Thursday, June 22, 2017

WWE exists in an endless cycle of one step forward, two steps back

WWE's worst booking decision in a series of abominable booking decisions.
Image credit:
WWE has made its share of announcements in the last week, but nothing they can do will overcome the bad blood many fans feel after the debacle that was the first ever women's Money in the Bank match. James Ellsworth won the match for Carmella, basically showing exactly how much WWE management really cares for its supposed women's revolution.

Let's be honest: Tuesday's Smackdown wasn't originally booked the way it was booked. Damage control was in full effect, as even major news outlets started to notice the ill fated storyline WWE produced on Sunday night. Vince lives in a world where exposure is always a good thing, but even he can't fix that problem.

Coupled with the ongoing problematic players still in positions of powers (folks like John Bradshaw Layfield and Michael Hayes) creating hostile work places, all while WWE pushes its anti-bullying narrative, the company seems divided between a newer generation of management that wants to take the company into the 21st century and Vince's old boys club.

Mauro is back... in a role far from the auspices of JBL and
Vince McMahon. Image credit:
Don't get me wrong. WWE has tons of bright points in the last week. Braun Strowman, arguably the biggest new star the couple actually developed in house since John Cena, made an impactful return on Monday night. Abbey Laith, better known to indie fans as former Chikara Grand Champion Kimber Lee, will make her debut in the Mae Young Classic. And perhaps the biggest news of all: WWE has signed a deal to bring Mauro Ranallo back into the company as the new play by play commentator of NXT (opening Todd Grisham to be Smackdown's lead full-time.)

However, while the Mae Young Classic has announced several great talents in the likes of Laith, Tessa Blanchard, Sarah Logan and Jazzy "Alpha Female" Gabert, the competition also has already added two homegrown WWE talents with almost no wrestling experience. Lacey Evans has worked a series of uninspiring job matches while MMA veteran Taynara Conti has exactly one match under her belt, and a battle royal no less. It again leaves a lot of wrestling fans disappointed to see amazingly talented females left by the wayside while WWE pushes unknown stars instead. It's entirely contrary to the hopeful spirit created by the Cruiserweight Classic.

WWE's booking on both main brand shows remain a complete mess as well. Mike and Maria Kanellis debuted at Money in the Bank, but barely blipped on Smackdown. Roman Reigns continues to be pushed over all others, though at least WWE seems to be letting him embrace his heeldom at last. The Raw tag division continues to be a complete mess despite a half dozen great teams on its roster. 50/50 booking and Orton's continued challenges against Mahal (seemingly for no reason after two straight losses) threaten to neuter the drawing power of names like Kevin Owens, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, all of which are arguably bigger draws than Randy Orton has ever been in his career.

I love to look on the bright side, but in the last two months I have felt zero urge to renew my WWE Network subscription. With the advent of the Mae Young Classic this summer, my opinion might change, but for now WWE still has a logn way to go to earn back my eight dollars a month.

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