2 Hours Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)


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  • Arch-Enemy: The likes of UFC commentator and actor Joe Rogan and ESPN's Colin Cowherd have been very dismissive toward WWE and its fans. Also New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick, especially in the '90s.
  • Archive Binge/Archive Panic:
    • Raw has over 1060 episodes, Smackdown over 730 episodes, Superstars over 230 episodes, NXT over 180 episodes, Main Event over 50 episode. And that's just the current programming. They have a ton of former programming as well.
    • The WWE Network sums this up perfectly. To put it simply, as of the Network's launch, all of the WWE pay per views to the end of 2013 & the entire WCW & ECW PPV libraries were available to view, with the last two years (And a few classics) of Raw & SmackDown episodes on top of that. Three months after launching, several years worth of classic Raw episodes have been added, the latest shows are added a month after airing, the latest pay per views air live on the Network & are immediately archived, they're gradually adding out of print DVD documentaries, releases, and the Network-exclusive original content has begun airing. Thankfully, each show is bookmarked incase you want to watch a specific match or segment again, so you can search by the name of the superstar/diva involved.note 
  • Badass Decay:
    • WWE booking 101:
      1. Wrestler gets over
      2. Give that character a heel turn/face turn which makes no sense
      3. Strip that character of everything that made them get over in the first place
      4. ???
      5. Make less money
    • Shelton Benjamin was a rapid case that people didn't get over for decades. He came to Raw, beat perennial World Heavyweight Champion Triple H clean, went on a winning streak that saw him beat Triple H twice more and then got a random Intercontinental title shot against Randy Orton and lost. That was the start. Then he got injured and returned as basically an enhancement talent who occasionally got a mid card push.
    • Eugene Dinsmore was getting bigger pops that the main events using simple moves like airplane spins, sledges and ax handles. He made short work of former OVW rival Rob Conway and dominated World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit. Then he came out on the losing end of a feud with Triple H where Trips separated his shoulder. From there he slowly transitioned into the role of a jobber.
    • But wait, there's more! The Great Khali after losing the World Heavyweight Championship; Kane after his unmasking; "Stone Cold" Steve Austin during his heel turns; Victoria after the introduction of the Diva Search.
    • Hornswoggle underwent both Took a Level in Badass and Badass Decay: When first introduced in 2006, he was stereotyped as a cowardly, demented sort of Mini-Me for then-heel Finlay. He eventually turned face when he entered the Cruiser-weight Championship Open in the summer of 2007 and won the championship title from Chavo Guerrero, after which he enjoyed a brief surge of notoriety when it was incorrectly believed that he was Vince McMahon's bastard son. By 2008, however, the Cruiserweight Championship had been Hand Waved out of existence and Hornswoggle was reduced to an Ugly Cute and mildly retarded mischief-maker.
    • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin actually was a pretty vicious bad ass during the early stages of the heel turn and when he feuded with Angle. The REAL cause of his badass decay was his slow turn into a self-deprecating comedy character that said "WHAT?!" at the end of each sentence (WHAT?), I said at the end of each sentence (WHAT?). It eventually ruined other wrestler's promo time (WHAT?), it still haunts a wrestler's attempt at selling a match or a feud to the audience (WHAT?). It's even been heard in TNA. (WHAT?). Alternatively, the WHAT chant can be a sign as a heel that you're drawing good heat (WHAT?), and can even be good for humor (WHAT?), as when Chris Jericho insulted the fans when he called them "gelatinous tapeworms." (WHAT?)
    • Real Life example: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. It's really hard to believe that this guy was a seven time WWE champion is now working in a film where he's the tooth fairy.
      • Though the fact that he doesn't take himself too seriously and is still kicking ass in some films is pretty badass.
    • WWENXT get's hit with this HARD. Big E Langstonnote , Bray Wyattnote , Seth Rollinsnote , Bo Dallasnote , Paigenote , Emmanote , Adam Rosenote , The Ascensionnote , Adrian Nevillenote . Even Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens to a lesser extentnote . It's no wonder people are now begging the NXT stars to stay as far away from the main roster as possible.
  • Base Breaker: "Let's go Cena!" "CENA SUCKS!" Acknowledged in-universe too. There are a lot of divisive figures in WWE history, but Cena stands out. This is particularly because dislike of him has nothing to do with him personally - by all accounts, he's a lovely guy and doesn't engage in the backstage politics that taint the reputation of other wrestlers - but some people still think he's the worst thing ever to happen to wrestling, while others love him or at least think he deserves his spot as number one guy in the company. There's also the belief of many that anyone he's ever feuded with who wasn't Randy Orton has been shoved down the card and the priority list because of him - either because he wanted it or it was just the end result of the feud, as if that feud would be the biggest highlight of the wrestler's career.
    • Randy Orton also qualifies. There are those who like him for his ruthless aggression and latent wrestling skills, not to mention the ever-powerful RKO, while others hate him because they claim he's absurdly overrated.
    • The Divas, due to WWE's policy of valuing looks over talent note  are usually either base breakers or scrappies. You could probably count the ones who aren't/weren't on one hand.
