Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wash, Rinse, Repeat: WWE's Spin Cycle of Booking Malaise

Great match, boring story
Photo Credit: WWE.com

Stop me if you've heard this one before. WWE books a heel to win a match or get heat on a babyface one week. The very next week, the babyface gets his retribution, and either the angle ends, or more annoyingly, there's a third match without the heel doing anything to warrant that rematch...

...oh yeah, you have heard it? A million times? Yeah, it's a staple in WWE feud "building". The phrase "bullshit parity booking" hasn't been trademarked by Dylan Hales, but it should have been, because he would have made a mint off how many times I or other A1-ites residing in the blogosphere have used it to describe this annoying habit of the WWE writers. The latest example was in the last two weeks, when CM Punk and Rey Mysterio traded wins with the respective wrestler winning on the respective episode of RAW. There was no indication of whether the angle would continue this week either; Mysterio counteracted Mason Ryan's interference and then got the pin with a tornado DDT and a top rope splash. He got out of dodge, no sneak attack, no recourse.

There's still one week left before the PPV, so something else CAN happen in order to culminate the feud reprisal, but it would be rushed storytelling on top of the poor storytelling that's happened over these last eight days. It seems like this is par for the course. If you don't believe me, click on the "WWE Creative sucks" tag at the bottom of the post. You'll find quite a lot of posts there, many with the same theme. I mean, I've been beating this dead horse for so fucking long that it's turned into horse dust (but not HorseDust, the short-lived, equestrian-themed character Dustin Runnels was rumored to have portrayed at an ill-fated Louisville house show in 1997...).

This is not a pedantic, "bitch for the sake of bitching" argument here either. It's bad storytelling that really turns me, as a viewer, off to the product. Like anyone else, I want attachment. How am I going to get that attachment if wrestlers I like, like Punk (and for the fan at large, that's Mysterio), don't give me a story to be drawn into?

The other argument is, "well, they're already writing stories for other angles, be happy with what you have!" Well, fuck that argument. You know why? Because I want consistency with my wrestling, not just good here, but lame, unengaging stories elsewhere. Quick, two-week angles are just so unsatisfying, especially when there's no storytelling other than guys trading heat. I'm all for extended in-ring feuds, but there's nothing about this Mysterio/Punk doubleshot that screams "extended" from that context. The wrestling is good, yes. The wrestling is very good. I do like wrestling for wrestling's sake, but I like it when a good story is attached even better. But when a weak story is attached, it feels weak.

If this Punk/Mysterio feud is to continue (and I hope it does), then they need to do a better job building it going forward. Give me something extracurricular if you're going to finish matches clean. Give me some post-match promos, motivation, anything. Don't just give me a doubleshot of matches, both with clean finishes, with the second match being a face win with a clean-slate heat trumping.

Bad TV is bad TV, no matter how much else is going right. ESPECIALLY when the performers involved are guys whom I WANT to be invested in, it's frustrating to see their story be told so hamhandedly.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

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