It all began with a “Yes Movement” by the most beloved wrestler since The Rock. The fans’ love of Daniel Bryan completely destroyed Vince McMahon’s plans for Roman Reigns and since then, McMahon intends to make damn sure no other wrestler ever steals the spotlight from his favorite cash cow.
Vince McMahon showed his contempt with the fans, particularly the smarks, at WrestleMania by letting Roman Reigns retire The Undertaker. This was direct retaliation against every fan who ever jeered Reigns, the same fans who grew up with the WWE and spent money on Pay Per Views when they were still $40 each. Now McMahon is brushing them aside so hey can sell Reigns to kids and sell Jinder Mahal to India.
This is likely the reason we haven’t seem Luke Harper in several months. Harper stepped up his game to unbelievable levels before WrestleMania. Harper became one of the few wrestlers who could compare to AJ Styles, Randy Orton and even Daniel Bryan himself. The amount of time and effort Harper must have spent training to get to that level boggles the mind.
And Vince McMahon is keeping him off the air because he doesn’t want fans pushing Harper into his World Title plans.
But even more blatant and outrageous is the degradation and humiliation of Bray Wyatt’s character. After spending most of the past five years thinking of new and ridiculous reasons to keep the World Title away from Wyatt, the WWE finally let him have it. For one month, then shoved him onto RAW to make room for Jinder Mahal’s title feud.
After throwing meaningless feuds in Wyatt’s direction,McMahon finally dropped what may be the final straw by putting Wyatt in a veil and showing him “possessed” by Sister Abigail.
Initial rumors say the WWE plans to have Wyatt wrestle Finn Balor in a dress at TLC.
If McMahon really intended to drive these loyal fans away, he succeeded. SmackDown’s ratings have dropped like a rock since Vince put the belt on Mahal and pictures have circulated of the empty seats on this show.
But McMahon’s mistake was not in angering fans, but boring them. Anger the loyal fans, some will leave. But put out a bland and boring product, and a lot more will leave.
So far, Raw seems to be immune to this problem. Though Bray’s feuds have ranged from bland to embarrassing, the rest of the show presented the reunification of The Shield and the monster Braun Strowman.
But noticeably, not Samoa Joe.
Although The Shield and Strowman are keeping the fans interested for now, McMahon’s mindset of pushing his marketable wrestlers to super-face status and burying the fan favorites will continue to damage his brand in the eyes of the fans. Although fans loved watching Strowman fight Lesnar, most know that the reason he lost is so Lesnar can lose the Universal Title to Reigns at WrestleMania.
And by that point, the Universal Title will have no value in the eyes of the fans anyway because the Universal Champion can’t be bothered to show up for work.