Ok, so the WWE has problems. They have some real bad problems and no one wants to admit it within the company. They’re trying to fix the horse, when it’s the cart that’s falling apart. So I’ll tell you folk show they can rejuvenise the brand, without making huge changes. It’s all about the philosophy and this is the ten changes in philosophies the WWE needs to do to thrive.
Drop Duel Branded PPVs
– I know they just started this concept, but they need to stop. It’s bad enough I have to watch Carmella stomp her foot and crinkle that water bottle every day on WWE programming but do we actually believe this is going to make things better? It’s not, in fact it’ll do the opposite. With the depth of the roster on both brand, there’s no reason to do single-branded pay per views. The problem was the enormity of the schedule, not the single-branded nature. Vince McMahon is the worst pro wrestling booker of all time, constantly fucking with the wrong things. Cutting down on the number of events should’ve been the only change. Now with guys like Andrade Almas, Big Cass, Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, The Miz and others will be fighting for pay per view time, there will be less opportunities for those to get the chance to showcase what they can do. The WWE dropped the ball substantially on this one.
– Now let me be clear, I’m not saying end the Cruiserweights. In fact that’s the opposite of what they should do. However, what they should do is move the Cruiserweights full time to RAW. Give them the second hour or even the first hour, and let hours two and three be for the main roster. There’s enough time to kill. Plus it’ll help cut down on the wasted big matches, and the constant rematches every week.
Reduce Match Lengths on TV/More Squashes
– This actually goes two-fold. Part of the WWE’s issue is the fact you don’t need to watch their special events to see epic matches. They’ll give you a twenty minute bout between Roman Reigns and Jeff Hardy away on RAW for no reason. While that’s ok in some facets, that’s also problematic. Why watch the main event pitting Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose if we get it three time on RAW at 20 minutes a clip in the seven weeks proceeding the event? On top of reducing the match lengths, you’ll also be doing something that Vince McMahon has desperately forgotten how to do; put over talent. Roman Reigns had long matches with Cesaro, Jason Jordan, Elias and the Miz in all in the span of like 8 weeks last year. This needs to be said; this isn’t about talent. It’s about positioning. If you’re positioning Reigns to be a main event player, then Elias, Jordan and even Cesaro should of all been relatively quick matches. It’s not the top guys job to push Jordan up the card. It’s not Reigns job to make Elias look good. It’s their job to make Reigns look good. The only time Reigns should be challenged is by talent on his level. This works two-fold, it frees up t.v. time for more skits and matches . And it also puts the immediate stamp on new talent who do go the distance with Reigns.
What’s more impressive, Reigns needing 15-20 minutes to beat mid carders? Or Shelton Benjamin pinning Triple H back in 2004? Benjamin was immediately a made man, to the point he’s still getting work in the company 13+ years later. Imagine if Reigns was beating guys in 2-4 minutes a night, and then he steps in against Cesaro, and Cesaro goes 25 minutes in a losing effort. It wouldn’t matter if he won, he did something only the elite does. And that’s a career making performance. But Vince has forgotten that. Honestly, this isn’t just for Reigns, it’s for everyone on the roster who’s a top guy. Styles, Bryan, Nakamura, Orton, Cena, etc etc etc. Don’t let them have long matches on t.v. Let them be established as the best of the best, not just slightly better than some others.
Do More Skits
– Even in New Japan pro wrestling is a variety show. Now, the WWE is far more of a variety show than that but they’ve gotten away from that. The comedic skits with genuinely good talent are limited. The backstage segments are all homogenized and bland. We’re not getting a chance to see the characters of the wrestlers. EC3 showed up in TNA (now IMPACT Wrestling) in a sports car, demanding that there be a tiger in his debut video package and that right showed the world that he was over the top in his elitism. Yet, I cna’t think of too many WWE wrestlers on the main roster that are given that chance to showcase their character. That’s problematic. That takes away the uniqueness of the wrestlers. In ring talent is at an all time high. Yet the character work is gone. The personalities are missing. Everyone is still trying to be like Rey Mysterior or Daniel Bryan in the ring. You can’t be. They’re one of a kind. You need a gimmick, character, personality. You need more than just work rate. You think people tune in to see Conor McGregor fight? No, they want to see his antics.
