Wednesday 7 December 2011

At Least They Can Get a Lousy T-Shirt

"I'd actually like to take this opportunity to wish John Morrison the best in all his future endeavours" - John Laurinaitis, RAW 5.12.11
With that one line WWE reached a new level of insincerity. Laurinaitis, in case you haven't heard, isn't just a TV character. While the RAW General Manager position is a fictitious one he really is the company's Executive Vice President of Talent Relations. It's since he's taken on that role (succeeding Jim Ross) that the company has started using the "future endeavours" term when releasing people from contracts.
It's always been regarded as a fairly disingenuous comment, seemingly designed more to portray WWE as an organisation that cares about what happens to those released from contracts. It’s now being used to create heat for an on-screen character portrayed by the man who really makes these firings. That’s in incredibly poor taste and makes the company look sarcastic and disingenuous.

WWE has often been accused of indifference towards the care and wellbeing of their talent roster. Having an executive behaving like this on-screen is not going to help matters.
This comes just weeks after WWE launched a T-shirt that reads "Future Endeavoured" on the front and has Laurinaitis's name and job titles on the back. Besides being a poor business move (how many of those things do they think they're actually going to sell?) it's another indication that WWE doesn't mean it when they post that message on their website after firing someone. If they don't really wish people they're sacking the best for their futures it would be better not to comment at all. A simple statement acknowledging the release would be preferable.

Would you wear a John Laurinaitis T-shirt?

The next time WWE makes a round of releases and posts that message afterwards how are the men and women who have just been made redundant going to feel? It’s WWE, Laurinaitis in particular, rubbing salt in the wound.
I understand the move is designed to increase the popularity of John Laurinaitis. It's callous and unnecessary behaviour though. There are far more effective ways of establishing Laurinaitis as a heel than by playing on a phrase he’s known to use on the internet. Traditional heel tactics will do the job just fine and won’t make WWE looks heartless into the bargain. The line he used on Monday may have been understood by “smart” fans but they comprise a small percentage of WWE’s audience.  

They need to rethink this strategy and find another way of getting heat for one of their top heels. If they don’t it could come back to haunt them.

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