/Wooo/sslin’ Roundup: R E C O R D L O W R A T I N G S

If you hadn’t heard, Monday Night Raw’s ratings are as bad as they’ve been in almost 20 years. In fact, the show has around one million less viewers than it  did this time last year.

Wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer said that part of the problem is WWE’s emphasis on Total Divas, a reality show on the E! Network that focuses on the company’s many female wrestlers. Meltzer said that the focus on Total Divas is pushing WWE’s male viewers away.

So, is that true? What other reasons are there for the ratings drop? /wooo/ recently had a thread about it, so let’s see what they think…

 

Yes, Dave. Big daddy Vince could do no wrong. It couldn’t be that people are tuning out based on the show itself; it has to be some vaguely related reality show with women.

It’s an easier answer for Vince to stomach too, because he’d surely rather kill off TD than Roman’s push.

Of course, Meltzer didn’t say TD was the only reason for the drop, but the poster kind of has a point. Total Divas isn’t really promoted that hard on the main show. They mention it, but it’s not, and never has been, a main focal point for the show, or even women’s wrestling.

Other users in the thread gave other explanations. One user said that the company’s growing focus on actual wrestling matches is to blame.

Wrestling matches don’t draw ratings. Casual fans don’t give a shit about matches. Larger than life characters and intriguing storylines draw a mass audience. When a casual fan AKA someone who doesn’t like wrestling changes the channel and sees a wrestling match, they’re going to change the channel. As WWE has focused more and more on straight wrestling, the ratings have gone farther and farther downhill. Albeit, there are many other factors involved as I mentioned.

If NJPW, DG, PROGRESS or any other promotion that wrestling fans go crazy for had the same platform and exposure WWE had, it still wouldn’t draw anywhere near the ratings that WWE or WCW drew during the Monday Night War time period. As great as the wrestling or spots may be, that doesn’t mean shit to someone who doesn’t actually like wrestling and just wants to be entertained.

To which another user said…

The thing is you’re kinda/sorta right, in a weird way, but not for the reasons you’ve given. It doesn’t draw ratings on WWE TV because WWE booking makes it so wins and losses don’t matter.

Think of any singles match-up possible in WWE. Literally any. Got one? Okay, next step. Now, let’s say it happens on Raw Monday. What are the consequences of it. If Guy #1 wins, does he move up the pecking order? If Guy #1 loses does he move down it?

No, everyone just stays in exactly the same spot, unless you get extremely lucky and manage to strike gold like New Day has. And even then they were on top of a tag division with nobody even close to being their level until Gallows/Anderson debuted.

Others still blamed the ratings drop on the growing divide between casual and hardcore fans.

 A more casual fan sees things like a crowd cheering for Daniel Bryan in the middle of his girlfriend-abusing storyline and says “I don’t understand wrestling, wrestling fans must be sexist dickbags”. Same with how the crowd boos Reigns even as he’s shown doing all the “right” things – the make-a-wish, the spot with his kid, etc.

And that can largely be traced to the fact that, as Meltzer has alluded to a few times, the WWE itself is portrayed largely as a heel organization. It’s unique among wrestling promotions. Obviously it’s largely that way because Vince was such a good heel, but it means that fans automatically revolt against guys who get “the big push” like Cena, Orton, Reigns, Sheamus (still record holder for fastest from debut to WWE title) and others. It means that you often are skeptical of anything said by commentary as sort of propaganda (as a result, faces don’t really get over from commentary supporting them… they get over from commentary calling them nerds and the internet responding against that).

Put it this way. Say you have a female friend who maybe used to watch wrestling, or is for some reason a little interested in it. She wants to watch Raw with you. How do you explain the after-Mania Raw crowd, or why everyone hates Reigns, or why you laugh at all of Kevin Owens’ antics when he’s clearly a jerk?

What do you think? Obviously, there are many problems that have led to the ratings drop, but what are the biggest reasons for people tuning out? Let me know!

