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  #1  
Old 08-03-2017, 02:20 PM
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Default Is a lack of teams actually hurting character development and ratings in WWE?

It may seem strange to say that a lack of teams could actually be hurting individual character development and thus interest and ratings for WWE but I think there is some merit to this claim.


I feel like WWE is under the impression for the last number of years that the only way to gain fan interest in the product is to try and build individual wrestlers up so the fans know about them and care about them and want to tune in to see what happens next to them.

Indeed, yes, that's what basically draws people in to re-watch any TV show or movie series is a connection to characters. But what MOST successful TV shows or movie series have is well defined TEAMS that individual characters are PART of OR fighting AGAINST and their character development comes from this relationship and conflict with the teams NOT just from random, helter-skelter feuds with other individual competitors.

TV shows like Game of Thrones make a big deal about what team or group characters are part of and the fighting that goes on for one side to gain power over another side, sometimes with surprise twists in who is an ally or enemy.

Movies series like Marvel's Avengers pits individual heroes against often a team of enemies. Sometimes the individual heroes work together, because they find it is in their best interests, sometimes they don't see eye to eye and some in-fighting causes them to be at odds, but adds to the drama and character development of the individuals while they are part of different teams.


Back to pro wrestling examples, teams or factions don't ALWAYS workout to develop each and every member but they often make the show overall more interesting because they are a key focal point of the show and have many ways in which they can make things interesting.

Big factions along they way have been huge interest points of the most highly rated times in WWE. The teams like D-X, The Corporation with The Rock, Ministry of Darkness, McMahon-Helmsley Regime, Right to Censor, Evolution, The Nexus, The Shield all were able to make weekly programming interesting because of the dominance they initially showed and the obvious push-back that other characters would do when they got in their way.



And the last one I mentioned, The Shield was only 3 members, not like the bigger factions that had 4 or more members in the past.


But now, I look around and aside from Tag Teams, which obviously have to be small teams, there is hardly a team or stable to be found!

It's just a bunch of random, individual wrestlers trying to make a name for themselves all by themselves but thrown into different situations where they team up one night with someone and then face them the next week, or something along those lines.

NOT to say that you can't have individual character developments or LONE WOLVES. But, honestly, what makes Baron Corbin the "Lone Wolf" ANYMORE of a lone wolf than ANY OTHER wrestler in WWE who isn't part of a tag team? NOTHING. Because there are no teams or factions of interest in the WWE anymore.


If you look at the ratings in WWE this year from SmackDown and Raw you see that SmackDown has been around 1.6 - 1.9 million viewers most nights with a few tops into 2 million viewers. Raw has been mostly low 2 million plus viewers but has dipped down below 2 million viewers last few months more than a few times.


I'll add to this that I think part of why the Cruiserweight Division isn't doing so hot is because it's ALLLLLL too many individuals trying to make a name for themselves. There is almost NOTHING for a casual fan to latch on to because it's just a bunch of random matches taking place with very, very weak storylines for a few wrestlers to try and bring some interest to it all.

Imagine Champion Neville breaks out next Raw with two or three henchmen from the heel side of the Crusierweights and just DESTROYS ALL other Crusierweights either in the back or in the ring that night. In the ring he declares "This is the era of the reign of Neville, King of Crusierweights, and NOBODY can stop us!" Just like that, more interest in the Crusierweights because you know babyface wrestlers will step up and THAT'S where they start making a name for themselves and get more character development.

This can work, of course, not just for Crusierweights but a major faction in the rest of WWE on Raw and SmackDown.

Now there is the Miztourage on Raw, which is at least SOMETHING. But they aren't DOMINANT enough to be a full interest. They need to really be ruthless with more attacks or dominance or add MORE wrestler to the Miztourage before they can be a better draw.


Anyway, my point is, I think WWE misses the point too often these days trying to just get wrestlers over by themselves in random feuds but seem to forget how interesting and good at character development it was to have a big, dominant faction part of the show especially if the leader was or was gunning for the top championship.



So, my questions to you are:

Is a lack of teams/factions actually hurting character development in WWE?

Is a lack of teams/factions part of what is hurting the ratings in WWE?

Do you want to see more teams/factions in WWE today? If so, how would you like to see them incorporated and who could be part of them?
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2017, 02:38 PM
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I don't think it's hurting characters development but it leaves a bit of a void for a -Major Conflict- in any of the shows. With a good heel stable you always have that evil pulse in the background that hangs over the show. What will they do next? Who will join? Who will stand up against them? Personally, as much as I love a little nostalgia, I'd like to see some brand new ideas come forward for stables. Like a large one for a change, 6 or 7 wrestlers join up and dominate for awhile. The Bullet Club could debut and be new for a lot of viewers (me) and would help Gallows and Anderson immediately.

