Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Instant Feedback: A House in Shambles

RAW was about as grungy tonight as Dean Ambrose's troubled teen aura
Photo Credit: WWE.com
I don't know why Vince McMahon and WWE invited the viewing public into its figurative home tonight. The place was a mess from nearly the beginning. Sure, the shoes in the foyer were lined up nicely in a row, and the odor of hardboiled eggs and canned tuna fish has mostly been masked by Febreeze and Glade Plug-ins. But the hampers are overflowing, the trash needs to be emptied, and the magazines, oh my lord, the magazines are a goddamn fire hazard. Sure, maybe you might not feel disgusting living there just yet, but it wasn't in condition for people to be entertained.

The shame of WWE's situation right now is that sure, it might feel like it needs a RAW-after-Survivor Series '01 reboot to get the house in order, which in terms of the comparative oeuvre in which I'm working might seem like burning the magazines, busting out the rug shampooer, and considering sending the cat for a buzzcut. For every Dean Ambrose-vs.-Seth Rollins feud brewing in all its simple yet glorious execution, at least one if not more sad examples like the continued depowering of Antonio Cesaro is weighing it down. Seriously, guys go from big swinging dick to just another dude in WWE all the time, but how disappointing is it that WWE's answer for capitalizing on Cesaro's newfound, organic popularity was weighing him down with fucking Paul Heyman's "let's talk about nothing but Brock Lesnar for entire promo segments" shtick?

Maintenance is low energy and high reward. Emptying the trash before it looks like an all you can eat buffet for Oscar takes little energy, just like plotting out a feud's progression from one pay-per-view/special event to the next without pressing CTRL+C/CTRL+V from cell to cell might take about an hour on a Thursday. If the writers, producers, Vince McMahon, and Kevin Dunn didn't ignore all the clutter, maybe they wouldn't be responsible for helming a product that needs constant deep cleans in order to stay aesthetically pleasing and deeply hygienic.

Sure, when Brock Lesnar comes back and F5s the house into order, everyone, including myself, will probably praise the show. But if WWE is trying to sell me on a sustainable model of television that takes no weeks off, it needs to put in the work. It's a multi-million dollar corporation with unprecedented (for wrestling) resources and a roster that may very well be the best in history. The show could have been stellar tonight. Instead, it presented a near carbon copy of last week's show, and even the wrestlers took a cue from the office's laziness and felt half-a-step off.

A lot of the metaphorical imagery used in the above essay came straight from my mom's talking points in regards to getting me and my brothers to help out around the house. Obviously, it stuck with me, even though I wasn't - and still am not - super vigilant in keeping the house clean. Human nature is not conducive for old dogs to change, so maybe the old dogs should get the fuck out and let hungrier, younger-minded people in there. If Kevin Dunn has been in charge for 16 years now and still is in charge of awful live production with terrible misogyny to his name, then maybe he oughtta be swept out for people who won't sabotage the show for self-interested gains. Or hey, even if Triple H and Stephanie McMahon do have bad habits, at least they'd be different bad habits.

I don't know whether my disdain for RAW ever since the Seth Rollins turn has been due to lack of oomph on its end or because I'm too distracted while watching, but the point remains that a little bit of housekeeping is NEVER a bad thing. WWE needs a change in attitude towards keeping its shit clean and in order. Whether or not show quality correlates to Network subs or ratings points is irrelevant to me at this point. Sometimes, putting out the most compelling product you can is enough to keep the base happy until that external spark comes along and lets everything blow up. Then, the debris isn't so much clutter and dirt as it is confetti. Cleaning that up isn't so damning a task.