Chyna, Death, and the WWE Hall of Fame

For those unaware, women’s wrestling pioneer Joan “Chyna” Laurer was found dead earlier this week of a possible drug overdose at 45.

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Chyna putting Road Dogg in a headlock. via WWE

Chyna was considered by many a shoo-in for the WWE Hall of Fame until a 2015 statement made by WWE COO and Chyna’s ex-boyfriend Triple H on Steve Austin’s podcast…

Well, it is a little bit like a double-sided sword. It’s not just as easy as, “Should this person go into the Hall of Fame?” She completely, 100% transcended the business. Changed the business. Paradigm shifter of the business. Did what no woman ever did before, and was awesome at it, and a phenomenal talent. All the other stuff that happened happened — and I don’t need to get into any of the other stuff — but there’s no beef on this side with anything, and I mean that 100%.

From a career standpoint, should she be in the Hall of Fame? Absolutely. It’s a bit difficult, though, and this is the flipside of the coin — and this is the side nobody looks at — I’ve got an eight-year-old kid, and my eight-year-old kid sees Hall of Fame, and my eight-year-old kid goes on the Internet to look at Chyna. What comes up? And I’m not criticizing anybody. I’m not criticizing lifestyle choices. Everybody has their reasons. I don’t know what they were. I don’t care to know. It’s not a morality thing or anything else. It is just the fact of what it is. That’s a difficult choice.

Triple H is referring mainly to Chyna’s career as an adult film star. The statement was met with much well-deserved criticism, since the WWE HOF already includes a pornstar, a murderer, and a hate monger. What wrongs has Chyna committed that they haven’t?

Now, after Chyna’s death, Triple H is singing a different tune…

It’s certainly warranted and I’m sure at some point when the time is right, hopefully, that could happen.

So here’s the question I pose to you. Is it fair to change your opinion on someone just because they died? Was Triple H’s original opinion correct in the first place? Let me know!

 

 

Will Season 3 of Lucha Underground Jump the Shark?

WARNING: THIS BLOG POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR SEASONS 2 AND 3 OF LUCHA UNDERGROUND. TURN AWAY IF YOU DON’T WANT THE REST OF THE SHOW TO BE SPOILED THROUGH 2017

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Dario Cueto & Current Lucha Underground Champion Matanza. via Lucha Underground

As you may or may not know, Lucha Underground tapes its shows LOOOOONG in advance. In fact, the show is currently taping for it’s third season, set to air in 2017.

So last weekend, and here’s where the spoilers start, a new, controversial champion was crowned in the company’s third Aztec Warfare Match: female wrestler Sexy Star. According to reports, she won the championship by last eliminating Mil Muertes.

Lucha Underground, known from the beginning to heavily feature intergender matches, hasn’t shied away from portraying women as equals to men in-ring, and this is the biggest example of that yet.

The only problem, though, is that not a whole lot of people like Sexy Star.

Since many communities don’t like talking about Lucha Underground spoilers, all following quotes will be from /wooo/ users discussing Star’s upset victory.

Sexy Star has been the shittiest part of the show since early season 1.
> She wins the belt
I don’t care how long it last, it is a fucking horrible decision, and it will probably cause people to get disillusioned with the product to varying degrees.

It should be noted that nobody upset with the decision is mad that a woman won the main championship. People are mad because, much like Roman Reigns, they don’t think that Sexy Star’s talent has earned her the opportunity.

What made her win anger even more people was what happened after the match. According to a live report…

She did a post-match speech in Spanish and was crying. Matt Striker was crying as well. The speech appeared to be all about women’s empowerment.

While a women’s empowerment speech isn’t really a big deal, it doesn’t really make sense inside the world of Lucha Underground. There, women aren’t below men or lesser-than, they are 100% equals. So it’s strange that they would make such a big to-do about the how big of a deal it is that woman won.

Nobody would’ve complained if for example someone better than Sexy but I guess I have to round it down but let’s say Io Shirai won but also didn’t cut some stupid female empowerment promo afterwards eitherwards.

