10 Things the WWE Needs to Fix
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
As we all know, the WWE is far from perfect.
Despite what some will say, the company does a lot of things right. But it also has a ton of problems that, if fixed, could result in some dramatic improvements across the board.
Many of these problems are minor and wouldn't take a ton of effort to change, but some big issues need considerably more work before they can be corrected.
Some of these issues have plagued the WWE for several years, while others have only recently started to become truly noticeable.
So, just what are these major issues that the company must deal with in order to be successful?
Here are 10 things the WWE needs to fix ASAP.
10. "Talk Show" Segments
Once a highlight of WWE TV with shows like "Piper's Pit," most of the company's recent attempts at "talk show" segments have failed miserably.
MizTV, which seems to take place every week now, has hardly, if ever, resulted in legitimately entertaining TV. Instead, it has often felt awkward, forced and, quite simply, like it drags on for days.
Similarly, even the great Chris Jericho couldn't prevent a recent "episode" of "The Highlight Reel" from totally bombing to the point where Michael Cole buried it on live TV, calling it "the worst segment in Raw history."
For whatever reason, the WWE simply hasn't been able to produce an entertaining talk show segment over the past several months, and those poorly produced segments have really hurt the superstars involved and the feuds they were in.
Is anybody excited over the Intercontinental title picture after the way "The Highlight Reel" stunk it up last week? Should anyone care about babyface Miz when he's hosted lame talk show segments more than he's wrestled since he turned?
Although talk show segments can add a lot to the show when done right, they haven't been done right at all recently and have been incredibly detrimental to the WWE product as a result.
9. Not Advertising Big TV Matches
For the life of me, I will never understand why the WWE, by and large, does not advertise its big TV matches in advance.
If United States champion Antonio Cesaro is going to face the World Heavyweight champion on Raw, shouldn't we know about it beforehand?
For that matter, shouldn't we know about any champion vs. champion match or any other major bout before Raw goes on the air?
Of course, we can all understand that some matches will be announced during the show (one segment sets up a match later on) and that, in come cases, the circumstances may call for a match to be booked on the fly.
But generally speaking, the WWE should have a pretty good idea of what matches are going to take place on Raw long before the show airs. If it's a big enough match to warrant advertising before it happens, then that's exactly what should happen.
Some matches will draw viewers who normally wouldn't watch the show, but if the match isn't advertised in advance, there is no way for those fans to know about it.
Especially now that we're on the road to WrestleMania, the WWE has booked way too many squash matches as of late.
The creative team's logic behind having so many squashes is obviously to build up whoever is doing the squashing by having them quickly and soundly defeat their opponents. But I have to seriously question that philosophy.
Let's put it this way. What is going to benefit Jack Swagger more: having him beat Sin Cara in two minutes or having him defeat Chris Jericho in a great TV match?
The latter, of course.
It's going to do much more for a guy like Swagger (or anyone else the WWE is trying to get over) to defeat an established and accomplished superstar such as Jericho than winning a short squash over a forgotten midcarder or lower-card performer ever would.
The sad part is that the WWE has been having these squashes for so long that they probably won't ever end. The best we can hope for is a limit on how many of them we have to sit through.
7. Raw Recaps
The amount of Raw replays and recaps on WWE programming has grown to absolutely absurd proportions.
Oftentimes, a typical episode of Raw will feature too many replays to count--replays of things that happened either earlier in the show or on the prior week's episode.
Meanwhile, SmackDown often replays Raw segments in their entirety or airs lengthy video packages recapping some of those big Raw segments. As a result, SmackDown can often feel like it features only about an hour of new programming, with the rest consisting entirely of Raw recaps.
The WWE must think we have short-term memory loss or something.
Quickly recapping important Raw segments on SmackDown or even Raw itself is OK. But when it feels like we're seeing more replays than new/original programming, it becomes a problem.
Now, the WWE clearly has that problem on its hands.
6. Miscast Superstars
There is a boatload of WWE superstars who are badly miscast in their current roles.
Take, for example, babyfaces like Randy Orton and The Miz. Orton is widely considered to be a better heel and is stuck in neutral as a face, while The Miz has surprisingly been a pretty bad babyface up to this point.
On the heel side, this isn't as big of an issue. But a group like 3MB or a star like The Shield's Seth Rollins might be better off in babyface roles.
There's also an endless line of guys with bad gimmicks who could really benefit from character changes, such as Drew McIntyre and Brodus Clay, among others.
The bottom line is that there are simply way too many superstars who have been miscast in their roles, either working as babyfaces when they should be heels (or vice versa) or performing under ridiculous gimmicks that don't fit their skill sets.
As a result, the WWE is essentially wasting or at least under-utilizing a lot of really talented stars who could actually do some pretty good things for the company.
5. Repeating Matches
One of the most aggravating things about watching the WWE is seeing the same thing over and over again. More specifically, constantly seeing the same match has become one of the biggest pet peeves of wrestling fans.
