Do WWE Storylines Have to Make Sense?


Ever since Vince McMahon created the WWE and united the regional promotions of the 1950’s to 1970’s under one banner, pro wrestling has been as much about compelling storytelling as it is about athletic prowess.

The “male soap opera” tag has been worn like a badge of honor in the WWE for several decades. The “why” has been made just as important as the “what” and that distinction has allowed for greater flexibility and growth within the medium. In the Reality Era of 2015/16, some matches seem to be thrown together haphazardly and with little regard for what they mean within the greater context of the WWE Universe. But do these feuds need to make sense in order to be great?

Let us suspend reality for a moment and take some current WWE angles at face value:

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Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose

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The premise of the match goes something like this; the current champion – who is facing a strong opponent in less than one month at the biggest show of the year – has decided to risk his championship and appearance at said show against a man he thinks is beneath his caste simply to teach him about respect. Confused? You should be because this match makes absolutely no sense. Triple H has no reason to face Dean Ambrose other than his own hubris. The result of this match does carry some interesting implications, provided that Ambrose emerges victorious. It’s no secret that many fans are unhappy with the prospect of Triple H facing Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 32 as a Reigns victory is all but assured in that scenario. An Ambrose victory at Roadblock would at least cast a modicum of doubt as to the outcome of a Reigns vs. Ambrose contest. A victory for Triple H does nothing except make Ambrose look weak by comparison, which would be puzzling since Ambrose is currently schedule to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32 for some reason. Speaking of Brock Lesnar…

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  • Bray Wyatt vs. Brock Lesnar

    If you can remember back this far, the Wyatt Family cost The Beast Incarnate his chance to win the Royal Rumble. Many people rightly assumed this would lead to a feud between Lesnar and the Wyatts or at least Lesnar and Bray. This would give Lesnar a legitimate distraction away from the championship title picture as the WrestleMania card came into focus. But that didn’t happen, at least not in the aftermath of the Royal Rumble. Instead, Lesnar was mixed in with Reigns and Ambrose in a desperate attempt to cast doubt on Reigns’ inevitable WrestleMania appearance while Brock’s bad blood with the Wyatts was abandoned altogether without explanation. But this feud has been reignited – also without explanation – for a match at WWE Roadblock whose consequences will ostensibly carry over into WrestleMania 32. Or not. Who knows? I suppose the phrase “better late than never” would be appropriate for this feud but the false start and subsequent rush job isn’t lost on fans.

    Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker

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    For some reason, The Undertaker now takes his marching orders from Vince McMahon, who booked him in this match seemingly out of the blue. When Undertaker appeared on RAW a week later to explain his reasoning, the audience was still left wondering since The Dead Man used his time to reiterate that Vince would have “blood on his hands” but gave us nothing in the way of a rationale for participating in the match. In an interesting twist, it is this ambiguity that has made this the most talked-about match on the WrestleMania card, not only because of the consequence but the intangibles. Will Shane really face Undertaker one on one? If Shane wins, will he be a fair and benevolent ruler and what happens to The Authority? If Shane loses, should we feel cheated?

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    We will get some answers this Saturday when WWE Roadblock stops in Toronto and then on Apr. 3 when these and other storylines culminate at WrestleMania 32 in Dallas, TX.