The promo makes things worse than what they already did

From the same live report as earlier..

The big surprise is that she got the title even though she quit AAA and wouldn’t drop the mixed tag titles on the way out, and at times had been very difficult to deal with here.

Honestly, it’s a pretty baffling scenario. There are two big things that many online wrestling fans (including me) hate: When we find out a wrestler is a total prick behind the scenes, and when they refuse to put somebody over, especially when they’re leaving the company.

On top of that, Star lost the title a week later to Johnny Mundo, basically making all the fanfare meaningless.

So what do you think? Did Lucha Underground make the right call or are they starting to slip? Are online wrestling fans right or are they overeacting? Let me know!

How Wrestlemania 32 became predictable by being anything but

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via WWE

Wrestlemania 32 was this past Sunday, and while I planned on doing a post about it the day after, I decided to let it sit with me for a while.

Right after the show was over, I was disappointed. Maybe that’s on me for getting too excited for a WWE show, but it stung nonetheless. Maybe time would change my opinion of it.

It didn’t.

Wrestlemania 32 suffered from “M. Night Shyamalan disease”. Many of the match outcomes were swerves for the sake of swerves. These “twists”, with the exception of Zack Ryder winning the ladder match and Baron Corbin winning the Battle Royale, didn’t serve to advance the storylines in new and interesting ways. They were there only to fool the audience.

Well why isn’t that good, you ask? Shouldn’t unpredictability be a good trait? If you can keep the audience guessing, then surely they’ll stay tuned with your product to see how it unfolds. But that isn’t true. Sometimes the most rewarding outcome is the most predicable.

Funnily enough, however, when these “unpredictable moments” are looked at together, they can easily lead the viewer to accurately guess what will happen in the end.

Heels Constantly Beating Faces

Of the eight announced matches on the main card, 6 of the winners were heels. That’s an unusually high number for a WWE PPV, especially WrestleMania. Here is where I get into the weird “sixth sense” talk that I think a lot of wrestling fans have.

If you watch a lot of wrestling, you start to notice certain trends. For example, while this may sound outdated, many wrestling fans have it in their mind that whoever gets the upper hand on the last TV show going into the PPV will actually lose. It’s the same feeling here. When a bunch of heels win, you expect a big face win coming soon. Spoiler Alert: The show ends with a bland, predictable face win.

The Title Change Conundrum

The above can be applied to title changes, as well. Shows rarely happen where all the titles change, and if no titles change on a show, it feels like a waste of money for those who paid for it and a holding pattern for the storyline.

In the show itself, though, you can sometimes predict what will happen to a title later on in the card based off of what has happened earlier in the night. Take last Friday’s NXT Takeover Dallas, for example. The tag team and women’s titles changed hands, so Finn Balor retained the NXT Championship. It’s not absolute, but it’s an equation that works a lot of the time.

So at Wrestlemania, with only 4 titles on the line, we can more easily predict the main event based on what happens earlier in the night.  Kalisto  and Charlotte retained their titles, while Kevin Owens lost his. WWE’s obsession with 50/50 booking would lead many to believe that Roman Reigns will beat Triple H in the main event. I wonder if that happens.

TOO MANY SWERVES, TOO MANY SWERVES OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I talked about it a little bit above, but it bears repeating. WrestleMania 32’s card (sans the main event) suffered from too much unpredictability. When you have a stadium full of nearly 100,000 smart fans from around the world, you can’t consistently book against what the expect and want. Can you do it sometimes? Yes. Should you? Absolutely. But WrestleMania 32 did it too much, and soured fans on the show.

The constant subversion of expectations last Sunday led many in the live crowd and at home to come to one conclusion: The main event would have no swerves, no twists, and nothing unexpected.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is what was going through the heads of WWE officials when booking this show:

Hey, I have a great idea! What if all the heels win, and it depresses the crowd, right? Well then, Roman Reigns wins in the end and it’s the big epic babyface win that everyone was waiting for, and we’ll finally get Reigns over!

