When Toeing The Company Line Just Makes You Look Silly

Yes, this is the House of M! My sometimes controversial but always must-read Op-Ed I made famous (or infamous depending on who you talk to) during my tenure at the once great institution I used to write for. It has taken me a long time and a fair bit of effort to bring this segment to Wrestle Royalty, so I hope you won’t be disappointed. Just like my Houses former address, I must put the disclaimer that the views expressed here are solely my own and do not reflect the feelings of Wrestle Royalty LLC, it’s owner Kendra Bunyon, or other writers here. Okay, let’s get started!  

 

Well, WRC people, something has been bothering me the last few weeks (I know, what else is new, right?) in regards to the way WWE treats its fanbase. Usually, most people who work in WWE ignore any and all criticism fans level at the company. Some choose to speak out which would great if they shared any valid arguments against said criticism or even any thoughts that are actually their own. Instead, they just regurgitate corporate-fed lines and try to insult and demean fans who dare believe WWE could do better creatively. Worse yet, it tends to result in them making absolute fools of themselves.

If you would indulge me, I would like to point out some of the most embarrassing recent examples of people who work in WWE attempting to shut down criticism by towing the company line!          

 

Road Dogg: Defender Of The Indefensible 

Ah yes, the man who will defend any and all creative decisions regarding WWE’s product to any and all fans should they offer even the most banal criticism is absolutely at the top of this list!  Now before I start, I just want to say that out of all of WWE’s shows, Smackdown Live is by far the best written. All the credit for that goes to Road Dogg. Even back in the days of Jinder Mahal’s tokenistic WWE Title run and the truly awful Battleground PPV/WWE Network Special, I knew that in the face of the #FireRoadDogg movement on Twitter, he was just writing shows around who his employer wanted to be pushed in that moment in time and did not deserve all the flak he was getting online. However, with all that being said, I consider Road Dogg to be a meek, spineless, corporate arse kisser! Why you may ask? Simple. No matter what the fan criticism, he will defend every single last aspect of WWE’s current product to the hilt on Twitter.

I mean, we all remember his ridiculous line “Wins and losses don’t matter” in regards to Pro Wrestling pushes, but last week, I think he uttered something even more ridicules. Before the Hell In A Cell event on Sunday, Road Dogg was once again arguing with fans online about WWE’s booking. This time it was over the Becky Lynch/Charlotte Flair program. Now, while most fans would agree that the program is easily the most interesting thing on WWE TV, they all feel trying to turn Becky (arguably the most over Women in WWE) heel was a bonehead move. Even after Vince McMahon was forced to abandon his idea to turn Becky heel (yes, it was solely his idea according to reports) and the Smackdown creative team turned the storyline into must see TV, Road Dogg felt the need to defend WWE and have a dig at fans who dared call out the initial idiotic mistake:

After going back and forth with fans for a few minutes Road Dogg made the most ridiculous comment anyone has ever uttered in regards to WWE’s booking since the infamous “Wins and losses don’t matter” debacle:

Not only does this argument fly in the face of the basic principle of not just promoting pro wrestling but promoting well…anything but it contradicts WWE’s corporate line that many of regarding criticism of pushing performers like Roman Reigns who receive mixed reactions from crowds at best over performers like Fin Balor who are universally adored: “Whether fans are cheering him or booing him, he always gets the loudest reaction.” 

I don’t know if he’s just insecure in his job or if he is just incredibly loyal to his employer, but to try and discredit the basic principle of promoting in an attempt to defend a creative decision is just pathetic. If Road Dogg doesn’t want to admit when WWE makes a creative mistake (every creative company makes them and there is no shame in owning up to them now and then) that’s fine! Still, he needs to stop arguing with fans about these mistakes on Twitter. In the end, it just makes him look silly!   

           

Goldust: Mr. Sanctimonious 

If there is one thing I can not stand regarding not just Pro Wrestling fandom but any fandom, is when people acuse others of not being “true fans” because they dare offer up a criticism!

For example, people who disliked the creative choices made in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and dared make objective criticisms were decried by other segments of the fandom and by people involved with the movie and were accused of not being “true fans” (or worse they were lumped in with a disgusting sexist/racist minority who have a real problem with the franchise embracing diversity)

For whatever reason some people seem to have a real problem who make room for critical thought in their fandom and want the thing they are fans of to be even better as opposed to being some kind of infintized hardcore fan who sees the thing they are fans of as flawless won’t have a critical word spoken of it ever. Sadly, Pro Wrestling today is no different. And its even more sad when someone who works for the biggest Pro Wrestling company on earth seems to only consider the latter “true fans.”

 

It breaks my heart to see a true legend in the industry like Goldust take such a sanctimonious and closed-minded position like this. My heart completely shatters when his younger brother Cody, who has found greater success outside of WWE embraces a different philosophy to Goldust, gets attacked by the very type of fan his older brother considers “true fans”

Stephanie McMahon: The Bold-Faced Liar

Stephanie McMahon has been a peripheral figure in the WWE for years now, and she just can’t seem to stay away from television. Stephanie, as a key executive in WWE, has been called out by fans in the past over the creative direction of the company leaving a lot to be desired.

However, despite criticism and shrinking live attendance figures, WWE have secured new mega TV deals which will see SmackDown Live! move to Fox next year. This shows there’s still big interest from broadcasters in the United States due to WWE being a huge name brand that attracts major sponsors. It’s then fair to say people in broadcasting and the mainstream media are sadly oblivious to the fact fans are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with WWE’s current product and have begun moving towards other promotions as alternatives. 

When Sports Marketing Manager Katie Rosenberg sent out a Tweet quoting Stephanie McMahon’s corporate line explanation of why WWE is so successful, its fair to say she was in for a rude awakening:

 

Even though I doubt anyone who works for WWE is reading this, I sincerely hope they do because even a harsh WWE critic like me feels badly when their most diehard employees make complete fools of themselves towing the company line.