State of Smackdown
There has been speculation on the web as to the recent depletion of the Smackdown roster since the draft. Recently we have seen a resurgence of the brand with some decent feuds, great promos (I’m talking to you Kane) and most of all, good wrestling. If kept in place, I think the brand is going to grow. However there are a few changes I would bring. To be fair, I am a child of the Attitude Era, but I do appreciate some of the things the WWE has done since the switch over. I will not totally bash the product, but I would bring some of the elements that made the Attitude Era successful creatively, and form them to fit the PG era.
My biggest gripe about the current era of wrestling is the lack of stables. Yes, you have the straight edge society, which is brilliant, but outside of them who else is there? I remember a time, way back in the days of Raw is War that there were no less than three huge stables floating around. You had the Hart Foundation, DX and The Nation of Domination. I’m sure I am forgetting others during that period but you get my point. Stables allow stars to grow and develop together, rather than having some unknown wrestler job for three years before getting a reasonable push. Simply put, if you had no Hart Foundation, Owen (god rest his soul) would not have the outlet for that awesome Black Hart angle after Montreal. No DX and I would argue that it would have taken longer for HHH to become the mega star that he is. No Nation and you would not have The Rock. Look at recent times, Evolution made stars out of Randy Orton and Batista, Legacy made stars out of Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. And the reformed DX did well in their own right. Have more than one stable on Smackdown I say, and here is what I would do:
Form a New Nation. I’m biased because the Nation was my favorite stable so humor me on this. You form a new nation with MVP as the leader, JTG, Shad (I know they split but stranger things have happened), and have Theodore Long manage them. Drop the Rap/Crime gimmick from JTG, un-perm that ridiculous haircut of his and make him a D Lo brown type. To get Theodore Long as manager, have him quit because of the whole Vince McMahon angle with Drew McIntyre and form this stable to fight “The Man.” They could feud with the SES, and have two of them compete for tag team gold. And for God sakes NO RAPPING.
Straight Edge Society. Keep them as is, they are awesome.
I would form a stable out of Curt Hawkins, Trent Baretta, Vance Archer and Caylen Croft called “New Blood.” These guys can wrestle but they are stuck on the bottom of the roster because no one knows who they are. Have them come out and wreck some established stars and bam! You have a new stable and grows these four guys into superstars.
To begin, I would separate the unified tag team titles from raw and give one of them to Smackdown. Not taking anything away from the Hart Dynasty, on the contrary I’m a pretty big fan, but in order to have a vibrant tag team division, you need something to go after. Just having the tag teams fight with no goal in mind is pretty pointless. Give a set of belts to Smackdown and you could have some pretty good Tag action.
I would have MVP and JTG tag up because they have a pretty similar style and gimmick (outside of them being black). Chavo Gurrero and Rey Mysterio because it makes Rey relevant again. I love Rey as much as the next guy but I never bought into him being a viable contender in the Heavyweight division. He also can’t go after the IC title because it just wouldn’t make sense. It also makes chavo relavent again and more importantly, keeps him away from Hornswoggle. I would have Tyler Reks team with Dolph Ziggler because…well what else are they doing? CM Punk and Luke Gallows. Reason being that it allows the SES to get some gold, they can feud with tag teams to get them to convert, and it opens up the rest of the roster to the SES’s considerable wrath. Right now Punk is pretty tied up with Rey, but a tag team effort allows Punk to bring it to more of the stars on the roster. After his feud with Rey is done now who will be go after? Jack Swagger? The Undertaker?? It keeps him involved and it keeps things interesting. Caylen Croft and Trent Baretta can stay teamed up to fill out the division.
As much as Jack Swagger is an annoyance, his ring work is pretty good. Keep him as champ for two more PPVs and give the title up. To whom? Well…I would give it to Kane. His storyline now is all about revenge for the Undertaker and what better revenge than take the title and begin his reign of terror over Smackdown? With Taker out, you need that big presence. No the Big Slow-I mean Show doesn’t count. With Kane as champ he can terrorize/feud with Swagger back and forth, feud with The Big Show and eventually with Taker himself when he comes back. You do three ppv’s for each feud and you have 12 ppvs worth of storylines for the big red machine.
LET KOFI KINGSTON KEEP THE F’N TITLE. The push he’s getting is badly needed and you can have him feud with the upper mid-card. Yes I would continue the feud with Drew McIntyre, but have it branch into a grudge kind of thing with him and Matt Hardy to get it off of Kofi’s Back. And I would have him enter a program with Cody Rhodes. They are both fast paced wrestlers and it would make for some very good matches. Throw Christian into the mix and you would have some good programs going back and forth.
Honestly until Beth Pheonix comes back there’s no reason to touch on it. The only one with talent outside of her on the roster is Michelle McCool. Kelly Kelly is improving but, well her matches aren’t really entertaining. Overall the WWE’s women’s division is lacking. Bring back the Glamazon and hire some real wrestlers and let’s talk.
That is what I would do for the show. In short, One more stable, one Big Red Champion, Some Tag action and you have what could be a great wrestling program. Oh, and put Hornswoggle back under the ring where he belongs.