Dolph Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and defeated Alberto Del Rio to become the World Heavyweight Champion. It was a moment many wrestling fans have been clamoring for and it occurred the night after WrestleMania 29. That’s the problem, it happened after, and not at WrestleMania.
Raw was better than WrestleMania. In fact, that has been the case for the last few years it doesn’t sit right with me. I’m all for having a jam-packed episode of free wrestling content but I expect more when I’m paying $60.00 to $70.00 for a single event.
I found WrestleMania 29 to be boring and think it could have been better if Ziggler’s win or even Ryback’s heel turn took place. Maybe the writers feel it’s too predictable to have big things happen at Mania. If so, I disagree with that thought process because pay-per-view events are supposed to have content worthy of the suggested retail price.
Remember when shocking things actually happened at WrestleMania? The Ultimate Warrior’s return at WrestleMania 8, Hulk Hogan’s title win at WrestleMania 9, and Steve Austin turning heel at WrestleMania 17. Those are the kind of shocking moments that kept everyone talking the next day at school or work. You want to leave people talking so when fans watch Raw the next night, they will be so consumed by the hype of what they missed so they will never skip a PPV again.
WrestleMania weekend was a wakeup call. The WWE has never cared about the Internet Wrestling Community, but it’s now clear to me that the WWE no longer cares about its longtime fans either. Maybe they never did. After all, there is no need to cater to us because they have our money long before any event card is announced or any video game is sold. There is no need to carefully craft storylines for your entire roster when putting Brock Lesnar and John Cena on a show is all that you need to draw money.
Parents footing the bill so junior can have the newest John Cena merchandise is safer and easier money. Those who long for the days of the Attitude Era are SOL. It was a last-ditch effort to survive the Monday Night Wars in the first place and it’s never coming back. Family entertainment is more respectable and has greater earning power in the right avenues. Little children turn into teenagers and often lose interest in wrestling. By the time that occurs, there is a new generation of children discovering the WWE for the first time. It’s worked for Disney and Sesame Street for years. It’s just business.
I’ve enjoyed professional wrestling more than any other sport, show, or hobby for 25 years. The WWE doesn’t suck. They’ve just changed to better their situation. I’m still going to watch but waiting for them to throw me a bone is no longer an option. Instead of going on a bashing crusade or threating to never watch again, I’m going to focus my time on the other great aspects of this industry. Supporting my local independent promotions, sampling more of the international flavor abroad, giving TNA a 10th try, and reveling in the glory days of the wrestling that I used to know is where my passion will be directed. New Japan Pro Wrestling’s iPPV on May 3rd is a nice place to start.