  • Broken Base: EVERYTHING. For example, Mark Henry wrestles R-Truth. Henry wins? WWE should be putting over R-Truth because he's more exciting. R-Truth wins? WWE is stupid, there's no way R-Truth could beat Mark Henry in a real fight.
  • Character Tiers: On both Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown themselves, this trope is in effect every week. You're guaranteed to see, on average, five or six matches each episode, and usually only two of them are true crowd-pleasers. In order of importance, the basic match types will be: main-event match (featuring the world champion or someone of his caliber going up against another prominent opponent); midcard match (often revolving around the Intercontinental or United States Championships, which are more likely to be contested away from the pay-per-view events than the two world championships); storyline match (in which two popular wrestlers, usually a face and a heel, act out a non-title feud in order to settle a fictional or non-fictional grudge); tag-team match (usually concerning the Unified Tag Team Championships, although in theory any match can be held under tag-team rules); women's match (usually only a few minutes in length); and (if time allows it) "joke" match (which can feature anything from slapstick with comic-relief characters to a monster heel quickly defeating a "jobber").
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Any wrestler who is over-pushed; that is to say, given more screen-time and wins than their talent level or popularity would deserve); currently, you could probably place Hornswoggle in this category. At this point we are almost certain that Vince owes some kind of ancient blood debt to the American Samoans to keep pushing a hated figure like Reigns.
    • WWE is currently suffering from a paucity of stars, and it could be argued that Vince doesn't know how to make anything but a certain type of star. Back in the old territory days, Faces never lost, and heels only lost to faces. Jobbers existed to elevate the other two. Because Vince hates to let his main-eventers look "weak", it creates a static situation where five or six guys are protected, losing only to each other (and in Hogan/Haitch/Cena's case, losing not at all), and everybody else just trades wins back and forth. It makes it feel as if WWE fills the schedule with random matches like some kind of circus, with no storyline or purpose. As an unintended consequence, the IC and U.S. titles have lost a lot of their luster.
      Wrestle! Wrestle!: The problem with that is: when everyone trades wins, the roster... is a flat line.

      And there's no interest...anywhere.

    • Drew McIntyre is a deconstruction of this trope. He was pushed to the moon and has Vince McMahon's seal of approval. However, unlike the typical Creator's Pet, he's meant to be hated for this very reason.
    • The Kliq was specifically founded by five wrestlers to reward friends and punish their rivals. Two of its members, Kevin Nash and Triple H, went off in separate directions and eventually gained creative control over their matches. Nash was the unluckier of the two, despite two failed attempts to recreate the Kliq in the nineties (Wolfpac) and mid-00's (Immortal). Triple H married into the McMahon family and became the company's third-in-command. His pastime, that of burying talent, became so well-known (see his content starting from WrestleMania X8 and going strong through 2005) that it became a OWC meme.
    • With all of the current talk of the Divas division being a waste of space, remember when Michelle McCool and Melina got into trouble backstage because their match together was apparently too good?
    • Kelly Kelly and AJ Lee are two good female examples. Kelly actually won a tag-team match for the World Heavyweight Championship (recall what happened with David Arquette in WCW and let that sink in...), while AJ got knocked unconscious by the Big Show, suffered massive head trauma that drove her insane, gradually began soaking up all the attention on WWE programming, became a clone disciple of Stephanie McMahon and finally was appointed General Manager of Raw (if only for a few months) for God-knows-why. Apparently WWE has now had second thoughts or something; they've taken to feeding jobbers to Nikki Bella (the one with the implants) to fast-track the end of AJ's win streak.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Given the immense overacting and the insanely high levels of Serious Business, not surprisingly.
  • Cult Classic: A case could have been made for Ohio Valley Wrestling back when they were still in the NWA but when they left the alliance in exchange for WWE handling 30% of their operating expenses, a joke on Obsessed With Wrestling and Online World Of was that WWE should stop broadcasting WWE and put OVW on TV instead. OVW remained successful, if mostly confined to its titular region, even after WWE pulled out.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
    • 2015, while initially showing promise around the time Seth Rollins became champion, eventually caused this as Rollins' title reign caused him to be booked incredibly weak, even for your standard Dirty Coward Smug Snake champion. WWE's constant need to protect their chosen golden boys at the expense of burying Ensemble Darkhorses, and refusal to do anything new or spontaneous in spite of the fans making their opinions very vocal has caused many to become rather jaded and bitter with the product and the direction of the company as long as Vince McMahon continues to be at the helm. Some have become so cynical that they admit they continue watching so they can see how the company screws up the booking come WrestleMania time.
    • A good indication of this is how dead the crowds have gotten on RAW. Even Chicago, a city whose crowd skews toward the smarkier portion of the fan base, was dead. To say nothing of the falling ratings, which have reached lows not seen since before the Attitude Era. The company was successful in completely beating their fans into submission, and now they don't care about anything — even the most popular wrestlers barely get half-decent pops. WWE is now in panic mode in trying to fix the problem that they caused, but what they don't seem to get is that they're doing everything except the one solution that would work: giving the fans what they want and pushing wrestlers they actually like.
