10 Things That Are Wrong with the WWE Right Now
The WWE is doing a lot of the things the right way.
It's pushing the tag team division after years of irrelevancy, giving CM Punk a lengthy WWE Championship reign that will restore the prestige of that title and pushing deserving superstars like Kofi Kingston, among a slew of other things.
But just because the company is doing plenty of good, that doesn't mean it isn't doing just as much bad.
We all know that the WWE will never be perfect, but especially lately, it seems like the negatives are outweighing the positives and that the company has a number of problems that need to be fixed.
What problems am I talking about? Let's take a look.
Here are 10 things that are wrong with the WWE right now.
10. Wade Barrett Still Without a Real Storyline
When Wade Barrett was set to return from that devastating elbow injury, the WWE began airing vignettes promoting his return, and it looked like Barrett would get a massive push as soon as he came back.
Barrett spent several weeks squashing lower-card workers, and he has crossed paths multiple times with both Sheamus and Randy Orton. But that ultimately hasn't mattered much because he's been left completely out of the loop when it comes to storylines and feuds.
I just don't get it.
Barrett looked primed for a major push before his injury, and those vignettes seemed to indicate that he'd get that push upon his return. Yet, here we are roughly two months later, and Barrett has done nothing substantial since coming back.
He's had some nice matches, but no real feud or angle. And I just have to ask: Why?
9. On-the-Fly Booking
Clearly, the WWE is booking its shows week-by-week.
A week ago, the main event of Survivor Series was supposed to be Team Foley vs. Team Punk in a traditional 5-on-5 match that was headlined by CM Punk and Ryback on opposing squads.
This week on Raw, the WWE completely rearranged the card by announcing that Punk would now defend the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat match against Ryback and John Cena, while also revealing that Team Punk would now be Team Ziggler and that The Miz (who quit the squad) would be replaced by Wade Barrett on what is now called Team Ziggler.
I think the WWE probably jumped the gun on announcing that Punk/Foley match, and now, it's had to back-track to completely change up the Survivor Series card. That's not a good sign.
If you don't know what you're doing from one week to the next, how can you know what you're doing for the long-term?
8. Randy Orton
Randy Orton is one of the top five in-ring workers and most popular superstars in the entire WWE.
The thing is, he just seems to be going through the motions as of late.
Ever since he returned from that suspension, Orton seems to have absolutely zero oomph, instead just coasting by on his popularity and his skills in the ring. That, of course, probably has a lot to do with Orton's reported desire to turn heel.
I'm a big fan of Orton, but something needs to be done to get him out of the rut he's been in. He's just sort of there in the upper midcard, and it doesn't look like the WWE really has any desire to make him the face of SmackDown and/or the World Champion again.
I say, either turn turn Orton heel again like he wants, or do something, anything to make one of the WWE's most talented superstars do more than just go through the motions.
7. The Big Show as World Heavyweight Champion
I don't see the benefit of having the World Heavyweight Championship on The Big Show. At all.
He's a 40-year-old who's well past his prime and, for some reason unbeknownst to me, just beat one of the WWE's biggest babyfaces 100 percent clean to win the World Heavyweight title.
In all likelihood, Big Show doesn't figure to be in the World title plans come WrestleMania season, and even though his match with Sheamus at Hell in a Cell was very good, the majority of his matches are generally average at best.
Why put the title on Big Show when you could have put it on someone like Wade Barrett or Dolph Ziggler instead? Heck, the belt could have even stayed on Sheamus.
If Big Show turns out to be a transitional World Champion (which I think is very possible), then his title reign won't be that much of a problem.
But in the meantime, I can't consider his World title win anything but bad booking that puts the title on an uninteresting big man who shouldn't be involved in the main-event picture anymore.
6. Wins and Losses Just Don't Matter
Wins and losses mean absolutely nothing in the WWE.
Throughout 2012, Alberto Del Rio lost about a million World Heavyweight Championship matches against Sheamus, yet somehow found himself getting opportunity after opportunity to try to beat Sheamus for the belt again.
Earlier this year, Big Show lost to John Cena at No Way Out and lost the Money in the Bank match at that PPV, but still managed to work his way into the WWE Championship match at SummerSlam.
There are ridiculous lacks of logic in both of these situations, and the WWE in general puts exactly zero emphasis on the importance of wins and losses.
You win, great. You lose, so what?
Chances are that neither of those outcomes is going to matter much in the long run because you can lose your one title match and then inexplicably get 10 more opportunities to win it afterward.
Don't ask me why, though, because I have no idea.