A face stable could even join up and be a super force to fight the massive evil of the new stable. Anyway, I'd be all for new stables in WWE, it gives us something different at least.
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2017, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical View Post
Is a lack of teams/factions actually hurting character development in WWE?

Is a lack of teams/factions part of what is hurting the ratings in WWE?
No. If this were the case then Russo's WCW and TNA angles would have thrived.

Quote:
Do you want to see more teams/factions in WWE today? If so, how would you like to see them incorporated and who could be part of them?
Doesn't matter as long as it makes sense, and the people that are in it are interesting. We have a few of those. If you want storylines in the way of a Marvel shared universe that's why Survivor Series exists (which was fantastic in 2014 and 2016).
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:21 PM
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The Russo stables are an extreme example, though. Evolution and countless other WWE-based groups were pivotal for getting characters over. I agree that a lack of teams does make the product a tad bit boring. When a stable spearheads a prime wrestling show, it leads to numerous opportunities and branching narratives. And I definitely want to see more groups, particularly large groups that take over shows. It makes more sense for a bully character to have a bunch of lackeys helping him win championships than it does for a bully to trade wins with a fan favorite. So yeah, I'd want Kevin Owens part of said group, and I'd want to see him team with a select few who feel victimized by the higher ups.
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2017, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Conway Spidey View Post
The Russo stables are an extreme example, though.
There are many non-Russo stables that have not thrived.

The Cabinet
The Corre
League of Nations
3MB
The Alliance
King Booker's Court
The Hart Dynasty
Mexicools
The New Breed
The Spirit Squad
X-Factor
3 Minute Warning

The OPs argument is that because there is lack of teams/stables in the WWE the ratings are dropping and there is no character development which I don't buy. I would welcome more teams/stables if they have interesting characters within them because that's what draws audiences.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #tamale View Post
There are many non-Russo stables that have not thrived.

The Cabinet
The Corre
League of Nations
3MB
The Alliance
King Booker's Court
The Hart Dynasty
Mexicools
The New Breed
The Spirit Squad
X-Factor
3 Minute Warning
A majority of the stables you listed actually helped get superstars over. 3MB helped a guy like Heath Slater a fuckton. Most of these did. Not sure what your definition of thrived is. Without The Cabinet, JBL would have just been a guy in a suit and cowboy hat. Booker would have been even worse for wear with only his king costume. Spirit Squad was excellent fodder for DX.

Do they all have to be wearing gold to fit into your idea of success?


Quote:
The OPs argument is that because there is lack of teams/stables in the WWE the ratings are dropping and there is no character development which I don't buy. I would welcome more teams/stables if they have interesting characters within them because that's what draws audiences.
Well, yeah, as a guy that likes interesting things I welcome interesting characters too. Not an awful opinion to have.

But I'm not sure what you're looking for. You gave examples of teams you don't consider successful, but they all had interesting characters and a purpose. Most of these even had their own merchandise and made a bit of money. But you don't welcome them, obviously. If word got around that WWE were creating their own Bullet Club lead by Finn Balor, fans would be more interested than seeing Balor float around, wouldn't they?

At least we'd know WWE thought about them. I'm not saying it's a quick fix, but I personally would rather see a group of nobodies joining forces than seeing them do it solo. And if it just so happens one guy benefits and gets a bit more character depth, than it's worth it.
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  #7  
Old 08-03-2017, 06:57 PM
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Like managers and valets, I think teams/factions allow wrestlers with deficiencies to hide those deficiencies. I see quite a few singles stars and some tag teams that seem to serve no purpose other than to fill time. Before the Miztourage, Bo and Axel seemed to fit this mold. Now they aren't exactly blowing me away with their recent performances but at least now they seem to have a fit that may impact the story in a meaningful way.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #tamale View Post

The OPs argument is that because there is lack of teams/stables in the WWE the ratings are dropping and there is no character development which I don't buy. I would welcome more teams/stables if they have interesting characters within them because that's what draws audiences.

The second part of your message actually helps add to the point I actually was making.

I didn't say there lack of teams/stables is THE ONLY reason ratings are dropping, but I do think it contributes to why they aren't particularly strong. And, I didn't say there is NO character development.

Obviously, there is character development but exactly as you are saying I would welcome more teams/stables if they have interesting characters because it's what draws audiences. And, along the way it helps develop characters.

That's all I'm really saying is that more teams/stables would be welcomed.

It does lend itself to open up more opportunities for different match-ups, angles and storylines. And can much quicker build a wrestler doing nothing much into a more interesting character part of a storyline.

I mean, even right now, WWE is teasing a Shield reunion and that's getting some buzz. Even if that is re-hashing an old stable, if it is getting any buzz it means fans look forward to teams and powerful stables emerging on the show.

It just adds to the on-going interest level of the show. You are never going to have every single wrestler in a stable or team or doing something really interesting but a significant stable or two on Raw and SmackDown can help.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:37 PM
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Well, I agree with the OP. It's just too boring without a dominant, dominating, aggressive faction on a show.

