First Article: WWE in the Now
Hey everyone :)
My name is Jorge, and I am writing to you from the confines of my home in Santiago, Chile.
So why am I writing this? I just wanted to outline a few thoughts about what is currently going on with the WWE.
The tag division might finally get to live up to more of its potential now that Jericho (and his 1,004 holds) and Edge (who is rumored to have injured his ankle at a house show Friday) are the champions.
But why are they the champions? And what will the program do for WWE?
There are three trains of thought as to why they became champions. The first one has to do with all the smack talk coming from TNA. TNA keeps shoving down our throats that they take tag competition seriously, and have "the best in the world."
It is hard to argue the first point, since the WWE has done a very poor job developing teams and/or feuds for their tag division, and prioritize singles wrestling above all.
The second point is debatable, as WWE has more tag team talent to use, yet they are just not using the individuals for said tag competition (Christian & Edge, Hardys, Brothers of Destruction, World's Greatest Tag Team, Miz and Morrison, etc).
However, being the leader in sports entertainment, they probably feel that they have to put out a superior product than TNA in all fronts.
As such, they cannot let TNA claim that their tag division is better, because it may draw viewers away from their programming. As a strict business decision, WWE might be countering TNA by enhancing their tag belts and the competition for them.
The second reason has more to do with circumstances. Now that Punk and Jeff Hardy are feuding, they might not have anything for Jericho and/or Edge in the main event level since there are no top babyfaces to feud with.
It seems like they are saving Morrison for the winner of the Punk/Hardy feud (aka heel Punk vs face Morrison), and the Jericho-Rey Mysterio feud is seemingly over (pending their match at Night of Champions), even though most of us wanted the feud to continue due to the high caliber matched delivered.
Also,it is rumored that Jericho (he has hinted at it) will have a program with the Undertaker when the Dead Man returns.
Additionally, it has been mentioned that both Jericho and Edge have been nursing nagging injuries, so even though they might have to wrestle across all WWE promotions, they can help each other out by sharing time in the ring and putting less stress on their own bodies.
The third reason why they might have become champions is so that they can feud with each other. We all know that both are heel wrestlers, and both claim to be the face of Smackdown.
They also have ego-maniacal characters, which could lead to tensions as to who really is the best between them. I personally dislike this program, since it has been done many times before, and it would most likely require for one of them to turn face (and both of them have been phenomenal as heels lately).
Also, I don't like to use the tag belts as a way of furthering singles individuals unless they need the push. Neither Jericho nor Edge need a push.
If they do this right (pending Edge's rumored injury), the new champions can help usher in a new era of tag wrestling at WWE. The main event status that both individuals own instantly elevated the importance of the belts.
Also, both are very accomplished tag wrestlers in their own right. If they stay in the same page (storyline wise), tag teams will perceive these titles as very difficult to obtain.
If the program runs for a long time, whatever team beats them will be elevated hugely (Legacy, Hart Dynasty, Kendrick + partner, new tag teams, etc), with the elevation being proportional to the program's length.
This has potential, IF WWE does things right. If they build the tag division right, they can split off the belts again if there are enough quality tag teams to compete for them.
World Heavyweight Championship
CM Punk. Thou hath received thy second chance.
It seems that WWE has finally decided to give Punk a serious push. I don't mean finally as in "I wanted Punk pushed cuz he is awesome, etc. etc.", but because they have always been indecisive about him.
I personally like where this program is headed. Punk has done a great job at explaining/reasoning to the fans why he is a "good guy." Things could have been better though.
I think he should have gone further than he did on Smackdown this Friday. He should have made a point of Jeff Hardy attacking him in his injured eye (which is what looked like Hardy was gunning for at the Bash), and shown the past instances where he has done so (like when Hardy attacked Punk's injured leg in the triple threat match versus Edge).
Also, I liked the fact that he offered up a rematch (because he has dignity and integrity), but did not like his need/demand for an apology.
Also, the shot at Hardy for doing drugs ("just say no"), was funny yet way too deliberate. I think that was too much, and too obvious for a heel turn.
He should have just offered the rematch (and one to Edge for his forfeit in Superstars).
