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  1. #1
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    (KOTC: R1) Reset Your Mindset

    Dear WWE,

    Recent developments in your promotion have left me extremely concerned. I feel very troubled by constant reports about some of my favourite wrestlers being unhappy. Every day new reports surface online that wrestlers are voicing their frustrations about how they are being used. Even some of the guys that are always pushed are uncertain about signing a new deal.

    With that being the case it says alot about what goes on behind the scenes. Your Chairman of the Board is so set in his ways and it would appear that it's finally catching up to him. This is now no longer a case of better late than never. Instead, it's a case of never late is better.

    This is troublesome because it's not possible to keep every wrestler on the roster happy at the same time. That I can understand. The issue at hand is that you never gave alot of these wrestlers the time of day and because of that they might feel like it's too late to make amends. I think the question on everyone's minds is if it's only because of a promising promotion on the horizon causing you to rethink your booking situation.

    If so, that was not the right way to go about doing things. We can all agree that you are going to have to reset your way of thinking. You are going to have to reset your way of gauging popularity. That's a strange sentiment considering that popularity is one if the easiest things in the business to determine. All you have to do is listen to the fans. But because you believe you know what's best, you have ignored them to the point of exhaustion.

    Therefore, you cannot complain about the lack of interest in your product. But do you know who can complain? Talented wrestlers you have overlooked for years in favour of someone we do not want to accept. Wrestlers have been leaving their blood, sweat and tears in the ring to get over. And for quite a few of them that hard work has not paid off. Because instead of getting the recognition for their work in the form of a push, they have to take a back seat to whom you deem worthy of all your attention.

    I'm always left wondering how many times Cody Rhodes went up to those in management to voice is dissatisfaction. And did you give him the time of day? No. Instead, you left his talents on the sidelines and left him straddled with a silly gimmick. Oh, I would love to know much you regret that decision now. You see, Cody built himself up to the point that the guys who are feeling mistreated in your company has the hope of being a bigger deal somewhere else. And like I've said, all of this could be avoided by simply resetting your mindset.

    Yet you have continued to shove wrestlers down our throats who we just don't want to see at the top. You have allowed wrestlers who we wanted in the spotlight to waste away in the darkness of booking hell. Your Lord and saviour Vince McMahon still prefers his bigger wrestlers over ones that can actually put on fantastic matches. And please don't mention Braun Strowman because we have accepted him. Perhaps once you accept that we should be leading your booking decisions by voicing who we want in the driver's seat your company will be a happy place for wrestlers and fans alike.

    But as it stands right now, you stand the chance of losing all your best talent due to misguided preconceptions. And since you are all business men you have to realize that if you lose your best talent you will then lose your most loyal fans. Remember, wrestling is not universally popular anymore so your loyal fans is the ones you have to keep happy without fail. Because once those loyal fans are gone, the ratings will plummet further and you will eventually lose your shareholders which will in turn cause you to have to close the company.

    You might think that is a tad extreme but sometimes even nightmares can become a reality. If you don't reset your mindset the sun will no longer shine on the mighty WWE.

    Sincerely yours,
    Concerned Fan

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    Dear Concerned Fan,

    We appreciate the letter that you have sent us voicing your concern. We here at WWE always try to keep our fans happy despite the perceived lack of a universally satisfying direction. We have data that we have to collect and we push certain wrestlers based on that data. You have to be aware that data is not always accurate and we do get it wrong from time to time. Bear in mind that there is no company - wrestling or otherwise - whose decisions will be right all the time.

    We still try our best to put on a compelling product. You mentioned the drop in ratings we have gotten accustomed to in recent years. Regrettably, in this day and age that is something we have no control over. You said it yourself: wrestling is not as popular as it once was. Because of that lack of popularity we do not have the ability to reach the heights we were once able to surpass. That might seem like a poor excuse to you, but we have data proving the decline in interest of professional wrestling.

    We do try our best to be accommodating to all sectors of our fanbase but with the varying desires of our fans that is something we are just not able to do. It's because of that that we are not able to appease our fans so dissatisfied customers are expected. We do, however, work around the clock to see what we are able to do to decrease the number of fans who are not happy with our product. And yet there will always be fans who tend to disagree with our general direction.

    I do have to add that we are in the midst of changing our general philosophy in the company. We are not naive and we do realise that times are changing and we are trying our utmost best to adapt to those changing times. Nothing can happen overnight so you have to keep in mind that it will take some time to steer our company to the proper direction. Hopefully we will reach a destination that all of our fans can enjoy at leisure.

    We are well aware of the potential threat to our company looming on the horizon which is why we are actively trying to listen to all our fans and cater to their happiness. With that being said, not all fans know exactly what they want.

    But yes, we are making a concentrated effort to reset our mindset. Evidence of that can be given with most of our booking decisions at the Royal Rumble. And as unprofessional it may seem to say, it's not only us but the fans that also need to reset their mindsets. In recent years there has been a negative stigma about WWE not pushing the right people or not following through with an angle and because of that our fans are immediately unhappy.

    We hate to say it, but our fans need to reset their negative perceptions of our company and give us time to allow the angles to play out. By coming in with negativity you are robbing yourself of enjoyment. By instantly assuming that we are going to mess up you are creating a pessimistic view of what we are trying to do. The worst part about that is that most fans are susceptible to suggestion and if a few fans go on social media to trash our product then plenty of fans will jump on the bandwagon.

