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We asked PWTorch readers: “What single change would you recommend the McMahons make to improve their product?” Here are their responses, the fourth batch…
PWTorch.com reader Chris Huffman writes…
Make everything about the competition. Matches, feuds, and storylines should all be directed towards competition and the goal of winning matches and titles. Put more emphasis on Sports rather than (non-sports-related) Entertainment. This is currently done to a degree with open challenges and pride in titles, but every match across the card, from Tyler Breeze and Mojo Rawley to a title match, should have the promos and announcers focusing on how the outcome places them to compete for a title. You will still have room for characters and feuds, but having a unified focus will make everything matter more. If it feels like every match and promo matters, viewers will become reinvested in the product.
Runner up suggestions:
- Have announcers call out heel tactics.
- Universal Champion needs to be on TV every week. If not in a match, talking himself up or the competition down.
- Do not put championship matches on pre-shows; it diminishes the value of the title.
Thank you for the opportunity to chime in.
PWTorch reader Christopher Getzan writes…
My sense is that WWE has been told by television industry consultants that males in their key age demographics enjoy listening to people yell at one another like they do on Fox News or the talking-head opinion shows on ESPN. However, numerous times in the last couple of years I have had to mute a WWE television show or a PPV because the announce table trio shouting nonsense at each other or attempting “commentary” that in no way enhances or helps tell the story of a match has felt like I was being aurally assaulted; indeed, one of the things that has made me reticent to show WWE shows to friends is the predictable inanity of the announcing.
Engaged, knowledgeable commentary is one of the many things that makes pro-wrestling more special than other televised sports. When I do watch WWE, which is rare nowadays – and I should emphasize I’m identifying WWE with the “main roster,” as opposed to NXT or the other network-exclusive shows – I don’t hear any of that. I hear a clamor of t-shirt catch-phrases repeated over and over, awful jokes, clumsy pop-culture references, and a confusion of noise from the commentary teams that in the best case makes what I’m seeing more confusing and in the worse case takes me out of a match completely. On top of all that, not only is it noisy, it usually sounds like focus-group-tested noise, which I didn’t know was possible.
Consistent, logical announcing, where the story being told or how commentators represent the wrestlers in the ring don’t change from match to match or hour to hour would go a long way to bringing me back, but more importantly, making the matches feel important and the wrestlers’ stories much more compelling.
Runner up: Less Is More: Six hour Summerslams and eight-hour WrestleManias don’t mean better wrestling.
PWTorch reader Ken Arnold writes…
What changes would I make? How about treating your special attractions like special attractions? Treat Brock Lesnar like the big deal he is – they did that after he ended the Undertaker’s WreetleMania Streak in 2014 and built him up as a force in 2015, 2016, and 2017. When your legacy stars come back – Trish and Lita come to mind – build them up and make it a big deal that they’re coming back to wrestle again regardless of how long or short their nostalgia run will be. Their return for Evolution would have been bigger if the build had been done right and not just thrown together haphazardly in the beginning.
Other ideas that come to mind…
- How about cutting back on the stupid, nonsensical toilet humor that only Vince McMahon finds funny. That would help Raw quite a bit.
- Stop going against and even fighting your audience about what they want and actually listen for a change.
- How about give Paul Levesque the reins of Smackdown and let him book and write the show? Let him run the show that’s built a reputation of being the work rate show and build momentum for the move to Fox in October of 2019.
PWTorch reader Matt from Arizona writes…
No more brand split of talent which would then mean eliminating the Universal and Raw/Smackdown brand-named belts. It makes all championships seem bigger and more important when the titles represent WWE and say “WWE” on them.
- Get rid of mid-match commercials
- Heels: Elias, Styles, Charlotte, Carmela
- Faces: Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura
- Sustained push at the top of the card: Undisputed Era, especially Adam Cole, Sasha Banks
- Release: Baron Corbin, Bayley
Now it’s your turn…
What would you change about WWE? The McMahons are promising to do more listening to fans, so be heard. This is your chance to be published on PWTorch.com with your suggestion for what you would change about WWE.
Here are the ground rules to be published. Pick one change that you most want to see and explain it in less than 500 words. Be concise and clear, and don’t mince your words. Let the McMahons know what you want out of WWE in 2019.
After you explain why your single suggested change is most important to you and why it would be good for WWE to listen to you, you can add onto the end, if you choose, a few other quick suggestions that are one-sentence each that were runners-up for your primary suggestion.
I will go through the responses and publish many of them in bathes here at PWTorch.com in comings days. Check back to read the suggestions of fellow fans in coming days.
Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, check out this week’s Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show featuring PWTorch VIP Analyst Todd Martin’s 30-plus minute list of five key suggestions for how WWE could change for the better in 2019.
Or search “Wade Keller”in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In Radio, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Beyond Pod, Downcast, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS BATCH OF SUGGESTIONS: Question of the Week (Batch 3): What single change would you recommend the McMahons make to improve their product?