Wrestle Wednesdays 2
Incoherent Ramblings of a Smark
More cowbell won’t solve this problem in the wrestling world. The WWE product has been on a decline and fans-myself included-have simply tuned out.
This past year several fan favourites have been benched due to injury or bad writing in favour of the golden boy, Roman Reigns. Reigns’ inception to the main roster as the silent muscle of the Shield was perfect; strong, silent, deadly. Ambrose took care of the mic work while Seth was the technical and high flying wrestler of the group. Although heels at first, their face turn was one of the most anticipated turns of recent memory. Their inevitable feud with the Wyatt Family cemented both factions as the future of the product.
All good things had to come to an end. The dissolution of the group was teased was months with Reigns and Ambrose increasingly butting heads. No one would have expected a few months later that Seth Rollins would be the one to turn on his teammates.. Seth Rollins would then be propelled to stardom as the company’s top heel. Ambrose would feud with his former friend while Reigns would pursue the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Rollins and Ambrose’s singles runs included a small repackaging of characters along with new entrance music. Both of them dropped the combat vests that they previously wore as the Shield, Ambrose wrestling in jeans and a tank top, and Rollins in black tights with his bare chest glistening. Reigns however would keep everything he wore as well as the same music. The only difference for him was that the graphics, “REIGNS” was played on the titantron instead of “SHIELD”.
As a member of the Shield, Reigns’ role was at the end of the match to deliver finishing blows to his opponents with high impact offense. Now solo, his weaknesses were highlighted without his former teammates to carry the weight of most of the matches. His wrestling ability was lacking with a very small movepool and his mic and promo work was extremely forced and almost cringe-inducing.
Despite rejection from fans he was pushed to the moon as the company’s next top face.
There’s an idea that there can only be one top face that will carry the company. We’ve had the likes of Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and the Rock under those roles. All of the aforementioned have had years to work to their piques while Reigns has only been wrestling for a sliver of their time and is already at the top. Cena debuted as a heel and worked his way to the midcard before having a legendary feud with JBL to achieve his first WWE title. The Rock was the most hated face during his debut to the point of the fans chanting, “Die, Rocky. Die”. Stone Cold was practically a nobody for ages until his King of the Ring promo, Austin 3:16. In their respective eras there were plenty of credible heels and faces that could work with them.
The current era has poorly booked matches and poor writing in which wins and losses don’t matter and all that matters is recaps of events that transpired a few minutes ago and the same promo every episode. Most stars have heavily scripted promos and aren’t allowed getting over with the fans unless Vince McMahon lets them. Fans get behind wrestlers only to be reminded that their guy will never be at the top no matter how much we cheer. In Vince’s mind, it’s Reigns or die; everyone’s going down at his expense.
All in all, wrestling fans are masochists. No matter how much hate the corporate decisions, we will still follow wrestling til the day we die; tragic fandom.
Why Wrestling Fans Hate Wrestling
Federico, Dan. Could the Shield Reunite at WWE Payback? Digital image.RingsideNews.com. Copyright 2015 RingsideNews.com, 7 May 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.
Why Wrestling Fans Hate Wrestling. College Humor, 27 Mar. 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.