  • Dork Age:
    • The New Generation era (1993-1997), in particular Diesel's run as champion that nearly bankrupted the company.
    • The post-Ruthless Aggression PG-era qualifies to most older fans.
  • The Empire: Whether they are this or not is debatable, but it is definitely how they like to portray themselves.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • WWE has quite a few, but some of the biggest examples since the page was created were Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, and Zack Ryder.
    • The Headbangers were not booked very strong for champions and didn't have a very long run with the WWF belts, but chances are if any fan remembers the period, they remember it fondly. Most seem to be thinking of their slightly longer and all around more impressive N.W.A. Tag Team Title run, which is understandable because most of it was still on WWF television.
    • Once Daniel Bryan got interjected into that 'Mania main event, the game changed forever. The fans were given agency, maybe a bit too much, and they liked the taste of it. It suddenly became, "can we do this with Ambrose? Cesaro? Owens?" the answer was a resounding and almost insulting "no."
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Bray Wyatt has generated a few of these, in regards to the "whatever happened to Husky Harris" question. The "Husky Harris" chants during the Wyatt Family's Raw debut didn't exactly quell this, either.
    • It's been said that a fan once held a conversation with Wyatt and asked him whatever happened to "the Army Tank with a Ferrari Engine" (this was Husky's Red Baron). What was Bray's response? "Oh, he's still here. He's my vessel now."
    • Poison Oak Epileptic Trees: RAW's Seasonal Rot in late 2015 is partially tied into Roman Reigns' push as the new John Cena. It's gone so terribly that many are befuddled that the company is still trying to get him over that way despite constant failure, while others began to wish the real Cena came back from his time off. This has led to many theorizing that Reigns' push is all a con to get Cena over with the smarks, for good this time.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Unfortunately, Rey Mysterio Jr. of all people veers toward this on occasion. It's got so bad that he begun spouting Gratuitous Spanish and once entered the arena at a pay-per-view dressed like an Aztec chieftain.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: For many fans, the company's change of name was the worst thing to ever happen, as it started the Lighter and Softer product that exists today.
  • Fandom Rivalry: World Wrestling Entertainment is attacked relentlessly by three separate but equally vocal groups. The first are older fans, particularly those with an unhealthy nostalgia filter for the Attitude Era. The second are fans of other wrestling promotions who spend nearly as much time criticizing WWE as they do loving the promotions they like to watch. The third are fans of mixed martial arts who hate the very idea of professional wrestling and simply criticize WWE because it is the only promotion they are familiar with. That's not to say WWE has done nothing to deserve a little (or a lot of) criticism.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In this video we see the Undertaker lock the Ultimate Warrior into an airtight casket and suffocating him before the guys open it up and perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on him. Of course, this suddenly becomes less funny now that the Ultimate Warrior has died almost a year ago.
  • Growing the Beard: TV-PG WWE seems to have finally found its niche, mostly by getting rid of the stupid comedy characters and making fun of the PG rating itself. While it still has its fair share of stupid, its significantly better than it was the previous year.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
    • It's not that uncommon for a heel and face to feud, then feud again several years later. But sometimes they will have both switched sides before the second meeting, and now the previous face is getting boo'd, even if they weren't as bad as the new face was to them in their prior feud.
    • The news Lenda Murray was getting a WWE tryout wasn't too well received because she was a champion body builder and fans were getting sick of black women being billed as butch and "physical" while one had to go all the way back to Chyna to find a white woman WWE didn't initially push as a cute sexy thing. After five diva searches and slew of fashion models getting on TV? The fans are overjoyed to see another butch black woman in Kharma.
  • Ho Yay
  • Indonesians Love the Ruthless Aggression Era
    • WWE got their second popularity boom there in 2007, though it was nowhere near the level the Attitude Era got in the West. It was probably caused by how it was the first time where Smackdown, Raw and ECW got their slot in the same channel (the first boom, during the Attitude Era, only had Smackdown).
    • The promotion has historically had bewildering success north of the border (aka Canada). When Bret Hart won the World Championship he practically became a national hero. By contrast, the majority of wrestling fans south of the border (aka Mexico) are only vaguely familiar with WWE and much more interested in local (CMLL, AAA, IWRG, ect) and Japanese feds (New Japan, Zero 1, Toryumon and such)
    • Despite theoretically having more immediate access to a wide variety of Spanish language shows, WWE is usually second only to the local product in Bolivia, and not a particularly distant second.
    • A fandom example rather than a region; Diva fans make up the majority of viewers of shows like Main Event and Superstars. With Raw and Smackdown flip-flopping on how much time the girls get, these shows always give the Divas decent amounts of time to wrestle. For a lot of Diva fans, the highlights of the week are the matches on Main Event and Superstars.