If this is the case, they couldn’t have been more wrong. It turns out that fans want to see who they like win, and you can’t trick somebody into cheering another guy just because their favorite wrestler lost.

 

What do you think? Did you like WrestleMania 32? Let me know!

Wrasslin’ Roundup: The Vanishing of Daniel Bryan

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via WWE

It was recently announced that newly-retired wrestler Daniel Bryan has been pulled from all of his future appearances in WWE, including many WrestleMania week appearances and “Daniel Bryan Appreciation Night” events.

WWE has cited “scheduling conflicts”. However, the company later revealed that Bryan asked for time off. This has led many on the internet, including journalist Dave Meltzer, think there’s more to the story.

Theories have ranged from mundane explanations to full-blown conspiracy theories, so let’s dig into it.

In the Reddit thread announcing his absence from this weekend’s Madison Square Garden show, user ijoinedtosay gave what is probably the most likely answer…

Maybe he’s sick of people talking about his retirement and stuff and just wants a break from it. A case of “I’m not able to do the thing I love, I don’t need to be doing signings and the like at a time I’m trying to deal with all this”. I don’t know the guy but knowing how much he loves wrestling, it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s all just a bit too overwhelming and he needs some time to himself.

Later in the thread, after talks of how depressing the appearances could’ve been for Bryan, user CaptainExtravaganza said this…

Then he really shouldn’t have committed to it and if this is the reason he should have followed through regardless of how he felt. Literally thousands of people spent money and made plans based on his commitment, and they’d have been screwed over because of his mood, in effect.

Over on /wooo/, however, things are a different story. Several anonymous users on the site believe his pulling out indicates a return to wrestling, and his retirement was staged all along.

Over the past few days I’ve been thinking about Wrestlemania and the Shane/Taker match, I’ve been thinking about the positioning of the match, some people speculate it’ll come on last as the main event, but I’ve been thinking it’ll be somewhere in the middle of the show… Why? Because if Shane wins he’s now the owner and has power… That will give him power to change the championship match between Roman Reigns and Triple H, which is something he’d want to do to make it harder for Triple H to win. Seeing this thread brings me to the conclusion that… Daniel Bryan is gonna be added to the championship match.

Others, half joking, half worried, are using the strange parallels between Bryan and Chris Benoit to fuel worry for the wrestler.

Really though, who knows? It’s very weird that Bryan, known for his professionalism, would agree to all of these dates and then back out of them unless something was seriously wrong, but maybe, we’re all missing some key information that would put our minds at ease.

What do you think? Is there cause for worry or are people overreacting? Let us know!

WWE Uploaded an Old Clip of Vince McMahon Ragging on Cesaro So Let’s Wildly Speculate

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via WWE

Yesterday, WWE’s Youtube channel uploaded a near year-old clip of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon talking about the problems that fan-favorite Cesaro seemingly has with connecting to the audience.

In case the video has been taken down or made private (which is highly possible given WWE’s Youtube track record), let me recap for you. Vince McMahon thinks the Swiss-born Cesaro can’t connect with the audience. When the original interview came out, it received huge backlash from fans and other wrestlers alike, with many claiming that McMahon is out-of-touch and doesn’t know what the crowd wants.

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Vince McMahon circa 2015. Original joke don’t steal

The question is… Why upload that clip, and just that clip, now? Why single out one minute of an hour-long interview to upload a year later?

Most likely, it’s to hype Cesaro’s return. He’s been injured for the last several months and has been advertised for post-WrestleMania shows in the near future. Maybe he’ll return to a massive crowd reception to oppose the Authority and McMahon, and this clip was to remind everyone of the Chairman’s comments last year.

Honestly, what else could it be? Everything else sounds like too much of a conspiracy: He’s asking for his release so WWE wants to remind everyone that t hey knew he couldn’t connect; they want to abort his big comeback push before it starts for some reason.

In any case, it’s a really weird thing to upload that video now, even if it’s just a coincidence.

