One of the biggest criticisms when it comes to WWE's television product in recent years has been the lack of planning and long-term storytelling from the WWE Creative team. Former writers, producers and wrestlers have told countless stories of how a show's script will be ripped up or written on the fly hours before the show, and in just the past few weeks there have been numerous reports of "chaos" taking place backstage when sudden rewrites are demanded. In a new interview with Gorilla Position, Seth Rollins claimed that the process was actually due to WWE fans not having the patience for long-form storytelling.
"I think it [long-term storytelling] is kind of a lost art across the board in entertainment," Rollins said [h/t Cageside Seats]. "And not that it's a lost art, just the audience, as we get into this age of instant gratification, they don't have the patience for long-term storytelling. When you can binge-watch your favorite series in two days as opposed to two months, it creates a different precedent for how we intake our entertainment. It's the difference between watching a full match and just seeing the GIFs of it or the highlights of it. So, I just think people are intaking their entertainment on a different level. It's the difference between artists releasing singles as opposed to full-length albums because of the way the consumers are taking in their entertainment, so that shift, wrestling is not immune to that shift and so we have to do that as well to keep up with our audience. But I do think, I'm not a twenty-something, I'm a thirty-four-year-old guy, so the storytelling I grew up on had a longer form and that's what I enjoy, so I think if our younger audience could learn to appreciate it might be something they're into. But it also might not be how their brains are wired or how we've rewired people's brains to think. It's a very interesting time in entertainment, in television, and music and movies altogether really, and that shift of how things are going."
He then brought up his recent "Eye for an Eye" storyline with Rey Mysterio.
"If this stipulation had happened in 1999 in the middle of the Attitude Era, I don't think anyone would have scoffed at it," he said. "I think it would have just been a crazy moment of wild stuff happening in WWE and obviously, we are twenty years later and things are different in the way we watch things and the audience sees wrestling differently At the end of the day, it is what it is, that's what the moment was meant to do was to create interest in the casual viewer. I think the moment you said 'Eye For An Eye Match', the hardcore wrestling fan, and if I was a nineteen-year-old kid would probably say the same thing, would be like 'Oh please, why can't they just let these two wrestle?' you know? But, at the end of the day, the wrestling spoke for itself and the end moment ended up on TMZ, so we're doing a service to both of our audiences."