  • Iron Woobie: Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, John Cena sometimes, Kane occasionally.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Main Event has had difficulty attracting an audience because it hasn't successfully established itself as offering anything remotely different to Raw or Smackdown. Raw being three hours long and Smackdown being two hours long is probably enough wrestling for most fans in one week, especially if it's all the exact same guys in each of these shows. One of the reasons why NXT gets more viewers than Main Event on the WWE Network is simply because people like seeing different guys and girls wrestle, and they like the fresh and unique vibe it has compared to the other B shows as a result. Though when the WWE Network was launched, Main Event became a live show. So a few midcard story elements became more likely to happen there than on Smackdown - which became a lot more redundant.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Edge, definitely.
    • Any decent heel, really. Chris Jericho is one such famous example, and no matter what CM Punk does, he'll always have somebody cheering. In fact, some of things he does is likely to make them cheer even MORE.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Plenty of wrestling catchphrases become memes, but there are also some bits get popularized, frequently due to the cheesiness of it. Batista is the most frequent victim these days.
    • WWE's own boilerplate notice of wrestler releases has become this, especially the last line "We wish him the best in all future endeavors." This became the Catch Phrase of one John Laurinaitis.
    • Thanks to the endless shilling of the WWE Network, "$9.99" has gotten there fast.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Michael Cole to many fans, particularly after JR's firing for "walking out" on Triple H, during which he screeches like a howler monkey and channels Tony Schiavone at the top of his lungs.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Madusa throwing the title in the trashcan was, until she took up monster truck racing and became better known for that than wrestling in general among fans of the United States.
    • To the Canadians, Shawn Michaels is forever known as the guy that screwed Bret Hart out of the WWF Championship. They would chant "YOU SCREWED BRET!" whenever he appears in Canada. Likewise, Bret Hart is still remembered by casual fans for him being screwed out of the title.
      • Both of these things are highly doubtful. Bret and Shawn have reconciled years ago and WWE has done a good job of presenting Bret in the positive light that he deserve.
    • The typical Smart Mark response towards a Triple H victory would be, "OMG TRIPLE H BERRIES HIS OPPONENT, LULZ!", despite the fact that, although Triple H has more or less acknowledged that he has backstage influence, he still has to answer to Vince McMahon, who is his father-in-law. Not to mention the long list of other wrestlers with booking power, it's not a trait unique to Triple H.
  • Older Than They Think: Night Of Champions was an event of the Canada based New Brand Wrestling first, though it's likely WWE picked it up second hand from USWA.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • It didn't take long for people to condemn CFO$ when they took over Jim Johnston's job of music composer.
    • Roman Reigns for John Cena as the new face of the company. Many fans believe there shouldn't be one top guy on the main roster who the rest get fed to, but if there has to be one, the fans much prefer Cena over Reigns. A kiddy-pandering, "Superman" All American Face goody-two shoes is a terrible character either way these days, but at least Cena did the best he could to make it entertaining to all the fans (usually by happily embracing his hatedom) and at the very least, remained watchable no matter how stale he was. Reigns, with his relative inexperience and inferior mic skills, was cringe-worthy the majority of the time and his push has turned off many fans from the product.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • One of Vince's specialties. But Vince had a history of taking mismanaged and underused guys from other promotions, shining them up nice and pretty, and making stars out of them.
      • Mick Foley - While he did have success in WCW, ECW and Japan, he was never considered a main eventer until his WWE career (and even then it took a few years).
      • The Undertaker - Went through a slew of territories and forgettable gimmicks before McMahon gave him the fat man and the urn.
      • Kevin Nash - Oz? Master Blaster Steel? Vinnie Vegas? These are some of the horrible gimmicks the big man endured in his first run with WCW. Then he became Diesel.
      • Scott Hall - Journeyman wrestler who never got over with the fans as a face or heel until the Razor Ramon gimmick.
      • Chris Jericho - Considered a cruiserweight midcarder for life in WCW (and is still to this day not considered main event material by Eric Bischoff). Has become a six time champion since joining WWE.
      • Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero were dubbed the "vanilla midgets" by WCW brass for their small size and perceived lack of charisma (yeah, Eddie Guerrero supposedly had no charisma) and were thus relegated to midcard Hell much like Jericho. They jumped to WWE a few months after Jericho alongside Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko. They were immediately injected into the main feud of the time (DX vs the top heels) and inside of two months, Benoit got the IC belt and Guerrero snapped the European belt. Controversies surrounding their last days aside, both were world champions by Wrestlemania XX.
    • The Rock - An odd one. Vince pushed him heavily, playing him up as a third generation superstar and even giving him the Intercontinental Title. Fans didn't buy it. They didn't like the brightly-colored upbeat Rocky Maivia. So Vince took him aside, told him to let them have it on the mic and the rest is history.
    • Michael Cole was never the most popular commentator, but officially moved into The Scrappy territory as fans became sick of his increasingly obnoxious heel persona, especially as Cole was the play-by-play commentator and the heel role usually falls to the color commentator. He was redeemed in the eyes of fans, however, purely by accident - Cole was commentating with Jerry Lawler when the latter had a legitimate heart attack at ringside, at which point Cole proceeded to help Lawler as much as he could whilst continuing to call the match so the viewers at home wouldn't necessarily realise something was wrong. After the next commercial break, Cole explained the situation the viewers at home & remained silent for the rest of the night, only speaking up to reiterate the situation & provide any updates on Lawler's health; subsequently, Cole was highly praised by fans for his actions.
