You were, once upon a time. That’s why you’re here. But this thing that presents itself as WWE is not WWE anymore.
Climate change is on course to destroy the world. We are burying our hedgehogs, puffins are in the doghouse. We have 15 years to wake up, and make fundamental changes to the way in which we live our everyday lives—else the palpable risk of drought, floods, and extreme heat will condemn us all. Reflecting the wider world, for once, WWE’s crazed obsession with heat is accelerating the company’s creative demise. To paraphrase Elvis Costello, disgust had grown into a detached amusement that fostered utter, bell-to-bell cynicism. Hey, the new NXT promotion didn’t work out, again. That’s a shame: Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas is phenomenal, in context. He doesn’t wrestle in that context anymore. Why, he doesn’t even wrestle!
Yes, main roster WWE is bad. It’s still bloody good in a vacuum—the very talented roster upholds the law of averages, for which they deserve immense credit—but, as a fictional universe, one we are expected to receive with the integrity of continuity, it is an infuriating disgrace. Or at least, it was.
This is a company now fundamentally obsessed with totally p*ssing us off, and it is hilarious.
WWE promoted Crown Jewel on Friday, and it bravely led us into a new era. We became fascinated with the glitz and glamour of the Golden Era. Those who loved wrestling emerged through the fad and became obsessed with the New Generation and its near-company best promotion of pro wrestling. The Attitude Era was so potent that many of us are still drunk on it, not least of which WWE itself. Since then, from Ruthless Aggression to PG to Network, we have endured through less vibrant and less engaging times in which, moneyed and aloof, Vince McMahon became primarily obsessed with subverting his own motto, and putting a smile on his own face.
With WWE Crown Jewel, WWE drew a line in the desert sand. The Saudi Arabia deal always possessed an air of definitive paradigm-busting change, in that it is more lucrative to WWE than the enduring standard of WrestleMania, the flagship, the Grandaddy—and now, WWE has steamrolled beyond that line into the So-Bad-It’s-Good Era.