These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
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 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 BadassandBadass 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.
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.
Exists as the three brands: Raw is quite clearly the flagship "A-Show", SmackDown! is (by default to some fans) the "B-Show" (though it is technically the second "A-Show", and regarded by many fans as actually being the superior product) and NXT is the "C-show".
Previously, the main shows each had their own "B-Show" for lower-midcard and below wrestlers: Velocity for SmackDown! and Heat for Raw. Wrestlers who performed well on these shows stood a better chance of moving up to the main show, and sometimes storylines that played well with the audience would also get "promoted" upward.
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").
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.
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.
Bray Wyatt is starting to generate a few of these lately, 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.
Ethnic Scrappy: Unfortunately, Rey Mysterio Jr of all people veers toward this on occasion. It's gotten so bad in recent years that he's begun spouting Gratuitous Spanish and once entered the arena at a pay-per-view dressed like an Aztec chieftain.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment / Hilarious in Hindsight: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were "married" (and later divorced) in a story line. During this very storyline, Triple H and McMahon actually began dating in real life, and later married and had children. After the "McMahon-Helmsley" storyline, their relationship - on-screen or off - was never mentioned, though after the recent "Randy Orton attacks the McMahon family" angle, the real-life relationship has been acknowledged on a few occasions. And during the D-Generation X reunion storyline, Triple H poked fun at the fact that the fans all knew about their relationship, without directly mentioning it himself.
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 switchedsides 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 & 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.
Seasonal Rot: 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 Wrestling/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.
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, Rey Mysterio Jr, and Edge; even then, Edge was forced to retire in 2011 & Rey Mysterio is becoming increasingly injury prone, leaving the only viable main eventers as John Cena & Randy Orton, with the only genuine main event talent established since 2011 being CM Punk, who was already a multiple time world champion in the WWE before then, with various superstars such as Dolph Ziggler, Christian, The Miz & Daniel Bryan being raised to the main event & dropped back down the card shortly afterwards. 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 or Ring of Honor.
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.
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.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Wrestling, and the WWE is this personified. 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 If that really was the reason, her two failed Senate campaigns in a row indicate that it didn't help. 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.
And ironically enough, WWE seems to be using the term wrestling more often now that they're technically not "just a wrestling company". This troper can name at least eight times since the name change happened that the term wrestling and wrestler was used clearly on WWE programming. (Much of them coming from CM Punk.)
Guys like Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Shane Douglas, Vader, The Public Enemy, Taz, Raven, Diamond Dallas Page, 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.) 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.
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 talked to an imaginary child called "Lil' Jimmy", even headlining a pay-per-view against John Cena. After coming back from an on-screen injury, Truth turned face again but retained the Sanity Slippage, becoming an Ensemble Darkhorse, but gradually falling out of focus, before quietly dropping the crazy guy gimmick & going back to the rapping persona.
Paul Burchill - Adopts a pirate gimmick, channelling 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.
My goodness, how many heels have ended up this way in 21st century WWE? First off, let's start us out with the recent one. 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.
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 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.