Every wrestling organization has its own unique style of wrestling. Because WWE is the most popular wrestling company in the world, the WWE style of wrestling has become the most prevalent style known in the world today. WWE style is remarkably different than almost every other companies, but more and more, the style more familiar with independent wrestling and international promotions is beginning to leak into WWE.
Traditionally, WWE has been the slowest wrestling promotion. Today, wrestling in WWE has the slowest pace out of any company around. Part of this is because WWE has more time to fill with its matches, and part of it is also because WWE has a wide range of wrestlers when it comes to in-ring ability. Some wrestlers in WWE need to work at a slower pace because their talents do not allow them to work fast without screwing up frequently. Another reason is that the WWE is dedicated to being a more tradition-based company. The man in charge of the company has been a part of wrestling since Bruno Sammartino was the WWE Champion, and the tradition of WWE has likely helped keep the pace down in WWE.
Historically, wrestling has been moving faster and faster as the years go by. Ever since Ed Lewis and Joe Stecher wrestled for five straight hours, promoters have been looking to speed up the pace of wrestling. A match from 2013 is faster than a match from 1995, which is faster than a match from 1985, which is faster than a match from 1965. Even though WWE has been somewhat behind the times when it comes to pace, they still are part of the timeline that indicates that the more years go by, the more the pace of wrestling accelerates.
The knock on faster wrestling is that they require less selling from the wrestlers. Wrestlers getting up quickly after being taken down and kicking out of pinfalls after a series of finishing moves almost dismisses the idea that these moves are meant to inflict pain and incapacitate your opponent. Kayfabe is still very important to WWE, even if they sometimes like to pretend that it does not exist. I don't think we will ever see WWE work at the pace that Dragon Gate works for that simple reason. WWE, like all major wrestling companies, is afraid that wrestling will die without kayfabe, and jeopardizing that any more than they already do could lead to disaster.
Another thing is that WWE really likes finishing maneuvers. 95% of matches in WWE end in either a disqualification or a wrestler hitting his or her finisher. When Randy Orton hits the RKO, it is the end of the match. Only a rare occasion does someone kick out of a finishing move, usually only in the main event of a PPV match. I have to think that Vince McMahon is behind the sacred use of finishing moves in WWE. Before VKM came along, wrestlers in WWE didn't really have finishing moves, and only a few wrestlers had signature moves. Once 1984 and Hulkamania took hold, almost all of the wrestlers on the roster had finishing moves, and it has been that way ever since.
For some unknown reason, WWE also likes to limit guys move-sets once they arrive in WWE. It is almost if WWE tells wrestlers that they can only use 10-12 moves in the ring under normal circumstances. I can understand a limited worker like Ryback only using a handful of moves, because he may not feel confident doing an extensive amount of moves. However, a technical genius like Daniel Bryan being limited to only a short-list of moves seems to be very suspicious.
Some guys like Antonio Cesaro and Seth Rollins have such extensive repertoires that we have really only scene about 10% of what they can do in the ring. Some moves are obviously too dangerous to do in WWE on a frequent basis, so don't expect to see God's Last Gift anytime soon. Others however, seem to have been taken out of WWE for no particular reason. Cesaro's Ricola Bomb would certainly be a great move for Cesaro, especially to help get him over as a face. Unlike a lot of other moves, the Ricola Bomb is as safe as a normal powerbomb, so why not let Cesaro use it? It almost feels like a waste to see Cesaro in WWE and only see him use the giant swing, the Neutralizer and the deadlift gut-wrench suplex.
Some wrestlers have come to WWE and really struggled to adjust to WWE wrestling. Sin Cara is the most notable example, most likely because he skipped NXT and went straight to WWE's main roster. Sin Cara comes from a lucha libre background, where what WWE fans would describe as botches happen quite frequently during matches. That is just the style that the company works. Cara never learned how to wrestle inside the WWE ring, and how to work WWE style matches, which has led to numerous botches and injuries.
Because of that, it is important that even the most experienced wrestlers need to spend time learning the ropes in NXT before they are brought up to the main roster. Few would doubt that Sami Zayn has the wrestling skills to work great matches on the main roster, but he still needs to learn how to work a WWE style match before showing up on Raw or Smackdown. It sucks to have to wait for these talents to get called up, but it is a necessary step in protecting the talents when they reach the main roster.
Lastly, because of the greater influence of independent workers in WWE, a faster, more independent style has taken hold in WWE. Since WWE is now relying heavily on companies like ROH and DG USA to groom talent for them, those companies' respective wrestling style is beginning to take a foot hold in WWE. 2013 was the fastest year for WWE, as workers like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose pushed the pacing of matches to unprecedented levels. With speed stars like Sami Zayn and Samuray Del Sol in NXT, it is likely that the pace will continue to be pushed.