Hey Scott –
I’ve been accused of thinking too much when it comes to judging matches instead of just "sitting back and enjoying the show." Often that happens when I’m overly critical of WWE’s "hardcore" style and how obviously set-up and phony it all is. My counter argument is that I’m not looking for reasons to criticize, but the things that bother me stand out like a sore thumb immediately as they happen and take me out of the match.
The (passable, but pretty blase) Wyatt/Roman match at HITC is a perfect example in two specific instances: the introduction of the kendo sticks and the table spots. Both just screamed "WE PLANNED ALL THIS IN DETAIL BACKSTAGE! NOT A REAL FIGHT!"
– The sticks. It makes zero, logical sense why the company would have the most random (and safe and visually striking weapons) under the ring. Every time they’re yanked out, I roll my eyes. Easy LOGIC solve: One of the three members of the family runs down to ringside and slides them through the cage to Bray. That happens and I love every use of the canes so much more.
– The table spots. In the match, Roman is beating the tar out of his hated enemy and then pauses for sixty seconds to pull two tables out from under the ring and set them up. As the face…. And then gets in the ring and resume the match, while ignoring the tables he just wasted time setting up (because he knows there are planned spots later). What a bunch of phony crap. Easy LOGIC solve: Bray (the freaking heel!) pulls out one table and places Roman on it — intentions unclear. He goes to the apron and Roman fights up and off it to a standing position on the apron. THEN, Bray can toss him back down with the uranage.
I don’t even know if I have a question — other than isn’t there ANYONE backstage can provide just a hint of realism and try to remind the office/the producers/the boys that is supposed to be a fight and maybe make some concessions to make it feel like that? Arn? Regal? Anyone?
For me it’s a real problem with the Bray Wyatt thing, because he’s playing such a 90s cartoon character gimmick and we’ve never been given any reason to actually fear him or understand what the fuck he’s even trying to accomplish. He’s supposed to be a scary monster but he loses all the time, and it’s weird because you’d think at some point his dad or uncle would step in and get him back on the right track.
Anyway, yeah, the video game logic of the matches now is one of the things really disconnecting me from the product as well. Part of the problem is that they have some REALLY shitty agents now, especially if the last few Royal Rumbles are any indication. The issues you bring up are another symptom, like duplicating finishes on the same show all the time or the incessant "kicking out of finishers to build drama" stuff that gets way overplayed. Really, the whole system needs a complete overhaul and they should start training people to be agents in NXT the same way they train wrestlers. Or maybe try someone like Sara Amato as an agent, because at least the women’s matches would probably be 100% better on a regular basis.