What do you think? What plans, if any, does WWE have for Cesaro? Let me know!

Hulkamania Follies: The 2 Strangest Things to Come out of the Hogan v. Gawker Trial

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Pool photo by  John Pendygraft

Yesterday, we ran through why professional wrestler Hulk Hogan and internet news site Gawker are in court, but we haven’t really discussed the most important part: They’ve turned a very serious, precedent-setting trial into a three-ring circus. While you can watch the full livestream here, let’s take a quick journey through the two most insane, eyebrow-raising moments of the trial so far.

1. Former Gawker editor Albert J. Daulerio has a low threshold for what makes a sex tape newsworthy

Remember now, Hogan is suing Gawker for invasion of privacy and releasing his sex tape without consent. In his testimony, Daulerio talked about what makes celebrity sex tapes newsworthy. The following transcript is courtesy of The New York Times.

“Can you imagine a situation where a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy?” asked the lawyer, Douglas E. Mirell.

“If they were a child,” Mr. Daulerio replied.

“Under what age?” the lawyer pressed.

“Four.”

Although Daulerio later revealed that he was simply joking, it doesn’t really matter, does it? Under oath in a courtroom is the last time and place to try your hand at comedy, and saying things like that isn’t necessarily going to get the jury on your side. Furthermore, it shows the attitude that some Gawker employees have towards this trial. If they can’t take a court case seriously, how can they be trusted with delivering the news?

2. Terry Bollea shouldn’t be prosecuted for what Hulk Hogan says

One of Gawker’s primary defenses was that Hogan, real name Terry Bollea, has talked about his sex life multiple times in public. Given this, Gawker argued, Hogan’s private and sex life isn’t as private as a normal person’s. When questioned about it, Hogan said this, via the New York Daily News.

“I do not have a 10-inch penis, I do not, seriously. Terry Bollea’s penis is not 10 inches,” Hogan said, using his real name.

…..

“So you were discussing Hulk Hogan’s penis?” Gawker attorney Michael Sullivan asked.

“Yeah, because Terry Bollea doesn’t have a 10-inch penis,” Hogan replied.

Sullivan also grilled Hogan on other cringe-inducing interviews with Howard Stern in which the legend of the squared circle openly discussed his sexual exploits.

“I was in character. I embellished a little bit about the number of women. I was totally Hulk Hogan — I wasn’t at home in my private house,” Hogan said.

You read that right, Hogan said that those previous interview shouldn’t count because that was the character talking, not the man. This is an interesting predicament. Wrestlers, especially those that were in the business around the same time as Hogan, take their characters very seriously.

Given that, can they say anything they want and get away with it because they were “in character”?  Furthermore, does someone forever void their privacy by talking about sex in public?

The trial should end soon, and no matter how crazy the past two weeks have been, a decision will have to be made. What do you think? What was the craziest thing you saw or head about in the Hogan v. Gawker case? Who should win? Let me know!

Wrasslin’ Roundup: Hulk Hogan v. Gawker – The Trial of the Century

If you aren’t up to speed on the Hulk Hogan sex tape scandal (and why wouldn’t you be?), let me catch you up to speed…

  1. Hulk Hogan was going through a rough divorce
  2. His friend, radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge, suggest that Hulk has sex with Bubba’s wife
  3. Hogan accepts, not knowing that the entire ordeal is being recorded by a secret camera in the corner of the room
  4. Someone, presumably Bubba, sends the tape to Gawker, an independent online news organization
  5. Gawker published bits of the tape without Hogan’s consent, leading to a civil lawsuit

While Hogan has said that Gawker had no right publishing something that was done in private without his consent, Gawker claims the tape is “newsworthy”, and that the public deserves to know about it.

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Hulk Hogan: Master of pillow talk.

As always, the internet is fighting over the topic. Who is right? Should Hogan have his privacy or is his sex life public knowledge?

