LaBar: WWE is in need of a change
WWE recently issued a survey to fans to gauge their reaction to cruiserweights being showcased.
The cruiserweight division saw great success in the 1990s with the Mexican and Japanese performers bringing their styles to the ring and providing a fast paced, acrobatic match that contrasted the big guy matches who occupied the main events on American television. This style was a great weapon for WCW during its battle with WWE for supremacy.
If I’m WWE, I don’t even poll the crowd. Just do it.
WWE is in serious need of a spark. The spark doesn’t need to create a brush fire, but if it can create a campfire of hope, than it’s worth it.
WWE Network numbers have underperformed. Ratings are down. New competition is slowly rising like Lucha Underground and Global Force Wrestling.
A showcase of exciting styles from a cruiserweight division could be a value to the WWE and its network. It could be a direct answer to the Lucha Underground product, which is something that is going to be worth addressing.
WWE likely won’t address it. The company will follow its policy of not being a wrestling show but being an entertainment show. It has gotten away with this for a long time, but Lucha Underground is presenting a whole new flavor. It has strong financial backing and proven television success from its top producers.
NXT has been one of the most popular features on the WWE Network. A similarly produced show for cruiserweight action could go a long way. Small setting like NXT at Full Sail University. The further WWE can get away from the same old song, the better it could be.
People are starting to revolt and voice their opinions on the three hours of WWE RAW on Monday night. It is too long, and all three hours rarely deliver in full. But if WWE won’t change that due to contracts, money and other factors, at least it can provide alternative theme programming for the coveted WWE Network.
A cruiserweight theme show is not only good for keeping up with the audience interest, it might be a need to keep up with the market of talent. As Lucha Underground or GFW get more popular, it provides more security of places to work for wrestlers who are fluid in different styles.
It used to be WWE was the top game in town no matter what due to “the machine” and the money. Well now the pay isn’t even what it use to be. Free WWE Network for November and Survivor Series. I wonder how the wrestler paydays will be affected?
Being complacent only works for so long when there is no threat. The threats are still off in the distance, but the longer a relaxed, dismissive attitude continues from WWE, the more ground those threats can cover.
Fans beg for another war between wrestling promotions. If WWE doesn’t start responding, that’s the action that could put it in a war … whether it wants it or not.
Justin LaBar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7949 or firstname.lastname@example.org.