The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Current WWE Storylines
There's no question that the current WWE product isn't exactly perfect.
They have far passed the days of Attitude and have been swimming around in an era that is PG-rated. Some angles are solid, some are almost decent, and some are just flat-out senseless.
So as we move on from SummerSlam and onto the road to Survivor Series, I have compiled a list of what I believe the company is doing right and what the company is doing wrong.
Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly of the WWE.
The Good: Kingston and Bourne as Tag Team Champions
Anyone who has watched the product over the past handful of years knows the Tag Team division is practically non-existent. A once-distinguished staple of WWE programming, tag teams, if any, have recently come up bland and unexciting.
The creative team has shifted all of their focus onto the top of the card and has completely neglected the idea of having decent mid-card entertainment.
However, the newly crowned tag champs, Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne, could inject some life into a struggling division. Kingston and Bourne's work is captivating, fun, and almost always has the crowd on the edge of their seats.
Hopefully, these two can provide the undercard with some kick by helping revive the glory of the Tag Team Championships.
I know Jerry Lawler is thrilled, how about you?
The Bad: Daniel Bryan as the Hard-Luck Loser
Back in July, the creative team decided to take a surprising angle towards Daniel Bryan's character by allowing him to capture the Money in the Bank briefcase. It was unconventional, it was unexpected, and it was definitely interesting to say the least.
In fact, Bryan's win seemed like a positive one as it provided fans with a taste of something different. But as we wind down into September, it's difficult to imagine why creative threw Bryan the opportunity.
Since his victory at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Danielson (for you wrestling nerds) has lost four of his seven singles matches to the likes of Alberto Del Rio, Christian, and Wade Barrett.
Del Rio squashed him twice, Barrett picked up the questionable win at SummerSlam, and his latest Christian match was at least encouraging in terms of bringing his opponent to the brink.
But isn't the point of the briefcase to give the guy a substantial push?
I realize Bryan's character in the company isn't close to being a legitimate heavyweight contender. And despite being perhaps the best technician in wrestling, he still has a lot build up to achieve.
But why would you match him up against top contenders, only to have him lose? That prevents build up, damages his character, and makes him a less viable contender.
The Ugly: Christian and Randy Orton
To quote The Miz, "Really?"
Do we really have to sit through another match between Randy Orton and Christian? Unfortunately, we do and it's coming up this Tuesday on a live edition of SmackDown!.
After Christian took note of his rematch clause for the World Heavyweight title, temporary SD general manager Bret Hart granted him a steel cage match against current champ Randy Orton.
So why, after WWE fans have paid for a handful of these matchups, does creative slate this Orton-Christian bout for free? Not only is it exhausting, but it is an insult to fans that have paid 50 bucks a pop to see this already.
This match is most likely the final chapter of this rivalry and it does fit into the "rematch clause" angle, but there should be another way to move into a new feud.
I'll go out on a limb and say Mark Henry rips the cage apart during next week's match, transitioning into his opportunity at Orton and the strap.
The Good: Alberto Del Rio as WWE Champion
One of the areas where the company is considerably thin at is its heavyweight competition. With their unbeatable golden boys in John Cena and Randy Orton dominating their respective brands, there has been little to no variety on the main title scene.
Prior to Del Rio's title run, nine of the last 15 WWE champions were either Orton or Cena. Just four of those non-Cena/Orton title reigns were scripted for heels and the other two were for Rey Mysterio and CM Punk. (Mysterio and Punk's WWE championship reigns lasted a combined eight days.)
So with the new champ in Alberto Del Rio, the product may finally have something different on top. Del Rio is a guy with capable in-ring skills, very solid mic skills and a great gimmick.
With proper build up, Del Rio's run can be an intriguing one.
The Bad: Kelly Kelly as Divas Champion
Barbie Blank, otherwise known as Kelly Kelly, was hired back in 2006 to shake her ass on ECW. Excuse my French, but that's the straight-up truth.
