WWE: Reviewing My 10 Ways to Make 2011/12 a Landmark Year for the WWE
As we edge ever closer to 2012, I decided to review an article I wrote earlier in the year about how the WWE could make 2011-12 (WrestleMania-WrestleMania) a landmark year!
The original article can be found here but I will be making reference to the slides here anyway.
I wonder if the WWE has been listening.
10: Move Smackdown to Thursday Nights Live!
So my first musing was that the WWE should move Friday Night Smackdown to Thursdays and broadcast it live. The theory here was that it would help improve ratings and place it in direct competition with iMPACT wrestling. This I hope would help both Smackdown improve and TNA. It would also give some of the mid card wrestlers a chance to perform live.
WWE are currently toying with the Idea of moving Smackdown of Friday nights. They had great success with the super show on Tuesdays live and reportedly were high on the idea of moving Smackdown on a more regular basis.
Some, myself included, would actually suggest that Smackdown had been the better show over the year, constantly putting on superior matches and a better all round product that its Monday Night counterpart.
There also looks to be a feud between the two shows in the mix as last week the Miz pointed out that there has not been a Smackdown Superstar in the main event of a PPV for a long time. A feud between the two shows could ultimately lead to a merger between the two and a new home for Smackdown.
9: Restore Dignity and Prestige to Other Titles
With there being essentially two top titles, (WC,WWE) it seems like WWE have forgotten aboutits other titles. The best example of this was Wrestlemania when the billed match between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan was moved to a dark slot and made a battle royal.
The next slide will focus on the Tag-Team division so I wont go into detail on it here.
The IC title should be a lot more prestigious than it is at present. It should go to the guy who WWE want to put over on the main event scene and should be defended at all PPVs but change hands very little.
The U.S Title should be given to the top mid-carder who does a good job in the ring and on the mic but can't compete at the top. Someone like Cody Rhodes would be ideal. This title should be defended most and change hands the most. Even on Raw or Smackdown.
They should also re-instate the Lightweight belt. There are a lot of talented guys in WWE who will never put it up to the heavyweights like HHH, Taker or Cena. But there are enough of these guys to fight amongst each other for an equivalent of a world title. It would also bring back some much needed high-flying excitement to WWE.
Yeah, they listened! Like the video shows this year saw the return of the Classic Intercontinental Title and with Cody Rhodes holding the gold whilst putting on A+ matches, prestige has been restored to the once great title. I had mentioned that Rhodes couldn't compete at the top but this year he has been outstanding and seems to be destined for main event status.
We also witnessed an epic feud for the US title this year between Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler. Both guys improved over the year and with the title being the focus of their feud prestige was restored to yet another title.
Still no cruiser-weight title yet! We can only hope that someday it makes its return to the WWE.
8: Bring Back Tag Team Wrestling
Whatever happened to the Tag-Team divison. It used to be full of talented teams like Edge & Christian, The Hardys and before either, the Legion of Doom. WWE has forgotten that Tag-Teaming helps a lot of guys hone their skills to get to the top. Now the best Tag-Team in pro-wrestling is in TNA, Beer Money Inc.
I think Kane & Big Show make a good team but they have no competition in the division. Creative need to start forming more tag-teams and reducing the amount of time and effort it puts on factions such as Nexus and The Corre, both have now run their course.
Air Boom are the current tag team champions and it appears that the WWE are slowly rebuilding the division. The teams are legitimate tag teams with Epico and Primo, along with Air Boom and the Usos. They have also been awarded PPV matches this year and TV time on both Raw and Smackdown.
The WWE are still short of one or two tag teams to really strengthen the division but I feel that they are doing the right thing by slowly rebuilding the division, allowing each tag-team to gain credibility along the way. Perhaps pairing up some new talent from FCW or signing talent from ROH or even TNA would help further the tag-team division.
7: Give Christian the Gold
For some reason Vince doesn't seem to like Christian. I don't understand why. He is a good worker and is massively over with the crowd, even more so now with the unexpected retirement of Edge.
It looks like Christian will pick up the WC belt at Extreme Rules and I think WWE should give him a long run with it. He could enjoy a good feud with Randy Orton on Smackdown and given that Edge used to be Orton and Christians partner he could play a crucial role in the storyline even in retirement.
Both Orton and Christian will carry Smackdown and an Orton or Christian heel turn could really add spark to Smackdown.
As you can see Christian won the gold but the long run with it lasted two days! Edge was barely utilized in the feud but Christian did turn heel. Orton and Christian also wrestled several match of the year candidates and although I was unhappy with how the feud panned out it did make for great TV. With Orton out with a serious injury and Christian just coming back from an ankle injury we may see a 'face' Christian return to stand in the way of the Barrett Barrage!
6: Cut the Roster
The WWE has a massive Roster. A lot of guys were introduced via Superstars and NXT who really aren't WWE standard and I do not see them ever being that standard.
If the Roster was cut we would have better quality matches, bigger feuds and maybe even more recognition for the Divas. There is no point having 60+ wrestlers if only 20 are watchable.
The roster is still over-inflated although there have been several departures throughout the year. John Morrison, Chavo, DH Smith and a few others. I still feel there needs to be about another ten guys cut from the roster to allow better story lines and tv time for great matches. Unfortunately with shows like 'NXT Redemption and Superstars the WWE won't be making any major cuts at present.
5: Scrap Gimmick PPV's
Extreme Rules (without any extremity) Braggin Rights and Hell in a Cell all should be scrapped.The days of enjoyable HIC's in WWE are sadly gone. With the PG era in full swing what can we really expect from a HIC match? Unlike the Elimination Chamber there is less opportunities for great spots and the EC still works without excessive amounts of blood and violence.
