WWE: What Should Be Done from Now until WrestleMania
With SummerSlam just a day away, the WWE will put on it's second biggest show of the year.
The biggest show? WrestleMania, of course.
For the first time in a long time, the WWE looks to be headed in a positive direction. The Rock will be making appearances, CM Punk is taking an incredible step forward and the PG Era is looking less and less corny.
The only question is, will the creative team know what to do to make WrestleMania XXVIII a success?
So in anticipation for the wrestling extravaganza, here's a list of what the WWE should do leading up to April 1, 2012.
Rock vs. Cena in a Traditional Survivor Series Match
Finally, The Rock will come back...to New York City!
According to Rocky himself, he will be appearing at WWE's Survivor Series in November. In a self-made video, The Rock hinted that he would return to "the city where it all started," to fight John Cena. The Rock debuted at Survivor Series in New York City.
So if that's the case, why not make the main event a traditional Survivor Series match with The Rock and Cena as captains? It is a more than legitimate main event, it builds up the feud toward WrestleMania XXVIII and gives the pay-per-view its most meaningful 5-on-5 match since 2001.
Here is what the teams would look like:
Team Rock: The Rock, Chris Jericho, Big Show, Kane and Mark Henry
If Jericho returns in time and if Big Show recovers from his injury well, this would be Rocky's team. He would hand pick each one since they all have ties from the Attitude Era. Henry is necessary for this team because it's much too difficult to use up all the company's heels in one match. That would make the undercard weak.
Team Cena: John Cena, Rey Mysterio, John Morrison, Kofi Kingston and The Miz.
Like The Rock, Cena has ties with each one of these guys. As far as The Miz goes, creative can run an angle where Cena is desperate for the fifth man. He convinces Miz by reminding him of The People's Elbow given to him by The Rock at WrestleMania XXVII.
Wade Barrett Gets a Top Heel Push
Creative already dropped the ball on Sheamus being the top heel on SmackDown! Now he's an awkward face. So who's next?
Wade Barrett, that's who.
To put it simply, this guy is ready. He's incredible on the mic, he knows how to work a match, and he already has the history and build up to be the top heel. If written for properly, Barrett would have no problem walking into a World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania.
Except the little kiddies, I'm sure no one would have a problem with him going into or leaving the event with the strap.
The Tag Team Division Is Rebuilt around Rhodes and DiBiase
For those of you who don't know or just forgot what a tag team division is...
A tag team division contains multiple pairings of wrestlers, competing for what we in the business call, "Tag Team Championships." Some of the most prominent tag teams in wrestling history include the Road Warriors, The Hart Foundation, Edge and Christian and the Dudley Boyz.
All kidding aside, the WWE writers have completely dropped the ball on developing any type of tag talent. The creative team has invested all of their attention into singles matches and has buried the prospect of having a tag team division. And instead of attempting to build it up, they unify the straps and rarely throw a decent tag match on the card.
So in order to reconstruct this once highly-regarded division, WWE should center it around the team of Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. For one, creative isn't doing enough with them anyway. Rhodes just got into the Intercontinental Title scene and DiBiase is a borderline jobber. Plus, both are currently linked to each other and do have a prior connection through Legacy. Rhodes an DiBiase are two extremely potent talents who do not deserve one bone a year.
They should be built up as the company's most dominant duo and feast on lesser competition leading up to WrestleMania XXVIIi. There, they can face a wide range of opponents. Some possibilities include the Usos or Otunga and McGillicutty. There have also been rumblings of bringing over the Kings of Wrestling or Beer Money.
Long story short, Rhodes and DiBiase would supply some credibility to a dying concept. And for the upcoming WrestleMania to be a deeper show, it must have at least one tag match. After all, the very first main event at the very first WrestleMania was a tag team match.
Rey Mysterio Feuds with Sin Cara
The Sin Cara experiment has been pretty sketchy to say the least. Mistico, or Sin Cara, has had a string of botch-ridden matches, was suspended for violating the company's drug program and has been temporarily replaced by a developmental talent named Jorge Arias. In fact, Mistico may not even return as the Cara character in light of his questionable actions just a few months into his WWE career.
But if its Mistico or Arias, the WWE is way too deep into the character to abort it now. Cara is a top guy on the SmackDown! brand, the gimmick has attracted many Mexican viewers and the younger demographic is very much into it.