Most alight was the anonymous image board /wooo/ (go figure). A majority of internet wrestling fans, myself included, have as strong dislike for Hogan and his affect of the wrestling business. He’s an egomaniac, racist, and ruined the 3 Ninjas series for good. As one user said…

Is the new /wooo/ canon going to be that Hogan isn’t a piece of shit just because he’s suing a website that people don’t like?

Remember when Hogan snitched on his co-workers trying to unionize and is directly responsible for the way in which WWE has and continues to exploit its employees? Or when he said that the guy who his son paralyzed had it coming because “karma?”

But yeah, thank you based Hogan XD

he’s not even going to win, if you guys put away your Gawker hate boners and were actually informed about the case you would understand why

While I share a distaste for Hogan, just because someone is a prick doesn’t mean their rights shouldn’t be protected.  Another /wooo/ user responded to the first…

Yes, Hogan’s attitudes and perceptions are clearly offensive to many, and WWE has every right to distance themselves from him, and people have a right to disagree with said attitudes and not like Hogan for them. At the same time though, given the context surrounding the leak, it once again comes down to the most unscrupulous members of the Fourth Estate being mad about him daring to fight back against them and trying to sink him personally.

 

Added another…

Yes, Hogan is no angel. But I can’t think of a single thing Hogan has done that is nearly as malicious, petty, and openly malevolent as what Gawker has been doing for roughly a decade. You know why Gawker tries to set themselves up as champions of fighting evil online internet harassment? Because they see the trolls as their competition.

The argument spiral into who is worse: Hogan or Gawker? But it doesn’t really matter. The two entities’ previous doings are irrelevant to this case, and while I personally think they both deserve some comeuppance, this trial should remain focused on the leak itself.

So who is right? Where is the line between privacy and journalism drawn? Let me know what you think!

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing more insight on the trial, it’s follies, and what it means for internet journalism going forward. Stay tuned!

3 Things WWE Can Learn from UFC’s Women’s Division

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Photo Courtesy of UFC

I’m not a huge fan of UFC. I know enough about it and can enjoy it every now and then, but I don’t really follow it.

This past weekend, however, I was invited to a friend’s house to watch UFC 196, a show co-headlined by Meisha Tate and Holly Holm, who made a name for herself several months ago after defeating Ronda Rousey.

While UFC isn’t without its faults, I always find myself happily surprised at how their female fighters are handled. Here are a few things WWE can learn from them.

1. Promote their women as stars

A running joke among wrestling fans is that women’s matches in WWE are usually bathroom breaks, often because they happen immediately before the main event (to give the fans a cool down period, not to heighten the women’s position on the card). Simply put, the majority of female wrestlers that WWE has had have amounted to absolutely nothing in the company.

Why? Because WWE doesn’t promote them as credible fighters. They’re in the background, or at best a side character in another, more important feud or storyline.

In UFC, however, it’s not like that. Since Rousey became popular, more and more female fighters are emerging, and the fact that UFC 196’s co-headline fight had women not named Ronda Rousey is an encouraging sign. With the influx of recent talent WWE has gotten, it would be easy to treat their women the same.

2. Treat them like they’d treat male talent

In WWE, men are called Superstars while women are called Divas. The Divas (the ones bad at wrestling, at least) have a fairly popular reality show where all they do is fight their friends, family, or each other about this or that. It’s lame.

In WWE, men can have a wide variety of gimmicks or characters. Even now, there’s a Hollywood star, a backwoods cult leader, and whatever you’d call New Day. While the men’s gimmicks get a little wonky (or nonexistent) sometimes, they have more character than the women.

In WWE, women usually have one of three gimmicks:

Crazy

Wrestler’s Girlfriend

Wrestler’s Crazy Girlfriend

Why should I care about such copy and paste characters? Their stories are usually meaningless, and their characters are usually the same.

In UFC, the women can be just as big of a draw as the men, sometimes even more so. So what is UFC REALLY doing that WWE isn’t?

