Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!
The PG-era of WWE has a strangle hold on WWE. The PG-Era has ushered in the return of the gimmicks of the 80s, and given us a watered down product. Every time we fill a shift of them pushing forward here comes the PG-Era back around again. Change is inevitable, but we seem to be rolling back down hill, instead of progressing forward. History has a way of repeating itself, And for some strange reason, we are trying to relive the glory days with the PG-Era.
The beginning of the PG-Era
There was a time when we all love the 80s product of wrestling. WWE was the greatest thing are young minds had ever seen. We were happy with the state things were in, slowly though it began to taste stale. It wasn’t until the birth of the NWO that we realized that we needed some fresh air in wrestling. WWE answered the NWO call, with the Attitude Era. The product of wrestling had evolved and we all breathed the fresh air. Years later, the air around WWE began to change again, this time it wasn’t so good. To me and many others I am sure, we seem to be stuck in this weird, modern day, 1980s wrestling show. Where WWE tries to forge forward but the echoes from the past keep creeping up.
Wrestling has always had crazy gimmicks, there are some that work, and some that don’t. But the days of these cartoony storyline gimmicks have come and gone, even though Vince wants to relive the glory days. WWE wants me to actually believe that Jason Jordan is Kurt Angle’s son. Instead, every time they mention this I get angry and say “how stupid do you think we are?” WWE has always had these corny family story lines, but in this day and age, it cannot and does not work. So why does WWE keep trying? WWE also wants me to believe that Jinder Mahal is from India, and hates America, when in reality he is from Canada. (The 1980’s called Vince, they want the Foreigner hates America gimmick back)
We have a tag team that carry hammers to the ring. How cheesy can we get? How about put we just give them some trash cans and instead of the Bludgeon Brothers we call them the Trash Brothers. The Bludgeon Brothers could easily fit in 1980’s wrestling. WWE now has a rule of no more blood, or foul language, or death defying matches except for the TLC Pay-Per-View we get every year. Every time we think we are forging away from the PG-Era we get pulled back in with this kind of modern day silliness.
The state things are in
Is everything that WWE does bad and gimmicky? No, but I am unsure why we keep trying to bring back gimmicks and tropes that can’t work anymore in this day and age. I understand we have to do a “family friendly” show. But, can we not try and push the envelope forward just a little bit. I would rather cheer, not roll my eyes at WWE. Am I just getting old and my fond memories of wrestling are clouding my judgment of the current state of WWE?
Plead for the future.
I’m not saying that I want full blown Attitude Era resurgence. There was A LOT of things that did not work in that era. But, wrestling has to continue to evolve to keep people interested. Am I the only one that feels like some of this goofy tropes need to go to the way side? I am sure that people whom did not grow up with 80s and 90s wrestling is ok with this kind of stuff resurfacing, cause this type of WWE is all they have ever known. Modern day WWE needs to find a better middle ground between the Attitude Era and 80s wrestling because the PG-Era is not the answer. Can we try a PG-13 Era for a while and see how it goes?
Dear Smarks: WWE Does Listen To Fans
Either last week or earlier this week (my days are running together so I don’t remember), Stephanie McMahon was at a summit called ‘Game Changer’ and she made the following comment: ‘We’re successful for one reason only – we listen to our fans.’
The internet smarks ROASTED Stephanie over this comment, mocking her for claiming that WWE listens to their fans when, in their minds, that is clearly not the case. Why? Because Roman Reigns, not Braun Strowman is champion, among other things. Clearly, any company that makes Roman Reigns champion over Braun Strowman isn’t listening to their fans, or at least, their REAL fans. You know, the all-knowing, smark community who know how to run a multi-billion dollar business better than the people who work there do.
I’ve tackled this ‘Real fan’ nonsense in the past and I’m really not in the mood to do it now and the issue of Braun Strowman being champion is an article unto itself. However, let’s be clear here: WWE DOES listen to their fans and the fans they listen to are the fans that buy stuff.
WWE first, last, always, and forever, is a business. They need money to survive and being a publicly traded company, they need money to keep the shareholders happy, that means they have to know who and what makes the money to keep the shareholders happy and keep the company afloat and who is making them the most money is Roman Reigns.
