Imp’s WWE Adventure
So far this week in the fine world of LordsofPain.net you’ve read the views of an optimist, tales from an excited Australian and whatever we’re classing Bearly Reviewing as… I guess it is technically a review? Who knows, whatever it is it makes me laugh. \_(-_-)_/
However now it’s time for Mr Grumpy Pants to put on his Roman Reigns pirate hat and moan on endlessly about a genuinely significant show for Australia that’s ultimately meant to be ‘just a bit of fun’.
Not in my world you’re not. You wheel out the Grandads and make ‘em dance like it’s 1999 and their knees don’t click with every shuffle, and I’m going to moan like it’s 2018 and swearing to God they must be wrestling with castanets.
We’ve been presented with an entire card that is filled with some genuinely strong looking match-ups, so why do I feel the way I do? Why did I book myself to help my friend move house from 6am instead of watching this show? Well obviously it’s because I’m a great friend and more than happy to make sacrifices, even if it means missing a wrestling show I didn’t have much intent in watching.
We all make sacrifices, dear readers.
I Couldn’t Give Less of a S*** About WWE Super Show-Down
aka Something, Something Super Showdown aka Yawnfest Down Under 2018 aka Feeling Down Under the Weather About Weathering WWE’s Show Down Under
For the last couple months or so WWE have been touting the big Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Down in Australia. Just like with Jeddah, Saudi Arabia earlier this year, the show is to be a spectacular attended by thousands. Which is great and all, especially for the fine folk of Australia who get to witness this lovely, super-duper show, but for me… I just could not care less.
WWE has its problems, but in this specific situation I’ve managed to boil things down to three reasons:
1 – Over saturation
2 – It’s essentially just a fancy house show
3 – Over reliance on the past
You know what, let’s go into detail on each one of those. Turns out I’ve got a fair bit to say. And if you couldn’t tell by that into, you’re damn right this column is going to be a bit of a ramble. I’m normally a chirpy chappy, but one must let the grumpy Brit out now and again.
I’m already being burnt out with how much WWE I consume on a weekly basis. Outside of PPV weeks I’m already consuming 8 hours of WWE with RAW, SD Live, NXT, 205 Live and currently the Mae Young Classic. Normally I’m looking at 7, but still, as an adult with a job and a real life with friends and whatnot, that’s an insane number of hours to try and keep up with.
Then you factor in one 4 hour PPV a month AND you add these 5 hour long spectaculars?
Earlier this year I reached my peak point of WWE saturation. To borrow a phrase from fellow columnist Plan, ‘More is more’ had become too much and I couldn’t take any more… well ‘more’. I ended up taking a 3 month break from the product, a decision that well and truly saved my fandom and helped me give – to borrow a phrase from my own title – less of a shit.
This feeling of ‘more is more is too much’ came during the April/May time where WWE seemed to just have show after show, after show, after show. Within the span of one single month there was: WrestleMania week, Backlash and a mega Saudi Arabia show with the largest Royal Rumble ever.
Now WWE are at a point where they seem to be continuously promoting multiple shows at once, which as a viewer is bloody difficult to keep up with. WWE have somehow got to find TV time to hype them all, and then you realise SmackDown 1000 is in 2 weeks and they’ve actually got a further additional thing they’re meant to be hyping.
Bringing this back to the Super Show-Down in Australia, the WWE Network finally allows WWE to air these kinds of grand shows from across the world. But they’ve started promoting them on TV like they’re full on cannon shows and that’s resulted in them promoting three events at once for the last 2 months.
And in the case of Saudi Arabia, nothing of consequence ended up happening on that show. All championships were retained, the part time wrestlers pissed back off and the apparently ‘historic’ greatest Rumble ever wasn’t even mentioned 1 week later.
By the time WWE’s main cannon PPV Backlash came around I was officially burnt out, it was all just too much. In 2018 WWE has officially become too much to reasonably keep up with.
It’s Essentially Just A House Show
The Greatest Royal Rumble from Saudi Arabia told me all I need to know about these shows, they’re all spectacle whilst making no real impact on anything cannon wise. They’re house shows. Great if you’re there, kinda pointless to watch if you’re not.
You get all the fancy lights and the spectacle of the enormity of the crowd, but Saudi Arabia set a precedent. These shows may be a gigantic spectacular of a house show, but they’re still house shows.
