Who misses when the WWE audiences were filled with nearly everyone holding a sign and going crazy for their favorite wrestler?
You think it’s because people aren’t enthusiastic anymore like they used to be for WWE. Well, it turns out that may only be part of it.
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This last week we got to watch the blunders of the Royal Rumble and the after effects from it. From John Cena getting over AJ Styles, to Roman Reigns taking the No. 30 spot in the Rumble. The Latter making fans across the country pissed because they got the wrong Samoan named Joe in the match (Fans wanted Joe of Course). But what was in my mind the worst event to happen during Rumble Week, was not something that was immediately known to us. And that was fans losing their signs for their favorite wrestler Bayley. Why? Because WWE didn’t make money off them.
Apparently, the reason for the removal of the signs was that they were not official products of the WWE, meaning they were hand-made. WWE restricted fans from showing love for Bayley by removing their physical expression to her because they were not trademarked WWE merchandise. We aren’t talking counterfeit signs that people are buying, just personal made. But why would WWE do that if the fans are just wanting to show their love? It is simple pettiness, WWE will not let the stars go over if they don’t make money, and that includes signs apparently.
If you watch WWE events, you see the “Hugger Section” signs in the audience for people to put up for the cameras to see. Bayley is the Hugger and loves doing it. And it’s a nice thing to see. Something as subtle as the hug helped get her over as a big star in NXT and the same for Raw. But this shows that there are many more fans of Bayley than you see. The fans are restricted from their freedom of expression and speech to show love & support for Bayley. This is the sadness that does bring down morale for wrestling. Trust me people take notice.
I look at the audience at times to see their reactions. The life of the audience does help propel the fans at home and the show itself. To see few fans having signs, as well as low care reactions, is pitiful and sad to think that this once booming business even scored over an 8.0 rating in the late 90s on Raw. And this incident is not an isolated event. It it just 1 of many from the hand of WWE for a while.
Just last October, there were reports of fans having their signs for Curtis Axel being taken by WWE Security. The fans seemed to be fans of Axel and as such, doubtful that the signs had bad words on them. Removing signs with bad language is understandable, but this is sad. It doesn’t stop with removing signs, but altering them.
At WWE Payback last year, there was a yellow sign in the audience that said, “Where it Reigns, it bores”. The sign was an obvious pun off of Roman Reigns not having exciting matches. However, WWE decided to alter it in a picture they used that just said “Where it Reigns” with a clear blank bottom half of the sign. This is similar to WWE changing the fan reaction in a recording for a show because of Roman’s loss.
This is pathetic. This is completely, 100 percent pathetic of Vince and Stephanie McMahon and the rest of the team. All these reports are from Raw and not Smackdown, making me believe Shane doesn’t do this. However, if he does, pathetic of him as well. Fans want to be proud of their favorite wrestlers. But they can’t get out there and show their love for them without paying for a sign?
Why not just make them pay a fee just to bring in the sign while you’re at it, Vince? Hell, $1 per sign brought in would make you a decent penny if fans brought them like the past, could make an extra few thousand bucks if you did that. It’s a horrible idea I am making, but at least the fans would have their damned signs. And I say damned not as a “bad word” but as WWE is damning their fans to oblivion by not letting them show love. There were times, like a May 2001 Steve Austin promo, where signs were all over the place. You could easily pick out at least 1 sign for each star on the roster at the time.
Shows like TNA Wrestling some indie events let you have signs. Some of them they give out signs to make the audience seem more into it, and it works. WWE needs to let fans have signs, so as to help get the wrestlers and the fans at home get over more. WWE Wonders “hmmm why aren’t they getting over as much as we thought they would?” Well, Vince… if you let the fans have signs and go nuts more for them, you would see more love. Also, the fans at home would be more behind the star because they know there are many more like them.
At the Royal Rumble, large areas of the audience chanted “This is bulls–t” because of Roman Reigns entering the rumble. Well, that is more appropriate for this. WWE, do not be petty; sell T-Shirts, sell New Day Unicorn horns, sell John Cena sweat bands, I don’t care. But let the fans make signs and show them off. They are original, they are personal, & they make a bond with the wrestler when they see it. Plus they can be creative. You can’t forget at No Way Out 2001 with the Trish Stratus sign saying “Trish the Dish”, leading to Jerry Lawler seeing that and saying “Trish the Dish is right!” Those are moments that add up to popularity as well Vince. Don’t be petty.