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The Airing of Grievances: 2015 Edition by Brandon Lasher

I love Festivus.

Since Christmas has gotten so commercial, I have always enjoyed another holiday around my winter break. Why I enjoyed Festivus so much I literally made a video about it. Seriously, search my name and Festivus on Youtube and you will find it.

My favorite part of the holiday by far is the “Airing of Grievances”. As you set down to Festivus dinner today, it is important to lash out at family and the world for all the ways they have wronged you in the past year. That is why my sights will be set at the WWE today.

You see I believe a lot of us consider the WWE to be like a member of the family. I certainly spent thousands of hours a year with it, plan vacations around and feel close enough to criticize it based on the excessive amount of time we spent together. Families’ fight and a good venting is what is really needed around the holidays when family are together the most. It is WWE week after all.

With that in mind it is time for the 2015 “Airing of Grievances”. In the words of Frank Costanza, “I got a lotta problems with you people, and you are going to hear about it!” Here are some of my biggest grievances:

 

#DivasRevolution

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I am a huge fan of any organization inventing its own hashtag to begin a revolution. We know all the best revolutions have always started on Twitter. In response to the overwhelming evidence of amazing women’s wrestling on NXT, fans started to chant for real women’s wrestling on the main roster. We know it was approved of when fans chanted “This is Awesome”!” to the face off of nine females wrestlers including main roster debuts by the extremely talented Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. It would be nothing but amazing matches like on NXT!

Apparently Revolutions consist of months of six-woman tag matches with no real stakes. This became more transparent when Nikki Bella bragged about breaking AJ Lee record reign (no mention of Fabulous Moolah’s reign?) despite never defending the title. It seemed the entire Revolution was a way to support Nikki Bella’s ego and maintain the status quo. That is very contrary to a Revolution if you ask me.

Yes, you will say some things have changed. Charlotte is the champion now but her entire existence seems tied to her father. Becky Lynch is finally starting to develop an identity after six months but Sasha Banks, the one fans chant for, is still barely wrestling on the main show. It seems patently absurd to have your best wrestler’s main storyline contribution this month to be pouring eggnog on Becky’s head. Sigh.

The Mid-Card Purgatory

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One of the things that became very clear with the loss of Seth Rollins, John Cena and Randy Orton in late October was how little depth has been developed behind a couple of main stars. The biggest issue is the mid-card is a lot like purgatory. It isn’t bad but it isn’t good either. You are stuck in a constant state of trading victories on Raw and Smackdown with little to no advantage gained for any meaningful feud.

I mean you could be someone like poor Tyler Breeze. Your “debut” is on Smackdown with no build and little time to talk about it. You can have a break out win against Dolph Ziggler at Survivor Series and proceed to lose to him on Raw and Smackdown.

Worse is the affect that the WWE purgatory has on title pushes. It should make some sort of sense to actually have a title shot build to make it meaningful but it seems to come out of nowhere and destroys its potential impact. Sheamus came back from injury post-WrestleMania to immediately lose to Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, Randy Orton and in a Survivor Series match. What was his reward for months of losing? Why you get an Money in the Bank briefcase and WWE title reign of course!

We are told that wins don’t matter in wrestling but a lack of purpose and point doesn’t help either. Why should we get behind a wrestler if they are going nowhere?

The Annual Let’s Pretend Kane is Important PPV

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Look I have no problem with Kane the performer. I have tremendous respect for the man who has been a constant top wrestler since 1997. But that is the point; he has been around since 1997 and has been on the losing end of a lot of feuds. He has removed and put on his mask multiple times.

He was told to become the “Monster” and harass the WWE champion. We proceeded to watch videos of the “scary” masked Kane. That was in April 2014 when we fought WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. We saw it again in October 2015 when he fought Seth Rollins and Seth Rollins had to pretend to be concerned. Since no WWE fan with half a brain thinks Kane stands any chance to win the title, let us stop the annual game of being scared on the guy. It wasted a main event feud for Seth Rollins this October. It is almost as bad as the constant face/heel turns of the Big Show.

The Not So Scary Bray Wyatt

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I will be the first to admit, I love the Bray Wyatt character. A crazy cult leader with followers in sheep mask and “fire flies” as his entrance is a fun visual and has the makings of an effective bad guy. But since he is set-up as the cool and crazy bad guy he does a terrible job of being intimidating. He discusses bringing chaos to the WWE but fails quite miserably at every turn

He insulted John Cena’s influence on the WWE audience and lost the feud soundly. He told Undertaker he was the “New Face of Fear” and lost to him at WrestleMania and Survivor Series. He threatens Roman Reigns’ family and loses to Roman at Summerslam and Hell in the Cell. Bray can talk a good game but he needs to occasionally win a feud to be a credible bad guy and the WWE really needs some credible bad guys. When your biggest feud wins are over Ryback and the Dudley Boyz you know there is problem. He sure wasn’t a scary monster in 2015.

Differences are Scary

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I don’t have a major one here but with the success of NXT and its wide variety of superstars would move to the main show. The main roster would certainly embrace the diversity of its wrestlers and fans who support them. There is no perfect body type or style that should make a wrestler popular but the WWE still makes fun of or de-pushes those who don’t fit the mold. Whether it is calling out Kevin Owens over his weight, Neville over his height or destroying the push of Damien Sandow, differences are still seen as scary to the powers that be in 2015. You have to fit a certain mold to find success. This is a frustrating experience for a fan who wants to make their own decision who to cheer for.

Conclusion:

So that was my grievances about 2015 in pro wrestling. I don’t want you to think that I am simply one of those fans that complain about everything. I simply feel as you become invested as a fan you can see the good and bad in your family. After all what would fandom be if we were satisfied all the time?

I hope you have a good Festivus and Christmas season! It is time for me to perform the Feats of Strength!

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Feel free to contact me at lasher@pacificu.edu. Additionally, I have my Twitter account, WWEBNRL as well. I would love to hear your thoughts about your grievances about WWE in 2015. What was I missing?

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