Levin: The New Era Of WWE

WWE storylines are starting to mean something again.

Evidently, I was wrong.

A week ago, I wrote a story for another wrestling site, claiming WWE’s wrestling titles don’t matter anymore because fans are none too happy about the performers who are wearing said straps. I got an education this week from one of my friends who’s opinion on the business I respect. Essentially, whoever wears a title in WWE may not matter to me, but in this new era the company is promoting, it matters to him and others.

“The belts definitely mean something to ME right now, but that may just be because guys I like are competing for them,” my friend commented. “LOVE seeing Kalisto holding gold; and A.J., Cesaro, and Owens as top contenders. The Payback main event meant something to me BECAUSE of the title—I want to see Styles holding it so bad.”

In this new era of professional wrestling that Vince McMahon (and now Shane and Stephanie McMahon) is preaching, the question remains: will fans like it, accept it, or learn to deal with it? We have gotten to the point where we have accept the fact Roman Reigns is here for the long haul and it is up to us to accept his perch atop the company’s food chain. Or we can watch other promotions.

Even with these changes and new Superstars, ratings are falling, fans haven’t been hooked yet, and the return of John Cena, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, and Seth Rollins may appease us for only a short amount of time. After the novelty wears off that they all have made a triumphant splash, the discontent of a reality generation will reset itself and the Internet Wrestling Community will once again become pissed off at the world.

Those are the breaks and that is real reality. You can’t win for losing sometimes in this business.

If the return of Shane McMahon is to bring about change in the company—which should result in a sibling war leading to a match between the son of Vince and Triple H over control of the company—so be it. But at the same time, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking this won’t be the lead story each week on Raw, and let’s not kid ourselves into thinking fans will be happy with a storyline—much like The Authority—that stayed longer than our beloved aunt over the holidays. Everything should have a beginning, middle, and end. This, however, with a new era upon us, doesn’t seem to have two of those three components.

What happened, that works, is a new commitment to storytelling. The current state of affairs between AJ Styles and Reigns, with the help of The Club and the Usos, means something. The angle with Miz and Maryse is a page out of the old NWA where Tully Blanchard and Baby Doll were holding the World Television Title hostage. The need for Charlotte to have Ric Flair at ringside is a page right out of the Horsemen’s playbook with JJ Dillon there to make sure Flair retained his world title 25 years ago.

If the new angle or era of this company is that history repeats itself, then it is a “win” for my generation of fans who long for stories that matter.

Maybe my friend has it all right and I have it all wrong. But until this plays out and fans come back en masse, then we don’t know if this is for the better. It’s not the older generation that wants to watch the dreck on screen over and over again. However, seeing the past in present angles puts everything into perspective.

There is a new era upon us in this business. What that era becomes really depends on us. The only thing my friend and I might agree on right now is the fact this all has to be better than the era we just witnessed—the one that left us all a little empty inside.

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