WWMD : Learning from the Past

The past is an amazing thing. At the moment, the current product is in a poor way. Champions who we don’t believe in, wrestlers we don’t like and story lines […]

The past is an amazing thing.

At the moment, the current product is in a poor way. Champions who we don’t believe in, wrestlers we don’t like and story lines which are stale. Looking back at past years of WWE booking can show how to fix things. A great man once said “The past can inform the present for the future”. So with that in mind, lets see what we can learn from wrestling’s past to save the future.

If it isn’t working, fix it

As much as I hate being a doomsayer, there is a lot wrong with WWE at the moment. Roman Reigns being forced upon us, Jinder Mahal as the WWE Champion, most of SmackDown. In years gone by, if something wasn’t working it got fixed. The Ringmaster wasn’t working, we got Stone Cold. Rocky Miavia wasn’t working and we got The Rock. More recently, the NXT Women’s division wasn’t working so we got Asuka. I could write an entire article about what is wrong with WWE and there is a lot that needs fixing. I’m not saying do it over night but they have the tools – they need to be used.

Listen to the audience

Who pays the bills? And the tickets, the merchandise, the games? Simple, the audience. In recent times, WWE have dropped the ball by ignoring the audience. You don’t have to pander to your audience, otherwise the faces would always beat the heels, but you can’t ignore them. They are the ones who are the driving force in the company. The ones who are the bums on seats and shouting and cheering. Listen to them, or they’ll go away.

Long term booking

The only clear long term booking happens between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania and in the lead up to SummerSlam and Survivor Series. Feuds are normally done and dusted within 2-3 months. What does that result in? Rushed storylines, a lack of feuds and a stale format for shows. They become predictable and miss-able, especially recent PPVs. WWE need to look back to the long term picture. They plan their house shows years in advance, so why not book for the next 6 months? Yes, injuries and accidents happen to talent, but they could build in contingencies.

Make wrestlers believable

In the past there has always been multiple people who could be the WWE Champion. There were the SmackDown 6 when Paul Heyman was booking the show. At any point in the Attitude Era there were any number of believable Champions. These days, you can count the amount of credible champions on one hand. Wrestlers get hurt by poor booking, idiotic matches and attempted quick fixes. There are a handful of wrestlers that WWE have “made” and they are being poorly used right now. Let wrestlers gather and gain momentum. Make them real life.

Closing thoughts – the present needs the past

All things considered, there are always positives in something, and WWE is no different. But there needs to be a change, an upheaval, new injections of creativity bought in. No doubt, this will eventually happen, one day. But for now, we need to hope for the best.

And the man who I was referring to in the first paragraph was myself. That’s what I do – I write and I know things.