By Goose Mahler, Associate Editor
Hundreds released, John Doe accusations, the continued ratings slide, XFL bankruptcy and lawsuit, the Argentino Murder comes back to light, the Drake Maverick work or shoot storyline is backfiring, did I miss anything? This is easily a week’s worth of morning coffee chit chat turned into one month of gossip. Any glow the WWE thought they might have with WrestleMania is completely diminished with all the news and rumors that have followed.
Last week, the Wednesday talent massacre opened a ton of allegations not only on the WWE but the corruption of the Florida governor that might even put a corrupt Chicago politician to shame. This was followed by both Fox and USA stating that they were not holding the WWE to their contract about certain live shows during this pandemic. Last week I stated that was Vince throwing the ball at the networks and blaming the them. Bet he didn’t see them spiking that ball right back in his face did he?
This week, there was speculation about an anonymous WWE employee going to the Orange County Board of Commissioners to request the tapings be shutdown because of the COVID-19 concerns. The employee wanted to stay anonymous for fear of retaliation and losing their job.
For people that sit there and say if they wanted to stay unknown because they are chicken? Look at Vince McMahon and tell me firing or worse is not beneath him. You cannot.
Fear is a great intimidation factor that Vince uses. Anyone that denies that or defends that is fooling themselves. Hell, who do you think banned the announcers from saying Roman Reigns? Not the tooth fairy.
Concerns about the ratings decline were addressed in their quarterly conference call. It is simple and you do not have to overthink this one. Even without other major sports, the WWE banked on people tuning in as they were the only show that marched on. However, when the product sucks, who wants to sit there and watch 3 hours of Zelina Vega and her Triad of Doom against Drew McIntyre when the pay off is Seth Rollins – who lost at WrestleMania – getting the title shot at Money At the Corporate Tower? No ONE! People can try and defend the product all they want, but the storylines are all over the place and they suck right now.
Then you can add in the XFL declaring Chapter Eleven bankruptcy and the CEO suing Vince McMahon for wrongful termination. Well, this is a bit of karma. Everyone that said Vince was doing this right are wrong. If it was done right this time, bankruptcy should not have been his call. So now the owner of the WWE is getting sued in a different sport, but someone that did their homework on him. This could be more interesting than Nia Jax dropping Kairi Sane on her head in the corner at Raw.
To top it off, people are claiming Vince is in a bad mood. No kidding – people are threatening to sue him! “Dark Side of the Ring” exposed him as a cover up artist, his product sucks, ratings stink. I’d be in a foul mood too. I mean who wouldn’t be? Karma bites people in the ass when they least expect it to. At least it is biting him and not kissing his ass, oh the good ole days of his smut TV run.
Possibly the most despicable WWE act right now is Drake Maverick wrestling after being released and fans questioning if this is a work or a shoot.
Let me get something straight here. Wrestling is often at its best when reality and fiction have the lines blurred. But with all that is going on with the world – people being furloughed, laid off, fired because of this pandemic – is it the best idea to run with it in a storyline or make it seem like it is being incorporated into a storyline?
Granted, it has been buzzing, but my question turns into who really wins in this type of situation with this unbelievably insensitive storyline? Thousands of people around the world have lost jobs and the WWE is playing this into a sympathy card storyline?
There are four possible outcomes, and any of them might lead to a lot of animosity in the wrestling industry:
- Drake Maverick wins the interim Cruiserweight Tournament and wins his job back. Great, are the other released talent available to win their jobs back? Not likely.
- Drake Maverick loses the tournament but comes off as a big babyface that fans get behind. This does whoever signs him a world of good, but not the WWE. When was the last time they did something to benefit their competition? Not a good way to go for one party.
- Drake loses his matches and walks off into the sunset, and everyone’s heartbreaks with him. The ratings were already declining this could be the proverbial nail in the coffin because if the ratings spike and he is released, those fans more likely than not follow Drake.
- Drake wins the belt and this is exposed as a complete and utter work from the get go. People are going to feel used, abused and be even angrier at a company that ignores the law of the land and does their own thing. With competition there are now alter wrestling avenues and people even die-hard fans can and will turn on them if this is the case. It is a shitty storyline at a shitty time. Not exactly smart but go right back to the top and the crap product comment.
I just do not see how this can be a win-win for the WWE. It is not a storyline that casts a winner or loser that might not rub people the right or wrong way, depending the outcome. The WWE backed themselves in a corner. As nice as it might be to think so, Drake Maverick – arguably one of the nicest guys in wrestling – cannot come out a winner here.
The WWE keeps painting themselves into the corner and they will probably find a way out. But that does not change the fact that people are not buying what Vince is selling as readily as they use to and he has no one to blame by himself.
If Drake is moving on, I get giving your all. Go out with a bang. Show the other promoters and promotions what the WWE gave up on. The problem here is Vince normally does not do that, let alone two times in less than three month. Check out Matt Hardy, who left the WWE white hot because of beat downs from Orton.
No matter how we slice the WWE and their current troubles, one thing is for sure. They are having one terrible, horrible, no good, very-bad month and there is not much sunshine to look forward to unless they have a magic rabbit they can pull out of their asses. I do not see that happening any time soon, but the karma card is fun to watch when it hits so we might as well enjoy that.
Until next week, stay safe and be good to yourself and your families.