Last week, we went into detail on the various different reasons why World Wrestling Entertainment has been in decline over the past decade. However, not everything has to do with the most popular wrestling company, as other wrestling companies have fulfilled the wants and needs of fans. Let’s ring the bell and dive into why other companies are stealing from WWE’s supposed monopoly.
If we exclude NXT, which is run by Paul Levesque rather than Vince McMahon, the WWE’s main roster programming has only accounted for one five-star match by Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer scale this decade. New Japan Pro Wrestling, on the other hand, has accounted for close to 50. One of those matches, between Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada at NJPW Dominion, received the highest star rating in history at seven stars. While it’s easy to say that it’s just one man's opinion, that is a pretty glaring statistic as it pertains to the difference in match quality outside of WWE. The WWE style has trained fans to not care for a match until the last five minutes or so when all the big moves are hit. While not always the case, an NJPW match is laid out to make you care about the different aspects of the storytelling. The WWE does put on good matches, especially in NXT, but they have lost plenty of fans who are looking for something better.
The inorganic nature of WWE’s storylines is partially a reason as to why both fans and wrestlers alike are taking their business elsewhere. Talked about in “The Emancipation of Jon Moxley” episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast, the WWE has hired a large team of writers to help write the shows. While those shows often rewritten entirely by Vince McMahon himself, the issue at hand is how fake the shows come off for having so many promos written beforehand. Everything from top to bottom is scripted, and when the scripting is terrible, it’s terrible. This is not the case, for the most part, everywhere else. On AEW Dynamite, you can hear people like Cody and Chris Jericho cut promos unlike anything since the early 2000’s. While it’s still planned out, like all wrestling is, the wrestlers are able to go out and sink or swim. The wrestlers know their characters better than any writer ever could, and WWE has yet to catch up with the times.
More than one star
If you know anything about WWE after the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock left as full timers in the mid-2000’s, it’s that Vince McMahon has a clear template for who his top guy is going to be regardless of what you think about it. Even with the likes of Batista and Randy Orton around, it was clear that McMahon pushed John Cena as his top babyface star regardless of how much the fans were turning on him. In the 2010’s, when Cena was transitioning away from the business and they needed to make a new star, McMahon went with Roman Reigns. The idea was met with instant backlash when they began to book him like a superhero, but McMahon could care less as long as the WWE brand is doing fine. The truth is, fans want to watch wrestling without having one person shoved down their throat, which is entirely possible with good booking. This has led to fans tuning out of WWE in favor of companies that actually book according to what they would like to see.
Looking for alternatives
Vince McMahon has been working on WWE television for what feels like forever now. If you don’t like the type of product that he has put out all this time, chances are you’ve grown sick of WWE. Some people want a show that makes more sense like AEW, some people want a company with better wrestling like NJPW and some people just want something entirely different. There’s a lot much wrestling out there nowadays, so there is no need to only watch what WWE is giving you on a weekly basis.