|Underrated, underpushed, and certainly deserving of better|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Given the amount of institutional hubris designed in WWE's architecture, it's surprising that they even know what the phrase "self-deprecating" means. It's one thing for the character Mr. McMahon to get his head shaved or to get his ass kicked or to do anything else for the sake of a story. But for Vince McMahon to take heat for his product is curious to see at least, until you realize that he probably doesn't give a flying shit about what content is plastered on his bandwidth as long as dudes and dudettes click it. That sets up the Dot-Com as a fascinating entity to me, one where guys like Joey Styles and even Howard Finkel can let their opinions fly without upsetting the signature on their paychecks.
It also puts the company in a unique position that it can "apologize" for stuff to small segments of the fanbase that care about that sort of thing. WWE has been doing it for the last couple of years, actually. While the main narrative has been trying to increase the font size on "LET'S GO CENA" or pushing movie stars and part-timers as the big event main deals, they've slowly started to build a base with the, as David Shoemaker calls us, meta-fans by integrating CM Punk into the main event without crushing his soul, giving Daniel Bryan a chance to run with the ball, littering the midcard with our sort of fan favorite, the show Main Event, and quite frankly, the entire NXT brand right now. You could argue whether or not they've done that with any efficacy, but the effort is there at least. The website articles are just another part of this full-service shopfront that might not be the thing, but is A thing.
However, for as subversive as these articles can be (and trust me, this one wasn't the first one), I have to wonder if the wrong people ever caught wind of what was being published whether that department would continue to have editorial freedom the way they do. CM Punk berating management as a character angle is fine because that will make WWE money in the long run. You and I both know that self-deprecation is great and all, but thinking from the mindset that gives us the WWE "Did You Know" graphics coming back from every other break, how many people will look at a slideshow where basically, a bunch of keyboard jockeys griped about how their favorite cult hero didn't get a fair WWE shake, and think it's remotely something that fits in the company line?
Where I think the site is safe for now is whether anyone ever WOULD notice. Corporations, especially huge ones, have such a muddled structure that independent arms can spring out of the monolith with relative ease. For all the bullshit that comes with a corporate structure in WWE, the company's convoluted nature can sometimes lead to good things like this happening. Obviously, I as a fan would rather they not have to post a subversive, sarcastic list and get the good guys on their roster with the big pushes. However, every major entertainment outlet could do better if they had some kind of acknowledgement of prior mistakes in their narrative. Whether endorsed by the major players in the front office or not, articles like this are a good thing for WWE, and I hope they keep coming.