Daniel Bryan on Raw.
Let’s face it: WWE’s creative product over the couple of months has left a lot to be desired.
People are turning left and right to the point that it’s hard to keep track (The Miz himself may not even know if he’s a heel or face these days). Kayfabe has been casually broken on air like it's no big deal. Long-running storylines have been dropped suddenly with little or no explanation (Big Show’s lawsuit, anyone?). Potential headliners like Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler have been ridiculed and buried on-air.
Oh, and let’s not even get started on Titus O’Neal’s horrendous new vomiting gimmick. The company may have reached a new low with that one.
So in order of just how badly these angles have been handled, let’s have a look at the most obvious booking mistakes in the run-up to the TLC pay-per-view this Sunday.
Dolph Ziggler is in the middle of a terrible career slump.
This Sunday, Dolph Ziggler will once against find himself relegated to the pre-show when he takes on Fandango.
While Ziggler will no doubt make the best of the situation and put in another great performance, this is nonetheless a colossal waste of his considerable talent. Why does WWE refuse to book one of the best wrestlers in the company in a meaningful pay-per-view bout?
Reports, via WrestleZone, have indicated that the star may have garnered heat due to something he said in an interview over SummerSlam weekend. If this is indeed the case, it’s surely time for the company to forgive and forget. This guy is just too amazing a talent to be wasted in the prelims.
AJ Lee has not been given too many reasons to smile lately.
WWE wanting to give women like the Bella Twins, Jo Jo and Eva Marie plenty of air-time and attention is understandable. Thanks to their roles on the E! network's Total Divas, there’s a decent chance these girls could bring in new female viewers to Raw and SmackDown.
But, really, did the company have to turn the promising Natalya vs. AJ Lee championship feud into a total afterthought because it was too busy trying to get Eva Marie over as the next Sable?
The multitalented Lee has the potential to be the next Trish Stratus or Lita—yes, she’s that good—but it’s not going to happen if she continues to be marginalized.
Langston vs. Sandow: Does anyone care?
Doesn’t the Damien Sandow vs. Big E Langston match seem like it’s come out of nowhere? Indeed, Sandow has spent the last few months feuding with Dolph Ziggler. Likewise, Langston seems to have unfinished business with Curtis Axel, whom he won the Intercontinental belt off of last month.
Langston is in the middle of the biggest push of his career right now, and he needs a great program to really get going. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like Langston vs. Sandow is that program.
Daniel Bryan is more over with fans than WWE management.
As Wrestlezone notes, WWE brass views Daniel Bryan as a midcarder and someone who, while supremely talented, can’t quite be a top star. The 32-year-old may also have taken some of the blame for the poor buyrates of SummerSlam and Night of Champions.
But the fans feel very differently. They see Bryan as the real deal—and they haven’t been shy of letting the company know about it. Heck, the star often receives chants in segments he has absolutely nothing to do with.
But still, the company has kept him out of the main event scene. Indeed, at TLC, he'll be battling the Wyatts, not fighting for the world title belts.
Isn’t it time for America’s No. 1 promotion to start listening to his fans?
It's all about Triple H.
Despite the fact he’s no longer a full-time wrestler, Triple H has continued to insert himself into every top angle. Indeed, everything on WWE programming seems to revolve him these days. It’s like 2003 all over again.
Case in point: The final segment of Monday’s Raw was meant to build up the Randy Orton vs. John Cena match at TLC this Sunday. Instead, the show ended with Triple H delivering a Pedigree on Orton after “The Viper” accidentally bumped into Stephanie. Notably, Triple H stood tall as his music played and the programme went off the air.
It was a dramatic ending, sure. But how was it meant to convince anyone to buy the pay-per-view to see Orton and Cena clash? Note to WWE: It might be time for Triple H to take a backseat as an on-screen performer.