WWE has been plagued by dwindling ratings during the COVID-19 pandemic, though their issues with creating new stars has been a long-standing one. Following the exit of John Cena, WWE has struggled mightily with trying to find his successor. Now, with stars in and out during the pandemic, the company very much is feeling the pressure to create new stars to stop the leakage when it comes to the ratings drops.
A couple of new reports out this week shed some interesting light on what's been going on backstage in regards to the star-making and booking process. Fightful Select reports that the push of Otis in recent months has been largely directed by Vince McMahon, with McMahon reportedly a big time fan of what Otis has done this year.
Otis became Mr. Money In The Bank earlier this year, and the report notes that he is a "Vince McMahon project." It has also been reported that both Otis and his tag team partner from Heavy Machinery, Tucker, have made a positive impression in both the NXT and WWE main roster locker rooms among talent.
This week's edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter also notes McMahon feeling the pressure to create new stars. Dave Meltzer wrote, "What is notable is that Vince McMahon actually has said that since Mania is over and with a lot of guys missing due to COVID and other reasons, that this is the time where they have to make new stars, which seems to contradict most of what the actual creative is doing."
There's absolutely no denying that WWE creative has been poor over the last several months and the television shows have, for the most part outside of some editions of NXT, been far from must-see events. Last weekend's Extreme Rules PPV offering, which was universally panned, seemed to be the icing on the cake in regards to all of the negatives the product has seen lately. WWE is definitely aware and looking to change things. One overture that has been made is both Daniel Bryan and Edge being used on the SmackDown and Raw creative teams. Both men are reportedly now considered part of each show's creative team.
What have you thought of WWE's creative direction this year so far? What can they do to fix things? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.