#Feud: Does Online Storytelling Hurt WWE's Product? | Smark Out Moment

#Feud: Does Online Storytelling Hurt WWE's Product?

Posted by Steph Maxwell-Kavanagh Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Let's face it, watching your favorite wrestlers fight it out in the ring and over vicious promos is what we're all into wrestling for. There's nothing better than seeing a feud spiral through show after show, getting hotter and hotter until the inevitable explosion in the ring at a pay-per-view event. Wrestling angles work because the drama that fuels them is so compelling, and that's why WWE have taken to using social media platforms, especially Twitter, to tell stories they don't have time for, or to embellish rivalries that aren't holding the attention of the fans.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship On the Line WrestleMania
Lukewarm promos, lukewarm matches, lukewarm tweets - you can't say Roman Reigns isn't consistent
Something the like the tweet above allows a feud to continue to develop outside of the ring, and keeps fans engaged with the relationship between superstars. Being the main event of WrestleMania, Roman Reigns and Triple H have a duty to keep their match as hyped up and as forefront in the fans' minds as they can, and this includes using social media. However, in some cases, Twitter is used as an excuse for not letting a feud play out on screen.

Divas Feud Heats Up On Social Media
Lana's profile picture seems to suggest that if she beats Brie in a match, she's going to skin Daniel Bryan and wear him

So far, we don't have any background for the Lana vs. Brie Bella feud - it seems to be that old Booker T standby of 'women just hate each other' rather than anything concrete, with Lana taking every opportunity to interrupt Brie's matches and cost her the win, before stepping in and taking the remaining Bella twin down herself. Brie's current storyline is, we have to suppose from the three minutes we see her about once a week, that her sister, sister's boyfriend and her own husband are out injured, and she's the only one left to fight the Bella corner. But we have no idea what Lana wants. We know she thinks Daniel Bryan looks like a goat, and that Nikki spends her time at home online shopping, but there's no reason for Lana to hate Brie. It's just America vs. Russia for the billionth time, and the women aren't being given enough time to show their emotional connections to the story. Playing it out on Twitter in this case adds insult to injury, because we're not given any new information, just more pointless sniping.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch Actress Calls WWE Wrestler Lazy
Kevin Owens: the master of Twitter
Sometimes, though, someone gets it just right. This tweet from Kevin Owens to Sabrina the Teenage Witch actress Melissa Joan Hart had no relevance to the story, to any angles Owens was involved in at the time, or any upcoming pay-per-view. Kevin Owens is simply brilliant at choosing the right way to respond to critics and fans alike, with vitriol that pushes his character through. He doesn't spend a lot of time playing up angles he has in the ring, or tweeting at other wrestlers, but he uses his Twitter account to sell his persona very intelligently, reminding us that he's a trash-talking dad above all else.

Wrestling Stars The New Day Argue On Social Media
Unusually for an Irish man, Sheamus doesn't believe in magic

There are ways to use Twitter to help WWE's wrestling product, and it's a little frustrating that sometimes the first time we hear about an angle is with Tom Phillips in the social media lounge at a pay-per-view event. Feuds that exist almost solely on Twitter before a pay-per-view are not uncommon, and while there's no doubt that for heels such at The New Day and Kevin Owens, social media is a great way to get your character across, it should not be used as an alternative to good storytelling. Twitter should be used as an enhancement to on screen story, not a replacement for it, and unless WWE realize that, they're going to struggle to make certain stories go over with the fans.

So, what's the best tweet you've seen from or between wrestlers recently? Let us know in the comments - especially if it's from Kevin Owens!

Steph Maxwell-Kavanagh is an English wrestling fan and writer with too many opinions. She is the owner and writer for Rasslin Rehash. You can follow her on Tumblr and Twitter.


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