You know, I should've seen this coming at some point, but yes, this post right here effectively ends my tenure, if you will, of supporting the WWE's current product, and trust me I have my reasons. I'm not sure if I've talked about this on my blog before, but this isn't the first time my tenure has ended, so to speak, and with that said, let's go back to December 2015. It was right around the time when Roman Reigns won the WWE title on RAW (I believe this was the night after the TLC PPV), and coincidentally, it was at this point when I decided to stop following WWE's product for good.... or so I thought, lol. I started a new job on January 19, 2016, and although I like it, with the type of work I do right now, I need something to listen to in order to get me through my work days (otherwise loyal reader, my days would DRAG, lol), and that's where listening to multiple, respectable podcasts came through. From there, I decided to pick up right where I left off. So far, no issues...... that is until I visited wrestlinginc.com on 5/25 (gotta mark it with the date, lol) and one of the first headlines I saw was:
Breaking News: Brand Split, WWE Smackdown Going Live In July, Vince McMahon comments
All I could do was shake my head and do the facepalm. Within recent weeks since the return of Shane McMahon, there have been off and on rumors about a "brand split", and each time out, I felt it was NOT the thing to do, however, before I expand further on that, allow me to go back (again), this time to 2002. Now, during the first "brand split/extension", I was never a fan of it and I said that SAME thing all the way up till it ended in late 2012. My reasoning then was that even with the stacked roster the company had, coming off the acquisitions of WCW and ECW, all Vince and company needed to do was just assess everything and be more creative with their storylines and such. Looking back, while I still feel the same about the initial split, I understand why they did it, especially when it comes to (complete) star power and the apparent need to "create their own competition".
So, getting back to the story at hand, I'm not, I repeat, I'm NOT happy with this sudden change of events. While WWE's business is certainly not hurting, they continue to face issues on the creative side, so this is their way of change, to split the damn rosters again???? First off, even with the talent they do have, it's not stacked like it was back in 2002 and the star power is lacking as it is, with only a few names that could be called "superstars". Secondly, outside of a very minor group of people, who the hell was clamoring for another brand split? With a thin roster (and let's keep it real, it is thin), this is their way of "shaking things up"?? What makes them think today's audience is going to want to see "a distinct roster" each week, especially with RAW being a 3 hour show and now Smackdown being live on Tuesdays? And speaking of Smackdown, are the ratings for this show THAT bad that they need to do this? And what about NXT? Granted, I don't watch it as much outside of the "Takeover" specials, but are they going to pull more from the brand, further defeating the entire purpose that it serves? How long has this been thought about? My guess is that it wasn't over the course of a few months. With all this being said, after I read the article above, the first thing that came out of my mouth is, "I'm done".
I know I've said "I'm done" before, but loyal reader, this is sincere and I mean it 100 percent. No longer will I continue to devote time to keeping up with this product and if you decide to continue, more power to you. Add in the lack of interesting storylines, the Roman Reigns factor and other things I detailed in my previous "Off Topic" post, I have no desire to continue, and with all due respect, I'm not trying to hear, "well Wayne, what if it ends again?" By the time you read this, I've already cancelled my PWTorch VIP and WWE Network subscriptions. And speaking of the Network, I don't need it and I can apply my $9.99 elsewhere, and not to brag, but considering the extensive wrestling collection I already own, I'm more than set. Also, I'm still going to listen to wrestling podcasts, but only on historical items, and as I continue, I want to give a shoutout to the following shows:
Time Limit Draw (I may be on this show soon)
Solomonster Sounds Off
Gerweck Report Podcast (GRP)
What's Wrong With WWE
Live Audio Wrestling (LAW), especially John Pollack and Wai Ting
the entire PWTorch staff
The Lapsed Fan
Bookin' The Territory
The Place To Be Podcast
Mat Men Wrestling
The Steel Cage
Off The Script w/ JDFromNY
Going In Raw
Voices Of Wrestling
The Fan's Podcast
Four Horsemen Review
New Blood Rising
The Don Tony & Kevin Castle Show
To ALL of the hosts and their participants, I want to say THANK YOU for all that you do, no doubt (and to those I follow on Twitter and communicate with in some form, I will not unfollow you) !
Overall, I'm still a wrestling fan, just not interested in the current product any longer, and I do wish success to the talents on the roster, such as John Cena, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Dean Ambrose, Chris Jericho, Cesaro, etc, (and no, Roman Reigns gets no love from me, I'm not a fan). I started this post with pictures defining the eras that'll remain in my heart forever, the times when it was fun and cool to be a wrestling fan. I MISS those days.