411Wrestling Special: 10 Ways To Save Wrestling - Part 4
Posted by Michael Benjamin on 10.16.2003
The final part in Ken Anderson's acclaimed special look at how to save wrestling...
NOTE: Part 1 of this special feature is available here! Part 2 is available here! Part 3 is available here!
10. Give Wrestling an off-season:
The biggest problem in wrestling today is overexposure. One of the main reasons the general public lost favor with wrestling so early into it's boom period to begin with was overexposure. This is the reason that the last wrestling boom lasted only two and a half years, as opposed to the six to eight year boom that Hogan initiated. There's only so long you can watch the Rock come out three times a week, spout off the same catch-phrases, and have it remain fresh. We've seen it all.
Both current brands reek of stagnation.
I haven't watched RAW or Smackdown regularly in almost a year. I catch bits and pieces if I'm home, and if not, it's not the end of the world. Maybe I'll read a recap, maybe I won't.
In the last twelve months, nothing has really happened on either RAW or Smackdown. You could easily miss four or five weeks here or there and literally not miss a THING. A far cry from the "Anything can happen in the WWF" days.
The brand-split, designed in large part to alleviate the repetitive nature of WWE storylines, has actually made the problem even worse. The Smackdown main event scene hasn't changed ONE BIT in the last year and a half. That's pathetic. That's lifeless. That's going to kill the brand. The same goes for RAW. We've all watched nearly TWO HUNDRED hours of "WWE action" in the last eighteen months, and it's all been the EXACT SAME THING.
In order to keep things fresh, wrestling needs an off-season.
Here's the best way for that to happen:
-Summerslam will be the "season finale" for the WWE. Huge feuds will be blown off, cliff-hangers will arise, and the WWE will say goodbye until the Fall.
-For the next two months, WWE reruns, specials, and whatever else the networks see fit will air in the place of the regular programming. Wrestlers will be given a desperately needed opportunity to slow down, allow nagging injuries to heal, spend time with their families, and just generally recharge their batteries in order to have the ability to go full-force when things resume.
Meanwhile, WWE creative will use the time off to brainstorm, create great new angles for the fall "season," scout new talent, and carefully evaluate the current roster. They will also have the much needed chance to think things out and make intelligent, long-term decisions about angles, rosters, and talent.
In mid-to-late October, the WWE will go live with a massively promoted "season premier," resolving old issues, posing new questions, and introducing fresh talent and angles immediately.
Instead of going head-to-head with Monday Night Football and Friends with a stagnant, tired product, Vince will be directly competing with the fall lineup by presenting fresh ideas, new faces, hot wrestling-hungry crowds, and infinite hope.
We, as fans, need time off. We need to crave wrestling again.
Seinfeld, Friends, ER, and even NFL football would be dead if their fanbases never had time to stop, catch their breathe, and truly desire fresh, new television.
I haven't had a week off of the WWE product in 17 years. It's no wonder it seems so stale and lifeless.
In order to survive, wrestling needs an off-season.
There you have it.
While we might not have answered every nagging problem the WWE is currently facing, we've laid down a basic, yet thorough enough framework to hopefully start swinging the momentum back in the right direction.
Of course, it goes without saying that Vince will continue to do things his way, the only way, and continue to drive off fan after fan, but hell, at least we tried.
Thanks as always for taking the time to read my stuff, and I hope you enjoyed it.