• By Anthony Cox, Kayfabe Kickout Senior Columnist


Updated: Aug 14, 2020

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I watch both Raw as well as SmackDown each week, the shows seem to come off as filler between their WWE Network PPVs. I guess it is hard to come up with good TV whenever you have nearly 30 writers trying to satisfy a 73-year-old, out of touch megalomaniac. Spare me with the whole “It’s a different time” speech because whether it’s 1997 or 2017, you still have to do everything you can to entertain your audience so they will keep watching each week and be excited for your big event.

Instead, we get WWE going through the motions. If you think Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton are complacent, they have nothing on Vince McMahon! He has been complacent since March 26, 2001 when he made that speech on the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro. If you don’t have that head to head competition, what is the incentive to do better? As we have seen, that philosophy continues to be used 16 years later as more and more people continue to tune out and more and more people decide that going to live events just isn’t worth their time and money anymore because it simply isn’t entertaining to them.

Look at the shows from week to week; there is no real continuity. They are just throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks until one of the big 4 PPVs happen. One week, Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax are buds, then they are beefing, then they are friends again under the term “frenemies”. Apparently the writers for WWE watch a lot of teen dramas or something. Do you hear the jokes the women call one another? They called Mickie James old! Anyone remember a few years back when Mickie James was being called fat? WHO WRITES THIS DIALOGUE!?!?!?! It sounds like something my 11-year-old daughter would write if she were writing a short story for her 5th grade English class. I get the whole “shades of grey” thing, but I honestly feel that you have to have legit good guys and bad guys on your show. At this point, they only have a few.

Along with the filler come the repetitive matches involving people booked to take on one another at the PPV. I guess WWE feels there is no need to save anything anymore because we are only paying $9.99 a month for it. Hell in A Cell, which airs this weekend, includes a Hell in a Cell “Falls Count Anywhere” match, is basically just an episode of SmackDown that is airing on a Sunday. Does anyone remember when cage matches were actually used to keep the competitors in and everyone else out? Pepperidge Farm remembers! What is the point of having a cell if the match can end anywhere outside of it?

Meanwhile on Raw, they are building to TLC where one of the matches will involve Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt! Can someone reading this please tell me why these two are even feuding? During the filler episodes of Raw, there hasn’t been anything said. Did Finn Balor borrow money from him and not pay him back? Did Bray Wyatt prank call his hotel room? Someone please tell me! This whole feud has been drawn out and boring. It’s apparent even it is filler because it is two guys who creative really can’t come up with anything for, so they have them battling in some pointless feud. Lastly, I know they are teasing a Shield reunion so that Roman Reigns has some people on his side in his feud against Miz, but if I am Roman Reigns, I wanna know “Where were you guys when I was getting jumped these last few weeks?”

You know what would help with this glorified filler? WWE needs quality control people. People who look at the story-lines and the ideas and can go through and point out plot holes and inconsistencies. Someone who can look at things from a story-line standpoint and say “that doesn’t make sense”. That is just a suggestion, as I am not sure how well it would go over with Vince McMahon, when he is the one who makes all of the final decisions. I think it would definitely help create better TV each and every week. Sadly, gone are the days when Vince McMahon used to have his story-lines written out months ahead of time. Instead we are stuck with filler TV for filler C-Level PPVs that are all filler for the Big 4 PPV’s. Sadly, I don’t really see an end in sight.

So what do you think? Do you miss the days when TV used to build to the PPVs? I know I do! As always you can hit me up on Twitter @whosantcox. You can also catch me on Instagram under the name “Ultragoldenant”. I will catch you next time, wrestling fans!

*Kayfabe Kickout (2012 - 2020) has since rebranded in July, 2020 and is now known as 'Pro Wrestling Slam!'

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