Why repetition hinders talented wrestlers

Steven Wilson looks at why he thinks WWE is diluting those big gimmick matches that used to end feuds by giving them a guaranteed annual slot.

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Eat, Sleep, Suplex, Repeat. The Brock Lesnar catchphrase that is arguably the most culturally revered form of repetition in wrestling.

It is in reference to The Beast Incarnate’s dominance of John Cena at Summerslam 2014, where he destroyed Cena with 16 suplexes.

At the time, it was hailed as utterly brilliant by many fans. However, it now highlights a problem that has affected the sport for many years.

Repetition plays a big part in our daily routines. In society, we often say we can’t get too much of a good thing, or if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Both phrases imply the seeing or doing the same thing several times is a good thing. But history has shown that this just isn’t the case with wrestling.

Wrestling diehards crave freshness. They enjoy creative, and especially despise something being shoved down their throats.

Many wrestling companies though have made a habit of doing the latter on a regular basis. This usually succeeds only in making accomplished wrestlers an after thought to some.

The Reigns issue

Roman Reigns is a classic example. His feud with Brock Lesnar has been a big part of WWE programming for the past 4-5 years.

Their first match at Wrestlemania 31 was a classic, probably one of the most underrated Mania main events ever. Instead of leaving it like that though, WWE attempted to repeat the same feat with the two in 2018. 

What did those series of matches achieve? Not much other than put off audiences and gain even more hate at the time for Reigns.

Wrestling is all about diversity in all areas, and that includes what we see in the ring. Fans understand two athletes having one or two matches in the space of four months to build a feud. But having multiple matches on a near weekly basis? No.

There are so many top-class wrestlers on the rosters of many companies around the world. Make use of each member to the fullest. Don’t just limit yourself to a select few. Any short term gains from this strategy won’t outweigh how it will hit the business long-term.

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