WWE SummerSlam is just over two weeks away. There's still a lot of questions about the card, but a few matches are set so far. The two biggest matches, obviously, are CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar and John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship.
Even with many questions left unanswered about the event, it's not too early to start talking about what fans may want to see. So, here's my opinion. These are five bold moves WWE must make to satisfy fans like me.
Ryback is the perfect example of how WWE can absolutely kill a Superstar. I know he's got a lot of detractors, but it's hard to deny how popular he was six months ago.
But, since WrestleMania XXIX, he's turned heel. He has not been the same since. It feels like forever since he won at a pay-per-view, although it's really only been about a year (well, excluding his utterly forgettable roll-up win over Chris Jericho at MitB).
Still, for someone who's supposed to be this unstoppable monster, he's terrible at winning big matches. He needs a win and he needs it now. Of course, I've said this same sentence in just about every article I've written about him for months now.
So what better time than now to give him a win? He's clearly not feuding for a title at this point, and he just got put through a table by Cena on Raw. If WWE wants to salvage what was once a top star, Ryback will win at SummerSlam against a quality opponent.
Remember when cage matches were common on WWE TV? I do. Sadly, it's been a while since that was the case.
Including Raw, Main Event, SmackDown, NXT, and Superstars, WWE puts out eight—EIGHT!—hours of broadcast and streaming content every week, not including pay-per-views, Saturday Morning Slam, or any other company's shows. That's a lot of wrestling.
Some weeks, it almost feels like too much. But you'd think with all that wrestling, that you'd get a little bit of everything.
One thing has been missing from WWE TV in recent years, though: the gimmick match. There is good reason for this. The more you do it, the less special it seems. That's all fine and good, until you realize WWE is putting out far more hours of programming than they used to.
But gimmick matches can spice things up. Starting with SummerSlam, WWE should include more TLC matches, cage matches, ladder matches, and other innovative match types into its regular programming. Not a ton, but at least one a week.
WWE should use the gimmick match more often. These matches can make otherwise dull lower-card matches very exciting, and can make a big main event even bigger. This past Raw had a tables match in the main event.
It was really cool to see. So WWE, if you read my articles, bring back the gimmick matches.
At this point, it's implied that Daniel Bryan should win the WWE title. I also think, immediately after the match, Randy Orton should cash in his Money in the Bank contract on what will probably be an exhausted Daniel Bryan—and fail to win the title.
Not win via DQ but walk away without the title. No, no, no. Daniel Bryan should make Orton tap. After the extreme high the crowd would experience seeing Bryan win the WWE title, Orton's music hitting would suck the air our of the building.
After a long road to the top, Bryan would have his prize snatched away mere minutes after winning the most prestigious title in pro wrestling today. And then, after having that amazing moment stolen by now-heel Randy Orton, seeing Bryan apply the Yes! Lock one last time to gut out a win would send the fans into delirium.
It would signal that Daniel Bryan has arrived and is the new face of WWE. It would signal the beginning of a Daniel Bryan-Randy Orton feud that could last months. And it would add a little intrigue to the MitB contracts again, seeing as it's practically guaranteed that the holder of the Briefcase becomes champion. What a way to do a lot of good in the company in just a few minutes.
The dreaded CHT. In case you're not up on your Internet Wrestling Community lingo, CHT is Cena Heel Turn. Oft predicted, never seen, the CHT is the hardcore fan's dream. And if there was ever a time to do it, it would be now.
Cena's character is horrifically stale. His work with Daniel Bryan has been very good in recent weeks, yet he's still the same old Cena. If Bryan can stay over as an ultra face, the reason for Cena not turning heel goes away.
And at 36 years old, if Cena is going to do something different before his forties (man do I feel old thinking about Cena at 40), well, the time is now.
He's still in the prime of his career, but he's shown signs of wear in recent years. He's not quite as quick or as athletic, but that's no surprise. After all, father time is undefeated. But if we are to ever get a heel Cena, I would hope that he could still put on a match during a heel run.
That brings us to SummerSlam.
Vince McMahon is heavily involved in this feud, and he's publicly criticised Cena. This could—and should—be a swerve. Cena needs to be working with Vince, in a conspiracy-style storyline that sees Vince work hard to "protect his guy". His guy being Cena, of course.
Fans across the country want desperately to boo Cena out of every building. This would get that out of the fans' systems. Not only that, but it would have Bryan so over with crowds the only comparison would be Stone Cold Steve Austin.
If WWE wants a good, unexpected twist to usher in a new era, this is it.
Daniel Bryan is on fire. Right now, he's number one in the WWE Power Rankings. He's got as good a chance as anyone to take the title off Cena. If he does beat Cena, he needs to do it by submission.
Bryan is in a tough spot. He's so over right now that anything less than a win will not only be disappointing, but would probably send Bryan away from the WWE title picture again.
Bryan needs to win this match. John Cena has reached the point in his career that he no longer needs to hold the WWE title to remain relevant. Bryan needs this belt far more than Cena.
If Bryan is to win, he has to win by submission. If and when he does, it would be huge for him. The last time I could find evidence of Cena tapping out was at No Way Out way back in 2004. How awesome would it be to see Bryan force Cena to submit for the first time in nearly nine years?
If that were to happen, the crowd would blow the roof off the building. This needs to happen at SummerSlam.