It's difficult to feign hysteria in the face of WWE's creative malaise - or even gauge how bad things could possibly get before WWE even remotely approaches anything resembling danger.
WWE's global reach is colossal. International TV deals; operating income; Network subscriptions; house show business; "digital engagement": virtually every component of the company's business either increased or, in some cases, broke records in the third quarter of 2017. The company is in rude financial health. While what they do is often incomprehensible, it clearly works.
But those who despaired at what was, at its worst, an abysmal year for WWE can maybe - optimistically - take solace in the fact that 2017 saw an emergence of unprecedented support for a rising independent scene.
There is a creaking paradigm shift in motion. The failure of WWE's pre-NXT developmental system forced the company to recognise that ROH, PWG et al. were the real proving grounds. But in reluctantly embracing the likes of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, they had to abandon the distinction between their guys and dreaded "Indy guys" - and we may have reached the inevitable point at which the audience no longer sees the distinction, either.
There are more Bullet Club t-shirts at RAW than Roman Reigns merchandise - and if nothing else, WWE surely cannot abide even a cosmetic loss to such a minor league enemy...