That way, they could have kept playing with him being/trying to be the good guy, and the fans not appreciating/respecting him like they should. That would have made the heel turn slower and more dramatic.
After Punk beats Hardy at "Night of Champions" (I bet Hardy will have another close call/false win), they should just move Punk to feud with Morrison.
I don't want a storyline to get stale by going too long (Big Show vs. Cena, Orton vs. HHH), and Morrison has been getting a huge push lately (even beating Punk last week).
Punk vs Morrison would be a program I would pay money to see, especially since we know they will put on good matches.
It would be a great dynamic, especially since their characters differ so much and are going in opposite directions (in terms of heel/face). Plus, they could use Hardy to feud with the top level heels already on Smackdown.
On the next Raw, we will find out if HHH or Cena will be facing Orton for the title at "Night of Champions". Either way, we lose. If HHH wins, the endless feud with Orton will continue (just let it die please).
If Cena wins, then it will be Orton and Cena...again (remember Orton punting Cena's dad?). If it is a triple threat match for the title, I am still not excited because (1) it does not resolve the HHH-Orton feud (needs closure), (2) none of those three wrestlers are known for putting up "good matches" (they need to be carried by solid workers), and (3) it would not feel fresh or new at all.
I was really looking forward to MVP being pushed here. I was hoping Legacy came in and made HHH lose to MVP, so that Orton would not have to face him again. Plus, MVP lost in like 4 minutes to a hobbled up Super Trips.
I mean come on. Talk about making MVP look bad.
Plus, if MVP would have faced Cena, then Miz could have made Cena lose to MVP, furthering the Cena-Miz angle (which has been great because of the Miz, except for the match at the Bash which buried him).
Additionally, MVP already called out Orton before, so it could have been a fresh new feud with some history.
What does WWE do instead? They turn Mizark Henry face. Are we really expected to be excited? Seriously. If Orton beats HHH, and then starts feuding Mark Henry for the title, will anyone watch?
Orton has been a dud so far as a champion, as they turned him from vicious badass (punting everyone) to cowardly and dependent champion. I am intrigued by having Jack Swagger align with him, but still don't like where this is headed.
It seems WWE wants to have Orton be Legacy's main event guy, Swagger feud for the B title (US Title), and Rhodes and DiBiase feud for tag team gold. This does not excite me much.
I really don't know what they will do here. Rey is going to finish his feud with Jericho at "Night of Champions", and then has a bunch of heels he could wrestle. Problem is that some seem to already be engaged in something else.
Dolph Ziggler could be pushed to feud with Rey, assuming that his program with the Great Khali has ended (Khali vs Kane now). Ziggler was already in a program for the US Title vs MVP, so he has already been pushed to a similar level before.
Finlay just got sent to Smackdown, thanks to the 15 person "screw ECW out of their talent" trade made by Donald Trump.
He was playing a tweener at ECW, and may have cemented his place as a heel after his showcase match vs. Ricky Ortiz on Friday. If that is so, he is someone that could be put in a program vs. Rey.
Lastly, Matt Hardy was also sent to Smackdown. However, he got injured, and will be out of action for weeks. As such, Rey may have filler matches between now and his return if that is the program WWE has planned (Matt vs. Rey).
I personally think they should push Dolph, then have Matt feud with Rey. I want the IC title to be held for a while, so it can have some prestige again. I don't think WWE gets anything from pushing Finlay.
Having Matt be IC champion could help him transition into a main event heel. However, the bigger upside is with Ziggler and his new main squeeze, Maria.
Kofi, Kofi, Kofi. You have done a great job so far as champion. You even held your own against the Big Show on Raw. It is a shame that most of your competition is gone.
Regal got sent to ECW. Matt Hardy got sent to Smackdown. MVP is a face, and he doesn't gain much from feuding for the US Title (again), especially if they are to push him to main event level.
So who will you fight?
The Big Show is a possibility. It would be a demotion of sorts for him, but it is better than doing nothing (and def better than feuding with Cena). Jericho and Edge are holding lower tiered titles right now. Punk was demoted after being world champ last year too.
It's nothing personal, and it is good to have visibility (i.e. Kane disappeared until the Bash). Plus, the biggest athlete in the world can really help get Kofi over, and make him seem like a credible threat.
