WWE is the most popular professional wrestling promotion in the world, it reaches audiences all over the globe, the professional wrestlers in the company come from all over the world and it even has it’s own movie production company. However, in recent years it has fallen from grace in regards to ratings and public reception due to numerous factors.
note: I watch WWE specifically for the stories told by the performers. It’s no secret that professional wrestling is a scripted stunt choreography show but so what, it’s not really much different than watching a fight scene in a movie. Two professionals adopting a gimmick/character and telling a story, the only difference is that it is live and yes mistakes happen and injuries occur, it’s not a walk in the park for the performers. They have a strict schedule, have to train day and night just to give the fans a show. Long story short, it’s a performing art that only true wrestling fans can appreciate. If I want to watch real fights, I’ll just watch MMA(preferably Rizin and or Bellator) or go on YouTube and watch random street fights. That being said, here are ways I’d change WWE if I were the owner of the company.
1.) Bring back TV 14: The one thing most WWE fans agree on is that WWE has fallen from grace ever since becoming a “TV PG” show back in 2008 although it took a few years afterwards for it’s content quality to decrease. TV PG in this age limits creativity of the writers and the performance of the wrestlers. There’s many things that use to be acceptable in both the attitude and ruthless aggression eras which are no longer acceptable. Back in 2011, a wrestler got temporarily fired for “strangling” a commentator and spitting on another wrestler because it was deemed “too violent”. So how could we bring back TV 14? With so many younger fans watching WWE, it would be kind of radical to just turn all WWE shows TV14. So instead, have one of the major shows be TV 14 and one show be TV PG. That’s the best approach so far. As for Pay per views, TV 14 PPVs would be once every other month and thus tv pg PPVs would also be every other month.
2.) End political correctness: This along with the PG route is the main reason why WWE has fallen from grace in recent years. Although political correctness had a much larger negative impact. Political correctness adds even more restrictions to what can be shown. Many of the scripts are so cheesy and cringeworthy. From having a female professionally wrestler only PPV to many wrestlers with heel(villainous) roles have to be careful what they say in order to avoid offending people. PC culture is prominent. Heels are supposed to be booed, they are the bad guys or gals after all but in recent years, heels are the ones getting cheared no matter how much they try to get the audience to boo them. There has been at least one WWE employee who had voiced his disapproval of WWE’s PC route in recent years. But of course ending political correctness all at once would definitely cause backlash, so perhaps limit political correctness to the one show. Note: I don’t have any problem with giving female professional wrestlers more representation but everything has it’s limits. Balance is key.
3.)Bring back pseudo realism: This made wrestling intense back in the day, occasionally they would throw in very unusual angles into the show that would make fans wonder “was that real or was it fake?” For example, the awkward conversation between Jerry Lawler and Paul bearer in which they had “man talk” even though they didn’t know they were still on air.
4.)Bring back suggestive material: Let’s face it, most of the people who watch WWE or professional wrestling in general are male. Yes there has been a recent boost in female viewers lately but the majority of the viewers are still male. Back in the ruthless aggression era, guys always had to look forward to the bra and panties matches, bikini contests, pillow fights, mud wrestling etc. These events were fun to watch for obvious reasons.
5) Push the superstars the fans want: A “push” in professional wrestling basically means allowing certain professional wrestlers to be portrayed as dominant by winning championships, defeating top stars and rarely losing. Obviously, you can’t push every one. Which means comprises are a must. And there are different levels of “pushes”. Some only get a minor push(winning low tier championships, brief winning streaks etc) others get a “B” level push such as winning(mid tier championships, medium term winning streaks etc) and then there are those who get main event level pushes(Winning highest tier championships, long term winning streaks, only lose by technicalities etc). In recent years, the fans haven’t been happy with many of the superstars have been getting pushed, many fans believe there are many other talented individuals who deserve a push. Here are some WWE superstars that I believe should get a push.
1.)Shinsuke Nakamura: A very talented professional wrestler who also had a brief MMA career toppling several giants. But most people know him for his time in New Japan professional wrestling(NJPW) and making a big name for himself in the company. When he came to WWE in 2016, he was briefly pushed during his time in NXT which is WWE’s developmental territory. His push continued even when he moved to the main roster as he got clean(fair) wins over top stars and even won the 2018 royal rumble, things seemed like Shinsuke Nakamura was going to be the new poster boy of the company until Wrestlemania 34, were he was booked to lose cleanly to AJ Styles. Followed by a heel turn(start to portray a villainous character) From then on Shinsuke started to slowly fade off into obscurity although he did win the US championship for a while until he dropped it to Rusev recently. As of now, shinsuke’s future in the company is ambiguous. Will he get another major push or will he continue to fade into obscurity to the point where decides to Continue his career else where. He is very popular with the fans, even as a “heel” he gets a lot more cheers than boos. It would be a big waste of talent to simply brush him aside.
2.) Apollo Crews: He is a rare combination of Strength, speed, mobility and skill. He comes from a athletic background of various sports including amateur wrestling. Despite his accolades, he is being used as a “Jobber” which is someone that is scripted to lose matches to top stars just to make the top stars look dominant. In my opinion this guy could be the next Bobby lashley but his talent isn’t being used properly. A mid card push would do him good for now.
