On Sunday, WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins started making statements on Twitter in defense of the company for which he provides services as an independent contractor that were clearly intended to draw attention. The internet drama then became mostly a spat between Rollins and NJPW’s Will Ospreay about workrate. Baron Corbin got involved! Unaffiliated wrestlers made fun of this whole thing!
Now this PR beef has moved off of Twitter to include an appearance by the Beastslayer on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast in which he further defended WWE against critics.
In addition to responding to Jon Moxley’s decision to publicly criticize WWE after leaving the company, Rollins said that he felt the need to stick up for WWE against disgruntled fans because, “You can only sit back and read people bashing something you love for so long and sit there and take it and try to take the high road, so to speak.”
He said he’s proud of the work he does for the company and “what our crew does and the effort they put forward… We put a ton of effort into making a product that I think it pretty darn good considering the amount of content we put out there. The fact that people wanna sit on their little soapboxes and their little stupid social media machines and talk down about it really speaks volumes about the generation and where they’re at and so I figured if somebody’s is gonna fight back, it might as well be me since I’m the champ and I consider myself the top guy in our company.”
The phrase, “considering the amount of content we put out there,” actually sums up an issue a lot of people have with WWE. Everyone recognizes that the company puts out so many hours of content on both cable and the WWE Network per week and the roster works really hard to make it. But if so much of it is bad and/or disliked by the fans, then how much is that hard work paying off? And how much is the dedication of the fans who keep tuning in paying off? It’s unclear how much a wrestler saying people shouldn’t speak negatively about a company’s wrestling product could convince those outside most hardcore fans to keep tuning in on TV and attending live events if they don’t feel it pays off for them.