Tony Acero analyzes the WWE's writing style
Tony Acero | On 11, Jan 2013
Tony Acero analyzes the issues in the WWE writing process.
Last week, I spoke at length about the damage John Cena has caused, and the positive effects of him being gone for six months would occur. I alluded to a number of other issues within the WWE that I wanted to touch on for the month, and herein lies one more. The Writing. To the best of my knowledge, the WWE has a group of writers that bounce ideas off each other and develop scripts for their television shows, then submit them up a hierarchy that ultimately ends with Vince McMahon. Many times, the blame goes to him, solely. I cannot do that. If we were to think about this from a slightly different perspective, one can see that there’s quite a few reasons why the current writing “system” doesn’t work. In essence, it seems like they’re trying so hard to place a square peg in a writer’s circle, and it just isn’t fitting…
1) Too Many Cooks
The old adage of too many cooks in the kitchen seems to come into play here quite a bit, as I feel that there may very well be far too many people sitting at this imaginary knight’s table, which causes stories that may start off very well, but peter off into nothingness. What could be one man’s crowning achievement becomes a group effort that may lose the very essence of what was once began. We’ve seen stories fall into pieces from week to week, and there’s really no one reason. I think it’s because there are far too many people trying to alter, add, or continue the story/idea. Get four of your closest friends, and see if you can book an entire month’s worth of wrestling. I bet you could, but there’d be some dissention, and at the end of the month, you don’t have Vince McMahon’s ass hovering over you.
2) Too Much TV
I am a writer by trade. When I am not working on stuff for 411, I am writing my own work and I can tell you that there is such a thing as burn out. Even with a large group of people, the WWE writing staff is responsible for over 50 superstars, over 8 hours of television, and one PPV a month. All of these stories should be cohesive, and should make sense, but what used to take perhaps a couple of months to flesh out can now be done in a matter of two weeks. What this causes is a depreciation of quality and a rushed feeling of a story’s conclusion. This is why CM Punk’s reign is such a welcomed story in wrestling; it’s been quite some time since we’ve seen dedication to any one arc (and even that’s stretching the concept). Simply put, the hours on television need to be filled, and a majority of it demands quality story telling. Regular television series have an average of 20-26 episodes that are sometimes written all at once, and filmed in a matter of weeks. There is a break time, a rest period. WWE writers and staff have no breaks; it’s a continuous and momentous job that demands soooo much creativity, and it’s no one’s fault but the WWE. Adding another hour to RAW, implementing backstage “active” moments, and just too many hours cause for fluff, character damage, and uninteresting television.
3) Lack of Structure
This one is purely speculation, because for all I know, they may be very structured in the way that they write the shows. But as it’s perceived, I see very little structure. I spoke a few weeks back about the guy who used to use storyboards, and had a nice little story for every wrestler; where did that go? Or why can’t they break up their writers, give them each a few wrestlers to work with and dedicate some real time to them, then have them work with other groups to create some long-term stories? Or they could have each member book an entire 3 month’s worth, and see if they can’t combine elements of everyone’s ideas. These are just shots in the dark, but I really think it’s obvious that a change is needed, because as of now there seems to be a cyclical movement that makes me feel their stagnancy isn’t going anywhere…which leads me to my final point:
4) If It Ain’t Broke…
The worst thing that can happen to any writer is knowing that they’re good, or having the idea embedded in them that what they are doing is the ultimate right way of doing things. There are so many people in this wrestling world, with so many different tastes, that it’s impossible to please everyone, but losing about half your audience in ten years means you did something wrong. WWE’s attitude seems to be that they’re doing everything right, though and honestly, who is here to prove them wrong? TNA? No. The company, at this point, can only be fixed from within, and I don’t see anyone willing to make that change save for one man…Triple H. Who would have thought that the man so many people hated in the first decade of the 2000′s may very well be the man we all revere in a few years’ time. He’s already doing things to alter the product, and I feel that the moment he sets his eyes to the creative aspect of the product, we may very well be in for a treat…I can only hope that he sees an issue like we all do.
Every fan wants the WWE to be a better product, and yet we’re almost always going to find something wrong with it. Truly, if we didn’t there wouldn’t be a Wrestling Smash to write on. We’re complainers by nature, but I like to think that a majority of us do it not just to do it, but because we see something we love deteriorating and want to preserve it for as long as possible. Then again, do you see the WWE leaving anytime soon?
You Decide:Is the way WWE writes the show broken?