3. Hire wrestlers before models

Let’s say WWE started doing the last two things, and they try promoting their women has stars and people and threats and all that good stuff. It still won’t work if they don’t get good wrestlers. Otherwise, you end up getting stuff like this.

Since the mid-to-late 90s, WWE has been obsessed with hiring models to be their “Divas”. For a while, fans were so starved of female talent that they actually convinced themselves that Lita and Trish Stratus were good wrestlers. Even WWE’s Diva Search series, a now-defunct, quasi-reality show about finding the next big women’s star, focused almost entirely on models.

It’s okay if those models actually want to become wrestlers and are willing to put in the necessary work, but not many are.

Imagine if UFC corralled a couple of ring girls, briefly told them how to punch and kick and what a submission is, and made them fight in their bikinis. And also one of them now has to be Conor McGregor’s girlfriend and follow him down to the octagon for every fight, and yell for him at the top of her lungs for the the whole fight.

That’s women in WWE.

Thankfully, the tide might be turning. NXT has pumped out the Four Horsewomen, a handful of amazing female talent that was proven that you can mean something as a women in WWE.

Things can change for the better, and the fact that the WrestleMania 32 Diva’s Championship match is being promoted so heavily is a good sign, but until we stop getting stuff like this in favor of stuff like this, I won’t hold my breathe.

Wrestling with Wrestling’s 10 Worst WWE Matches of the 2010s

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A taste of things to come. Photo courtesy of WWE.

Last week, I posted my top 10 matches in WWE in the 2010s. But with the good comes the bad. Today, we’re going to look at the worst, most insulting matches that the company has put out in the same time frame. Some of these are listed due to match quality, some for story and backstory, but make no mistake, they’re all absolute trash.

Prepare some bleach, you’re gonna need to soak you eyes in something after this.

Note: Apologies for half of these videos being in another language, but also you’re welcome for not having to listen to WWE’s heinous English commentary.

10. Elimination Tag Team Match: Team Cena vs. The Nexus – Summerslam 2010 – August 15, 2010

If you read my list of Top WWE matches of the 2010s, you saw that John Cena appeared in quite a few amazing matches. Well sadly, the early 2010s were also the peak of Cena’s “Superman-ness”, where he won almost every match, using the same moves and the same strategy. One of the key examples is this match.

The Nexus had debuted a few months earlier, dominating the show and generally being awesome. Cena made a team of his own to fight them. And then his team got eliminated. And then he beat two men within seconds of each other even though he got the crap beat out of him the entire night. The Nexus never recovered.

9. Randy Orton (c) vs. The Big Show for the WWE Championship – Survivor Series 2013 – November 24, 2013

Even without the context surrounding this match, it’s abysmal. Randy Orton is an enigmatic wrestler. His matches could be barn burners or bathroom breaks depending on his mood. The Big Show’s only good match in his entire career was against a boxer. It was a recipe for disaster, and boy did this slow, sleep-inducing deliver on that.

On top of that, this was during the hot streak of Daniel Bryan, who had been screwed out of a championship reign (both in story and real life) for several months. And this is the title match we got. I also ordered this PPV for my dad on his birthday, so that may just make me the worst son ever.

8. I Quit Match: The Miz (c) vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship – Over the Limit 2011 – May 22, 2011

You thought the last Cena match was bad? Oh baby, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.This match is the epitome of the online joke CENAWINSLOL (I can’t believe I typed that). After having his ass handed to him for the entire 30 minute match, Cena just pops up, does a thing, and makes The Miz give up.

This is the problem with I Quit matches. The good guy isn’t going to quit, because that makes the good guys weak. So the heel constantly has to use tricks to win. It doesn’t work, especially with Cena. The Miz never recovered.

7. Triple H vs. Sting – WrestleMania 31 – March 29, 2015

After a near 30-year career, Sting finally had his first match in the WWE. At WrestleMania, no less. And while we’ve all had fantasies of the moment, I doubt they included Triple H and DX beating up Sting and the nWo. The match, which heavily favored nostalgia over quality (like the company itself), ended with Triple H cheating, hitting Sting in the head with a sledgehammer, and beating him.

