Heading into WWE's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, it is not unfair to point out that the company's booking team has made more than a few creative mistakes over the past few weeks. Maybe they're too busy gearing up for the launch of the network or are still reeling from the shock of CM Punk's departure, hence why they've taken their eyes off the ball. Who knows?
But, in order of importance, let's have a look at the most glaring booking errors that have been made in the run up to this Sunday's pay-per-view.
Question: Does anyone actually care that Darren Young and Titus O’Neil are facing each other this Sunday? Does anyone care that The Prime Time Players have even split? While credit should go to the booking team for at least attempting to do something with its lower midcard wrestlers, it hasn’t come close to making this program compelling or entertaining. Darren Young—who’s now a face—is decent enough, and O’Neil has a ton of charisma, but neither man has been given much to work with at all.
While WWE may have big things in mind for Intercontinental champion Big E. it hasn't exactly translated over well to his title reign. For the most part, the former NXT star has come off like an afterthought. His current feud with Jack Swagger—the two face off on Sunday for the belt—also feels like something thrown together at the last minute by the writing team simply to give both men something to do.
While the New Age Outlaws being WWE Tag Team Champions for the first time in nearly 15 years should be a big deal, it isn’t. Really, WWE’s booking team hasn’t pushed the idea nearly enough or stressed the pair's importance in wresting history. Nor has it come up with any interesting new feuds for the team since they won the titles. Is anyone that eager to see whether the Usos—two brothers that, for all their talent, have always struggled immensely to remain relevant—can defeat Billy Gunn and Road Dogg and win the belts at the pay-per-view?
Ever since the John Cena-Randy Orton debacle at the Royal Rumble—the restless crowd famously hijacked the match and chanted things like “Boring!” and “We Want Divas!” and totally stole the show—it's seemed like Orton's title reign is in a bit of trouble. The last few weeks haven't done anything to rectify this. Indeed, Orton has continued his (mind-numbingly boring) on-screen bickering with The Authority and dull, uninspiring promo work. It's hard to be terribly interested in the third-generation star heading into Elimination Chamber.
Dave Batista will work his first pay-per-view singles match in several years this Sunday when he takes on Alberto Del Rio. The main problem with the bout is that few fans care—and WWE has given them absolutely no reason to. There's also the fact that no one can buy that Del Rio actually has a chance of emerging from the match victorious. Batista's utter destruction of the former WWE champion on Raw last week all but killed off any of his credibility.
Not only was this program a bad idea to begin with—Del Rio hasn't been relevant in years and Batista is struggling as a babyface—it has been executed terribly.