The best fiction movies are the ones with the surprise endings. Maybe it’s time the WWE took notice.
When fan favorite John Cena eliminated Ryback to win the 2013 Royal Rumble, was anyone really shocked? The WWE leaned on the popularity of Cena for a month before the event, building up their audience in the process, but the industry would have been better served if the WWE threw everyone a curveball once the stage had finally been set.
Ryback has had his day in the sun in the WWE, with a 38 match unbeaten streak just last year, but a Royal Rumble victory would have still been a bombshell. The WWE should have taken advantage of that. While Cena’s very vanilla win might have thrilled the youngsters in the audience, it struggled to keep the attention of the older viewers.
The WWE is becoming more and more predictable in its main events, and the trend needs to change otherwise the risk of losing a massive number of viewers will be very real. They can look through their own history to learn this lesson.
Professional wrestling was at its best from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s when no one could predict what was going to happen next. How many people out there thought the Iron Sheik would take down legend Bob Backlund in that 1983 title bout? Did anyone predict that the Sheik would lose his belt four weeks later to relative newcomer Hulk Hogan? These were the matches that shaped wrestling’s next ten years—arguably the most successful run in the sport’s short history.
Surprises are good in the entertainment industry. The Bruce Willis movie The Sixth Sense is exhibit A. The WWE owes it to their fan base to stay on the mark.