Welcome to another edition of The Main Event. I am your host, Don Franc, back with another column that you will all hopefully enjoy. Long introductions aren’t my thing, so let’s get right to…
– Roman Reigns has reportedly backed out of Wrestlemania due to him being concerned that he’s more prone to get coronavirus. That is a valid concern and absolutely nobody can blame him for wanting to take the necessary precautions. Yes, he pulled out of the biggest match that WWE had to offer at this year’s edition of Wrestlemania. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic a person’s health should be put above all else. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets somewhat of a depush because of this. Vince has been known to be petty. Just saying…
– Speaking of Roman Reigns, his apparent replacement will be none other than Braun Strowman. I have no idea how a match between Strowman and Goldberg would work, but because of the taped nature of this year’s ‘Mania, it should be easier to dictate the match quality. The question at hand now is do WWE finally pull the trigger on Strowman? He is no longer at the peak of his popularity due to WWE delaying his World Title run so it surely wouldn’t be as effective as a couple of years ago. Strowman is one of my favourite big men of all time and I think he deserves the nod. Fact is, if he doesn’t win now he never will.
– The Undertaker used Chris Jericho’s “assclown” catchphrase during this past episode of RAW. Once a fan tweeted this to Jericho, he basically said ‘Taker can use any catchphrase of his that he wants, whilst ‘Taker responded by apologising for using the catchphrase. I like the respect shown by both men. They’re both legends of the pro-wrestling industry and a case can be made for either one of them as the greatest of all time. I’m glad to see that there is still that mutual respect between wrestlers when they’re both on opposing shows. Although this novelty would only be given to Jericho as he is a bonafide legend of the game.
THE MAIN EVENT
Why Is It So Hard To Watch WWE TV?
November of last year I felt completely burnt out on WWE. It’s gotten to the point where I struggled to watch RAW or Smackdown and I haven’t even been able to watch half a show in months. That was a strange feeling to me because despite feeling opposed to RAW for years I’ve always loved Smackdown. These days when I tune into either show I feel nothing but apathy. I’ve been watching WWE since I was 10 years old, which was around 2001, and in all those years I’ve never felt that.
This new sense of disinterest in WWE’s product has me wondering why it’s becoming so difficult to enjoy an episode of RAW or Smackdown. I took a hiatus last November in the hopes that my WWE fandom rejuvenates. The first show I watched upon my return to WWE was the Royal Rumble and I loved it. Yet when I tuned into RAW and SDL post-Rumble that feeling of disenchantment with those shows were evident once more. What could it be – as a lifelong WWE fan – that could cause me to have these negative feelings toward WWE?
Could it be that their television shows have become so stale and repetitive? Their shows have had the staleness factor for years now so it should not inspire new feelings of apathy. I’ve put up with their repetitive product for years so why should that be any different now? It certainly seems like WWE will not be freshening up their product anytime soon, especially with this pandemic taking over the globe. I think as WWE fans we have become accustomed to WWE’s stale nature. But surely this contributes to why I find it so hard to watch WWE TV.
Perhaps my subconscious has finally had enough of WWE sticking to the same methods and business modules. In my previous column I mentioned that WWE television shows have become so formulaic in their approach that after years of watching the same thing it becomes harder to bear. I’m tired of the twenty-minute promos, short matches and storyline driven approach they take with everything that happens on their shows. It doesn’t feel important to watch anymore and takes away the purpose of watching a RAW or SDL in the first place.
This negativity that I have could also be attributed to finally having had enough of WWE’s mistreatment of stars that should be in the main-event. CM Punk, Dean Ambrose and more have been sacrificed for part-timers and wrestlers who are more liked by management. The most recent of these victims being Braun Strowman. This topic has been spoken about ad nauseum. However, I think it’s worth a quick mention merely to put emphasis on the fact that after years of this it just all adds into that negativity. There are only so many times WWE can do the wrong thing and still expect you to enjoy their product.