      • Ever since the mid-2000s (and some would argue before that) the Divas Division has consisted of 2-5 minute matches, women who were not properly trained and basically served as jiggle fests or piss-break matches. Ever since the #GiveDivasAChance trend on Twitter in February 2015 note  WWE seems to be treating it's women's division more seriously. While it took them a while to get it going, the change became apparent in July 2015, after they brought in several fan favorite NXT Divas, teamed them up with the most popular and talented main roster Divas and allowed them to put on longer matches thus kickstarting the Divas Revolution. NXT would eventually book a 30-minute Iron Man Match between Sasha Banks and Bayley as the main event of a special in October 2015. To say the match was well-received would be an understatement.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • We are fast approaching an era where Raw has been bad for longer than it's been good. 3 hours would be fine if it was full of wrestling, big roster; but no one ever wrestles unless it's to push an angle. It's like taking a dab of peanut butter and expecting it to fit on five slices of toast, it just doesn't work. The 2015 roster has plenty of talent — maybe more than ever, to be honest — but the product isn't compelling and, in lots of cases, it's actively repulsive. The 10-minute in-ring promos are killing the show. Nobody can be entertaining for that long. Get in there, say what you have to say, ring the goddamn bell and stop talking. Sheamus and Reigns are big, tough dudes. Let them have a feud where they just want to beat the shit out of each other and it'll sell itself. There's no need to be cutesy.

      The tag division could be great right now. New Day are over as hell. The Usos can go. Lucha Dragons are entertaining. The Ascension ... well, they have cool outfits maybe? Instead we get Titus interrupting Stardust's poems and repeating the same embarrassing gags. Instead we get the Dudleys making the Wyatts look stupid.

      The women. Jesus f—in' wept. The quality of the talent and the quality of the angles could not be more mismatched.
      • To give you context as to how bad the Reigns/Sheamus feud is going, the main event of TLC 2015, their TLC World Title match, was arguably the least anticipated match on the entire card. People were more excited about the triple threat Tag Team Title match between the New Day, the Lucha Dragons, and the Usos. Hell, the Seasonal Rot has gotten so bad that the most anticipated match of that card was the Intercontinental Title match between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens, which A) doesn't have a stipulation and B) had its build completely shot when Owens got sick for a week midway the storyline before the PPV (there were only three weeks of build between TLC and Survivor Series). When a standard midcard title match with practically no build is more anticipated than the TLC-stipulated main event title match that has been the focus of every show not named NXT for the last three weeks, for the last PPV right before WrestleMania season, there is something seriously screwed up about the booking. The fans have no reason to care about Reigns and Sheamus, and the feud has failed to the point where two wrestlers who have been left on the sidelines without any meaningful storylines for the last six months and are basically relying on the popularity they got from their last major singles feuds are still more over than them. Hell, despite being Demoted to Extra Ambrose and Owens still remain the most over singles wrestlers on the roster who aren't injured — which attributes to their talent as performers, and management and creative's complete inability to get anyone else over.
    • The general consensus of those who actually watched WWECW is that the show suffered this from around late 2008 to its eventual end. ECW suffered a major blow when its two biggest stars, Kane (who was their champion at the time and would later drop the title to Mark Henry at the Night of Champions PPV that year), and CM Punk (winner of the MITB that year, who proceeded to win the World Title his first night on RAW) were both drafted to RAW, but still had The Miz, John Morrison, Matt Hardy and Mark Henry to help carry the brand, along with a great amount of interesting younger talent such as Evan Bourne and Jack Swagger. Then in early 2009 Matt went back to Smack Down for his feud with his brother Jeff, Miz and Morrison were drafted to RAW and Smack Down respectively, and Mark (along with Jack Swagger and Evan Bourne) were traded to RAW in the summer. By that point, the only reason anyone watched the show was for Christian, who returned in early 2009, William Regal, and Shelton Benjamin.
  • Shocking Swerve: Even without Trope Namer Vince Russo in the booking, WWE still has these infamous moments, like Eve Torres' Face–Heel Turn that came out of nowhere or Rey Mysterio revealing that Kane was the one who put The Undertaker in vegetative state instead of one of the many heels in the roster.
  • So Bad, It's Good: NXT season three, one of the rare cases where a show was designed to be this and succeed.
