Saturday, December 27, 2014

THE WWE IN 2014: A RETROSPECTIVE


Writing weekly reviews of two WWE shows along with the occasional editorial is sometimes daunting (if the shows are bad), but almost always nourishing and energizing.

Each week, sometime around Sunday afternoon, my mind resets and I become excited for RAW. This would happen even if I didn't write about the show, but because I write about it, the prospect of building a new RAW REVIEW for a new week, trying to keep it as fresh and as-engaging-to-read-as-possible is an enjoyable, personal challenge. My focus is always on trying to keep these reviews and these editorials fresh and engaging for myself, first and foremost. Because if I write from that place, from a center of passion and interest, then it will show in the work and be more enjoyable for you to read (hopefully).


Each RAW REVIEW is, in the moment, just a day's work. My impression of that week's show. By design, it's a focused, momentary glimpse at a very specific three-hours of the week, and then, not long after it goes live, it is forgotten and I move on to the next week. It epitomizes the passage of time and the paradox of the importance of the moment and the simultaneous insignificance of the moment. It is about this Monday, but it's also always about getting to next Monday.

And that's what the WWE is about too. Enjoy this, but also work toward this. Sometimes we're not able to appreciate or even absorb the moment when this is our mindset. Sometimes this makes it hard to judge what we're experiencing. That's why every so often it is essential that we stop blindly working toward the next thing, and simply acknowledge all that has transpired in our lives. Doing so makes earning that next future-moment that much more important. I'm not a proponent of lingering in the past or building monuments to our greatness or being overly nostalgic, but understanding the past helps understand our lives, and it helps us evaluate events (both fictional and real) more accurately.

So if we look back at the WWE in 2014 so that we might understand what has happened and how it might shape the future, what do we see?

To put it as simply as possible, I, personally, see improvement.

I see a great deal of sacrifice on the part of several talents (least of all CM Punk and Daniel Bryan) that has contributed to a more positive, hopeful environment.

I see the community surrounding the WWE galvanizing behind a few simple, beneficial directives:

1) Make RAW two-hours
2) We want wrestling, not sports entertainment
3) Stop insulting our intelligence, make this more realistic

And these directives are championed by respectable people who could actually have an affect on the company.

While some of my latest RAW REVIEWs have been the most critical of the company, writing about RAW this year has been, without a doubt, the most enjoyable year to write about RAW since I began in 2012. This is partially because I've grown as a writer, and I've matured in the way I watch and think about the WWE, but it is primarily because the product itself has improved, regardless of the obvious flaws.

Stone Cold Steve Austin's interview with Vince McMahon was instrumental in revealing exactly how out of touch the WWE's CEO really is (live and in person), and how the company is steadily reaching a boiling point, a point where drastic change will be necessary for its survival.

When I look at 2014 I see a good year, both personally and for the company as it relates to pro-wrestling. I see signs of upward momentum, of inevitable, positive change, and I see hope for the future where, in 2012 and 2013, I saw no such hope.

To chart the trajectory of the WWE's 2014, I have compiled every single RAW REVIEW, and a few important editorials, that I have written since January of this year. I do not expect, and I don't even suggest, that you read every one of these. I simply think it might be interesting, and perhaps help put the year in perspective, to peruse these reviews. You will see not only an evolution of the various narratives, you will see an evolution in my writing style.

The first half of the year will direct you to the blog I originally wrote for, a more entertainment/pop-culture oriented blog.

Thank you to all those who have read every single one of these reviews. Your dedication is appreciated, and I look forward to what 2015 has in store for The Good Worker.

JANUARY

FEBRUARY




JUNE



AUGUST

SEPTEMBER



NOVEMBER


DECEMBER



What did you think of 2014? What was the best time of the year for the WWE and what would you like to see happen in 2015? Comment below!

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