I guess first of all, goes without saying, if you don’t like or watch WWE, this blog might not be for you. It’s long. It will be good enough that you won’t have to like it to read it and understand it, but just want to preface it that maybe it’s not the blog for you if you’re not interested in the business.
That being said, last night was the worst ending…wait a minute, I wrote this exact same blog last year after Batista won the Rumble and Daniel Bryan wasn’t even in it. So what did Vince do this year? Completely botch it again. To the point where the mainstream media has picked up on it after ‘#CancelWWENetwork’ was trending in the USA and Worldwide on Twitter last night. That’s how pissed off wrestling fans are at the decision making this company made.
So just to recap, Roman Reigns won the Royal Rumble and got booed as loudly as possible. The Internet went crazy in disappointment. It wasn’t because Reigns won, but it was how they did it. How they don’t care about their fans, and how they just give F U after F U to their customers.
I don’t know how they didn’t see this coming. How they didn’t learn after last year. And it’s all on Vince McMahon. He is so arrogant, he makes a decision and goes with it, despite what common sense says. In his head, he decided long ago Roman Reigns was going to be his next big thing. Unfortunately for him, Roman Reigns is nowhere near ready to be his next big thing. Reigns can’t wrestle a decent match and has absolutely ZERO mic skills. But yet that’s the guy Vince wants to sell backpacks to kids, and that’s the guy who is being pushed down everyone’s throats. The thing that sucks though is he has no connection to the crowd. Can’t connect with an audience. And is absolutely pitiful when he tries to talk. But yet that’s who Vince wants, so that’s who we get. Doesn’t matter that guys like Ziggler/Wyatt/Bryan/Ambrose are organically more popular. Key word being organically, aka they didn’t need the company to make them popular, they are popular based on their work alone. Those types of guys are pushed aside for Reigns, and it’s awful.
So back to the Rumble last night. Everyone basically knew Reigns was winning it. Most people weren’t happy, but we knew it was going to happen. But there was always hope that someone else would win, mainly Daniel Bryan. The guy who everyone wanted last year and the fans rallied behind until he won the title at Mania. The guy the company tried to bury but the fans wouldn’t let them. What they instead did last night was have him come out 10th…and then get eliminated about 5 minutes later as if he was nothing. Just another random elimination, no big deal. No suspense. No “maybe he actually is going to win it”. After he was out, it was clear Reigns was going to be the guy, and it completely killed all the momentum for the next hour. The crowd booed or sat their quietly, as everyone knew there was nobody else on the roster that had a chance at winning. The storytelling was an F-. It’s so easy to do it properly. You have a bad guy, let’s say Rusev, the guy they are building to be their number 1 heel, eliminate Bryan and then have Reigns eliminate him. It’s so simple, but they manage to fuck it up so badly.
Instead, what we got was Big Show and Kane in the final 4 of the Rumble in 2015. Laugh out loud terrible. As if there was even a .000000001% shot of either of those old ass clowns winning. Again, the writing and storytelling just was so bad. That’s why the crowd was booing and the Internet went ballistic. What does Vince think? Did he actually think that was going to work? He’s senile. He doesn’t listen to the fans.
After Reigns won, it was supposed to be his big moment. And he was booed as loudly as possible. The Rock then came down to the ring, and he had NO idea what he just walked into. The Rock couldn’t stop Reigns from being booed. This is the Rock, the biggest, most popular wrestler in the history of the business, couldn’t stop the booing. And word is his is fucking pissed. That he didn’t know what he was walking into. The Rock does not fly to Philly to get booed, but yet that’s what they set him up for. For fucks sake, the Russian who praises Putin and has ripped American flags was getting massive cheers instead of Reigns. That’s how bad it was. When they wrote it, they figured “everyone will boo the Russian bad guy and be so happy when Reigns eliminates him”. But the exact opposite happened. So funny.
So what is the problem? It’s the fact everything is so transparent, so obvious, so watered down, so cookie cutter. Nothing is original. Last year, Reigns was new, cool, edgy, bad ass. They saw that and decided to completely ruin him and make him boring and to fit a mold. Every time someone becomes popular with fans, they ruin the person. As an analogy, it would be as if they saw Arrested Development was getting popular so they then gave it the Big Bang Theory writers. They don’t let anything happen organically or with any creativity. That’s what people hate so much. That’s why Roman Reigns huge moment last night was so hated.
And how does the WWE not get it? How do they not realize this isn’t 1995? The fans are smarter now. Social media exists. Fans have a voice. But Vince just ignores all of that because he thinks he’s so much better than everyone. But the problem is he’s so disconnected from his audience and still has the final say on every decision. How do they not understand that when HHH and Steph are supposed to be massive heels, but the person they hand pick to be the champion can’t be a face?
So now what? Well the page to cancel WWE Network subscription crashed because so many people were doing it at once. It was trending worldwide. You never want your billion dollar company trending worldwide because so many people are canceling their $9.99/month subscription. That can’t be best for business. But that’s what happens when a company consistently ignores what the paying customer wants.
I’m not sure how they fix this. Last year the fans spoke up and Daniel Bryan was finally given the respect he deserves and had his big Wrestlemania moment and all was good in the world. Now, they have Roman Reigns, who they wanted to be their next big John Cena, getting booed, and he obviously is booked to beat Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. What a disaster. I don’t know how they keep getting themselves into these situations, but it’s a terrible, terrible look for the company. I don’t know how they fix it. They don’t have a Daniel Bryan this year…unless they actually put Daniel Bryan in the match, but that won’t happen again, no chance.
If they really wanted Reigns to be popular, they would have had Cena do a Hogan-esque heel turn. That’s how they could have had Reigns become the new face, but they are too big of pussies to do that. So now Cena will face Rusev, the guy who got cheered last night. All in all, just so bad.
PS: Seth Rollins is the man.