  • So Okay, It's Average: This is really the big criticism towards WWE. It's not that it's really bad, it's just very... bland and samey. Most notably, the Main Event scene was virtually unchanged from 2006-2010, and the lack of building up new stars came back to bite them in the ass when all of sudden major players such as Shawn Michaels, Batista, and Chris Jericho (albeit temporarily in Jericho's case) left the company, and The Undertaker and Triple H have to work reduced schedules either due to wear and tear or increased work backstage. As a result, WWE has been scrambling in order to find other vets to place up at the top of the heap with John Cena, Randy Orton, and Edge, with Rey Mysterio Jr., The Big Show and Kane sitting on the fence between main event and upper midcard, and Sheamus being poised for a breakthrough; even then, Edge was forced to retire in 2011, Rey Mysterio is becoming increasingly injury prone, Big Show and Kane are nearing the end of their careers, and Sheamus is in limbo, leaving the only viable main eventers as John Cena & Randy Orton, with the only genuine main event talents established since 2011 being CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, the former who was already a multiple time world champion in WWE before then and the latter whose popularity exploded only after losing the World title, with various rising superstars such as Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, & Alberto Del Rio, and a few oldies like Christian and Mark Henry, being raised to the main event & dropped back down the card shortly afterwards. And then you have WWE's reliance on part-timers like The Rock, Brock Lesnar, and the aforementioned Triple H and Undertaker. All of this could be alleviated if WWE made room for the midcard talent. Essentially, it comes down to a combination of corporate unease (kids love familiar faces, so why fix it if it ain't broke?) and Vince McMahon's tendency to favor company men over newer acquisitions from rival promotions like ECW in the 90's and TNA and Ring of Honor in the modern times.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: The Road to Wrestlemania is generally considered to be the time of year when WWE's at its absolute best.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • In 2003, Chris Nowinski debated Scott Steiner over the Iraq War. Nowinski was supposed to be the heel because he was opposed to the invasion. Problem was, a significant majority of the fans even then agreed with Nowinski, and that number would do nothing but grow and grow as the years went on. This wasn't helped by the fact that Scott Steiner is really not known for his promo abilities and Nowinski ran verbal circles around him.
    • Every single CM Punk heel run has this in spades, to the point that he still receives cheers because he's not exactly wrong when he calls out Jeff Hardy as a terrible role model, Randy Orton being a vile person, and John Cena being a bully who hogs the main event even when he's not the WWE champion.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The April/May Pay-Per-View, Backlash (now Extreme Rules) typically consists of rematches from Wrestlemania. Sometimes said rematches will be received better than the preceding 'Mania. For a full event example see Wrestlemania XXVII/Extreme Rules 2011; for a match example see Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan from the following year.
  • Tear Jerker: Ric Flair's retirement is a good example.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • CWC to WWE. From the territories to the National WWF, from Rasslin' to cartoon characters, from cartoon characters to bird-flipping potty mouths, from that to the John Cena PG era, and now, changing their promotional name to "WWE, Inc." (the company is still legally known as World Wrestling Entertainment), which resulted in fans saying that the WWE is trying to drop "wrestling" from its product. And of course, the speculation that the PG-era changes were made to help Linda McMahon's political careernote  rather than to improve the product certainly hasn't helped. Really any time the company enters a "new" era, this trope is invoked.
    • Not So Different: As for the name change, according to various WWE officials, including Triple H, they say that it's not different from Kentucky Fried Chicken and Apple Computer, which changed their names to KFC and Apple Inc., respectively.
    • The 'purpose' of Smackdown as a program. Since the brand split ended it's devolved into basically RAW recaps and a few inconsequential matches. It had much more importance when it had its own roster of championships. More importantly, it had storylines instead of five-to-ten minutes of wrestling apiece with nothing happening in-between. Now, not so much.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: "Oh, the Internet likes this guy? Good—we don't need to do shit with him."
    • Guys like Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Kamala, Shane Douglas, Vader, 2 Cold Scorpio, The Public Enemy, Savio Vega, Dr. Death Steve Williams, Dave Taylor, Taz, Raven, Diamond Dallas Page, Ultimo Dragon, Low Ki, Místico and a slew of others who had great careers before going to McMahonLand and weren't made to look anywhere near as good inside of it, and often they were actively made to look downright bad. On the whole, it seems like Vince & the WWF/E were always very good at taking guys who'd been underappreciated/underused elsewhere and turning them into superstars, but not quite as good at taking guys who'd made their names and been successful elsewhere and using them well. Sometimes, this is because of other factors (Taz's neck problems, Shane Douglas' attitude problems) that the WWE can't really help. Sometimes, it's simply because there's just too many damn wrestlers in the company to push people that deserve it (the period after the fall of WCW saw many former talent get crowded out of the spotlight.) Sometimes WWE was obviously trying but just did not know how to bring out the best in a guy (Kamala, Vega, Mistico) Other times (Ricky Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes), there's really just no excuse.
    • There are a few exceptions to the above: When Ric Flair bolted from WCW in 1991, taking the NWA Title with him, McMahon allowed Flair to keep his "Nature Boy" gimmick, with the only difference being that he now calls himself "The Real World Heavyweight Champion", as a shot at both then-WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and at Jim Herd, then-president of WCW.
    • Not just guys either. Mae Young had been wrestling since the days of Mildred Burke. You'd think the WWF could have gotten loads of angles out of that, but the best they could come up with is was her being an old gross pervert. Not even a role as a trainer or commentator, which would have been perfect when they revived Young's old home promotion, FCW.
    • Pat Tanaka and Akio Sato's careers in the fifty states were going about nicely until they both got stunted after being signed to WWF, where they were largely dismissed due to their lack of size, leading to them being booked as the jobber lackeys of Mr. Fuji. Others still went on to have great careers, these two never fully recovered.
