When will the WWE wake up and take notice?

Craig Wilson

So, today’s news is that the WWE has the lowest Raw ratings for fifteen years but to anyone with more than a passing interest in wrestling, is that really a surprise?

For me, it is a resounding no. For far too long now the WWE product has been stale and boring. Gone are the surprises of old and the superstars that made us tune in and they have been replaced by a bland product that is predictable and lacks many genuine stand out stars.

Remember when Mankin won the title on Raw or when Austin got in Mike Tyson’s face? Those are stand out moments from the history of the WWE. Remember when DX invaded Raw or impersonated the Nation of Domination? We all do. Of course we do. These will be moments that will be rightly remembered from the period when Raw was unmissible.

Fast forward to now and look at the moments we see on Raw. In ten to fifteen years’ time will we remember AJ’s reign as Raw GM or when Lesnar attacked Shawn Michaels? No, no one will remember these moments. Not only because of the low viewing figures but because they weren’t significant. Nobody cares. That there is the problem for the WWE.

But what is the WWE doing to tackle this? The answer on the surface appears to be virtually nothing. Raw has been stale for years. The notion that it is because of Linda running for Senate aren’t the only factor here.

The biggest problem has been the lack of stars being created. Someone new watching Raw and Smackdown would keep seeing the same faces time and time again and probably believe that the WWE roster was quite small despite the enormous number of wrestlers doing nothing or worse, stuck in squash matches on superstars.

The creative department in the WWE is well and truly stuck in a rut. There is a fantastic amount of talent bubbling under the surface – a casual watch of NXT will show some of the great wrestling ability that many stars have. The problem? The lack of a gimmick for most.

The most evident sign of the lack of star power in the WWE has been the fact that the WWE has become dependent on bringing back former talent to headline shows – your Rock and Lesnar being prime examples. Years of short sightedness has created the malaise in the WWE and it is proving to be very difficult to get out of.

A recent sign of desperation was Vince’s return to in ring competition – an in-ring return for a man five years older than another non wrestler who had a heart attack in the ring the week before. Now there are rumours that another man in his sixties, Ric Flair who is 63, will be returning to Raw next weekend.

So who do the WWE have in terms of stars? Of the current full-time roster, there three biggest guys are probably Randy Orton, John Cena and CM Punk. Orton looks completely generic; Cena is disliked by a crowd who tired of him being pushed down their throat Rock style with CM Punk arguably being the most over star on the roster.

His reward? A failure to highlight a PPV this year, other than Night of Champions against Cena, despite being WWE Champion. But what about Hell in a Cell 2012 I hear you ask, well it looks very much like Ryback will ride rough shot over him in that one.

McMahon apparently demanded “results or resignations” at a recent backstage meeting, perhaps he should have been more proactive rather than leaving it so late and looking both desperate and reactive.

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