I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint. – Salieri (Amadeus, 1984)
Using the word mediocrity to describe WWE is generosity. It’s the last fleeting bits of apologist left in me that have not been wrenched out. Perhaps, it is the final moment of mercy I grant the promotion that is the reason I got into pro-wrestling. I have a lot of great memories from WWE and I would never forget them nor pretend WWE isn’t responsible for them. WWE had many fine years I treasured. Some of my favorite wrestlers, matches, moments were highlighted by this goliath of a promotion that has long been dominant in the pro-wrestling landscape.
These days none of that is true. WWE fails to live up to its final letter. Very little entertainment is to be found. It’s a conglomerate of quantity over quality. Where my favorites go to have every ounce of enjoyment and excitement drained out of them until they find themselves on Twitter defending their latest name change or doing mental gymnastics trying to explain why main eventing Main Event is exactly how they want their career to be.
I’m a former apologist, a former diehard fan. I am feeling what little is left of my WWE fandom slowly wheezing for that final breath that may never arrive. Find myself looking up and shouting “save me” to the company that once brought me much happiness. WWE looks down and whispers “HAVE SOME MORE KING CORBIN HIGHLIGHTS” while standing awkwardly to the side and watching me on a backstage monitor. A company that has sunk so low that any signs of middling and over the top storytelling (Jay Uso/Roman Reigns) are met with acclaim and applause that far exceeds what it deserves. Where antics of Bray Wyatt are gawked and fawned over for no reason other than it’s different and imaginative. As I have explained before neither of those things automatically means good. Truth is, there is no chance that WWE is going to rev up their creative brains and burst into a speed of quality anytime soon. They are nothing more than a quantity factory. Their ratings are tanking, their fanbase is shrinking, and talent either misused or resigning themselves to their positions. All of that and they still chug along the way they do.
I use to throw out all the excuses, all the defenses, all the devil advocating statements one can throw:
- Just wait and see what happens
- I’m sure there will be a payoff that makes sense
- I’m sure it’s leading somewhere in the end
- Getting through the bad will be worth it once it’s good again.
The problem is when you wait and see what happens it just continues to get worse or ends up in a way that generates (or attempts to) heat rather than fan-pleasing moments. Instead of payoffs, we get angles and stories dropped in an instant due to lack of interest or for twists and turns that are maddening. “I’m sure it’s leading somewhere”, leads to nothing more than it careening off a glimpse and into the jagged rugged rocks of “A waste of my time.” Then we have the final one. Getting through the bad will be worth it once it’s good again.
You shouldn’t have to be like Andy Dufresne and crawl through endless shit just to get to that sweet feeling of it being worthwhile. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. You don’t sit there and get your intelligence insulted, your time wasted, and your love for wrestling chipped away at in hopes of things improving. It should be great entertainment period. Fuck, with the money they are making and the time they have they should be great. They should be the best damn company in the world based on the years of experience, the amount of television, and one of the greatest collections of talents ever. Instead, it’s a colossal, collective, and catastrophic failure on all levels. Current WWE is the Superman 64 of pro wrestling. Just an awful and unenjoyable mess that is talked about in the most negative terms. I’ve not even gotten into Saudia Arabia, and how they have handled sexual abuse allegations of various talents. That deserves separate articles that are better left to people far better than I am to write about. It’s just another set of black eyes to their image and in the mindset of fans.
Believe me when I say I hate being this negative. I take no satisfaction in being this negative and critical of a company that started my fandom. I BADLY WANT them to succeed creatively. I WANT THEM TO BE BETTER! I want their talent to flourish and put on some of the greatest matches of the year and have some of the best storylines of all time. I want to watch them with a girlhood warmth as I get all giddy at the pure entertainment presented on my television/computer screen. I held out for so long for that. I went to three Wrestlemanias in a row because I got so much god damn enjoyment from this company. As early as 2019 they gave me one of the best shows I ever been to in NXT TakeOver New York. At times even they pop out occasional gold nuggets from mounds of crap and I sadly trick myself into thinking maybe this is a start. I’ve given them my money, I’ve given them my time, I’ve given them my fandom. I opened up my fandom and purse and in the end WWE shit in both. They have made their feelings toward fans like me apparent, so now I make mine in return, I’m done.
Life is short, and our options are numerous.
You don’t owe WWE a single ounce of time, a cent of your money, or a slice of your fandom. It’s not guaranteed, it’s not given, it is earned, and they haven’t earned it. WWE has done more to make me regret and dislike being a wrestling fan than any other company. Sure, my favorite companies have their flaws, issues, criticism, bad years. I concede and admit to many of them. BUT, on the same token, I feel they’ve earned leeway, they’ve earned second and third chances. For the time being it feels like they give a damn, while WWE doesn’t even give one shit let alone two. You don’t owe WWE a single damn thing. Applauding them for whenever they achieve the bare minimum succeeds at nothing but assuring you’ll get more of the same. I doubt things will change soon so I’ve moved on. There are so many wrestling companies to give time and money too. Some big, some small, all trying, all with amazing talents, and all just waiting for you to be entertained and fall in love with them. This year alone I’ve been wowed by many wrestling companies I’m given chances to and every single one of them has succeeded where WWE has failed.
I hope I eat these words. I hope in the near future WWE lights a fire under their own asses and ignites into a new age of creativity, great matches, great moments, and amazing shows. I want to look up the recipe for crow and prepare to eat some. I’d love it, but I don’t expect it, and it might be too little too late. TLC was a well-received show but I’m not even willing to spend the time or money to find out for myself. My time and dollars have gone elsewhere and it’s going to not just take moments of greatness but a long string of consistency to bring me back. This is something WWE has no longer proven they are capable of doing. I’m still a wrestling fan. It is my biggest enjoyment in the world. I love writing about it, I love talking about it, and I love watching it at all hours. My fandom is divided by various shapes and sizes of slices of pie, and it continues to expand. It has expanded to the point that WWE has been pushed out. I’m no Michael Corleone. I’m out and I will remain out. They won’t pull me back in anytime soon.