Not only did Sting lose his first WWE match, he shook Triple H’s hand after it was over. You know, he gave a sign of respect to the guy who just cheated to beat him. Yay? Anyway, this whole match seemed like another way for WWE to act like WCW was always a big joke, but the real joke was on all of us.

6. Chairs Match: John Cena vs. Wade Barrett – TLC 2010 – December 19, 2010

Still aren’t tired of John Cena matches where he completely buries someone? Are you waiting for a match where he literally buries someone? Well look no further!

The feud between Cena and The Nexus led to this moment, one final match between Cena and Barrett, the Nexus’s leader. There isn’t really much to say about it. Cena won after pushing a production cart over Barrett and then slamming a bunch of chairs onto the cart. That’s right, Barrett got knocked out after some things hit another thing, none of which were touching Barrett himself. He never recovered.

5. Elimination Chamber Match: Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth vs. King Barrett vs. Sheamus vs. Mark Henry for the Intercontinental Championship – Elimination Chamber 2015 – May 31, 2015

Elimination Chamber matches are known for their violence, fast-paced action, and, you know, FUN. So WWE took it upon themselves to remove all of those things in this match. It’s strange, because the tag team Elimination Chamber match earlier in the night was great, and then we got this.

The match was riddled with botches, culminating in Mark Henry’s pod opening before it was supposed to, forcing him to enter the match waaaay before planned, which in turn forced Ziggler to play ring general and create new spots for the match on the fly, loud enough for the fans at home to hear. I think everyone would be okay with never having an Elimination Chamber match ever again after this.

4. Stairs Match: Big Show vs. Erick Rowan – TLC 2014 – December 14, 2014

Q: What do you get when you take The Big Show, put him in a feud with the least talented member of the Wyatt Family, and put the two in a match that’s never been done before or since?

A: A blistering migraine.

While the Orton/Show match was bad, you could at least say it would have been better with the inclusion of weapons. I’m not one of those guys that’s begging for the Attitude Era back, but some people, like Big Show, work better matches if there’s no disqualification.

Well this match doesn’t have that excuse. Maybe it could have been entertaining with better wrestlers, but I doubt it. Just bad ideas all around.

3. No Disqualification: John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis – Over the Limit 2012 – May 20, 2012

The final John Cena match on our list ranks so high for several reasons, with little to do with match quality. There are some things that really, really irk me in wrestling. I hate it when the championship makes their way to the ring before a challenger. I hate when commentary says that someone has “all the right tools”.  And I absolutely cannot stand (with the exception of Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania), a regular match main eventing a show over the main championship match.

Not only did this match main event a pay per view, but it went on after the highly anticipation championship match between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Not only that, but it was a comedy match. A COMEDY MATCH WAS THE MAIN EVENT OF A PAY PER VIEW.

I’m not saying it was bad. It really wasn’t. It actually made me laugh a few times. It would have been fine if the match aired halfway through the show, but the way it happened was inexcusable.

2. Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole – WrestleMania 27 – April 3, 2011

My reaction the whole time: 1326516547315.gif

1. No Holds Barred: Vince McMahon vs. Bret Hart – WrestleMania 26 – March 28, 2010

The worst match of the 2010s featured a nonwrestler and a man who hadn’t wrestled in over 10 years. What could go wrong?

At one point, Bret Hart was one of the best wrestlers in the world. He was one of those classic wrestlers that could go out and have a great match with anybody. But by 2010, that time had been long gone. In this match, he can barely walk, yet the company still somehow decided that it would be best if the match went no less than 20 minutes.

The fact that this match was supposed to be the blowoff to the famous Montreal Screwjob, a maybe real, maybe staged event that happened 13 years earlier, makes the match even worse. Welcome to wrestling hell.

 

So that’s it. What you think? Is there a worse match that I forgot to include on the list? Let me know the snubs and flubs in the comments!