    Perhaps one day when we are able to reset our mindset this industry that we all love will be the better for it.

    Kind Regards,
    WWE Public Relations

  2. #2
    Sorry WWE management but I really doubt it’s fans who needs a reset, if that’s the company line you are trying portray perhaps you are correct.

    Really solid work, though the idea of an open letter as detailed and honest as this is more fantasy than reality. Really solid simple work, all the best

  3. #3
    You know who I am, but you don't know why I'm here
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    Solid work. It's going to be interesting to me to see which of you advances because I thought you and 205 wrote columns that were very similar in quality. I thought that this piece was a bit dry and a pretty safe offering for a competition column. It flowed well, it was reasonably engaging, it was solidly written, and it made decent use of the topic, but I certainly would like to see a more stimulating effort in the quarters if you make it through. This felt to me like you wrote a column...I want to feel next time like you wrote the hell out of your column
    Author of The WrestleMania Era book series, author of The Doctor's Orders columns on LOP since 2010, LOP Columns Hall of Famer, former host of The Doc Says podcast on LOP Radio (2013-2018), former LOP Raw and WWE PPV Reviewer (2006-2007), and former LOP Smackdown Reviewer (2004-2006)

  4. #4
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    I would personally be shocked to my core if WWE ever sent a response like that. Can you imagine the screenshots going all over social media and the flaming WWE would be a victim of?!

    Nonetheless, it is a cool format and something that stands out in the competition.

    May the best CFer win!

  5. #5
    I really like the format of this one, it seems like something you can use for different issues/contexts - maybe the writer of each letter at some point loses formality and goes off and exposes their real feelings, you can get pretty colorful with language. Cool experiment this one.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Here’s the thing with an open letter style of column. It could reflect the columnist’s true views and thoughts, or it could be written as a piece of fiction, with the columnist projecting the views and thoughts onto another. I personally love doing the latter – not necessarily in the open letter style specifically, but in similar formats. Thing is, I always try to use the tone to easily convey a lightly sardonic, almost satirical approach, which doesn’t always reflect my true views.

    Based on reading through the letter from the fan to WWE, I had it firm in my mind that you were writing from your mind, that the messages in the column were your own true thoughts. Then I saw the response letter and thought, hold on. This column is presenting two fronts, two arguments, so to speak, so maybe I shouldn’t jump to that conclusion. The thing is, I’m not entirely sure and that middle zone isn’t a perfect one to be in.

    For example – the late section in the reply letter that has WWE PR purportedly stating that the fans need to reset their negative perceptions. To me, this is neither too accurate to what an actual PR department for a company this size would say to be serious, nor too satirical, too out there for a response that it reads to me as clear satire. I think that kind of falls in that middle zone again.

    I’ll also pull up the use of the topic. Honestly, not my favorite. I guess I’ve just read the “disgruntled WWE fan” column enough times that something really splashy, something really tongue-in-cheek, something really out-of-the-box was needed to stand out. I think the overall content was that which has been trodden upon fairly frequently, at least as to what I’ve read. Something in the vein of the fan criticizing WWE needs some teeth or some sizzle to stand above the humdrum. Also, in terms of the actual argument – one part of the letter says, “please don’t mention Braun Strowman because we have accepted him”. Call me a WWE apologist, but I guess my response as a reader would be, “I don’t understand that argument”. Seems like a lot of presumption and high ground on the terms of the Concerned Fan, and while very plausible and fitting…I don’t know, give me something more!

    On the writing side of things, an overall smooth read bar a few hiccups. You wrote “alot” a couple of times instead of “a lot”. You also had a number of issues with plural verbiage. “…the guys who are feeling mistreated in your company has the hope…” needed “have” in place of “has”, and the same issue crops up in “…your loyal fans is the ones you have to keep happy…”. I also spotted an “is” that should’ve been a “his”. Past those, the flow to the letters was great. No issues at all with how the overall piece read in terms of pacing and smoothness.

    Sorry, man – I know you’ve got the ability to knock it out of the park, but this one wasn’t up my alley.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I'm always a little thrown off by the "open letter" type of column. I actually wrote one some time back at the beginning of my writing career. Here's the thing about them; they almost always seem to say the same thing. Normally the letter is an open plea to the WWE to fix things the way we want them to be fixed or what we as fans think they can do better.

    I think the rebuttal part of your column from the WWE is kind of exactly where we are in terms of their interest in what we think. It's mostly "yes we hear you but this is who we are" in their way of thinking.

    I often wonder when the WWE sends out their surveys to fans how much of it they really even look at and consider. They may hear us, but do they really listen. I doubt it very much.

    I agree with one of the comments above in that your contest with 205 looks to be very close, but whichever of you advance I think the game must be stepped up.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    The Brain
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    I appreciate the approach, open letters allow you to flesh out a voice and perspective. Interesting statement that popularity in business should be clear, just listen to the fans. But which voice? Profits are up, and the wrestlers who seem unpopular with the live crowd sometimes sell the most merch. It’s a difficult predicament. WWE’s imagined response to blame the fans is terribly poor, basically “shut up and learn to love our product you idiots”, but sadly it may indeed be their mindset. You want to talk about things that are obvious in business, not blaming the customer should be #1 on the list. Feels like you could have gotten more out of this, ending it with the WWE perspective makes me think you may agree with it but it doesn’t seem fleshed out or quite clear enough.

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