Since then, the company has lost a handful of viable women wrestlers and have seen the division drop off. Trish Stratus retired, Mickie James found herself in TNA, and longtime WWE employee Victoria followed.
So what is creative's solution to a weak women's division? Building up Kelly Kelly as the company's top female worker.
That's right! A 108-pound "exhibitionist" is now dominating the women's scene. She is constantly defeating the likes of Beth Phoenix, Natalya Neidhart and Tamina, ladies who have much more ability in the ring.
In fact, the current Divas champ hasn't lost a match since May 22 at Over The Limit.
I can see the company is building at a bigger picture with the Divas in the ring, but the strap should be with someone who is believable and somewhat skilled.
The Ugly: The Sin Cara Saga
If you want to talk about messes, look no further than Sin Cara. The Sin Cara character has been nothing but rocky since being introduced in the WWE.
Luis Ignascio Urive (Mistico) was the first man behind the mask. Unfortunately, he hit a number of bumps as soon as he debuted. Urive botched his first few entrances, botched some moves in numerous matches, and violated the company's wellness program.
Urive was suspended and was then replaced by developmental talent Jorge Arias (Hunico). And although the character had a new wrestler, the mistakes didn't stop there. On the Aug. 23 taping of SmackDown!, Arias miserably botched a match with Heath Slater.
The match had to be re-taped for Friday's airing due to screw ups.
As it currently stands, the original Sin Cara, Urive, may not return at all. The company is too deep into the Sin Cara character and will most likely use Arias in that role.
The Good: Cody Rhodes as Intercontinental Champion
Just like the Tag Team titles, the Intercontinental strap has taken a huge hit over the past few years. The champions have been weak, hardly anyone has been properly pushed from the division, and the belt is hardly even contended for.
We all know who used to hold the Intercontinental distinction. There was Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Austin, and The Rock. More recently there's...umm, yeah.
This title should be used to develop mid-card talent into main-event type talent. And quite frankly, it's not being used for much of anything.
But luckily, things could be looking up for this once-esteemed division. Cody Rhodes, a more than legitimate worker in the business, is now champion and smart marks across the country couldn't be happier.
Rhodes has a promising future as a main-event guy in the WWE and could use this title reign as a catapult to the top of the card.
The Bad: The Under-Utilization of Wade Barrett
Although the SmackDown! brand has a perfectly capable heel in Wade Barrett, they somehow refuse to use him. He got a push at Money in the Bank, he got a meaningless mid-card match with Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, and it looks like he will not be getting a World Heavyweight shot in the foreseeable future.
Furthermore, they broke up two of his good factions that could have been used for a big push.
As mentioned in the Del Rio slide, the company is lacking viable top heels on its brands. You have Alberto, Mark Henry, and Christian between the two shows. The Miz and R-Truth seem to be teaming up out of the WWE title scene and Sheamus has recently ditched his heel role for a babyface one.
So why not use Wade Barrett there?
Why is he not squashing the mid-card and why is he not challenging top talent?
He can work the mic, he can work a match and he can work as a top heel.
The Ugly: A Potential CM Punk-Triple H Feud
Over the past handful of months, CM Punk has shaken things up in the wrestling world. Simply put, the man has become a wrestling legend amongst the markiest of marks with his phenomenal in-ring work and his extremely entertaining promos.
But recent activity from the creative team has Punk in a potential feud with the almighty Triple H. All signs may be pointing to a huge rivalry between the two possibly leading all the way up to Survivor Series.
Unfortunately for the straight edge messiah, a feud with The Game will surely damage his character. He won't be billed as the main event match, he won't be contending for the strap, and he most certainly will not beat Triple H.
The WWE had a perfectly good storyline with Punk at the helm, but inevitably dropped the ball. They brought him back much too early and failed to build on what was the company's biggest angle in years.
It looks like he will now be thrown into a feud with Triple H where he will not come out on top.