2015 has been a less than impressive year for WWE, with television ratings hitting lows not seen this century.
The following article shall examine the low-points of WWE over the past year.
5. Ziggler and Lana vs. Rusev and Summer Rae.
In my opinion, this was the worst feud of 2015. It was met with disaster after disaster. The decision to break up Lana and Rusev was questionable in itself, the reason apparently being that Vince McMahon found her “too hot and too blonde to be a heel”.
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The unentertaining feud itself was marred by injuries to Lana and Rusev, at different times. The Ravishing Russian fractured her wrist during training while Rusev experienced ankle problems soon after. Worse still both Rusev and Lana, got engaged in real life which led to the story being dropped altogether.
4. Using Reid Flair to promote Paige as a heel.
An offensive, lazy, use of a deceased relative to get a cheap rise out of the fans. This lacklustre effort to establish Paige as a heel seems almost hypocritical from a company that prides itself on its squeaky clean reputation.
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Bringing a real-life tragedy into the WWE, could be good if done with tact and discretion, but the fact the tragedy was never properly dealt with by the company before, highlights how weak and ultimately lazy, this idea was. Not only this but Paige's heel role has been dropped altogether, and the baton has now been passed to fellow Diva Charlotte.
3. The Diva’s Revolution.
When NXT stand-outs Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch finally made their main roster debuts on Monday Night Raw, it marked the beginning of what the WWE has been happy to label the ‘Divas Revolution’. The plan to split the women into three teams of
The plan to split the women into three teams of three; Team Bella, Team BAD, and Team PCB (formerly known as the rather erotic ‘Submission Sorority’). It seemed WWE was more concerned with inventing clever names they could brand and market than actually establishing the NXT stars as individuals as they did with Paige.
The emphasis on gender seemed extreme also. In NXT, Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks were genuine characters with interesting stories. However, it seems WWE wants fans to like these women because they are women, which is bland in itself.
2. Royal Rumble 2015.
Many people may disagree with my choice here, but the decision to make Roman Reigns the Royal Rumble winner in 2015, with help from the Rock, was detrimental to Reigns’ character. Royal Rumble matches used to be unpredictable, but in recent years, fans have been one step ahead of WWE creative.
Reigns’ reception was less than welcoming, in fact, one may describe the crowd’s reaction as hostile - as jeers echoed around the arena. Not even The Rock’s appearance could justify Roman’s win to the crowd. It was a bad move by the WWE and marked the beginning of a bad year.
The number of injuries the WWE has endured in 2015 has been nothing short of astounding. Daniel Bryan, the crowd favourite, has been plagued by injury since 2014 and was required to vacate two titles due to two recurring injuries.
At a dark show in Ireland, Bryan was believed to have suffered a concussion, along with his recurring neck injury, which could see the end of his career. Randy Orton, is out injured due to a chronic shoulder problem that has affected him throughout his WWE career. Sting seriously injured his neck at Night of Champions against Seth Rollins. Tyson Kidd injured his neck in a dark match with Samoa Joe. Cesaro tore his rotator cuff during one of the matches of the year with Roman Reigns. Sin Cara recently dislocated his shoulder following a match with Big-E.
However, WWE has an opportunity to create fresh new stories from these injuries, and perhaps bring in talent from other regions as well as NXT. Hopefully this can be used as a stepping stone for a better 2016.