5. The Unstoppable Babyfaces
I will give the WWE credit for having Big Show beat Sheamus clean at Hell in a Cell; I didn't expect that at all.
But beyond that one very rare occurrence, the WWE still continues to book its babyfaces far too strongly.
One of the main points of pro wrestling is for the fans to see the babyface struggle and fight to eventually topple the heel, but the WWE books its top faces to be so dominant that it's hard for us to get behind them because we always expect them to win.
Guys like John Cena, Sheamus, Randy Orton and now Ryback hardly ever lose, and when they do, it's usually happens in a way that protects them, like when one of them gets attacked pre-match and suffers an injury that makes them more vulnerable or when outside interference distracts them and causes them to lose the bout.
I get that the top babyfaces need to look good, but the WWE makes them look too good, and that needs to change.
4. Too Much TV Time for Authority Figures
I watch wrestling mostly for the matches, but also because I like to see well-developed feuds between two bitter rivals.
Wanna know what I really don't care about? Authority figures.
That includes GMs, interim GMs, "Managing Supervisors," Vice Presidents of Talent Relations, commissioners or any other position that gives a non-wrestler (or even a wrestler at times) more TV time than the wrestlers themselves.
I don't watch Raw or SmackDown to see AJ, Vickie Guerrero, Teddy Long and Booker T dominate the storylines and appear in 10 different segments per show, especially when the WWE's hierarchy of power makes no sense in the first place.
If it was up to me, there would be no authority figures whatsoever on TV because there's no real logic behind them, but since I know that probably won't happen, all I ask is that their TV time be kept to a minimum.
3. The Rock's Royal Rumble Title Shot and Its Effect on the WWE's Booking
While I understand that the WWE wants The Rock to wrestle for the WWE Championship at the 2013 Royal Rumble to generate pay-per-view buys, that doesn't mean I have to like the decision.
In fact, I don't, and it's because of the effect that The Rock's Royal Rumble title shot has and will have on the WWE's booking.
Just about everyone knows that it's likely going to be The Rock vs. CM Punk for the WWE title at the Rumble, so that, in turn, has forced the WWE to hold a Triple Threat match at Survivor Series that will probably keep the WWE title on Punk without him getting a clean win.
It also makes WWE TLC pretty worthless because we know that there's probably a 99 percent chance that Punk will retain the WWE Championship there and head to the Royal Rumble for that epic matchup with The Rock.
So, we can basically sum this up by saying: The WWE will continue to find ways to keep the WWE title on Punk (just like it has been) because it has to in order to make the dream match with The Rock at the Royal Rumble happen.
As a result, the booking of angles and feuds between now and then will almost assuredly suffer.
2. Three-Hour Raws and Too Much Weekly Programming in General
Raw's ratings have taken a dramatic plunge since the switch to three hours, and like most, I think that's a direct result of viewer fatigue.
Quite simply, three hours is just way too long for a non-PPV wrestling show, and it's become borderline exhausting to sit through Raw each and every week.
That's why the show's ratings continue to plummet in the third hour, when viewers have just had enough and are ready to watch something else.
The quality of Raw hasn't been all that bad, but under the three-hour format, many top or upper midcard stars are being overexposed by appearing three, four or five times per show because the roster doesn't have enough marketable stars to prevent that from happening.
I think the WWE will seriously consider switching back to a two-hour format soon because the company already has a boatload of weekly programming anyway.
We've got a three-hour Raw on Monday, one-hour Main Event on Wednesday, two-hour SmackDown and, not to mention, Saturday Morning Slam, NXT, Superstars and roughly one three-hour PPV per month.
That's way too much weekly programming for any fan to digest, and the WWE might want to think twice about having that many TV shows every week.
1. A Lack of Enough Major Draws at the Top of the Card
The WWE has two major draws: John Cena and CM Punk.
After that, there's a massive drop-off to the next tier of stars because I'm not sure Sheamus is at the level yet, while Randy Orton seems to be in a bit of a rut as of late.
Although the WWE is building up guys like Ryback, Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan as main-event caliber superstars, the bottom line is that, as of right now, the company simply doesn't have enough big-time draws at the top of the card.
Rewind to 10 or 15 years ago, and the WWE had guys who could draw in the midcard, tag team and, of course, the main-event scenes. But today? I'm not sure there are very many guys who will reach that elite level that Punk and Cena are at anytime soon.
The WWE needs to fix that problem, but unfortunately, there's no easy way to do it. You can't just force someone down our throats until they become a top guy (*cough cough* Ryback) or expect someone like Ziggler to become one overnight.
It has to happen more organically, and it has to happen soon because Punk and Cena can't carry the main event scene on their backs forever.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!