Another point is that the HIC match should only be used as the ending point of a massive feud not as a PPV. Bragging Rights is a waste of money or bandwidth, depends what kind of fan you are. Instead of loads of pointless PPV's WWE should take around 5 PPV's and make them truly epic.
With the imminent launch of the much hyped WWE Network in April of next year, there is talk of a PPV re-shuffle within the WWE, according to Wrestling News Observer (h/t WrestleZone). We are likely to see some of the lesser PPV's moved to the network whilst the big four remain mainstream. Ratings have not improved with Gimmick PPV's, and I think it is only a matter of time before we return to the traditional PPV format.
4: Hire Female Wrestler's Not Diva's
The WWE diva division is a random cocktail of ex-playboy bunnies, beauty queens, models oh and Natalya, McCool and Kharma. Natayla is a gifted Wrestler and had Bret Hart pulled off that double Sharpshooter the IWC and most fans would be waxing lyrical about it.
The Bella Twins and others alike should be in receipt of their pink slips anytime soon as they bring no credibility to the division. Heres a crazy idea, why not, on International Women's Day next year hold a special Smackdown called, Ladies Night, Showcasing the best of the division and giving them some decent airtime.
I think the WWE would get a lot of positive media for doing something like this and although it may not seem like the most appealing show, if they pushed Diva's with ability it would at least be watchable.
With Kharma destroying everything in her path we appeared to be witnessing a rebuilding of the divas division. Her segments built up so much hype that when she had to leave due to pregnancy it seems creative lost interest in the division. The title was given to Beth Phoenix but since winning she has suffered some shocking booking and horrible matches. Natalya is my personal favorite and it sucks seeing her job every week. Hopefully the momentum will pick back up when Kharma returns.
**Also, we will never see a Smackdown 'Ladies Night' :) **
3: Bring a Major PPV to the UK or Ireland
They have done it before and they'll probably do it again but this fellow Bleacher's is the year to do it!
With Sheamus at the top of his game, Barrett generating enormous heat and Regal still serving the company honourably they have all the factors in place.
Look at how many people turned up for Raw in London and how over they were with the action. There are a lot of Irish WWE fans and Ireland boasts two impressive stadiums worthy of any Wrestling event. I have a vision though that may be lost on some readers.
Let a feud start up between Sheamus and Barrett for the IC belt.Push it like crazy, play the nationality card. (A bit like Fit Finlay and William Regal in WCW)Then finish the feud in a title match in either Ireland or England at a PPV. The crowd would eat it up. Oh and let Sheamus win, just because he's Irish.
I'm still waiting WWE!!!! I have been so bored waiting that I furthered my idea about Barrett & Sheamus and how they could carry that feud to sell seats!
2: Let the Rock and Cena Have an Epic Match
By this I mean we need a classic.
A match that lasts longer than 15 minutes is required.
Wrestlemania28 does not need any celebrity involvement. It has The Rock. Just tell him to bring a few of his showbiz friends to the crowd.
The match should be an Iron Man stipulation and head into overtime. If this is to be the final chapter in The Rocks wrestling career then it needs to be an epic. I don't know if its a good idea to build the feud as attitude era against PG era or just build the feud on two guys who had genuine falling out.
Either way if The Rock is going to leave after then he should loose to Cena but probably won't be a clean win. At least all those Cena haters can rest assured that if Cena wins at Extreme Rules then he wont have the title for too long.
It is currently mid-season on this one but we have already seen the two guys in the ring this year. At survivor series we seen how the Rock hasn't lost a step in the ring and how much he really hates Cena. I wasn't really happy with how the WWE let him lord it over the other superstars that night but at least we seen him in the Ring. The feud between the two is somewhat hampering John Cena's WWE career, forcing him out of the title picture so this needs to be a really, really big match. Cena needs it to add to his credibility and The Rock needs a performance to prove he wasn't just there for the pay check.
1: Unify the World Titles in the Biggest Match of the Year!
Nope, its not Cena v The Rock....
This should only happen if No.10 happens too!
When the WWE Draft was first introduced it was badly needed. Now however it has gone its course and there is no real need for it. The draft should be scrapped and with both shows live superstars should compete on both. This would eliminate the need for two titles and a unification bout would be huge for WWE next year.
There is no need for two titles and my plan for the unified title is as follows. 'Taker should win the title on Smackdown probably the WC belt. 'Taker can then cut a promo on his Streak and how he has achieved everything in WWE and how he wants to hold both titles again before leaving.
After all if WMis a cross-brand production then surely the champion should face the champion. Id like to see Vince or HHH pull out all the stops to sign Sting for even 6 months. He could turn up on Raw and win the title and then cut a promo on how he refused to join WWE because he feels they have disrespected the HCtitle (old WCW belt) by making it a second rate title. He could say that this has hurt him a lot as he gave his life to WCW, much the same as Taker has given his to WWE.
The match could possible eclipse Rock v. Cena because not only would we have the Streak being defended but a unification match like none other as well.
I also have this nice image in my mind of 'Taker calling out Sting on the Raw after 'Mania, when the new title would be revealed. He could hand Sting the old HC title as a keepsake and say how the title meant more to Sting than to anyone who wore it in WWE. It would be a nice way for Stinger to leave and enter the HOF.
The title should then be scrapped in favour of 1 belt and 1 roster. That way we wouldn't get pointless people filling up championship matches.
Taker could hold the belt until Survivor Series and then loose the match under the 'Buried Alive' stipulation (he usually looses them) therefore ending his career. Personally I would like to see Punk or Orton drive the final nail in 'Takers' coffin.
I don't normally agree with giving old guy's titles but it would make this feud massive!
Never, ever going to happen! But maybe it begins in 2012?