The Authority angle is sputtering and needs narrative rejuvenation to get back to what made it work in the first place.
Many of the complaints fans have had about the story of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon's tyranny are valid, including the babyfaces too often getting crushed under the weight of this power couple and too much of the percentage of screen time going to The Authority. Monday's Raw featured far too much bickering between a bevy of authority figures.
This storyline has produced its share of magnificence, though.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust's rise came courtesy of The Authority looking to snuff them out. The Shield has thrived as attack dogs and don't discount the irksome heel performances that McMahon and Triple H have delivered.
Rather than shelving an angle that is already in motion, focusing on increasing conflict and using the abuse of power to create drama will elevate this story and the product in general.
Threat of Termination
Triple H's offhanded threat to fire Rhodes initiated one of the more powerful stories of the year.
Rhodes' match against Randy Orton suddenly became vital to his future, not just another bout. It allowed WWE to bring in Rhodes' father and brother and give us thrilling moments in Rhodes and Goldust winning their jobs back and later, the tag team titles.
WWE doesn't have to have a whole covey of wrestlers go through similar sagas, but a return to this element has great potential.
Perhaps Dolph Ziggler or Kofi Kingston anger the COO in some way. Triple H could then put them in a career-threatening match against someone of his choosing.
Fans may expect for Ziggler or Kingston to fall in the way that Rhodes did, but it would be just as entertaining for the fan favorite to survive a tough match, to just barely slide away from defeat falling on them.
When's the last time Kingston had a match that mattered?
Having Triple H going back to putting careers in peril would turn a potential Kane vs. Kingston match into a must-see bout. Roman Reigns vs. Ziggler would be far more meaningful and enthralling if Ziggler's career was on the line.
There's certainly a danger of overusing this element, but there's more drama to dredge from this story. Triple H has been losing control thanks to Big Show and his lawsuit. Putting him back into firing-happy mode a few times reestablishes his dominance.
That would make his eventual collapse even more of a moving moment.
The biggest issue with The Authority angle is that it's been too one-sided.
Images of Daniel Bryan getting mauled at the end of an episode of Raw were far too common. He rarely got any moments of triumph to counterbalance all the times he fell.
Big Show and the Rhodes brothers have been the only babyfaces who have consistently had victories of some sort over The Authority. The momentum that the tag champs have received from standing up to and succeeding against Triple H, McMahon and The Shield should be shared by more Superstars.
This is an opportunity to build up wrestlers with little direction, tossing them into the most prominent storyline going.
Early on, The Miz, Ziggler, Big Show and others were afraid to speak out against The Authority. Then came the night that the locker room cleared, just about every fan favorite came out to help Bryan, resulting in the kind of satisfying moment that this narrative has lacked.
Now that Big Show has made The Authority look vulnerable via his lawsuit, more Superstars should now find the courage to step up and fight the unjust system.
Perhaps The Prime Time Players refuse to compete in a handicap match against The Shield, instead getting a third wrestler to join them and nix the numbers advantage. Maybe Big E. Langston stands up to Triple H when he's abusing Big Show, standing in between the fallen giant and Triple H's goons.
The men who are supposed to be heroes can't hide in the back while injustice is being carried out. Rebellion in spite of fear of being fired is the heroism that fans have been waiting to see.
This allows more folks than Big Show and the Rhodes boys to benefit from the drama created by The Authority angle.
Eventually, Triple H and McMahon's hold on the roster will loosen. The vanishing control will lead to more dramatic opportunities, including The Authority's eventual implosion.
Monday's Raw showcased some of the disorganization running through The Authority's reign.
Rather than having authority figures chirp at each other, WWE would be wise to have dissension rise in the organization in other ways. Hinting at mutiny from Kane, The Shield or Orton would create suspense.
If Triple H and McMahon were to begin disagreeing about what's best for business, two separate camps can form in the group. Those who believe in Triple H's direction could then soon collide with those who support McMahon.
A civil war of sorts would be far more entertaining than a united front.
That's especially true if The Authority ends up being behind The Wyatt Family's recent attacks. The tension between the Wyatts and The Shield on Monday's Raw had steam wafting from it.
There is a potentially great feud there, one that could come by way of The Authority splintering. From The Corporation's battles with The Ministry of Darkness to the Nation of Domination clashing with D-Generation X, WWE's greatest hits are filled with stables locking horns.
The Authority angle will have to end eventually.
Rather than have it fizzle out and just be forgotten, there's an opportunity to have the kind of large-scale battle that helped power the Attitude Era. Watching The Authority collapse, devoured by fire within, is one of WWE's better options with this storyline.