3.)Bobby Roode: A former Total Nonstop Action(TNA) superstar who made a big name for himself in the company. He did get a brief push in NXT but once he came to the main roster he was sent to mid card level. He hasn’t really had any pushes on the main roster. And with his recent tag team pairing with Chad Gable a pairing that doesn’t make much sense, he has yet to become a main eventer.
4.) Keep pushing Asuka: In the history of WWE and possibly professional wrestling in general, no other female professional wrestler has been pushed as much as asuka has and it is well deserved. She was given a very long undefeated streak of 276 wins in a span of over 2 years and a half. It came to an end at wrestlemania 34 when she was booked to lose cleanly to Charlotte Flair. For a while afterwards, it seemed that Asuka’s future in wwe was uncertain as she momentarily went to mid card matches. But recently she seems to be reclaiming her throne as she was booked to avenge her loss against Charlotte Flair and win the WWE women’s championship.So hopefully they continue to push Asuka, she deserves the push. Either way, she’s definitely a future hall of famer.
5.)Lars Sullivan: With this professional wrestler set to debut on the main roster any day now. Many professional wrestling fans hope he gets the push that many have speculated for a while now, which is a push similar to Brock Lesnar’s push. With Brock Lesnar teasing a return to MMA who knows how much longer he’ll stay in the company before he calls it quits. Lars Sullivan has been called the “next Brock Lesnar”. Lars may not have the full contact sports experience Brock has but his large size and raw strength give him a striking resemblance to Brock Lesnar in his prime. At 6’3” 300lbs, this man can definitely be pushed as a nearly unstoppable brute. I’m skeptical that he will get a Brock Lesnar style push but I could see him becoming the next Batista.
6.) Andrade Cien Almas: A very experienced and talented Mexican proffesional wrestler, prior to his WWE career, he’s wrestled in Mexico and Japan and has had several memorable matches. So far, he’s still fresh in WWE, so chances are he may get a push in the near future.
7.) Chad Gable: Much like Apollo Crews, this guy has a combination of strength, agility, fluidity and skill. Prior to WWE he was an Olympic wrestler. Although he is usually booked to wrestle in tag team matches, his in ring ability could secure him a singles competition championship with a push.
8.) Cesaro: A Swiss professional wrestler, he’s unique in the fact that aside from being highly agile and fluid in the ring for his height, he also has tremendous physical strength and endurance for his weight. Most guys his size normally aren’t able to do the things he does in the ring. At 6’5” 237lbs he’s able to do things that big bruisers that weigh over 300lbs can do. He’s able to hoist a 400lb plus man over his shoulders like nothing. He’s often called a “slim guy with a lot of strength”.
9.)Bobby Lashley: He recently made a return to the company. During his first run in the company, he received a decent main event push and rarely lost matches. However now, he is being used more for comic relief, which is quite sad considering that he was originally a no nonsense powerhouse. While he could be feuding with guys like Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman, they have him participate in stories that make no sense at all. Technically speaking, if Brock Lesnar were to leave the company he would be a suitable replacement, considering that he comes from a similar background as Brock Lesnar.
10.) keep pushing Finn Balor: I think his tremendous popularity and talent is what is keeping him from becoming a jobber. Normally guys who are on the slimmer side are booked to be squashed. Height isn’t really a factor considering that there are many below 6’0” male wrestlers who get decent pushes. But build definitely matters. Fortunately for Finn, he can compensate with his tremendous talent, agility, stamina and fluidity. He’s had a successful WWE run thus far and a well deserved push as he’s been booked as a giant slayer, defeating numerous big bruisers like Bobby Lashley, Baron Corbin etc.
6.)More backstage/ parking lot brawls: One of the things that made WWE suspenseful were the backstage brawls that would happen. They are something out of an action movie.
7.) More gimmick matches: Many top superstars usually have matches that are themed. The undertaker had casket matches, mick Foley had hardcore matches etc. These spiced things up and added to the story being told.
8.)Form a dominant heel faction: Back in 2011, WWE developed one of the greatest stories of the PG era. What made it even more interesting was the fact it was a surprise, nobody saw it coming. This was the formation of the “Nexus” a large villainous faction that would terrorize the entire WWE locker room by attacking random superstars. There currently isn’t any such faction in the WWE.
9.)Avoid recycling material: Yet another reason for the bad ratings is the cliché. People get tired of the same thing being shown every week. When it comes to match types, there should be no holds barred matches, tables matches, handicap matches, ladder matches, last man standing matches etc. Another way to change things up is by being less predictable, throw in curve balls, those always catch fans of guard. Example, Roman losing cleanly to Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 34 was a neat curve ball. Everyone was certain that Roman was going be given the win.
10.) Don’t give away surprises: Nowadays it’s so hard to keep upcoming surprises secret due to the possibility of them getting leaked on social media. The best way to keep surprises secret is to keep the details among the highest ranking employees and those in on the surprise and don’t tease said surprises.
There are many other things that can also be done to boost the ratings of the company’s shows but these are some of the main ones.