You also have Jack Swagger. If he aligns himself with Orton (as mentioned earlier), he could be fighting for the B title (US title). This could be a really interesting matchup since they have such contrasting wrestling styles.
Plus, if Kofi were to beat Swagger, it also helps to legitimize him as a threat, since he would be beating a two time All-American (American).
Lastly, you have Evan Bourne. I think that a program of Kofi vs Bourne will not happen, since a prolonged feud between two faces will be frowned upon by the E. If they were to feud, it would be by having triple threat matches with a heel (like Show or Swagggaaa).
It is a shame too, since a match between these two (if given enough time) could be the most exciting match in many cards (maybe not best match, but most exciting).
I would like to see Swagger saved for later, since he needs to be introduced to the mainstream (non-ECW) audience as a main event threat.
So I would like to start with a triple feud between Kofi, Bourne, and Show (helps legitimize Kofi, introduce Bourne), and then move on to Kofi vs. Swagger.
Now that ECW has changed drastically, the main event picture has also been reshuffled.
We have Tommy Dreamer as champ, and he will be facing Captain Charisma at "Night of Champions" for the ECW strap. I hope Christian wins it, so we can start having more interesting feuds (love Christian's mic work).
Kozlov, by winning that tag match on Tuesday (w/William 'Steven' Regal), looked to be ready to be pushed for the title. I think it is safe to say that he will be feuding with whoever is champ after Night of Champions.
If that happens, I hope it is a short program, since Kozlov's wrestling is not flashy and his mic work is non existent. He really needs a mouthpiece if he is to get pushed for real.
Next we have Shelton Benjamin, who did not make a good impression in his first night (of his second stint) at ECW (thanks WWE writers). A feud between him and Christian would be gold (pun intended).
That feud would be the key thing that could make either of these individuals, or both, be seen as main event people in the eyes of WWE (Shelton keeps being looked over, Christian is loved by the writers but apparently not so much by Vince).
The matches would be entertaining, and the promos would not be a detriment (Shelton has improved a lot in the past few years).
We also have Lord King of the Ring Real Man's Man William Regal. He is a better worker and mic guy than Kozlov, but he is also at the tail end of his career and is filling the Finlay role at ECW (and Finlay did not win the title).
I could see him be involved in storylines, triple threats and such, but not really singularly challenge for the title soon.
Lastly, we have the new ECW wrestlers from the superstar initiative (FCW). I don't know these guys well enough yet, but it seems Sheamus will be pushed one day.
Maryse has been a great antagonist in this division, and will finally face Mickie James (her kryptonite it seems). She is primed to lose the title, and make Mickie the second woman ever to hold the Diva's and Women's Titles at one point (thanks Undertaker for pushing Michelle McCool).
Mickie deserves that distinction (over the current women on the roster).
There are some individuals that can challenge for the belt. Beth Phoenix should always be considered a top contender, and Gail Kim was just moved to Raw (let's hope they do something, anything, with her). Jillian is a good worker, and Kelly Kelly has improved a lot (and is very popular).
The talent is there. It is a shame that Raw is more of a story-driven show, and cuts back on the actual wrestling. I think you could have two rivalries going on at any given time (bi-weekly) in the divas division. If only WWE would give them something (good) to work with.
Michelle McCool vs. Melina. Pretty much set in stone for a while.
This division has less talent than the Diva's division though. Natalya (Neidhart) is a good worker, as are the two women previously mentioned.
Outside of that, Maria, Layla, and Eve Torres are just there. They don't bring much to the table other than looks.
As such, you could consider this the weakest division (and title) in the WWE.
Some short thoughts I'd like to share with you:
- I think Christian got screwed by the draft (but I guess WWE needs SOME name on ECW that could draw).
- Shawn Michaels is undeniably needed on Raw (need top faces and new feuds)
- The Undertaker is not need on Smackdown (they are just fine)
- The Bella twins add nothing to WWE (I'm even bored at how they look already)
- The Miz, although not ready for the main event, should be pushed (and kept) in the upper mid card for now (and not lower)
Thanks for reading, and I hope this was not too excruciatingly long.
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