    • Dan Severn, the most decorated amateur wrestler to ever come out of the United States Of America, a huge draw for rapidly expanding mixed martial arts promotion Ultimate Fighting Championships and an NWA World Heavyweight Champion. What role does the WWF give him? A Glass Jaw Referee during the Ken Shamrock Owen Hart feud.
    • In 2000, The WWF wanted another Chris Benoit, so they hired Vinne Valentino and told him to pattern himself after Benoit. In 2006, WWE fired Valentino, now going by the name Gunner Scott, for being too much like Chris Benoit!
    • R-Truth - He went from a fairly popular rapping but somewhat bland face used to fill up the numbers when a group of faces were needed, to a paranoid heel who frequently blamed his problems on WWE's child audience, which he called "Lil' Jimmy". He became an Ensemble Darkhorse and even headlined a pay-per-view against John Cena. After coming back from an on-screen injury, Truth turned face again but retained the Sanity Slippage, but gradually fell out of focus, before quietly dropping the crazy guy gimmick & going back to the rapping persona. Hell, his rapping persona had a lot more mileage pretty much everywhere he went with it but here.
    • Paul Burchill - Adopts a pirate gimmick, channeling Captain Jack Sparrow & quickly gets over with the crowd. Vince McMahon himself swiftly killed the gimmick after a few weeks, as he was unaware of the films & believed the character should think he was an actual pirate & act more like the Jean-Pierre LaFitte character from the early 90s, and felt the character wouldn't work as a face, despite the positive reaction Burchill received upon starting the gimmick.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • My goodness, how many heels have ended up this way in 21st century WWE? CM Punk, as WWE Champion, despite engaging in lively multi-match rivalries against Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan, never main evented a pay-per-view in 2012. John Cena, instead, has main evented every pay-per-view in 2012. At first this was justified, because Kane was preaching The Power of Hate and seriously testing Cena's character heading into the match against The Rock at WrestleMania, then it was about said match with the Rock, then Brock Lesnar had just come back to bring him the pain. But the pattern still continued after that…despite Cena facing John Laurinaitis, an authority figure with a largely unremarkable wrestling career that ended in the 20th century, and The Big Show, who we've seen Cena beat a hundred times since 2004. Even a Money in the Bank ladder match became the main event of a show in spite of the obvious reasons this had never happened before, on the grounds of Cena being involved for the first time and thus declaring it a "historic announcement" — despite the fact that several other talents were competing in their first Money in the Bank match in the other such battle from that same night and no special attention was ever paid to this. Finally, on Raw 1000, Punk's WWE Championship title defense is finally the main event. But not only is this solely because John Cena cashed in MITB to become his first challenger, but that same night the Rock, a part-timer mostly working in Hollywood these days, came out in the middle of the ring and told him he had a WWE title shot booked months in advance at the Royal Rumble. Yet according to some representatives of the pulse of the WWE Universe, Punk attacking the Rock and demanding what many feel is his due respect for his work as WWE Champion means he's turned on everyone.
    • Abraham Washington, while managing his tag team the Prime Time Players, once made a joke alluding to rape allegations against NBA star Kobe Bryant in 2003 over sexual relations in a Colorado hotel. Despite the arena crowd not being very offended, WWE immediately apologized on-air for his comments, and his future in WWE was left in question. After continuing to be employed by the company, even long enough to help the Prime Time Players become #1 contenders, he was suddenly fired eleven days later due to a tweet of support to Linda McMahon's Senate campaign apparently being against WWE rules. This decision has been largely panned as the new exhibit A of the hypocritical and backwards sense of morality surrounding WWE's current version of PG, Linda McMahon's political aspirations, and the Be a Star initiative, and AW as a result has become more popular than he was his entire WWE career.
    • Roman Reigns is this in the sense that he's getting the wrong kind of sympathy. After the backlash from WrestleMania season died down, fans started to look at him more objectively, and as the year wore on and the booking got worse, there was a growing sentiment that he wasn't that bad, especially after many of his matches ended up being match of the night and he dropped down the card. Many started formulating ways to save his character, because even though they didn't agree with him being pushed so early into his career, they did agree that he had the potential to be a top guy, if not the top guy, and genuinely wanted him to succeed (many suggested he'd turn heel, others felt they should just cut down his promo time and be more of a badass). Then came Survivor Series 2015, where after a tournament to determine a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion after Seth Rollins got injured, a face Reigns beat his best friend Dean Ambrose in the finals (for the record, Ambrose didn't turn heel either) and finally became champion after an entire year of close-calls. Five minutes later, he got cashed in on by Sheamus, a wrestler fans wanted to be champion even less than they did Reigns, and lost the title, in what was clearly a rehash of SummerSlam 2013 with Sheamus as Orton and Reigns as Bryan. Neither of them were over enough for the storyline to work, especially since this literally happened two years before, but that was only part of the problem — reports came in the next day that the cash-in was booked hours before because Vince didn't want Reigns to be booed when he finally won. Fans lost faith in the creative direction of the product even more when this came out, and with it came the realization that all Reigns' problems as a performer are ultimately the result of management's incompetency, and all he's trying to do is get over with the crap they're giving him because he doesn't really have much of a say in the matter. So instead of fans being outraged in kayfabe on how The Authority screwed this guy over after he finally won the title and tuning in to see him finally get his revenge, fans are instead pitying him as a performer and protesting the product out of legitimate hatred of the company, causing a significant drop in ratings and rage across the Internet.
