We’re going here, ladies and gentlemen. I can’t be the only one watching that World Cup in Russia and marvelling at how VAR is working and getting just about every single massive decision correct – oh what I would have done to have that room brimmed with referees back in 2010 when Frank Lampard did that chip against Germany…
Vince McMahon et al have utilised just about every technological advancement we’ve seen over the past 30 years to their advantage outside of the ring. Whether it be from production techniques used on their televised shows, or innovations like the WWE Network and app, there’s nothing more WWE could be doing right now to keep up with the trailblazers and trendsetters in mainstream, consumable media today.
But what about the in-ring product? Largely, and quite romantically in my book, everything has remained the same for a long old time now. Yes, there have been a few new match stipulations imagined up over the past few decades, the likes of Piledrivers and chair shots to the head are now banned – and rightfully so – and time limits don’t appear to exist outside of Iron Man matches in WWE these days, but other than those, everything is largely the same. In the words of Owen Hart: “Well enough is enough, and it’s time for a change” – maybe.
Here are seven technological advances that would improve WWE’s in-ring product from time-to-time, adding a fresh outlook on what we see each week and adding new, never seen before match finishes.
Months ago on SmackDown Live, I can recall a tag team winning a match. However, that decision was reversed because a second official from the back – who had been watching on a monitor – came out and corrected the in-ring official who had missed something. Why this happened during one throwaway match on SmackDown live and isn’t standard practice for WWE is beyond me. The officials get so much wrong!
VAR would irradicate the major plothole witnessed by all who watched that match, and if used sparingly and at the right moments, could provide us with the most compelling of match finishes.
Imagine the finish to the 2000 or ’05 Royal Rumbles, for example, with VAR added in. The drama, the suspense, the tension – it would all be enough to make your arse sweat uncontrollably.
I’d like to thank DDT Wrestling over in Japan for inspiring this article. They used VAR recently in a match where a distracted referee counted a fall he shouldn’t have. I thought it was bloody marvellous in its execution, and something WWE should take note of if they want to continue their trend of presenting pro wrestling as more of a legitimate sport.