Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Off Topic: Mark my words, I'm done! (REVISITED)

This is an update of my previous post from May 25, 2016, and of course my revised thoughts will be in bold. Read on!

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'll address this more as you continue to read on.) 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. (And before you ask, my feelings on Mr. Reigns have not changed, lol. No chance of this guy "winning me over.") 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 5/25/16 (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. (If there ever was a time this company needed to assess everything and be more creative with their storylines, it's now, across the board.) Looking back, while I still feel the same about the initial split, I understand why they did it, especially when it came 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." (A good number of people these days would consider WWE's overall roster to be stacked. I'm not one of them and I'm not sure where they're getting this from unless they're somehow including NXT.) 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? (Well, the ratings on both shows have not been impressed, and for who continue to say the ratings don't matter, they do and they'll be important when negotiation time is near with USA Network or whoever. Don't be surprised if Raw and Smackdown both end up airing exclusively on the Network someday. In addition, the 3 hour format continues to kill RAW. Apparently they didn't learn a thing from when WCW Nitro went to 3 hours.) 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? (Well they did pull a few names, but outside of Kevin Owens and a couple of others, no one has made that much of a difference thus far.) How long has this been thought about? My guess is that it wasn't over the course of a few months. (Probably even less than that and I'm certain that the decision was largely made by USA.) With all this being said, after I read the article above, the first thing that came out of my mouth is, "I'm done." (Time to address this, lol. You probably won't be surprised.)

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. (Actually, not long after the initial post I continued to keep up with things, on the low, lol. Granted, I still don't like the idea of the brand extension/split, but a part of me was still curious, especially when it came to Summerslam 2016.) Add in the lack of interesting storylines (STILL present), the Roman Reigns factor (Even in post-suspension he's still being booked strong) 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?" (I will not be surprised if they "merge" the rosters again, rather sooner than later.) By the time you read this, I've already cancelled my PWTorch VIP and WWE Network subscriptions. (I did cancel my PWTorch subscription, but I never did cancel the WWE Network, just haven't watched it in quite a while.) 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.(With or without the Network, I'll always be set as far as my collection goes, however, even with flaws here and there, I continue to see value in the Network, especially when it comes to classic material.) 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
Cageside Seats
Bookin' The Territory
The Place To Be Podcast
Mat Men Wrestling
The Steel Cage
Off The Script w/ JDFromNY
The Sheet
Talking Sheet
Wrestling Inc.
Going In Raw
Voices Of Wrestling
Tweener Podcast
Byte That!
The Fan's Podcast
GoodMicWork Commentaries
Four Horsemen Review
Chad Dukes
 New Blood Rising
Wrestling Soup
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)! (Yes indeed, I continued to listen to podcasts, specifically Time Limit Draw, which I was recently a guest on, Solomonster Sounds Off, the Joe Cronin show, JDFromNY's "Off The Script", Live Audio Wrestling's "Review-A-Wai", Wrestling Soup sometimes and Voices of Wrestling. So right there, I indirectly continued to keep up with the product because these podcasts, and others, do a VERY good job recapping the shows and how good and/or bad they are, usually the latter, and when you're entertained like that, of course you come back, lol.)

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 guess you can say wrestling is in my blood almost like hip hop music is, lol. I can honestly say one of the main reasons I'm coming back with a post like this is due to hearing about how AJ Styles has been on fire, as well as becoming the WWE champion not even a year into his run, definitely the wrestler of the year. His feud with John Cena, someone I'm a fan of, is the best thing going on in WWE right now and I'm sure when Cena returns that feud will resume. Ambrose has fallen of the proverbial wagon, either from the moment he won the WWE title or after that interview on Steve Austin's podcast. Owens is decent, but starting to become a bit overrated, Orton seems to be falling back into being injury prone, Rollins is Rollins, I won't be surprised if Cesaro leaves the company after this "Best of 7" series with the uninteresting Sheamus. Outside of what's going on with Styles and Cena, I literally don't care about anything else going on, and most people feel that way, but at the same time, I have respect for all the men and women working hard on a daily basis.)

At the end of the day, even though I MISS the 80s and the 90s (and the period up to the moment Wrestlemania X-Seven went off the air), I'm still a fan. What more can I say, lol.

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