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Dry Socket Opinion: New Era?

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WWE claims we’re witnessing the beginning of a new era. We’re seeing a surge of new competitors and a newly invested interest in the mid-card division. The Intercontinental Title is gaining some serious credibility (as the U.S. Title headlines the kick-off show). However, the main storylines continue to surround a failed character and WWE continues to harp on their Network and movies. Furthermore, WWE consistently shows a drop in ratings and viewers.

Seeing so many NXT call-ups is exciting. But when will their characters fall victim to the WWE machine? Don’t get me wrong. I got chills when Owens faced off with Zayn. I’m a big fan of both. NXT has a solid following and the fans are passionate. The wrestlers focus on the ring work. But WWE has shown, time and time again, that ring work isn’t as important as talking. Thankfully, guys like Kevin Owens and Enzo are able to talk well.

This new era leaves us with many unanswered questions. What was the point of Shane McMahon’s match? He ran RAW for a month and is still in charge of the show (albeit with Stephanie McMahon). Rumor has it that the Authority will be leaving TV but for how long? Will WWE give us a brand split? It’s no secret that Smackdown! is the B-list show. Even when they competed with RAW, SD! had storylines that mirrored the ones on RAW. The brand split (theoretically) should give us more stars but, in reality, it over saturates the overall roster. It’s far easier to build a small pool of guys and invest time and energy in their storylines than it is to build two full rosters.

I’ve said it before. WWE has the best roster they’ve had in years. It’s almost to the point of too many guys. We’ll get numerous multi-man/woman tag matches just to get talent on TV. Everyone stays at 50%. They need a smaller roster where they can focus their energy and time on a few storylines. Prepare for injuries and have backup plans at the ready. RAW can’t be 85% filler/commercials.

One thing that hasn’t changed is WWE’s ability to market of someone’s death. Whether they’re parading Joan Lunden out for cancer or creating a new series for the latest fallen former WWE superstar, WWE is always there to bank of tragedy. I wouldn’t be surprised if WWE comes out with a WWE Network Special on Chyna. Though the company refused to acknowledge her, during her life, they’ll be sure to reap any chance at making a buck off her death.

And let’s not forget about WWE Films. WWE has multiple superstars filming pictures for their brand of movies. Be sure to catch them on the WWE Network or find them in the discount bin at your local gas station. Spoiler: There will be an overload of explosions and awful acting. You’ll be able to catch previews every few minutes on WWE programming.

So what are some things I do like? Cesaro! Yeah, he looks like a Swiss version of Pitbull. But he’s picking up where he left off. He’s got phenomenal ringwork and is getting better and better on the mic. WWE is finally allowing him show his diverse set of moves. Kevin Owens! The guy is awesome! He’s entertaining, a solid brawler, and a classy guy. Here’s another guy that connects with the crowd. But what about the established guys? Some are bored with them but I’m still a fan of the New Day. They haven’t missed a beat. All three of these guys are decent ring workers but their mic skills elevate them higher. The Miz (hate all you want) has been doing an excellent job. He’s booed because he’s a heel (as opposed to Roman Reigns—who is booed because he’s Roman Reigns). Rusev and ADR are able to go back to singles wrestling. I’m a fan of both of them. And let’s welcome Titus O’Neil back!

With all these new editions, one has to wonder if this is a true changing of the guard or if it’s just a placeholder. Remember, Orton, Cena, and Rollins are out. What happens when they come back? Does anyone else think it’s pathetic when Brock Lesnar (a half-ass worker) is being paid more than the full-time guys? WWE Extreme Rules is coming up…didn’t we already see that? And why the hell is Dean Ambrose hyping it? Is it a PG Extreme Rules?  AJ Styles doesn’t gel with Roman Reigns. Are they really going to keep this feud going? By the way “I’m not a good guy, I’m not a bad guy…I’m THE guy” is a stupid saying. And what the hell is up with “recreating” the 1997 screw job? That’s just lazy booking. These women can WRESTLE. Stop killing their great matches with dusty finishes.

We won’t truly see a new era until WWE focuses less on outside media and their Network.  Time will tell how well these new NXT guys work out. The beginnings to most of the shows have been solid. 2/3’s of the way through, though, the excitement falls and WWE fades back to being boring. Consistency has never been one of WWE’s strongpoints. Let’s hope WWE gets it right, this time.

 

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