Monday, July 16, 2018

We Weren't Entertained... Well, I Tried.

My head hurts this morning... and I need to get stuff off my chest for a bit.

So Sunday was a bad day riddled with intestinal aches that kept me off the shelf for a bit. And that meant being able to watch yesterday's Extreme Rules PPV... for about five minutes before I opted to take a walk with the dog and then fire up my old Xbox and play some Capcom Classics Collection for the purposes of future review fodder.

The scene in question? Former undefeated empress of tomorrow Asuka beating the shit out of James Ellsworth hanging from a shark cage like a pinata before getting her head slammed into said cage by Carmella, who then stole the pin and retained the title. The amount of "Fuck This Company" vibes were so strong with this one scene that I shut the show off and never looked back.

As I'm writing this morning, I'm watching the replay, which is currently airing an Intercontinental championship match between Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler, where the crowd is chanting for a clock to be fixed somewhere. My understanding is that this was the main event, going over the WWE World Championship match between AJ Styles and Rusev, which I've heard some good things about. The match itself was... alright, I guess, but the crowd played a somewhat detrimental part in my enjoyment of this main event.

Now, setting aside my irritation for the fact that a title bout for the World Heavyweight Championship is playing second fiddle to a secondary title match - which, I suppose, is an improvement over playing second fiddle to yet another Roman Reigns main event - I find myself wondering how a multi-million dollar company would find ways to piss off its audience on a regular basis without ever realizing that maybe... JUST maybe... if they provided the audience with a show that people actually cared about or even grow to genuinely enjoy, they wouldn't be doing these stupid chants.

But because WWE is run by... you know, the politically correct term is "mentally challenged" in this regard, but calling the people who run the creative "mentally challenged" would be considered grossly offensive to the mentally challenged for being associated with the nimrods who produce these shows.

It's funny, because I just watched an independent wrestling show on Saturday night and while I couldn't watch the whole show due to stream and timing issues, I enjoyed what I saw for the most and was thoroughly entertaining by a wrestling show in 2018. Holy balls, what a concept! Part of that was because it's an indy show, your standards and expectations are low because it's not going to match the production quality of a WWE production, so you go in with more of an open mind. It also helps that aside from a few names here and there, this is pretty much new territory for me because I don't know any of these people beyond seeing their name pop up every once in a while.

But as I'm watching this show, the one thing that I noticed right off the bat is that the audience - while small and at times silent - were actually into the show. They cheered what they liked, they booed what they were supposed to boo, they chanted when appropriate, they enjoyed what they saw, and they NEVER HIJACKED THE FUCKING SHOW. And the result was a little wrestling show that I could sit down, watch, and have a bit of fun with it... which is nice, because it gives me hope for this Powerbomb.TV thing that I might stick with for, at least, the first month.

So if a small independent promotion with no money, no fancy gimmicks, and no largely recognizable names has no problem delivering a show that people can get into and enjoy, why the fuck can't this multi-million dollar company with high-end production studios and a massive roster of super talented wrestlers and performers pull off the same thing? Why is this company so tone-deaf that when people react poorly to a shit show, their first reaction would be to chide their PAYING CUSTMOERS for not enjoying the show.

Maybe the reason why they didn't enjoy the show is because THE SHOW SUCKED.

There used to be a time when I would catch up with the PPVs; if I don't watch the weekly RAWs or Smackdowns or whatever on a regular basis, I'll at least watch the monthly PPVs. I didn't sit through either of the last two PPVs since Backlash nor am I particularly inclined to go back and watch them in their entirety. Instead, I'm spending my WWE Network subscriptions watching random old wrestling shows and PPVs on a whim... maybe tune in to the odd ball show here and there... but never their shitty reality shows since they're all shit... except for Legends House, which was a better show that I would've thought it'd be.

I actually started following the NWA Youtube and the Elite channels this past month and I've enjoyed their output for the most part. Not much in terms of production, but they told simple, straightforward stories that were easy to grasp, played out in a way that I can get into, and now I want to know what happens next. Holy shit, another revolutionary concept!

Listen, I'm not saying anything here that hasn't already been said before. And I'm not trying to come off as "super smart mark who hates everything" because if I actively hated something, I wouldn't be talking about it. Sure, if something flat out sucks enough to hurt my brain - anything out of 2003 WWE, for example - I will voice my displeasure in a somewhat over-exaggerated way. There are few things I hate in the world that I'd rather NOT discuss in any way, shape, or form. And when I do talk about something that I absolutely DESPISE, then it'll be a one and done deal. I've said my piece, I'm moving on.

This 2018 WWE that's going on right now... I want to hate it, I really want to hate it because it's really that bad. There is a NEED to hate because everything that I enjoyed watching on these shows are slowly but surely turning into absolutely shit... but I can't hate it. Because in order to hate, I have to care in a way; I have to have some emotional investment. And despite my words to the contrary, I really don't care about the current WWE product. I have no emotional investment in the current product. And when I chance on the current product, I'm just shaking my head wondering why this shit has gotten so bad.

Before this weekend, I figured that it would be a sure thing that I'd sit through ten hours of Summerslam next month... but after next month, I don't know if I care enough to follow through on that.

On the bright side, Rusev Day is now a thing in Knox County.

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