Don’t give me that look. Don’t roll your eyes at me and grumble about him being over pushed and/or shoved down your throat. I can name several people in WWE not named Roman Reigns that are over pushed. The bottom line is that Reigns moves merchandise, his stuff sells and sells really well. Having been to a few WWE TV/PPV tapings, I can tell you that Reigns’ stuff can get a little tough to find and is usually the most requested item.
Now before any of you make snide comments about Reigns having more stuff to sell, I checked WWE’s shop are and compared the number of Roman Reigns shirts to the number of shirts for AJ Styles, in terms of shirts including: T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and what’s available for both genders, Roman Reigns had thirteen shirts available while Styles had twenty. Thirteen different shirt designs to twenty and that doesn’t include hats, gloves, or the non-wearable stuff available.
Oh, Reigns’ stuff is bought by women and kids, so it shouldn’t count? Here’s my question: So what? It’s still money that SOMEONE is spending on merchandise. If WWE didn’t want women and kids to buy their stuff, they wouldn’t be marketing stuff for women and kids. Why? Because women and kids are FANS!
For those of you still grumbling, here’s some food for your thoughts: Why should WWE listen to their ‘real’ fans? No, I’m serious. Why should they listen to fans who cheer something one week, boo it the next, demand that indy darlings get pushed despite getting mediocre pops from Main Roster audiences, and pay more attention to beach balls and time clocks than the matches? Why should they listen to people who BRAG about spending a lot of money on tickets just to boo one person they don’t like?
WWE is like any company, they listen with their bottom line, and what they’re hearing from fans is that the fans like Reign because that’s the stuff that sells the best. And before you say one thing about about Reigns’ stuff being more available at TV tapings and Live Events, I’ve been to a RAW taping, a RAW PPV, and a SmackDown/205 taping and while Reigns stuff was at SmackDown, there was also a lot of Styles and Cena stuff available at RAW events and I’m not hearing any complaining about that.
Maybe the problem isn’t that WWE isn’t listening, it’s just that your views aren’t the what the majority paying fans think or want. WWE is catering to what most of their fans want, not just the small minority that can’t seem to make up their minds about what they want.
Cheap Shots: Should Finn Balor Quit WWE?
Why Finn Balor should “Quit” The WWE
After seeing KO burst into tears on Monday night RAW two weeks ago and “quit” there were a slew of videos about why KO “quit”. The biggest one was to revitalize his character. So in playing the devils advocate why not have the first Universal Champion quit? Here’s why!
After Balor won and “lost” the title after 2016 SummerSlam he’s had and up and down career in the main roster. The once longest reigning NXT champion was a phenomenon when he joined the NXT, but once he hit the main roster, while fan support is still there it is fleeting. He had a brief reunion with Gallows and Anderson which might’ve singled a heel turn to fans, a feud with Rollins for the IC title and has had back to back to back matches against Baron Corbin. None of which have done anything for the superstars character. A heel turn might have helped a few months ago, but the repetitive booking has kind of killed that momentum.
With Finn away from the scene for a while it might help the WWE reevaluate the talent that is Finn Balor, it might also give Finn time to figure himself out too. With a WIN to his name against Elias, it seems like the co-founder of the Bullet Club may either turn to his alter ego The Demon, or perhaps a superstar shakeup is in order and he should be in place to get Balor back in the limelight. Right now, Raw seems packed full of main card talent that is either starting a faction of sorts I.E. Braun, Drew and Dolph or is turning on The Shield.
Listen, while SmackDown Live is producing the better show, it is not like the talent on there is being utilized any better. Nakamura is in limbo with the U.S. title, Aj and Joe are having a great feud in terms of promos, but not in the squared circle. The only thing that brings SmackDown Live as the A show is really their tag division and the Charlotte Flair/Becky Lynch feud.
So maybe a frustrated Finn goes away, and comes back as The Demon on SmackDown Live and interjects himself in the feud between AJ and Joe, maybe he causes friction between The Club and AJ and they “screw over” AJ during a title match, the possibilities are endless moving Balor to team blue, but what this boils down to is WWE needs to make this move while Balor is still a fan favourite and what I mean by that is that he will always have the crowd behind him, but even the loyalist fans can get bored.