For some reason or another, the WWE has made a really bad habit out of putting on the same match far too many times.
For example, how many times have we seen Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett up to this point? What about Ryback vs. Antonio Cesaro?
It gets really frustrating for wrestling fans to sit through the same match so many times, especially when its outcome is almost always really predictable. What's even worse, though, is that the WWE often repeats these matches within the same week.
We will often sit through a match on Raw and then be forced to sit through it again four days later on SmackDown. A great example is the recent Team Hell No vs. Prime Time Players bout (in a blindfold/one-arm-tied-behind-the-back match), which we saw on Raw and then saw again, with Kane and Daniel Bryan switching roles, on SmackDown.
This is a result of nothing more than the creative team being lazy, and its unfortunate effect falls squarely on us.
4. The Tag Team Division
Whatever happened to the supposed reincarnation of the WWE's tag team division?
Not all that long ago, the future of tag team wrestling in the company looked really bright. It featured a number of quality teams, had reputable champions (which it still does) and featured feuds that didn't even involve the titles, a rarity in pro wrestling today.
But now? It's a joke once again.
Team Hell No doesn't have anywhere near the momentum it once had. The WWE can't decide if it wants to keep Team Rhodes Scholars together. The Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara duo is done. And all of the other teams (except for the "team" of Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston) don't matter much, if at all.
What's even worse, though, is that the creative team jobs a talented duo like Team Rhodes Scholars out to Sheamus and Randy Orton, even though Orton and Sheamus obviously aren't a legitimate tag team.
Whoever is booking the tag team division either doesn't care about it or simply doesn't know what the heck he's doing.
The WWE has more than enough talent to build up a quality tag team division and maintain it. All it needs is the effort, which it isn't getting.
3. Major Stars with No Sense of Direction
How some of the WWE's biggest stars can have absolutely no sense of direction is beyond me.
Randy Orton has spent much of the last year moving from one meaningless "feud" to another. Dolph Ziggler has been stuck in No Man's Land as of late. And Chris Jericho hasn't had a substantial rivalry since his return either.
These are just a few examples of the WWE inexplicably not knowing what it wants to do with guys who should be having major rivalries in the main event scene.
It really makes you wonder: If the WWE can't come up with effective ways to book really talented and popular superstars like Orton and Jericho, how is it going to effectively book less talented or less popular superstars?
This has become a big issue because, aside from the main event-level feuds, the WWE has, for the most part, been unable to book entertaining rivalries anywhere else on the card.
This is an absolute shame. Really, there's no excuse for the company's major superstars being so directionless.
When you have talented main eventers, you find a meaningful feud or storyline for them. No excuses.
2. The Midcard Title Scene
Simply put, the midcard title scene is a mess.
Much of that stems from how badly both Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett and United States champion Antonio Cesaro have been booked for the last several months.
Both midcard champions lose way too many non-title TV matches (usually to main event guys), and what results is that no one believes in them as champions or cares when they feud with another superstar. No one will care when they lose their titles either.
The bad booking of both Cesaro and Barrett (or whoever's held either midcard title recently) has had a snowball effect that has essentially killed the secondary title scene and the midcard as a whole.
It's sad to say, but the WWE doesn't seem to care about how it books anyone but its main eventers and those on the borderline of it. Even that isn't true in all cases, but there is remarkably little effort put into the midcard.
Neither the IC nor US title means anything these days, which is a shame because both titleholders are very talented, and Cesaro has held his belt since way back in August 2012.
The midcard titles should matter, and they should be used to elevate superstars to the main event picture.
Instead, they're a joke.
In what has become a disturbing trend, the WWE has been awfully indecisive as of late.
It seems as if the creative team consistently can't decide what to do with certain superstars, so it has them do nothing or puts them in one angle/feud before deciding to scrap it for a different one.
A recent example is Sheamus and Wade Barrett seemingly igniting a feud during Sheamus' "Oscar Snubs" ceremony, only for that segment to have no follow up whatsoever. In fact, Sheamus got involved with The Shield about 10 minutes later in a completely unrelated angle.
Another example is the odd booking of Team Rhodes Scholars, which "broke up" to pursue singles careers on an episode of SmackDown before "reuniting" two weeks later. Now, it appears as if they're back together full time without any real explanation.
There's also the odd case of Chris Jericho, who appeared to have reignited his rivalry with Dolph Ziggler upon his return, only to have that ultimately go nowhere. Just a few weeks away from WrestleMania, Y2J is finally involved in an actual rivalry, but it's a very underwhelming one.
When you look at just these few examples out of thousands, it's clear that the WWE creative team can be summed up with one word: indecisive.
That's a major problem. When storylines lack long-term planning and direction, they suffer, and, perhaps more importantly, the stars involved in them suffer too.
The WWE can't expect angles to work or superstars to get over when it is so indecisive that those superstars are doing one thing one week and something completely different the next.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!