Okay, I have been talking for a couple weeks now with a friend of mine at our work (yeah Jake here’s your shout out) and we have been discussing the current state of WWE programming, and what it may be lacking. Now, hear me out, although the programs have been fairly good as of late (Punk as champ, Edge/Taker, Jeff Hardy being taken seriously, etc) there seems to be a definite lack of something.
Is it just me, or do the rest of you feel the same? Now, we all know that the “Attitude Era” is no more yet it seems as though the WWE is constantly trying to relive that time. Every now and then they throw us something that makes us say, hey that would’ve fit perfectly in the Attitude Era. Back then we had Austin & Rock, these days the WWE gives us Cena & Batista. This is of course the evolution of business and in reality is genius in the same sense.
I still can’t help but feel though, that despite the WWE’s constant tries, something is missing. This is what I mentioned to my friend. Part of the problem I feel is the new “family friendly” direction. The WWE has become so concerened with maintaining a “softer” image, they have lost some of that edge that made them THE prmotion to watch.
Recently I was able to sit and watch the biogrpahical dvd of Brian Pillman. That’s right the Loose Cannon! I couldn’t help but think afterwards that a chcarcter like his is exactly what the WWE could use. A character in which the lines between real and scripted are blurred, making even the smartest fans begin to ask questions.
Brian Pillman I feel, was one of the most underrated stars in wrestling and it was quite a shame that his life and career ended when it did. What made Pillman so intriguing is not only his charisma, but also the fact that no one really knew what was real and what was character. He truly took the image of the loose cannon and made it something special. I believe that these days, with fans as smart as they are and the insider information we’re granted too, a character like this would work.
There is no more pulling the wool over our eyes. Yes we can suspend our disbelief for a time being but at the end of the day, fans have an idea of what is real and scripted within the business. To have a character realize this and bring this to the forefront of fans minds, will create the illusion of ‘shooting’ as opposed to ‘works.’
At one point I thought the WWE was going in this direction with Edge, when his Rated-R gimmick was first taking off. His Cutting Edge segment had that half-work, half-shoot feel. It appears to have since been redesigned and gone in its current direction. I also know that former WWE star Cliff “Domino” Compton had an idea to freshen his chaarcter that leaned in this direction. Domino of course has since been released.
That would be my question to the WWE. Why release a man without at least trying an idea? Of course his new idea came frsh off the heels of the WWE announcing that all their programming was going to the PG rating. This signaled the death of Domino. I say, do away with the PG rating and at least up it too PG-13. This would give guys a chance to push the envelope a bit more, but not go too far. I mean, that is exactly why the Muhammad Hassan character was kicked off Smackdown, it was too controvertial. So, instead of moving him back to Raw, they dropped the character altogether.
The WWE needs a guy to push that envelope. A guy that almost contradicts the Cena’s and Batista’s. An intellectual spitfire like a Brian Pillman. The WWE needs a guy to strike that match, to get people’s blood going again, be it with cheers or boo’s. So, WWE, I say strike that match and take that chance. If ratings continue to go down then scrap it and try another angle, but if ratings improve…than I say….Fire In The Hole!!