5 things WWE must do right now to improve its programming
Disclaimer: The views of the author do not represent the views of Sportskeeda
It's safe to say that this year's "post-WrestleMania slump" (the colloquialism for the typical decline in the quality of WWE programming between WrestleMania and the build to SummerSlam) has been worse than normal. I couldn't believe that this year's slump could be worse than last year's, but somehow, someway, WWE is pulling the feat off.
It's coming at just the wrong time, too. All Elite Wrestling's maiden event, Double or Nothing, was everything that fans were hoping for when the new promotion was announced at the start of the year. The supposedly "developmental" NXT continues to show up the "main roster" like clockwork. The difference in quality between TakeOver: XXV and Super Showdown couldn't be clearer.
Ratings for the main roster shows continue to sink, backstage morale is low, and more wrestlers want out of the company. Supposedly, Vince McMahon himself recognizes the system is broken.
If that latest bit of news is the case, that's good. The first step in fixing a problem is recognizing you have one. Up to now, that hasn't been the case in WWE. I've spoken of long-term fixes before, but those will take time to implement. Here are five things WWE must do right now to improve its content, lest more fans and talent abandon ship.
#1 End the "wild card rule"
Everybody hates this. Fans hate it. Talent hates it. The writers hate it. It was a disaster from day one. Fortunately, it's only been in place for a month, so the damage isn't irreversible, but the sooner it goes, the better.
The "wild card" rule was a panic move by Vince McMahon in an attempt to boost fast-sinking ratings. So far, it hasn't had any noticeable dent. WWE's year on year declines stabilized in May, but that was because the NBA was winding down and there wasn't much further room left for them to drop.
The "wild card" hasn't brought any of those fans that left back and it's made the programming even worse. WWE's ability to tell compelling stories was tenuous beforehand, but the "wild card" has made it nonexistent, because each show is centered around talent jumping from one brand to another for ad-hoc purposes, making it impossible to invest in any character.
Just as bad, it's prevented talent from getting a spotlight and breaking out, as the "wild card" has mostly centered around the same few people, robbing each particular show of its unique selling proposition.
It's a disaster. It needs to go.