7 Technological Advances That Would Improve WWE

Yes, we're taking inspiration from the World Cup in Russia...

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.

7. VAR


Wikicommons (SA 3.0)


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.


6. Hawkeye


WWE


Hawkeye is used in tennis and cricket to show where a ball has laded - whether it's in or out of play - whether a ball is heading towards the stumps or not.

This could be incorporated into WWE in terms of adding yet another compelling finish. When our favourites get screwed as their foot is on or under the ropes yet a silly referee counts the fall anyway, imagine if that Superstar had the right request a review utilising hawkeye. The silly referee in question could throw to the production truck in the back and all kinds of arse sweating could ensue.

I realise I'm killing all the fun in professional wrestling and several potential avenues that WWE might want to take their stories in with their suggestions - but at least we'll get the right call each and every time and that's the most important thing.

5. Utilising The WWE App & Network


WWE


Picture the scene. You're in bed late at night - you're living in a world where WWE have given birth to another 24/7 title of some sort - you feel a vibration in the midst of your slumber - you roll over - you barely open your eyes - you see a notification from your WWE app - it reads "BREAKING: Dean Ambrose has attacked Bo Dallas at a service station and is trying to win his _____ title!"

Picture the scene. You're sat watching New Year's Revolution 2006 on the WWE Network - you're bored to tears - all of a sudden a notification flashes up on screen - it reads:  "BREAKING: Dean Ambrose has attacked Bo Dallas at a service station and is trying to win his _____ title!" - all of a sudden you're really excited and having a great time watching a thrilling, unexpected, different match of sorts.

Limbs everywhere.

That's right, I think WWE aren't utilising their apps and networks enough. I think there should be way more carnage on those things and I think it would be fantastic.

I guess the technology here would be along similar lines to when somebody starts a live video on Facebook or Instagram - although not knowing anything about how that stuff works, I could be really, really wrong. It sounds plausible to me, so of course, WWE should be doing this. What are they waiting for?

4. The HANS Device


WWE


I've got to be honest, I have absolutely no idea how this could possibly work in terms of WWE but I feel it's a really good idea on paper so it's in!

For those unaware, a HANS device is a U-shaped thing placed behind the neck. It has two arms that are placed over the pectoral muscles of the chest and attaches to a helmet... I know, this idea has been exposed already but let's soldier on. It's used in motorsport to prevent the head from whipping back and forth in a crash, while also preventing excessive twisting movements - obviously, professional wrestling's version would still have to allow twisting movements or matches would be very slow indeed.

It's a big old unit that attaches to a helmet, so a starting point would be to make it smaller so the appearance of WWE Superstars didn't change too much, while also making it clip on around the back or something so pro wrestling doesn't turn into a weird form of F1. The more I write here, the more I think this 'thing' would be more suited to being worn during training sessions, making the bumps taken when the cameras aren't rolling have less impact than they normally would.

But I can't help but think that having some sort of invisible device that supports the head more than a neck does on its own would prevent a lot of injuries we see our favourites suffer today. You just know the likes of Corey Graves and Daniel Bryan would be for it, so why not, ey?


3. Everything Gary And Jamie Use On Monday Night Football


Sky Sports/YouTube


Rumours are rife that WWE could have some sort of studio-based show during the week once their move to Fox is complete next October. Whatever that show is, it needs to incorporate all of the gadgets that Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher use on Sky Sports' Monday Night football - Americans, I apologise for completely alienating you here. They're really good, honest.

Back in the day, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan would have access to a Telestrator where he could mess with the screen viewers were watching at home while providing his colour analysis, and quite frankly, he abused the tools at his disposal and it made for really entertaining viewing. Sky Sports use this, and a whole host of other tools for their analysis and it really adds a completely new dimension to a match.

It would take me six months to describe the things Neville and Carragher use on Monday nights, so rest assured, they're transferrable to pro wrestling footage and would certainly add another dimension to wrestling analysis - or analysis of anything, for that matter.

2. Superstars Wearing An Earpiece During A Match


Sky Sports/YouTube


Picture the scene. A babyface beats down a heel - the heel rolls to the outside for a cowardly timeout - instead of the babyface standing there saying "come on you dafty, get back in here," we have Michael Cole say: "Hey Bryan, Cole here (insert question here)." That would be better, wouldn't it? That would be yet another valuable storytelling tool, wouldn't it? That would be different each time instead of the same old babyface gets frustrated before going for a Tope Suicida, wouldn't it?

We've seen this technique used in other areas of professional sports before, with the likes of cricket and Formula 1 speaking to players and drivers alike while they're doing their day jobs. Plus, earpieces are tiny these days so they wouldn't impede on the in-ring action at all - this one's a surefire hit for me!

1. Virtual Reality


Sky Sports/YouTube


What you're looking at here is a real-life situation in a game of football that has been thrown in EA Sports' Fifa game engine so we can look at the angles the cameras inside the stadium haven't picked up. I guess this fits in more with pro wrestling analysis, but could also be yet another valuable tool while Corey Graves stakes his case following a controversial happening during a live show, for example.

WWE have their own video game, after all, so surely using 2K footage to create camera angles not available to us to further explain why something has happened is a no-brainer. Sky Sports in England - sorry Americans who haven't seen this once again - create the scenes and generate the in-game footage inside a day or two, so provided each and every WWE angle and match finish isn't created on the day of a show, surely Vince McMahon and his editorial team would have enough time to create the situations they want/need to use to further a story.

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Ross Tweddell

Written by Ross Tweddell

Editor-in-chief of Cultaholic.com and presenter on the Cultaholic Wrestling YouTube channel. Email: [email protected]