The inclusion of hot, current angles does make the show a lot more appealing, but I’m holding off my intrigue until anything significant actually happens on these shows. Kind of like SmackDown before the brand split, things of consequence rarely happened, and even if they did they replayed it over and over on the next RAW anyway. So I stopped watching.
So sure WWE house shows are fun, but to the wider audience there’s no consequence so what’s the point? With Australia, WWE have dangled the carrot of consequence much better than they did with Saudi Arabia. The likes of Lynch vs Flair and Miz vs Bryan genuinely feel significant to the future of the WWE landscape. However, if it is just a carrot and nothing relevant to the characters going forward actually happens, then why tune in?
This is really my biggest question with these big shows: it’s a significant event for Australia, but does the show itself actually have anything of significance on it?
Over Reliance on the Past
You really are going to struggle to make me care about seeing Triple H vs The Undertaker in 2018. Dedicating what feels like a 15 minute segment every week to in ring promos hyping it up is just going to irk me even more.
With that, nothing exemplifies how stuck WWE are in trying to recreate their days of former glory than the ending of this week’s RAW. As four, bald and balding 50+ something year old lads performed a slow motion dance version of a WWF RAW show from 20 years ago.
If anything, the amount of promotion placed on this match reeks of WWE’s single biggest issue from throughout this decade: they haven’t created one single star on that roster. And because of that they feel that they need to call on their stars of the past to get anywhere near close to filling that stadium.
They have come close with a few – Punk and Bryan come to mind – but they never pulled that trigger. How many years has it been since solely just two full time roster members main evented WrestleMania? 2011? This decade only has TWO ‘Manias left and so far only ONE has consisted of purely full time talent. I guess I’m being harsh in not including WrestleMania 30, but the original plan for that one was Orton vs Batista. Says it all really, no wonder Punk was pissed.
I’m sorry to bring up NJPW once again in a column of mine, but their wrestlers are truly megastars in Japan. And guess what? Part of that was achieved by having their current stars actually main event their biggest show of the year. This year we saw Okada vs Naito, in 2017 we got Okada vs Omega and 2016 Tanahashi passed the torch to Okada (which I guess in this scenario is the equivalent of Cena vs Reigns).
Both Okada and Naito genuinely felt like superstars in their Tokyo Dome main event, cementing all the effort put into building the two. But to bring this back to WWE, that only happens if you actually the book the bleeding thing.
For the last 4 years the main event for WWE’s biggest show has been Roman Reigns vs part time star, how is anyone meant to take off if no one’s allowed on the platform? In the first half of 2018 that reality truly hit like a ton of bricks. Reigns was the only one allowed to be on Lesnar’s level, which meant when Brock wasn’t there WWE only had one main event guy… how was that ever not going to become a glaring problem?
Now there’s rumours flying about that The Rock or Reigns may be winning the Royal Rumble to set up a match between the two at WrestleMania… I mean, with this philosophy WWE are simply going to continue to struggle. There’s no other way to put it, they will struggle. And when those stars of yesteryear can’t go any more, they’ll be truly in the shitter.
And that brings me back to Taker vs Triple H, the match featured the most throughout the marketing of this Super Show Down event. The fact that was needed to be done says something, either from WWE’s own volition or request from down under. But with me personally, I’ve seen this match multiple times when the two really could go, if I want to watch them wrestle each other I’ll simply jump on the network.
I’ve actively wound through their segments on RAW, could not care less.
Genuinely excited for Alexander vs Murphy though, if there’s ever a place to let those cruiserweights shine…
But nevermind all that, there’s another bloody NJPW show this Sunday with Tanahashi vs White and LIJ announcing a new member!
Thanks to fellow columnist Plan and @IAmTheDude316 for the aka title suggestions.
Email Imp – [email protected]
Thursdays on LOP Radio Imp covers the Mae Young Classic, NXT and 205 Live. Listen to the latest episode here:
Links to Imp’s latest columns:
Imp’s NJPW Adventure – Tanahashi vs Okada Episode VIII: The Last Rainmaker
Imp’s Worst Case Scenarios for WWE Hell In A Cell
Imp’s Adventure: ALL IN and the List of Pointless Comparisons
Imp’s WWE Adventure: Are You Wrong To Cheer Becky Lynch?
Imp’s WWE Adventure: SummerSlam and Storytelling over Wrestling
Imp’s WWE Adventure: Lesnar vs Reigns IV: Down As Smooth As A Dog On A Slide
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