    • What it comes down to is that Reigns was being booked as another John Cena. The fans don't want another Cena — they like the original well enough these days but they don't want another guy like that at the top, especially after he's been at the top for over a decade. Reigns therefore got crappy material to spit out for promos and suffered terrible "overcome the odds" booking like a Daniel Bryan-type underdog because they wanted to make him a weird fusion of The Rock and Cena, which was a character that clearly didn't fit him. When he was getting booking that actually fit him (i.e. being a Stone Cold-esque badass with shades of Bill Goldberg thrown in for good measure), he was doing perfectly fine and getting over well enough, aided by busting his ass off to improve in the ring. Hell, after ten months of the former booking, all it took was ten minutes of beating the crap out of Triple H for him to undo a lot of the damage and get over with the crowd. The fans in Philly on RAW the following night, who booed him out of the building eleven months before, happily cheered for him and went nuts when he won the title later on in the show. That shows that Reigns was never the problem; management just had their heads up their collective asses trying to make him into a guy they thought they still needed, when the fans were outright telling them that all he ever needed to be was himself.
    • And then they made Reigns defend the title in the Royal Rumble match itself, only to proceed to make the build to the Rumble be all about Reigns vs. the Authority to the point where it became clear that almost no one save him and Triple H had a chance to actually win it, which felt like a waste of all the other constants (including Ensemble Darkhorses like Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar, etc.) and completely undid all the goodwill with Reigns and the fans that had just been developed. When Reigns vs. HHH for the title was indeed confirmed to be the WrestleMania main event, the buildup saw both men utterly booed at all times except when HHH was getting cheered for attacking Reigns. The match itself had much more enthusiastic reaction against than for either man, especially Reigns, save for the spot towards the end where Reigns speared Stephanie — and that's only because constantly acting like she's the entire talent roster's overbearing mother yet being immune to backlash since she's the feminist McMahon has made her the most hated person in the entire company beyond even the other McMahons and Creator's Pets.
  • We Have Become Complacent: Some people claim this is the source of the WWE's current problems- they have a complete monopoly on the mainstream wrestling industry in the US, their only real competition is a struggling promotion in Florida and a loose collection of indy shows that couldn't hope to have a fraction of their name recognition, and they control the most famous and popular talent in North America. What's more, they are well aware of all of this and seem to have come to the conclusion that they can do whatever they want without consequences, because casual wrestling fans have nowhere else to go.
  • X-Pac Heat:
    • John Cena drew this for a long time during his first three reigns as WWE Champion, to the point where he was once booed out of the building in his own hometown. It eventually stopped because people recognized the fact that while Cena himself can be entertaining at times, his gimmick (which is what everyone actually hates) is a result of WWE management refusing to make him heel. Cena himself admitted back 2006 that he's wanted to drop down the card and turn heel, but management wouldn't let him, and at this point he's too far gone that a heel turn may very well be impossible to do. The only reason Cena still draws the dueling "Let's Go Cena!"/"Cena Sucks!" chants is because it's practically tradition for the audience, much in the vein of the famous "You Suck!" chants sung in-beat with Kurt Angle's WWE theme song.
    • The same thing happened to Edge during a triple threat match against Benoit Jericho and Batista during his face run after his neck injury. The WWE wised up and made Edge the brilliant heel that would wreck shop in WWE for years.
      • Toward the end of his career, he became an example of a longtime heel who ran its course and began sucking up his fans' built up commitment to him by turning face, done over the years by several wrestlers who were in the company long enough to do it.
    • And of course there's the Trope Namer, Sean "X-Pac" Waltman, who was so hated that "X-Pac sucks!" chants were heard at house shows he wasn't even booked on. After being a very over underdog babyface, he turned heel and rejoined DX for no conceivable reason. Then when DX broke up he didn't evolve his gimmick, even continuing to wear his DX gear long after the group had split. And although his card position was that of a midcarder, he almost never lost matches, to the point that recapper CRZ named him "X-Pac doesn't job in singles matches". And when the "X-Pac sucks!" chants started, since he was heel at the time, the WWE thought it was good heat and gave him his own stable, X-Factor. It was only when the WCW/ECW Invasion started in 2001 & the chants continued that the WWE realised the fans legitimately hated X-Pac, since he was the only member of the WWE roster in that storyline who was booed - All of the other heels turned face or joined the Alliance, with X-Pac ostensibly being one of the former.
    • The boss himself, Vince McMahon, is almost nigh-universally hated by the fans — and not at all in the same Love to Hate way as his kayfabe character — for his countless Control Freak moments that have ultimately lead to the Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy example above. Not helping is his apparent Take That, Audience! mindset, nor are his many Disproportionate Retribution moments against countless wrestlers behind the scenes.