That’s what fans want to see. Stop making everyone dress in suits, let them dress like their personalities. Let them live, breath and use their creativity to sand out. Think of some of the best gimmicks in wrestling; they came from other companies. Guys that they had on their roster were let go, went to another promotion and showed their personality. They try to micro-manage guys so much that they don’t know anymore how to create characters. To think that someone like Samoa Joe is being put over as the best promo guy in the company when they let the likes of Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, Eli Drake and even Sami Callihan go, shows you that they don’t have a clue anymore what talent really is. Doing more character-based skits will help them figure this out.
End Outdated PPV Concepts
– The WWE has over-saturated so many gimmick matches that they’re no longer worth while. TLC, Elimination Chamber, Hell in a Cell, all of these matches are done so damn often that they lost their mystique. Having to do 2-3 a year has killed the WWE gimmick matches. Look at IMPACT Wrestling. when was the last time you saw an Ultimate X match? It’s been over a year. I would bet money on it appearing at Slammiversary or Bound for Glory this year. That match was used so often in 2016 that they nearly overused it. Yet, they pulled back on it last year, and now it’s starting to regain it’s aura.
The WWE has become so bad at booking feuds, that they’re using crutches to sell matches. Yet these matches were only ever impressive or money makers due to what they meant to the context of the story. Hell in a Cell mattered when it was the last way to end a blood feud. Now we have women in the match for the sake of having women in the match. How much more impact would that stipulation have had on Charlotte and Sasha Banks if the match hand’t been used all year, and it was Charlotte or Banks who threw out the challenge.
Say what you will about the event, but watching Stone Cold bend over Triple H, and tell him he’s facing Kevin Nash at Bad Blood….in HELL IN A CELL…made that a must see event for so many. While the match wasn’t great, it was something that made us want to see it. Just to think it was such a blood feud that it could only be resolved in the Cell. Now you have all these overdone gimmicks, and they’ve lost all their luster. So end them. And stop abusing the few gimmicks that still work for you, like the Royal Rumble. What’s the point of the event if you’re going to do it multiple times a year?
No More Money in the Bank
– This singular gimmick has killed the pushes and perception of so many future stars. CM Punk won his first World Championship by cashing in on an unconscious Edge. Daniel Bryan, by capitalizing on Big Show. The Miz by beating Orton after he already had a long match. Alberto beat CM Punk after a long match. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Jack Swagger; there isn’t one person in that grouping that had a successful first title run. Every single wrestlers saw their value and their stock fall throughout their run. Why? Because fans, be it subconsciously or not, didn’t buy into them as champions. Yes, their booking after had something to do with their perception but if Vince thought they had the clout or fan support to win the title without some bullshit, then they would of.
Clean title wins make stars more than anything. Think about the handful in the last 13 years that have; Batista, John Cena, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, and hell even Finn Balor. They’re all stars. Balor in spite of everything. Clean title wins make stars. It’s not even debatable.
Cut the Roster Down
– From 205Live, to the Women’s division, to RAW, SmackDown, NXT and so many other outlets, the WWE roster is over-bloated with talent you’re not using and don’t intend to. I’m not saying that jobbers and work-rate only guys have no value anymore; they do. What I’m saying is that is that if you don’t intend on pushing guys with high ceilings, then let them go. Don’t hold people back just because you’re bitter. That’s not the way to go about this. I counted that there’s at least 90 wrestlers you could stand to cut. You don’t need to go to that regard and cut all 90, but you could anywhere from 30-40 and most fans wouldn’t even know that the talent you cut were still employed.
The WWE is trying to kill the indy markets by signing all their top talents and just hiding them away. Stop doing that. Just sign who you need. Keep a set number of talents you want to be at all the time and keep things adjusted to accommodate that. Let’s say you want 110 talents signed at all times. Don’t go over, don’t go under. Stay at that number. That way you’re not letting talent waste away into nothing.
End the UK Promotion Idea
– The UK is doing as well as it is due to the WWE not having a foot hold in the region. While Triple H may want to see the business as a whole evolve and thrive, I don’t think Vince does. Vince is a disease in wrestling, and as long as he’s in charge, the WWE can still cause the industry to retrograde back to the 00’s, where there was no money to be made outside of the major companies. The UK is still adjusting to it’s more robust presence in the world of wrestling, and companies are popping up and folding at a noticeable clip. For the WWE to go into that area, and launch a UK promotion would probably hurt the region.
