I think your TL;DR is right, but also I don't think they know how to at all. The older people there who know what good booking is don't know how to adapt it for modern times. Some of their younger writers have only known bad wrestling writing.
To be fair, a majority of talents today don't understand the concept of a character either.
I agree to an extent they've gone with brand over talent (like UFC, etc.), but they also promote talents when they are given chances outside of WWE, so I think that's too easy. I think they quite literally don't understand the basics of storytelling, which is why so many show for the past several years are just people doing...stuff.