WWE Need to Adopt a New Method for Debuting Superstars

The Doctor Chris MuellerFeatured ColumnistJune 14, 2014

Credit: WWE.com

WWE have a method they use for most of their debuting Superstars that has remained unchanged for a few decades. That is a problem.

The wrestler is introduced to fans through video packages that air for several weeks until they finally show up on Raw or SmackDown. They usually have several more weeks of short squash matches before being put into a real feud with someone in the middle of the card.

This method may have worked in the '80s, but it's no longer the best way to bring new Superstar up to the main roster, which is glaringly obvious by the recent string of NXT stars who have failed to get over with the crowd.

Adam Rose still has potential, but the WWE Universe is souring on the partyer pretty quickly. Bo Dallas is probably the best example of why this method no longer works.

Dallas had several weeks of very original vignettes before he finally showed up, but by the end of his first promo on WWE television, hopes of a great initial run were crushed.

Dallas has proved in NXT that he has the wrestling chops to be a star, but his mic work has been lacking since he first arrived on the scene.

And quite frankly, I don't want to even go into how poorly handled Xavier Woods' debut was because I will just get angry.

The saddest part is that WWE had it right for a little while. The debuts of The Shield and The Wyatt Family were all done in the best possible way.

The Wyatts were brought in with intense video packages, and The Shield popped up out of nowhere, but what really made their debut pushes special was that they were immediately thrown into the mix with top stars.

Bray Wyatt was put right into a program with Kane, and The Shield spent several months headlining pay-per-views against random groups of main event stars. They were all immediately over as heels.

The method of using squash matches worked back when fans were just happy seeing babyfaces win, but today's wrestling fans are more educated and desire a better product.

Nobody benefits from a match that lasts less than a minute. It might make a new Superstar look dominant in the eyes of a younger fan, but that is not what anyone over the age of 12 wants today.

We want matches that have exciting spots, lots of action and something we have never seen before. We want intriguing storylines, better feuds and entertaining promos.

What we don't want are guys like Zack Ryder and Justin Gabriel losing to new talent in less time than it takes for both Superstars to make their entrance. It makes established talent look weak and does nothing to sell the crowd on the new guy. It just doesn't work anymore.

What works even less than that is local jobbers. Wrestling fans don't pay to see people they have never heard of and will never see again lose to a guy who might not even get over. We pay to see the WWE roster.

Look at Ryback. His initial push included him facing local talent for several weeks, even on PPVs. He might have looked cool getting two guys up for Shell Shocked at the same time, but that didn't stop the Goldberg chants from echoing through arenas all over the country.

WWE have evolved in a lot of ways over the years. They were the first promotion to go national, embrace the Internet and utilize PPV, but their ways of bringing up new talent are so outdated they feel like they should come with 100 free hours of AOL.

Even more to that point, we now have a way of seeing new talent we never had before. WWE used to have developmental territories in Kentucky with OVW and Florida with FCW. While local markets had access to their TV shows, the rest of us had no way of seeing the next crop of Superstars.

Now we have NXT. If you have the WWE Network then you have a way of seeing guys like Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn hone their skills before being called up to the main roster.

By the time someone debuts, they may already have a big following among WWE fans from that exposure. Why waste their time with squash matches?

All WWE have to do is look at their last two years of debuts to see the trend. Guys who were brought in with major angles are still being featured prominently while guys who were brought up the old-fashioned way are nowhere near the top of the card.

The one exception to this is Fandango. His first feud in WWE saw him defeat Chris Jericho at WrestleMania, but let's be honest, a ballroom dancing gimmick was never going to get him very far.

Granted, not every debuting Superstar should be feuding with John Cena or Randy Orton, but there is no reason to wait several months before giving them a real program.

NXT is the place where young stars are supposed to be tested and perfect their skills. If WWE want to test the waters with someone, that is the place to do it. If they aren't confident that a Superstar can carry a decent feud, they shouldn't be called up in the first place.

Between falling stock prices, a streaming service that is struggling and recent cutbacks, WWE should not be creating more problems for themselves by mishandling Superstars.

There needs to be a solid plan in place for someone new every single time. A basic outline of different angles should be drawn out before a debut, and then it should be executed the right way.

Of course, it's always up to the Superstar to make their own success in the end, but starting off with a bang will always be better than starting off with a whimper.

What do you think? Is it time WWE ditched the squash match method, or do you think they still make the best decisions with debuting Superstars?


Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter: @BR_Doctor.