The WWE’s Farcically Obvious Prediction Cycle

Courtesy of Google images

Courtesy of Google images

This is by no means meant to deface the heart of the sports entertainment industry, I myself am a big fan of the WWE. What it is meant to do, is to provide a fan based, insider’s view of the often comical prediction cycle that runs rampant among WWE storylines.

For example, this past week on Smackdown, CM Punk faced Edge for the second week in a row, in a non-title match up that would see Punk cash in his money in the bank contract for the championship if he were able to put his signature move, the “go to sleep,” on Edge successfully. The problem with this scenario however, is that Edge got counted out, disqualifying himself and making it impossible for Punk to obtain the championship.

As if that weren’t enough, Umaga appeared from behind Punk, slamming him viciously onto the mat. Then Umaga finished Punk off with his signature move, the “Samoan spike.” It was about this time that J.R. uttered the words, “coming out of nowhere,” and Todd Grisham followed with, “Punk never saw Umaga coming!”

Really? Just one week prior, the same exact thing happened. Umaga, for no apparent reason, “appeared out of nowhere” at the end of Edge and Punk’s non-title match and barbarously slammed Punk onto the canvas, eliminating the possibility of him cashing in for the championship. How could anyone believe that we wouldn’t see the same results this past week? Kudos to both the performers and the commentators for their ability to act surprised.

How about the “I challenge any superstar in the locker room” routine? That never gets old. Anytime an up and coming superstar (generally a heel) or a “B-list” superstar “call out” an opponent to challenge, it’s always the most dominant superstar who answers. (When I say dominant, I mean physically monstrous in size and height.) 

This past week’s Smackdown also showcased new superstar Dolph Ziggler, as he aimed to make his mark among the WWE elite. Ziggler got The Great Kahli knocking down his door. Kahli answers a lot of these calls, he happily responded to “The” Brian Kendrick’s “call out” not so long ago also. In the weeks leading up to Wrestlemania 25, Jamie Noble thought it would be wise to call out a few superstars. One of his opponents wound up being “The Big Red Machine,” Kane. Not surprisingly, he lasted only a few seconds in the ring with each of his adversaries.

There can only be two logical explanations for the challenge routine. One is to give a boost to a potentially successful superstar’s career, and the other is saved for cutting promo’s for a PPV to come, usually Wrestlemania. This was the case with the Jamie Noble storyline-but, logic doesn’t really belong in this equation now does it? It wouldn’t be called sports entertainment if it did.

Funny thing is, I probably wouldn’t change a thing-well, not many things.


The WWE Creative Team Rises from the Dead


Until very recently the storylines in the WWE had become vacuous and stale. An ex wrestler, and new found buddy of mine brought up a pretty valid point. It seems that during the time the WWE’s ratings were dropping like fried insects from an outdoor bug zapper, Vince McMahon was trying to re-focus his attention on the “realism” of wrestling. This could have been a disastrous move. The WWE is a worldwide phenomena, but not because of the wrestling alone, not any longer.

It’s no secret that the WWE’s success comes from the malevolent rivalries and the often outre storylines; afterall, it is called sports entertainment. To try and go backwards, when wrestling was just wrestling is not plausible. Those times have long since died, and the outing of this type of wrestling as being fake is indelible. This is not to say that the grappling techniques, or the in ring action is fake, but rather the scripting of the storylines and the win/loss scenarios. Real fans of wrestling know all to well the strain that is put on these performers bodies on a weekly basis, it is no easy task to maintain the physical attributes neccessary to withstand the kind of punishment they take. One has to admire the Ric Flair’s, Hulk Hogan’s, Shawn Michael’s, and Undertaker’s in this business, all of whom have wrestled off and on for over two decades.

So, is it really that much of a shock that the near non existant storylines, and the mostly short lived, hollow rivalries didn’t fly among the WWE Universe?  

To the Rescue!

 In recent months, the creative team has saved face by producing several new storylines. The Orton vs. Mcmahons’ feud was a brilliant move, bringing back shades of the popular “attitude era” of the nineties and early 21st century. Even more impressive is the teams idea to pull a switch by turining the Mcmahons’ role face, and the antagonist (in this case, Randy Orton and Legacy) as the heel. It’s the Stone Cold storyline all over again, with a few variations. The Edge, Vickie Guerrero, and Big Show storyline also shows signs of the “attitude era.” Who could ever forget the Kane and Tori storyline, or the Kane, Lita, and Edge storyline, which then turned into the Matt Hardy, Edge, and Lita storyline? Better yet, who could forget the Trish Stratus and Vince McMahon storyline? Thats classic entertainment.

One of the storylines that hasn’t seemed to be as effective as others in the past, is the Hardy brothers betrayal storyline. It’s been done again and again. We saw it with Bret and Owen Hart and Edge and Christian, (who aren’t really brothers by the way) among many more. The Hardy Boyz are arguably the most popular brother tag team the WWE has ever seen, which is why I believe it isn’t working so well. However, I do think it could be the right call for a short term period. It will finally give Matt Hardy an opportunity to create a separate identity, away from his fan popular brother Jeff.

 Overall, I’d say it’s a job well done. Kudos to you WWE creative team, we look forward to more entertainment!