We know that everything in WWE is done in cookie-cutter style. In fact, it’s all routine! From the scripted promos that sound like they were to written by 8 year olds, to the fact that Raw opens the same way each and every week with someone talking, someone else interrupting, and then a match being made, this is the vanilla formula that has just enough “skills” to pay the bills. And you can tell padding for time is part of the formula, as somehow, this usually takes up the first 20 minutes of the show. Now only is the writing repetitive, the booking is too! I am not sure how many people remember my column that I wrote called “Winners and Losers” that was all about Road Dogg toeing the WWE by telling fans that wins and losses don't matter in sports entertainment. He isn't wrong at all because that is how WWE books, but that doesn't mean it's the right booking philosophy to have. In actuality, it has led to what we see now!
What are we seeing now? The rampant 50/50 booking in WWE. Since wins and losses don't matter, everything is booked so that everyone is at .500. It doesn't really hurt anyone when you book like this, but no one gets elevated either. Jim Cornette has said in the past “You don't become a star unless you win way more than you lose”, and no one fits that bill in WWE anymore. I know some of you reading this are going to say guys like Finn Balor and Kevin Owens are stars, but they are only stars in the “WWE Universe”. Look at the top stars in the wrestling business in the last 30 years like Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Goldberg, and Brock Lesnar. What do they all have in common as top draws? They all won way more than they lost.
You won't really get anywhere having guys trade wins and trade belts just in hopes of getting people over. If I have to drive 50 miles to get somewhere, I am not going to get there if I constantly drive the first 25 miles before turning around and going back! This current booking philosophy is why WWE currently has no real larger than life stars. This is why they have to rely on guys like Brock Lesnar and Goldberg to put asses in seats. The two aforementioned guys won way more than they lost in their prime. The ones who, in my opinion, that fans look at and say “those guys are REAL stars”.
Instead of more booking to build the next set of Goldbergs and Lesnars, we see the same guys wrestle on WWE Pay-Per-Views 3 months in a row, and also wrestling each other on Raw or SmackDown each week in some kind of tag match or “beat the clock challenge” killing all incentive to want to see people wrestle each other at the big events!
The reasons above are what I am a huge advocate for bringing back enhancement talent, or as fans call them “jobbers” where their sole purpose is to go in there to make the stars look good. It also helps EVERYONE on the roster win way more than they lose, so that when it comes time for top stars to compete, people will be interested in seeing the match between the two because it's not something they have constantly seen on TV leading up to the PPV. Whether it's real fighting or fake fighting, fans get behind the winners. Koko B. Ware may not have beaten the likes of Bad News Brown and Ted DiBiase, but he sure did win on TV often against guys like Barry Horowitz and Dusty Wolfe!
If they booked 50/50 in 1989, we would have been stuck with Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage trading wins back and forth in matches after their Mega Powers split up rendering their big match-up at Wrestlemania V meaningless. Sadly, WWE won't be changing their booking philosophy any time soon because of the lack of competition. When you are the only game in town with no one to compete with you, then it gives you carte blanche to book shows however you want. WWE knows this, which means they will continue to put syrup on shit and tell us it's pancakes knowing that we will still eat it.
What do you think? Give me thoughts on Twitter where you can find me @whosantcox. You can also hit me via email at email@example.com, and finally you can follow me on Instagram for my dank memes and gym selfies under the name “Ultragoldenant”. I will catch you next time!
***Edited by Nelson Hawkins.
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