To begin with, let's distinguish between Dominant factions, a la The Corporation, The Ministry of Darkness, Evolution, NWO, and just 3 random nobodies put together such as 3MB, The MizTourage, or JBL's cabinet.

While reading the OP, I was overcome by feelings of wistfulness and nostalgia, as regards The League of Nations. Now I know they weren't the most successful or electric bunch, 2 yrs ago.

The reason for my nostalgia is that it's been over a year since the brand split, and things are and have been just very repetitive, and utterly lacking in vitality and intrigue.

That's the very exact reason why the OP's premise is correct.

Just take a look at the characteristics of the product we've seen since the brand split:-
1)Singles wrestlers vying for titles,
2)Singles competitors in random feuds, some bad, some of note. (Joe-Rollins, Reigns-Strowman)
3)Women and tag-teams facing each other in protracted feuds, with little, almost negligible variety.
4)Most of these title and non-title feuds resulting in a dozen(or so) matches on TV and PPV, which is basically like bread-and-butter and nothing else to go.

That is why, it was so much better when Roman Reigns faced Sheamus as part of the LON, because even if they had three matches in two months, sometimes, you had a Raw episode when Reigns had to go against Rusev, and at times a Handicap match.

Or when Reigns was feuding with Styles and they had the Usos join Reigns.

Factions, conflict, opposition, rebellion, and intrigue are only possible when you have a variety of titles and wrestlers and situations meshed into a great, chaotic fabric, a la 1999 with McMahon, Austin, Rock, The Corporation, and The Ministry. That's what creates compelling TV, drama.

And that is exactly what a roster split in two precludes. Imagine it's 1999 and they put Austin, Rock and Foley on Raw, and Taker and HHH on Smackdown. You wouldn't have witnessed what you did. A year full of chaos, conflict and intrigue. Austin vs McMahon entrenched into a multi-layered, chaotic maze involving The Ministry and The Corporation lent their saga much vitality and suspense.

In a brand-split scenario with 4 titles each, you have two wrestlers or teams, an A and a B going at it ad nauseam for 3 months at a stretch, and it just gets boring.

It's paradoxical because on the one hand, it creates more opportunities by way of more titles, a better focus on feuds, and yet you have problems like protracted, boring feuds, and floundering superstars like Sami Zayn and Tye Dillinger, while Styles and KO or Mahal and Orton feud for months, too much of the same.

As for this question by the OP:
Do you want to see more teams/factions in WWE today? If so, how would you like to see them incorporated and who could be part of them?

I definitely don't want to see The Club, because neither of Finn Balor or those bald guys stimulate excitement in me, but have so far only provoked ferocious yawns.

Also not interested in a revivification of Bray Wyatt or his Cult.

Probably don't want Shield either. Roman Reigns is fine on his own, and inarguably, the guy who'll make for compelling TV for years to come.

I was intrigued by the prospect of Joe and KO forming a team, with HHH as their mentor or boss.

I would say I want something fresh, something different, something tremendous, so it's up to the Creative to decide what they can do with those on Raw and those on SDL.

Last edited by RomanfreakinReigns : 08-03-2017 at 08:54 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2017, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanfreakinReigns View Post

As for this question by the OP:
Do you want to see more teams/factions in WWE today? If so, how would you like to see them incorporated and who could be part of them?

I definitely don't want to see The Club, because neither of Finn Balor or those bald guys stimulate excitement in me, but have so far only provoked ferocious yawns.

Also not interested in a revivification of Bray Wyatt or his Cult.

Probably don't want Shield either. Roman Reigns is fine on his own, and inarguably, the guy who'll make for compelling TV for years to come.

I was intrigued by the prospect of Joe and KO forming a team, with HHH as their mentor or boss.

I would say I want something fresh, something different, something tremendous, so it's up to the Creative to decide what they can do with those on Raw and those on SDL.

Your entire post was well written and pretty well thought out. I mostly agree with it. I do think, however, if WWE was up for it, having dominant factions and following interesting feuds and conflicts can still happen in the brand-split era.


But actually, I just want to hear your thoughts on a few points you made.

In terms of not wanting to see any revitalization of a Bray Wyatt family or cult, what else is there for Wyatt's character to meaningfully do? I don't know your thoughts the value of Bray Wyatt and I think he has value but it has been badly hurt by how poorly WWE Creative and booking has done for him, but the fact is the man is still quite young and the character has lots of potential value if used properly. He can be on his own just creating his own chaos by himself for a while. That's fine. Hopefully along that way, getting some big wins to give himself credibility. But a Bray Wyatt who just is a lone wolf randomly attacking or targeting wrestlers without gaining any sort of following just seems a bit odd. How would you propose they handle that?
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