With that being said, I could just be tired of feeling dissatisfied and disappointed with the poor decisions WWE have made over the years. And I’m not referring to my favourites not getting their chance in the sun. I’ve said before that not everyone can be a main-eventer and some of my favourites will never be main-eventers. I’m referring to the Summer of Punk being ruined, Ambrose being denied during Mania season 2016 and WWE forever delaying Strowman’s championship run. I don’t want to harp on that but that’s just a fact, it’s either WWE’s way or the highway. And the highway seems pretty good lately.
I just hope that I have not succumbed to the stigma that the IWC has attached to WWE. Across message boards you will always hear negativity, apathy and disillusioned fandom being sent the way of WWE. It’s become so prominent in recent times that those negative outlooks may have found a way to seep into my brain. I’ve always prided myself on not jumping on any bandwagon, but the reality is that if you’re around constant negativity there’s always a possibility that it can have an adverse effect on you. I certainly hope that is not the case.
Ironically, WWE television became really hard for me to watch around the time that AEW Dynamite started to air on TNT. My focus is now completely on their show, which has distracted me from WWE viewership to the point where I don’t even read the results of RAW or SDL anymore. To use an analogy; it’s like you’ve been in a relationship for years with someone who you thought was your soulmate. However, familiarity breeds contempt and longevity breeds boredom, so now there’s this exciting new girl that’s caught your eye and you just can’t seem to get enough of her.
And that’s seemingly what it is when it comes to WWE and AEW for me now. AEW is this fresh, exciting and sexy new girl compared to WWE who is long-term, steady girl that you’re now bored of. And perhaps that’s what it all boils down to. It could just be that I’m bored with WWE and AEW satiated my need for something different when it came to my wrestling fandom. I’m not sure if this is how my mindset will stay or if it’s just a phase that I’m going through, but I’m enjoying the AEW ride.
Despite all of the anguish that WWE brings to my wrestling viewership, they’re still able to put on a good show. And I think that’s the most infuriating thing about it all. It’s their lack of effort that annoys me to no end. Lack of creativity. Lack of vision. Lack of adapting to the times. All of those factors – coupled with everything else I’ve mentioned in the column today – all culminates in why it’s so hard for me to watch WWE TV.
I’m not sure how everyone feels about Wrestlemania this year but I’m unable to get behind the show. There’s just too much going on right now to warrant a show of that magnitude. This is WWE’s biggest show of the year and is made out to be a spectacle every year. With no live crowd there isn’t an opportunity for this to become the spectacle that it is intended to be. I have no idea why Vince McMahon didn’t postpone this show to accommodate the lack of energy that will surely be on display. It’s weird enough seeing wrestling on television without fans so this one will be super unusual.
The only bright side I can think of is that all the matches are taped. Therefore there should be no reason for bad matches with botched spots. And maybe this will allow the Boneyard Match to be in an actual boneyard. I just hope WWE has the creativity to pull this off. Their creative minds have been lacking of late so I’m not too confident in their ability to be innovative. At least the matches will be spread across two shows as well. Those Wrestlemania marathons are hard to sit through. Sheesh.
Even if Wrestlemania were to happen as per the norm with a massive crowd in attendance, the matches do not exactly inspire the need to watch this show. There are only a few matches that I’m remotely interested in any way. This ‘Mania has the potential to bomb hard, but if the match quality is good that shouldn’t happen. This is a unique opportunity for WWE to show that they’re still inventive and innovative. The ball is completely in their caught.
One way or another, Wrestlemania 36 will never be forgotten.
And that does it for this edition of The Main Event. Do you feel the same way I do about WWE TV? What else do you think is causing the apathy many feel toward WWE? Are you excited for Wrestlemania? Please leave a comment below. Alternatively, you can pop me an email at [email protected] or follow me on Twitter @donfranclop. Any and all feedback is always much appreciated. But until next time folks…
This is Don Franc signing out.
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