WWE: 5 Easy Ways to Make RAW and SmackDown More Interesting
At the dawn of a new era of wrestling (which involves an extra hour every week), many changes need to be ushered in to catalyze a spike in glory—glory that is unheard of on weekly shows, and peaks up fleetingly at milestone events.
Naturally, I'm not in charge of WWE Creative (would make Ziggler champion immediately, so it's a good reason why) and nor do I foster beliefs that anything I say or do would be read, acknowledged and deemed superior by said authorities. So, it would be wise for everyone to view these as suggestions and not (driven by vanity customary to IWC), as impositions.
Here are few small, effortless changes that would help enhance these three-hour long RAWs.
1. Squash Matches
Squash matches rank as one of the worst concepts in sports entertainment, in my extremely humble and extremely personal opinion.
They do have a certain purpose and a certain importance, but that very importance has been eviscerated in present-day WWE and deserves to stay in exile for a while so time can heal the tiny amount of prestige it once contained.
WWE likes to use squash matches everywhere and every week.
All new superstars get them, all returning superstars get them and at times that's all a certain superstar gets no matter how many months the jiggling dinosaur has been on television. Brutality is the key in squash matches—something Brodus Clay doesn't possess any more.
Sin Cara and Alberto Del Rio don't either, and nor should they ever be booked in such matches—especially the former.
If they plan to build Ryback as an unstoppable, Brock Lesnar-type automated humanoid, then these matches are logically applicable, albeit against slightly more intimidating opponents.
For the rest, if they just did us the gracious favour of adding a couple more minutes (they can cut some of Vickie's 'Excuse Me!'s) and some decent back and forth action, you'd have a match the crowd will be at least mildly entertained by (it's a start) and would help both wrestlers.
Brodus Clay would appear ruthlessly dominating, and JTG would look like a professional wrestler who was simply outclassed. Simple, subtle storytelling, desired outcome.
For now, even Ryback's matches need to stop. Let us heal from these gashes of monotony, and banish squash matches to a place where Jinder Mahal is. Let them make an appearance as many times as he does, and for good measure, when he does.
If after months of these squashes Ryback loses a match to Miz, I'll be weeping bucketfuls of tears.
2. Interviews/Short Promos
While we're getting an excess of squash matches, a deficit in interviews and short promos is being felt.
They aren't completely extinct, but the point of them is lost (again, where Jinder Mahal is).
Mostly, these short interviews are only done with Sheamus where he sticks to his format of I'LL KICK __________'s (insert opponent here) ARSE TONIGHT FELLA and not even Josh Matthews seems interested.
These short promos are not meant for the John Cenas or Randy Ortons, and are certainly meant for you to get WMD'ed by Big Show. They are an excellent means to help stars who deserve—but are denied—mic time, to actually build their characters.
How many times have we heard Primo or Epico speak? We hear AW all the time, but allowing Titus O'Neil to bark heelish taunts to the crowd would help with the crowd reaction even more. Give Tyson Kidd two minutes of speaking time so we can judge whether your trashy treatment of him is justified or not.
R-Truth definitely needs the microphone of Boom Truth or SOS What's Up or whatever their team is called If they want us to start caring about midcard matches right from the get go, every tiny little effort and every two or three minutes of solid promo work aid your noble cause. We need relevant mid-card characters to build up a show's worth of relevancy.
But more on that on the other slides. Suspense!
3. Tag Team Matches/Tag Teams
WWE has silently built a tiny tag team division that now just needs to be used.
Primo-Epico, Usos and Prime Time Players along with the champions Kofi-Truth, make up four really entertaining teams with decent amount of talent. Use them, make them fight for their lives (possibly on tables and ladders) for those redundant titles, and they won't be redundant anymore.
Tag Team matches have the innate ability to make everyone involved look good. It's easy to make a team or wrestler lose the match but not his momentum because you have more people to blame for the loss in a tag team.
They also help generate extra pops and boos whenever a face tags his partner or is thwarted by that oh-so-cunning heel. Tag Team matches are filled to the brim with entertainment and compelling storytelling, tap it WWE and you have twenty more minutes that we'd like.
Okay, fifteen if you don't like commercials.
4. Midcard Storylines
The saddest story today is not that John Cena still gets main events despite sticking to the same level of staleness and superhuman abilities since forever, but rather that midcard talents are actually never given a chance to grow.
Medieval sports entertainment hierarchal systems made midcard wrestlers go through extensive midcard feuds, and if they shone there they would be promoted further and further until they were finally deemed worthy of fighting the Gobbledy Gooker.
You can't have John Cena in the arena for two hours, and very frankly no one wants him for two hours.
On the holy path of making midcard characters noticed and liked/hated, they need to be thrust into situations we'd relate to or just react to.
It would make our shock bigger when they finally decide to turn one Uso on the other, because a) we'd have grown to like them b) we'd have grown to like them as a team.
Much like Cryme Tyme. Woo Woo Woo, you know it.
5. Santino Marella and the US Title
One of my biggest peeves with WWE today is their decision to entrust Santino Marella with the US Title.
What they ignorantly fail to perceive is that with five relevant titles held by six good wrestlers, they're pretty much guaranteeing a decent match whenever a title shot is held. The power of that guarantee would not only enhance every PPV, but would also make title shots matter to us.
Santino's reign as United States champion has been a joke, and it was meant to be seeing that he is meant to be a joke himself.
The guy is good at entertaining, and wonderful at physical comedy but he has never wrestled more than an arm drag, flying headbutt and that perilously fatal career-ending Cobra. This limited move set has consequently effected the length of all his title matches and thus their quality.
WWE Creative: All the keys to compelling television in their hands, yet they choose to drown us with Cobras, WMDs and Funk Its. I have no clue how their minds work, if they do at all.
The End of the Slideshow as You Know It
That's that, and if any of you have any other suggestions feel free to voice them below. If you have anything to add to the suggestions I already suggested, again feel free to voice them below. If you don't agree with any of them, you are not free to voice anything. Jokes.
Anyway, all this optimism is torturing me. I need to write an apocalyptic article on Rosa Mendes next to sustain.
Thanks for the read all.
Shalaj Lawania is now virtually old enough on the Internet for you to recognize him, but still miraculously n00by enough for you to keep being mean to him (at least there's some progress, however minimal). He is also a contributor for WrestleEnigma.com, so do check it out if you love him and his works and are very sweet. For more love, you can follow him on Twitter if you have a good annoying tweets threshold. For the rest, use Wikipedia.