SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE has sent out a survey to their Fan Council asking them what they would most like to see in a House of Horrors match.
“Select from the list below the kind of elements (mood, setting, etc.) that would interest you as part of a House of Horrors match.”
Options: “Pitchforks, A Match Set Outside the Arena, Cage, Creepy/Scary, Fog, “Sheeple,” Projected Images, Darkness, Mirrors, Fire, Music, Other (specify), Nothing Different.”
Another variation: “What weapons/objects would interest you as part of a House of Horrors match?”
Options: “Bugs, Chains, Costumes, Chainsaws, Kendo Sticks, Tables, Chairs, Masks, Snakes, Axes, Fire, Other.”
Keller’s Analysis: This is embarrassing in and of itself. But worse, it’s symptomatic of WWE’s approach to booking. Bray Wyatt is sold to viewers on air as a devious, creepy, manipulative wrestler, but this Fan Council survey – which is being widely distributed (and mocked) on Twitter and other social media – means when fans watch the match, they’re not going to be thinking about Bray’s devious plans to shake Orton’s world and “make him devour his own soul” or whatever nonsense Bray said that no one believed he’d do to Orton. Instead, they’ll be thinking about how Bray announced that match without knowledge of what it’d end up being, and then WWE Corporate took a poll on what would “sports entertain” the fans the most, and then instructed the special effects team and wrestlers to do as they were told. The people in WWE who do this have zero clue why this is so detrimental to the overall fan experience where a little mystique and wonderment is still possible when it comes to the characters portrayed on TV. This is just an eye-rolling ugh moment.
If WWE wants to complain about fans trying to take control of shows and not “going with the program” (what Brian James called on Twitter the “anti-establishment minority”), giving fans this “power” to influence what happens in a match that a heel has already announced on TV is part of the reason. Instead of kicking back and enjoying the show, trusting that the WWE promoters know what they’re doing and have a vision and a reason behind their decisions, they send a message to fans that everything is up for fan input. What makes this even more ridiculous is that none of this matters. It’s not like chainsaws or masks will make a difference. Maybe it’s just a way to try to get a feeling for whether fans liked those “projected images” at WrestleMania without seeming to admit they are second-guessing themselves.