Don't Expect Rapid WWE Changes in Post-Vince McMahon Era, More Quick Takes
The wrestling world experienced a seismic shift this week when Vince McMahon announced his retirement from WWE, leading fans to assume that creative change is coming along with it.
Although a new, non-Vince vision for the product is all but guaranteed eventually, it may not be imminent. With a departure this drastic, it's going to take time for it to feel like the company is truly under new management.
All Elite Wrestling's Barbed Wire Anywhere match between Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston from Wednesday's Dynamite also made headlines, albeit for the wrong reasons. The bout was indeed a spectacle, but it also exemplified the company's issue with overexposing the hardcore nonsense.
Thankfully, AEW was able to bounce back with a strong Ring of Honor Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view on Saturday night. Despite there being no formal television deal in place as of now, the future appears to be bright for the brand if it can continue producing events of that caliber.
This installment of Quick Takes will tackle how WWE can positively capitalize on Vince's exit, Edge's impending return, a lesson learned from Barbed Wire Anywhere, and more.
WWE Must Take Advantage of Vince McMahon's Exit by Implementing Real Creative Change
Vince McMahon's contributions to the wrestling business over the last few decades, and essentially being synonymous with the sport, can not be overstated. Without him, there's no telling where WWE would be today, assuming the company would be still around at all.
That said, in light of the extremely serious situation he currently finds himself in, he had no choice but to step aside. Granted, it was something fans had always clamored for, but not necessarily under these circumstances.
News of Vince removing himself as head of creative led to a lot of general excitement among fans, with the overall product being as stale as it has been for ages. Appointing a fresh face to the role would immediately get people talking and tuning into Raw and SmackDown to see if anything would actually change.
As previously noted, it's going to be a good while before the shows start to look drastically different than they do now. Their vibe will remain the same for the time being, but the best course of action would be for WWE to start listening to fans and incorporating change as soon as possible.
A handful of tweaks to the shows won't automatically make them better, but it's impossible to know what will work and what won't until certain things are experimented with, instead of relying on the stagnant status quo. That can include who's focused on, the nature of the storylines and the general feel and presentation of the programs.
Continuing on with Raw, SmackDown and SummerSlam as if nothing happened would be a massive mistake. WWE has built up a ton of goodwill with the audience and to squander that by not changing anything would cause viewers to immediately lose interest.
Change is coming regardless, but to begin that process this early would prove WWE is taking the appropriate steps to give fans what they want to see.
Death Before Dishonor Proves Ring of Honor Has Bright Future
It's been nearly five months since Tony Khan bought Ring of Honor and became the sole owner of the promotion.
Beyond Supercard of Honor in April, nothing that has aired on the weekly shows would indicate ROH is any closer to landing a television/streaming deal than it was earlier this year.
Those discussions are obviously happening behind closed doors between officials, but as far as a recurring weekly product is concerned, there's been no update as to when we can see the stars of Ring of Honor featured beyond the occasional episode of Rampage and Dynamite.
That remains a work in process, but all fans can do at this point is attempt to enjoy whatever the promotion has in store for its future. That was especially evident at Death Before Dishonor when every match overdelivered, featured great action and left the crowd super-satisfied.
There was nothing more needed to be done than that. Running these sort of specials once a month would be fun, but spacing them out and making them quarterly would be ideal.
From FTR and The Briscoes contesting another classic to a new ROH world champion being crowned in Claudio Castagnoli, it was an eventful evening that left fans hoping the promotion will be back soon and better than ever before.
Less Is More with Hardcore in AEW
AEW has had a knack for featuring hardcore matches quite consistently since its inception in 2019. It almost always makes for a fun spectacle, but when done too much, they start to lose their luster.
That was unfortunately the case with the Barbed Wire Anywhere main event this week when Chris Jericho battled Eddie Kingston. There was plenty of intrigue going in because no one knew exactly what to expect, but it still fell short of fans' expectations.
It should have marked the end of a long-running rivalry, but instead it possibly leaves the door open for yet another encounter. Needless to say, no one benefits from this feud not being over yet.
Simply put, it was violence for the sake of violence. Both Kingston and Jericho gave it a great effort, but the gimmicky stipulation made it more of a mess than anything else and the interference was nonsensical.
The vast amount of hardcore matches AEW holds from week to week at this point diminishes their value. Taking the "less is more" approach would be in Tony Khan's best interest and ultimately ensure they're still special at the end of the day.
Edge on His Way Back to Raw, but What For?
The mysterious messages that have been airing on WWE TV every Monday since Money in the Bank on July 2 are all but confirmed to be for Edge.
Looking at what's hinted at in every one of them, it would be infinitely more shocking if it wasn't The Rated-R Superstar, or if he wasn't coming alone.
Edge hasn't been gone from Raw long enough for it to feel as monumental as it should, but it is worth wondering what he's coming back for exactly.
Of course, picking up where he left off and targeting (what's left of) The Judgment Day would make the most sense. However, giving him the vignette treatment for that would be odd, along with how the faction is already busy with The Mysterios at the moment.
There really isn't any other obvious direction unless he was returning alongside Bray Wyatt, but there's been no indication that will be the case. Thus, it looks like we're in for a Edge vs. Finn Balor program, which should be much more exciting than it currently is due to how the Irishman has been booked.
Either way, all signs point to Edge being back as early as Monday's Raw in Madison Square Garden, per Fightful Select. It's likely too late for him to join the SummerSlam card, but a late-addition bout with Balor would surely spice up the rematch-filled card.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.