This week, The Doc discusses WWE’s plummet into the darkest creative times it has perhaps ever experienced in 2017 and 2018. Then, an important question is answered that will set the tone for the next decade: did 2019 show cause for optimism amidst the rise of NXT and AEW and the continued growth of New Japan as WWE alternatives?
WWE has a good fanbase that values their history with the company, but Vince and Co. have milked that base for all its worth, squeezing every drop it can out of yesteryear’s success. The strategy to earn the previous statement has often come at the expense of building new stars who can carry the brand when there’s little nostaglia left to tap. One could argue that the manifestation of some of 2017 and 2018’s worst habits were by-products of other poor habits that this decade birthed and that got out of control in the last few years. Doc touches on the good things from those years, too, but it is hard to escape the sense of dread when discussing 2017 and 2018 in WWE.
As for 2019, Doc does see some good things that might allow him to conclude that the brand is trending in a more acceptable direction for diehard wrestling fans that want nothing more than for WWE to take full advantage of its “NBA, NFL, or MLB of wrestling” status and to produce creativity that matches that status.