Yup. WWE still produces an abundance of good-great matches over the course of a year (far more than TNA, though I have no idea how many feel the same way, but I loathe the TNA style of wrestling), but the entire product on a week to week basis is just so stale and stuck in a sense of playing safe. I like the idea of making more angles/feuds heavily relient on the wrestling aspect and trying to make it important to be seen as a better wrestler than your opponent instead of day time soap opera esque Russo plots for feuds...but the likes of the NWA managed to create a product which featured their wrestling as a priority whilst still placing an impotus on the characters and storylines. WWE really should aim to be more like WCW circa 1992 if they're going for a more 'wrestling orientated product'. Keep the wrestling aspect central and keep characters more realistic and relatable instead of overly cartoonish, but still look to book certain feuds in a more grander and differential aspect than others: e.g have Orton/Del Rio be quite violent as a fued, whereas someone like Cesaro can have more wrestling based storylines revolving around building up a legitimate contender to dethrone him.
Every feud feels the same in the way its presented. Wrestler A does commentary as Wrestler B (his feud opponent) wrestles Wrestler C. Wrestler A either a) interferes to force a DQ, b) interferes to cause a loss only to fail and be dumped out of the ring, c) interferes and succeeds in causing Wrestler B to lose or d) just does commentary and then has a post match stardown with Wrestler B.
Then you'll have a standard promo with the babyface being overly comical and being force fed horrendously cheesy lines that remove any sense of emotion and realism in the feud, whislt the heel rattles off generic material about being better. Everything just seems to be in a constant loop instead of trying new angles and different characters and pushing different feuds in different directions. They're doing a better job at generally protecting their champions, but the likes of Cesaro desperately not only need credible feuds, but also need creative to start developing and booking fresh contenders. Whilst Cesaro feuds with Truth they should be trying to build the likes of Kidd, Tatsu, Gabriel, Ryder or some other lowcard babyface as a viable contender to challenge Cesaro when he's finished his current program, instead of just randomly putting Cesaro with Kidd after not seeing him for a month and expecting people to care and be willing to pay money to see them wrestle.
They still do give us good/great matches. That's the irony of what I have to say about the company right now...
See, the hyprocrisy of the WWE right now is that they're apparently trying to keep the focus on stuff in the ring - as opposed to their once over the top, bold storylines. Ok, fine. What's hypocritcal about it is simply this:
Vince is intent on not letting the company be considered a wrestling
promotion. How could they possibly build on the wrestling aspect when they can't even refer to the sport as that? It's "sports-entertainment". Not wrestling. They're "superstars", "entertainers", "performers". Not wrestlers. Only time you'll hear that word is when WrestleMania is around the corner. That alone is sucking the life from company to actually try and make programs compelling, if you ask me. It's as if the writers sit in their room and say "fuck it" lets push 'this guy'
this week to give this other guy
something to do. It's not wrestling anymore. We're making a TV show. I really feel that whenever I watch the WWE now. Then I'm supposed to expect this company to go out and want to establish new names for all aspects of the biz? New midcarders, upper midcarders, and main eventers. We aren't going to get that until this company starts to get themselves back into a WRESTLING promotion mindset again.
That backstage crew that books, writes, and makes the WWE go round can't possibly think the majority of their program is what it should be. They absolutely can't. Any success we see out in that ring is clearly from the talent working and them alone.