This past Sunday, WWE held their Backlash pay per view which is being heralded as one of the worst of all time.
There were shots of groups of people walking out on the main event (Samoa Joe vs Roman Reigns) and chants roaring through the arena going “BEAT THE TRAFFIC! *clap* *clap* *clapclapclap*.” Roman got the winning pin and the camera cuts that panned to the audience showed the crowd instantly getting up and leaving without a care in the world about what just happened.
Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer shared his thoughts:
Backlash 2018 is now officially my most hated PPV in 31 years of watching pro-wrestling.
— Bryan Alvarez (@bryanalvarez) May 7, 2018
WWE continues to book inconsistent storylines and matches and the crowd understandably turns on it. It’s not our job to pay attention, it’s their job to captivate us and make us invested. But that doesn’t seem like their main goal anymore.
WWE writers and producers continue to prove to us that they don’t know how to book their massively overstacked main roster.
As much as The Iconics like to flaunt their wrestling logic by saying they’re better than Asuka for beating her team in her SmackDown Live debut, it’s ironically similar (and sad) to the booking for Charlotte. They had Charlotte end Asuka’s streak at Wrestlemania. A choice I was not exactly thrilled with at the time but came around to love it. If anyone there were to do it, it had to have been either her or Ronda Rousey down the line. But at Backlash, they had Charlotte lose fair and square to Carmella. What was already not a great match, was bogged down by a more than questionable booking decision. There’s no believable continuity in that. Carmella beat the one that ended the undefeated streak of Asuka. Try saying that aloud without feeling queasy…
Another example: Daniel Bryan is sitting in a mid-card spot when he’s easily the unsung top superstar. He’s still one of the best performers regardless of missing 3 years of competition. I thought he would have been gaining some momentum after the decent match at Wrestlemania 34 and the iron man performance of the Greatest Royal Rumble, but then they put him in a match with Big Cass. Someone who just came back from ACL surgery. I recently wrote that he was one of the top 5 guys to pay attention to, and this match completely deflated that proposal. He couldn’t even have a good match with Daniel Bryan. Then on SmackDown Live, Bryan lost a match to Rusev and will not be competing in the high profile Money In the Bank match this month. Daniel Bryan should be where Roman Reigns is. He should be the guy main eventing every single Wrestlemania. The announcement that he would return to in-ring competition made TV ratings rise and ticket sales increase. That’s not a mid-card guy, that’s a top guy.
My least favorite booking choice lately is the feud between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura. 2 former rivals in New Japan Pro Wrestling, this feud should have written itself. Two of the best, no matter the moral alignment needing to prove which one really is the best. But they’ve literally turned it into 2 guys knocking each other in the nuts. Even when I think I’m really getting behind the loose cannon antics of Nakamura, they manage to backpedal and I suddenly find myself completely disinterested. How do you ruin a rivalry between these 2? You make it this:
Meanwhile, you have NXT which only gets better as time continues.
Constantly putting over homegrown talent as well as renowned indie stars. The booking is never questionable. It never makes anyone look weaker than they should. All the former NXT champs are diverse in background, culture, and style. You never forget those title reigns either. From Seth Rollins all the way to Aleister Black, every champ has correctly defined the era they were at the top.
Hell, 205 Live is far better than it used to be now that HHH is in charge of it. Buddy Murphy and Mustafa Ali just put on the best match the show has ever seen just this week.
Maybe that’s an indication of how things need to go. Maybe a simple change in management is all we need. People have been saying Vince is out of touch for years now. After all, every final decision is made by Vince himself. You know what? Just give HHH the damn company already, and maybe fans will be a lot happier. It just makes more sense.
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