Pro Wrestling

WWE: 1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

For every step forward taken the WWE takes two steps back. The long overdue addition of an all women’s Network special will be followed up with another money grab event in Saudi Arabia. The event entitled “Crown Jewel” will take place just a mere five days after the historic WWE Evolution. And it continues to show that the WWE is in no better place than it was after CM Punk’s infamous “Pipebomb Promo” way back in 2011.

The Pipebomb Promo

Whether you love CM Punk (as I do) or hate him, during his “Pipebomb Promo” he made a lot of extremely poignant comments. All of which were highly regarded by fans of professional wrestling. The WWE for many fans is the pinnacle of the wrestling business. It is the company that causal and even non-wrestling fans identify as pro wrestling. But when CM Punk cut that promo it made National news. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20 but Punk was nearly forecasting the future. As the headmaster in charge of the product, Vince McMahon still books the product without any semblance of what is actually wanted by the fans.

Poor Booking Decisions

Vince McMahon books the product as if it is only for himself. Think about some of the segments over the last six months. The one that comes to mind for me is the segment involving “Bobby Lashley’s sisters.” Lashley in what felt like a thrown together last minute feud with Sami Zayn would have his relationship with his sisters trolled out in front of the fans. Obviously, Bobby Lashley’s sisters were not actually in the segment. It was three men dressed up as women and portrayed as Lashley’s sisters. No one in the audience found the segment amusing. It was a segment that received little reaction and the only reaction was negative. And not just because of the segment being terrible but also because it wasn’t necessary. But do you know who it appealed to? Vince McMahon.

I think back even further to when Charlotte Flair was feuding with Paige for the Women’s championship. During the feud, Paige would bring up Charlotte brother. A segment so uncalled for, so disrespectful and so distasteful that Paige was required to apologize. But we all know that the words didn’t come from Paige but rather the head man in charge Vince McMahon.

WWE Evolution

When Evolution was announced it sent shock waves through the industry. Not because this was the first time there would be an all women’s wrestling pay-per-view event. It’s been done before and will continue to happen. Promotions like Shine and Shimmer are promotions built on the hard work put in by many of the best women in the wrestling business. Women like Ivelisse, Tessa Blanchard, Amanda Carolina Rodriguez (ACR), and Mercedes Martinez.

The reason that shockwaves were made by this announcement, was because it seemed as if the WWE was finally catching up to the times. The women’s roster in WWE is currently populated with some of the best talents in the industry, male or female. If you watched Hell in a Cell over the weekend, you witnessed a very great contest between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. Matches like that have been had by many greats in the business.

I have stated on previous occasions about the long overdue nature of an all women’s network special for the WWE. The problem is not with the Evolution event itself, the problem arises just five days later.

Crown Jewel

It isn’t a surprise that another event in Saudi Arabia is happening, it was a successful event from a profit standpoint for the company. From a business perspective, it makes sense. The problem comes from the social and economic statements that are being made. With WWE putting on Crown Jewel just five days after Evolution that signals two things to fans like myself.

Problems

First, the head decision makers in charge do not believe that an all-women’s network special will be successful. By placing an all-male event just five days after it seems as if the WWE is attempting to recover lost funds from an all women’s event. This is a disrespectful gut punch to the hard-working women in the WWE. It is as if Vince McMahon and the higher-ups are expecting Evolution to fail. And obviously, they will never publicly say those words or utter the phrase. But with Crown Jewel taking place so quickly after that is the message it gives off to any pro wrestling fans with their eyes open.

Secondly, beyond the financial safety net that WWE is clearly trying to bank on, they are ignoring the social implications. The first event in Saudi Arabia this year “The Greatest Royal Rumble” broke social boundaries as an event of that nature was never had before. But as it was made clear during the build for that event the talented women of the WWE would not be allowed to participate. All due to social issues within Saudi Arabia. The WWE would pay their female Superstars as if they had worked the event. But that did not change the fact that they were excluded, to begin with.

WWE has claimed themselves as champions of the “Women’s Revolution” leading to a “Women’s Evolution.” Yet when WWE could make a stand and say we are truly champions of the Women’s Evolution and if all of our Superstars are not able to compete, we will not have an event there. They chose to take the opposite direction. The head decision makers chose to ignore all the progress that was made to truly build an equal roster. And they threw it away for a cheap payday.

Paraphrasing Punk

During the infamous Pipebomb promo, Punk would state that he thinks that the WWE would be better off when Vince is gone. And while a sad thought because Vince McMahon has done a great deal for the professional wrestling/sports entertainment business. But at 73 years old and with Vince McMahon doing what he thinks is best. It is now proving to be what’s not “Best for Business.”

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