So what should the creative team do with a struggling gimmick? I know, I know, pick me!
They should throw Sin Cara in a feud with Rey Mysterio. I can see it now...two Luchadors, in one company, vying for the title of the best Mexican wrestler in the world. It makes sense from a creative standpoint and will undoubtedly bring in a larger Mexican audience.
The intrigue from all wrestling fans would rise, the merchandising will spike and pay-per-views buys would improve.
Cara and Mysterio should work WrestleMania XXVIII together. With Mysterio aging and succumbing to numerous injuries, there would be no better way to put over Sin Cara with a feud with Rey.
Daniel Bryan Loses His Title Shot
I want to apologize to the smart marks, the wrestling nerds and the IWC. If you are still reading this despite the title of this slide, I would like to explain why I think Daniel Bryan, or Bryan Danielson, should lose his title shot.
Bryan is by far one of the world's best wrestlers. His skill set is unmatched, and his work as an in-ring technician may not be matched. He has proven that he is indeed one of the world's best through numerous promotions and is on his way with the WWE. However, he needs a lot more build up to become a believable heavyweight champion.
Since Bryan has come up into the company, he's pretty much been billed as a joke. He engaged in a feud with Michael Cole, his first entrance music was laughable and has yet to win against a top superstar.
In fact, he just lost cleanly to Alberto Del Rio on August 12th's SmackDown! via submission. That was a considerable step back for a MITB briefcase holder if I've ever seen one. Add that to his 5'10", 192-pound build and you have a guy who isn't quite ready for a big title run.
Daniel Bryan definitely has the ability to be the company's next Chris Benoit (oh no, I said his name) or perhaps Kurt Angle. But until he gets the appropriate build up, Daniel Bryan should somehow lose his opportunity to win the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania.
Alex Riley Wins the Royal Rumble
During its PG Era, the WWE has needs in two different departments. One is a viable face alternative to Cena and Orton. The other is some legitimate variety in the WWE Title and World Heavyweight Title scenes.
Luckily for the company, they have someone who can fix those two problems in Alex Riley. Riley has the build, he has the look and he has the skill. Given his experience and ability on the main event stage needs some development, the man they call A-Ry is a prime choice for the next big babyface in the company.
Riley should win the United States strap at some point to solidify himself, work with some top talent on Raw, and go on to win the 2012 Royal Rumble. What better way to push a capable wrestler than have him come out victorious in the traditional Rumble match? It worked for Del Rio, and he's one of the biggest heels in the company now.
If the WWE and their creative team is so committed to their youth movement, why not move Riley to the top? With Cena facing The Rock and Punk edging towards a possible feud with Triple H, Riley should be the next face in line for a title push.
A WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XXVIII with Riley, The Miz and/or Del Rio would certainly make sense and certainly make for an interesting bout.
CM Punk Feuds with Triple H
Everything is already in place for this potential WrestleMania XXVIII matchup. Punk and Triple H have already engaged in in-ring confrontations, out-of-ring confrontations (Comic-Con) and have real-life heat against each other. All the creative team has to do is go through with it.
A CM Punk-Triple H match would be beneficial for the upcoming WrestleMania in a number of ways. It can attract more buys, it can strengthen the card and can provide the event with a match of the year candidate. Plus, it's a hell of a mark out moment.
This definitely has the potential to turn out as one of the greatest feuds we've seen in a while.
Jericho Challenges Undertaker
Just like the prior Rock-Cena slide, this all depends on when and if Chris Jericho returns. But if he does so promptly, how great of a show would he put on with Taker at WrestleMania XXVIII?
This match would have two of the best performers in the history of the business, leaving it all in the ring for the industry's most extravagant event. They both deserve that, especially Jericho.
Unlike a lot of other wrestling greats, Chris Jericho has never received the opportunity to work a WrestleMania match with Undertaker. So why not now? It would be an outstanding match and a ridiculous mark-out moment for longtime fans.
So how would this work? Here's an idea:
Triple H would try to work out a rematch with Taker for WrestleMania XXVIII. Chris Jericho would return and make his case for why he should fight Taker.
Triple H and Jericho would then face off at a pay-per-view prior to 'Mania, with the winner going onto face Undertaker. With some outside interference from CM Punk, Jericho would win and get the chance to break Taker's 19-0 streak.
Having Y2J win and Punk interfere serves this storyline and the aforementioned one concerning HHH and CM.