WWE vs. The Internet by Jake Draper

Despite what WWE bills as the main event of WrestleMania, the truth is that, for the past few years, the true main event has been WWE vs. The Internet. We got The Rock vs. Cena a couple years ago, and, to us, that felt like we lost because we had deemed CM Punk was the man who deserved the main event of the biggest show of the year. A year later we redeemed ourselves when we basically forced Daniel Bryan into the main event to take the title home. Last year was sort of a draw, since we were so avidly against Roman Reigns getting a WWE Title shot, but Seth Rollins coming from left-field to win the belt took away some of the sour taste.

It is what it is. It’s an age where everyone gets a voice. Look at me right now. I’m telling you this because that’s the world we live in. When you finish reading this you can agree or disagree and comment below to make your voice heard as well. It’s not the same as it was in the “Golden Era” when Hogan Roddy Piper and Randy Savage were the main attractions. Despite the internet existing, Era’s of Steve Austin and John Cena’s early years weren’t even like they are now. No, 2015 is a time when the Internet is the central hub of basically all of humanity’s collective thoughts.

I point you to a promo from Raw last year. This was the fallout show from last year’s Battleground event, which saw John Cena defeat Kane, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns in a Fatal Four-Way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, a result that many on the internet were rather furious over:

Triple H makes fun of fans

It’s easy to see Triple H’s point, considering the Internet is full of a lot of people who threaten to stop watching the product, but continue anyway. It’s full of people who claim to know all there is to know about a business that’s next-level complex and, frankly f***ing weird. This is one of those semi-shoot style promos where a character is venting something he feels to get under our skin. The truth is, and this is well-documented, that Triple H and many others backstage genuinely feel this kind of disdain for the internet fans because they feel as if we should all just shut up and watch the damn show.

Yet, avert your eyes to the upper-left corner of that video. That’s a hashtag; “#KingOfKings.” Why is that there? That’s the WWE telling you, “What do you think of what’s going on right now? Go Tweet it and make your voice heard with that hashtag so we can see it.”

What. The. F***. WWE.

It doesn’t stop there, as they’re sure to have Superstars’ and Divas’ Twitter handles put right in their entrances for us, and they’re sure to tell us every single time something from one of their shows is trending. They had their moment with Tout, which resulted in us wanting them all to die in a terrible accident. They shove their YouTube down our throats. They tout the success of their Facebook pages and their Twitter accounts.

Yet, here they are, openly mocking us because we don’t Tweet or comment in their favor every time they do something. So, in essence, that hashtag in the corner of the screen every Monday night is saying, “Get online and tell us how great we are or else we are all going to get together and bitch backstage.”

WWE didn’t want to push Daniel Bryan, and we all know that. They wanted Batista to walk out of Wrestlemania XXX holding the World Heavyweight Championship high as he began his media rounds for the (inter)stellar Guardians of the Galaxy. But we, being the hive mind that we are, collectively said, “NO! That’s not going to fly, mother f***ers!” And we then proceeded so shit all over WWE’s plans until they finally relented and gave us what they wanted. It’s a similar story this past year, as we shit all over their plans to rush Roman Reigns to the top of the mountain. That may or may not have altered the outcome of that match, but it’s not like anyone is ever going to confirm or deny that theory because PRIDE.

The word I’ve been describing is known as “hypocrisy.” The WWE frequently contradicts its own thoughts in order to pander to what the internet wants, and it really, really pisses them off at times. It’s sort of like how they want to work with Ronda Rousey in the near future so they’re making references to her on their shows and even showing clips of some of her work. This, of course, is in spite of the fact that her boss, Dana White, recently referred to WWE’s product as “fake shit.” So now WWE is left talking about how awesome UFC is, while also hating UFC behind the curtain. My, what a strange tale this is.

That’s the business, though. It’s a collection of massive egos that compile and clash in one place. Go do some research on the WCW’s habit of allowing Hulk Hogan to have creative control of his own character and how many issues that caused backstage. It’s the story of an ego that was so big that the other big egos were getting pissed. WWE is the story of one man, Vince McMahon, whose ego is so big that he cannot ever possibly accept that maybe these “internet fans” are voicing displeasure less as a “let’s bash this product” type of thing, and more as a “constructive criticism” type of thing. Sure, there are always going to be trolls and people who make jokes at their expense, but the truth is that we are all fans and we don’t just want what we want, but we want to be entertained. The Money in the Bank briefcase on Seth Rollins or CM Punk was entertaining, but on Sheamus or John Cena we just feel like we are wasting our time investing in the show.

While we talk about how badly we want a guy like Kevin Owens or Cesaro to succeed, then read about how much Vince doesn’t want him to, we’re left wondering, “Who the Hell are you trying to entertain here?” Vince McMahon isn’t the one who needs to be sold on the storylines in WWE. We get together and we make “Cesaro Section” signs because we are trying to say, “Guys, look. Cesaro is the man. We love him.” Not because we despise WWE and want the opposite of what they want, but because we believe Cesaro is entertaining and deserves to be presented on a grander stage for us all to enjoy. Yet, our signs and our peaceful protests are, in the end, just ignored. So, what are we to do? We hijack shows. We chant ridiculous shit. We write any things on forums and blogs and we Tweet about how unfair it is that we’re being ignored. That’s what we have. That’s all we have, yet they mock us for it?

Things probably won’t change any time soon. Triple H has a very firm grasp on what we want, and has proven that with NXT, but he will continue to hate that we can tell him whenever he has a misstep. Not only that, but the politics behind the curtain will continue to neuter so much of what we are asking of them, with guys like Cesaro or Kevin Owens needing our continued support until we can no longer be ignored.

What do you think? Are we being too hard on WWE? Is WWE being too hard on us? Is there a God? Where to babies come from? What happens when we divide by 0? There’s room for all the answers in the comments below and on my Twitter @JakobDraper. Or just add my Facebook at facebook.com/JakeDraperRulesTheGalaxy where I will tell you about my new Podcast where I review terrible movies in my free time.