Yet, there’s another reason to avoid going into the UK with a new sub-group. With NXT right now losing a lot of talent to the main roster, and the brand not being a huge money maker; it’d make more sense to send NXT over and run smaller venues and help get the talent more touring experience. You stay out of the UK on a full time basis but you allow NXT to occupy a tour or two more a year than the WWE’s main roster, and you can see who’s really ready to step up and who’s not.
– As mentioned above, touring NXT more in the UK could help raise it’s profile and raise the profile of the brand, helping to make more money. Doing joint tours with Progress or World Association of Wrestling, the group that Paige’s family owns, would allow them to send NXT talent over, and have someone else eat the cost for production for a nominal fee. Not just that but tour more as a whole. Guys like Donovan Dijack and Gunner are listed as ‘touring’ talent, but the only way you’re going to see what Velveteen Dream can do is by seeing how he fares in different markets. Part of the issue with localized development is that fans attach themselves to guys in Orlando simply because they see the niche talents as their own. So when they go to the main roster, they fail to make the same impact. So by going through more tours, these talents get the chance to see if what they’re doing is really working.
Another idea to really focus on is stop with the marquee names. Ricochet should be on 205Live. Ethan Carter III should be on SmackDown. Adam Cole should be on RAW. These guys are too good and are wasting too much time in the minors doing noting of importance. Let the guys you’re developing in the Performance Center work in NXT. Your Velveteen Dreams, Lars Sullivans, Sayna Bazslers, and others should be the focus on NXT. Focusing on this, letting NXT be a developmental like it should of been all along, allows you to recoup more costs by having your more expensive talent work the main roster where they can make more money for the company, and even out that nut.
Fix the Booking
– This is obvious and it’s so painfully obvious and if they just fixed the mentality for booking, their shows would be must see. NXT thrives in it’s place because it limits the amount of this stuff. Sure the scripted promos are still there, but most of those talent need that. Yet, they don’t hammer home rematches, they don’t over abuse hot-shotting of titles. They let the process play out. Vince doens’t. Vince just books the same shit over and over and over again. It’s so bad that when something not standard with the production happens, fans overreact to it and hype it up as this amazing thing. Why? Because they’re so used to terrible shit.
So first thing to fix the main roster, lay off the scripted promos. Now, a lot of guys may need help, so maybe don’t get rid of them completely but there’s no reason guys like Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe, Elias or other great talkers need to cut promos off of a piece of paper. Some others need it, like Roman Reigns. Putting a little spit and some anger into these promos would be amazing, but Vince likes fat jokes. So….
Lay off the rematches needs to be next. Okada and Omega had three matches in eight months and Omega hated that. Think about how he’d feel if they had to do that over the course of three weeks? It’d kill any hype the feud had. That’s what the WWE does ad nauseam. We don’t need to see Roman Reigns against Seth Rollins for three straight weeks. This also goes hand in hand, but don’t give away major matches on RAW or SmackDown for no reason. Just stop it. Even if it’s a two minute DQ finish like Styles/Bryan from SmackDown a few weeks back. Don’t do it. Don’t fuck with what works. Big build up matches on their specials sell. It’s also not a bad idea to do more 3 vs. 3 or 4 vs. 4 type matches. NJPW sells two or three singles matches for their non-major events and loads up with tag team matches. Which isn’t a bad idea. How interesting would it be to see John Cena and The Fashion Police taking on Randy Orton and the Ascension? That’d be hilariously odd.
Also, and most obviously, stop hot-shotting titles. Now, that doesn’t mean getting rid of short reigns. Short reigns help emphasize how hard it is to hold the belt. So that’s not something to get rid of. However, by hot-shotting I mean moving the belt from person to person with no purpose. A title change should mean something for some reason. It should never be done just because. It shouldn’t be something to do just to ‘pop the crowd’. If you can’t work a good enough match to pop the crowd on your own, then you’ve failed before you ever steppe in the ring. Cena dropping the US title to Alberto Del Rio back during his US Title Open Challenge is the exact definition of hot-shotting. It served no one any good. Cena should of dropped the belt to a guy who needed the rub. Not Del Rio, who only beat Cena to write him off t.v.