him at the bar, and play a game of “Have you met, Rusev?”
It’s understandable that WWE wants to market themselves as a family friendly sports entertainment product, but it should not be at the expense of good storytelling. Just take Ring of Honor as an example: Adam Page called out Jay Briscoe in the center of the ring looking for a fight. Next episode, Page called him out again. By the third episode, Jay Briscoe stated he didn’t know who Adam Page was. When the two finally got in the ring for a match, Page slapped the taste out of Briscoe’s mouth… twice! Then all you wanted to see was Jay kick the living dog crap out of Page, but The Decade intervened and ganged up on Jay.
That’s an example of sound storytelling without the melodrama. But it’s not just Ring of Honor, you have your Lucha Underground and Chikara Pro wrestling programs that go towards the supernatural and comic book sides of storytelling.
Which you would think, why doesn’t WWE do that? Well they do. They just aren’t consistent with it.
The Undertaker and Kane are demonic sons of Satan. That’s supernatural. Cody Rhodes believes he’s a super villain named Stardust, who has aligned himself with The Ascension to form the group of The Cosmic Wasteland. That’s the comic book side of storytelling, but it doesn’t really work in WWE because they don’t want to give it credibility. Instead of saying, this is Stardust and he’s a cosmic traveler from the nether dimension (or something to that effect), the broadcasters simply state that it’s Cody Rhodes who believes he’s a super villain.
I’m pretty sure as long as WWE doesn’t have another live sex celebration or drop an F-Bomb, better storylines is possible with credibility and not forcing the wrestlers to be actors. Let them speak what is true to them.
So tell me your thoughts? Are you okay with the melodrama? Do you want edgier storylines that doesn’t necessarily have to break the PG guidelines?
Tell me your thoughts in the comments section below this post. Or if you just want to hit me up, you can do so on the twitter @WrestlingTimesX or follow my interests and journey to a healthier fit lifestyle on my instagram @losfriday!
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