WWE and its tried and tested formula
During the Golden Globes earlier this year, Tina Fey said something about Hollywood that resonates with the WWE or anything related to entertainment. About hosting the Globes for the second time in a row with Amy Poehler she said, “We are hosting the Golden Globes for our second times, because this is Hollywood and if something kind of works they’ll just keep doing it until everybody hates it.”
It can be considered a cardinal rule in the entertainment industry- when something works well for the first time, it has to be done again and again till it reaches its saturation point.
While WWE uses various formulas to build up a rivalry, like say having an Underdog or having a foreign villain etc. Triple H recently inaugurated a new era in the WWE called the ‘Reality Era’. This was during a time when Triple H was constantly taking note of the Internet discussions on WWE. The ‘Reality Era’ term was coined almost 3 years ago when CM Punk sat on the ramp and provided one of the most relevant and greatest moments in the WWE. He later termed it as a ‘pipebomb’ and since then the ‘pipebomb’ has been a feature in this era. AJ Lee has one to her credit, Sandow is attempting to do it, Ziggler has also done it albeit in the WWE App. AJ Lee and Ziggler have done a good job off shelling out a pipebomb, but none of them compares to the original. Even CM Punk’s pipebomb during his rivalry with the Rock wasn’t as good as the one on June 27, 2011. And it shouldn’t be expected to be all that great. That moment 3 years ago was special because nobody saw that coming and it was something that people felt, but never talked about. It was like, years ago when people finally got to know that wrestling was scripted. It had that excitement to it. It had that curiosity to it. Nowadays, a pipebomb won’t secure a push like the one Punk got because it has now become a tried and tested method.
If Stone Cold Steve Austin had constantly reminded us of what Austin 3:16 meant, it would have lost its stature. Its pop culture status continued to expand because it was new, unexpected and it circulated because of the fans who were excited to see what Stone Cold was up to next.
The constant mention of a pipebomb or the reality in the Reality Era has undermined the mystique of the wrestling business as far as WWE is concerned. They’re making their superstars and divas present all over social media with different Youtube Channels, Twitter Accounts and now they have the WWE Network. It seems that the ‘replay; feature on raw or Smackdown does not have much meaning to it because everyone can relive it on some social media platform.
The constant availability of the WWE at the tip of our fingers has made things seem more standardized. What does it take to stand out now? Expanding their business is leading them to jeopardize the art that goes into making a rivalry or feud seem exciting.
There is no way a pipebomb now can make Ziggler return to his former glory or make Sandow come back from the brinks of jobbing status. They certainly stand out, but the management seems to be hell bent on trying the same old formulas on them. They need something consistent to do with their promising careers.
Continuing with the formula does not truly fit with every superstar or diva. If they still continue to do so, then the management sure knows how to break a career but they sure don’t know how to make one.