Originally Posted by Berzerker's Beard
However if I absolutely had to put it into words, it all started with the gradual transformation from wrestling program to variety show. That's all the WWE is now. It's a traveling variety show. It's not even a soap opera anymore because that would imply continuity. There is none.
This is true. I think a lot of the "faults" of WWE are not the talking points that so many, including people like WrestlingJesusYT, seem to get caught-up on.
As an example, the television shows being rated TV-PG does not have anything to do with the quality of the product. Contrary to popular belief, just adding weapon shots to the head, blood, cussing or women parading around in skimpy outfits will not suddenly improve a boring, bland & dull product. No, quite the contrary. It would just be a boring, bland & dull product that you would be embarrassed to watch with your significant other. If the modern era rating system was incorporated back during the .... ..... WWF era, it would have been rated TV-PG. WCW Nitro, during their biggest period, were rated TV-PG. It can definitely be argued that what a PG rating means in 2013 might be lost on some people in WWE, that is true, but the rating itself is not the problem.
There was a lot of unjust blame falling onto the Linda McMahon senate campaign as if that affected negatively the on-air product. Well, now that campaign is over. It certainly did not improve the month of December. I am tired of all of the excuses from WWE apologists. Oh, well it's Christmas. Oh, well it's New Year's Eve. Oh, well it's a taped show. Oh, well they were head-to-head with Monday Night Football. There is a different excuse literally every single Monday. "Just stop watching!" "Just download it or DVR it & fast forward through the show!" Those "solutions" do not make the show(s) any better. All that means is more people walk away & WWE sinks for good. Then what is everyone going to watch?
It's not the TV rating that is the problem. It's not Linda McMahon's senate campaign that is the problem. It is not WWE being a publicly traded company that is the problem. It is not a contract with Mattel. The problem is simple: apathy. In a word, that is the problem. Everyone is apathetic. The fans are apathetic. Either because of over-saturation from there being WAY too much WWE product available (RAW, Smackdown, NXT, Superstars, Saturday Morning Slam, Main Event & Pay-Per-Views) or because of lackluster effort from the shows that the fans do watch. The roster is apathetic. Either because of the grind from being on the road, or from a lack of being used, or from a lack of being pushed. It's a bunch of guys just phoning it in, one person not standing out from the next. They might as well be named by number. The creative teams are completely apathetic. There is no continuity (as Berzerker's Beard noted). You can not differentiate one show from the next. They stick to the same format, the same script, for every single show & never differentiate from the norm. You're getting an opening twenty minute in-ring promo. You're getting a heel authority figure screwing over babyfaces to set-up last minute matches to fill up the TV time. You get the same thing every week in the same slot every week with the same people every week. Then every third Sunday or so, they want you to pay $50 to see that AGAIN. It is insulting.
Even the commentators are apathetic. Where is the enthusiasm? Where is the interest in the matches going on? Where is the pride at getting better at your job? Does Michael Cole know the name of a single professional wrestling move unless it is a WWE created name that they can trademark? Does he know what a Boston Crab is, or is it just a "Walls of Jericho" because that's all he knows?
From the bottom to the top, from in front of the curtain to behind the curtain, from one city to the next, it's just complete apathy in every single direction, in every corner, from every person. Nothing feels organic, or natural, nothing feels fun, nothing stands out. It's like working on the same math problem for three hours every Monday and when the show ends, you still didn't solve the answer.