Since WrestleMania, I have started doing something I haven’t done in years. I have been turning into Raw on a weekly basis. As I write I have last night’s Raw on the TV (I live in the UK so watching it live would still be insane) and I am to a certain extent, enjoying it. Now don’t get me wrong, there are still problems. For one thing, it is far too long, and I am thankful that by recording it I can fast forward through both adverts and the tedious parts. But, something is working on WWE TV right now, and a whole lot of that is down to the decision to throw Shane McMahon into an authority position.
Which on one hand is frustrating, it essentially means that WrestleMania was pointless and Shane risking his life to leap from the top of that Cell seems even more stupid. However, if you are willing to ignore that – which I am – this is the best thing WWE have done in years.
Ever since Vince McMahon stood up from the commentary desk and took on his evil Mr. McMahon character, the wrestling world has been obsessed with heel authority figures. WWE, TNA, WCW even my beloved ICW do it. And I am fed up of it. It is dull, and it is overused and quite frankly 99% of the time it hurts the product.
Look at The Authority, what did they really bring? They had heat, but it didn’t mean anything. When Triple H went out at WrestleMania to take the fall from Roman Reigns what did the years of animosity lead to? Nothing. Stephanie is maybe one of the most hated characters in the company but where’s the payoff? She’s great on the mic, but no one is going to wrestle her.
So what do we get instead? Month after month of screwy finishes. Week after week of nonsense booking. Because if you get right down to it if there are heel authority figures who pick their guys why should they ever lose? Why isn’t every match a ten on one? Why isn’t every result they don’t like overturned? Because that wouldn’t work and that’s why heel authority makes no sense.
On the flip side, Shane McMahon (and William Regal down in NXT for that matter) does make sense. Because while on the surface they are a face what they really are is fair. Shane looks at the situation and treats like it is a real sport and deals out the fairest outcome. If Kevin Owens attacks Sami Zayn before his match, the next week he is removed from the building before Sami’s match. If Sami doesn’t get his chance in the first Number One Contenders match he gets another one set up the next week. It’s so refreshing to watch wrestling make sense.
Have we seen the end of heel authority figures? Of course not, but I really wish we had. Shane McMahon is showing why having an authority figure who plays by the rules makes all the sense in the world. It allows wrestling to become the focus not whoever is in charge. Let’s just hope that every other wrestling promotion which is going down the heel route or is even considering doing it in the future looks at what is happening here and follows suite.