Roman Reigns Turning Heel and 5 Booking Decisions WWE Will Never Make

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistJune 11, 2019

Roman Reigns Turning Heel and 5 Booking Decisions WWE Will Never Make

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    Few avenues in professional wrestling are off limits. This is a weekly show that has no offseason. In order to keep it fresh, most stories can change on a whim.

    WWE has not been around for decades by playing it safe. Just in these past few months, the company has made history by pushing far outside the confines of typical top talent. Women main evented WrestleMania; Kofi Kingston won the WWE Championship.

    In simpler moves, Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens have turned heel, stars like Buddy Murphy and Cedric Alexander moved on from 205 Live, and new stars like Lacey Evans and Lars Sullivan have stepped into major roles quickly.

    From a massive cultural change to a simple change in personality, WWE can take massive swerves on any given week for the sake of sparking audience and media investment.

    Despite this, there are some key booking moves that WWE has always and will always avoid. Whether it is because of the status of the performer or the potential effect it would have long-term, even some of the most tantalizing ideas may not be possible.

    Five key booking decisions stand out among the pack as ideas that fans might crave with no real potential for them to come to reality.

WWE Acknowledges and Calls Out Competition Particularly AEW

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    WWE has become a global powerhouse to the point of rebranding professional wrestling as sports entertainment. Other companies, no matter the quality or the success they have, can match up to the titan of the industry.

    One of the reasons no one will ever match up is WWE's refusal to acknowledge the competition. Everything else is a part of the "independent scene." New Japan Pro-Wrestling has been a mainstay in the business for decades with massive success that WWE will not give more than a passing mention.

    As All Elite Wrestling begins a rise in the public eye, some may expect WWE to make a stand against the newcomer. While AEW will likely stand up well as a friendly alternative, perhaps even making an impact on WWE's business, the leading company will never openly admit to the rival's success.

    Sami Zayn's passing mention on Monday Night Raw was a gag at best, and its failure to hit will likely lead to WWE being even more protective about talent mentioning the company. No one is going to go on a CM Punk-esque rant about going to AEW as a way to build heat.

    Vince McMahon and Triple H are not going to openly acknowledge the work of Cody Rhodes since his release from the company. For years, TNA was the closest American competition to WWE, and the company said nothing. It will remain that way with AEW.

NXT Attempts to Takeover WWE

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    The original NXT was a mess that is most fondly remembered for the first season, after which every member of the show rallied together to invade Monday Night Raw. Nexus was a short-term stable that succeeded in drumming up excitement, but its ultimate failure was telling.

    Its most successful member was Daniel Bryan, who was kicked out after the first appearance of Nexus, and the concept destroyed what little credibility NXT had as a concept until its rebranding.

    A new NXT invasion will never happen because it would make little sense. The developmental brand has found massive success since its arrival, but it is still developmental first and foremost. If NXT suddenly attempted to stand up to the main roster, the brand would lose steam.

    Many of the most successful stars in NXT have gone on to disappointing main-roster runs. Currently, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode and Bo Dallas stand out, but even those with some success feel less special.

    WWE does not want to take away what makes NXT stand out. The brand is best handled separately. Unless Triple H gains full creative control of both shows, the NXT invasion would be a frustrating affair with most of the NXT stars leaving humiliated.

    This will not happen as long as Vince McMahon has a firm hand on the controls of WWE, and he may not let go for another 20 years. Even when he does, HHH will likely want to bring a fresh perspective to the main roster rather than forcing the issue by pitting Raw/SmackDown and NXT performers against each other.

WWE Fully Commits to Intergender Wrestling

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    Intergender wrestling is a hot-button issue right now for every wrestling company. Impact Wrestling has committed to the concept, with Tessa Blanchard and Scarlett Bordeaux benefiting from the added spotlight.

    WWE has dabbled on occasion, particularly with Chyna. She is best known for her work in the men's division, including winning the Intercontinental Championship. It is not inconceivable that WWE will return to the idea on occasion, particularly when Nia Jax returns from injury.

    However, the company will never commit. WWE does not want to deal with any potential ramifications that would come with embracing the idea. A one-off match with Becky Lynch beating up James Ellsworth is fine, but The Man is never going to be allowed to compete for the Universal Championship.

    Opinions will vary on whether this is the right path for WWE to take. More and more companies are embracing intergender wrestling for a reason. Companies are finally establishing female wrestlers as key draws in the business.

    However, it is a hard concept to sell to brands that want to sponsor a promotion. The closest WWE will likely ever get to a gender-neutral championship is the 24/7 Championship, which is more of a comedy prop than a wrestling title.

WWE Gives the Major Focus of a WWE Show to the Tag Team Division

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    The hierarchy of divisions in WWE is ever-shifting. The rise of the women's division was not a sudden transition, but it was remarkable how high the division reached after decades of mistreatment.

    The tag team division has not always been disrespected, but most times the only way for the division to rise is the inclusion of a major star. Some Attitude Era shows were main-evented by the division only because stars like The Undertaker were involved.

    Even with Daniel Bryan holding the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, it feels like neither division matters. Fans can be forgiven for forgetting that Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder are still the Raw tag team champions given their limited screen time.

    WWE has established certain competitors as tag team stars only, mostly avoiding throwing major talent into the pool. Because of this, great stars like The Revival and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson have fallen in and out of favor without ever getting true recognition.

    The Usos and The New Day are the only real exceptions to the rule, but even they have never been close to main-eventing WWE pay-per-views. While the division's recognition will continue to ebb and flow, WWE will never put as much attention into tag team wrestling as other brands.

    It's easy to understand why Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder might want to leave when AEW promises a much better future for tag team wrestling with The Young Bucks near the helm. It's likely they would get a headline match on an AEW show, but they'll never get it in WWE.

Roman Reigns (and John Cena) Turn Heel

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    One constant was established with John Cena that has carried over past his semi-retirement from the business. WWE will not turn the workhorse babyface heel. Despite the insistence of many vociferous fans, Roman Reigns will also never be the villain they want.

    Cena and Reigns have been on similar journeys over the years. They have been over-pushed to the top before they were ready for the spotlight. Even when fans turned on them, they remained vigilant as the superheroes for young fans to idolize.

    Why is WWE so reluctant to turn their top stars? The answer was established with Hulk Hogan, who only turned heel when he went to WCW. The company wants a benevolent face at the head to present to a varied audience.

    The Cenation Leader might have thrived as a bad guy, but he would have limited his ability to connect with young children. Given the record 580 Make-A-Wish dreams he has helped come true, that was always going to be unacceptable.

    The Big Dog now has taken on that responsibility. Given his recent fight with leukemia that he overcame, he is an inspiration to a younger audience now more than ever. While the hints of arrogance he has shown are tantalizing, he likely does not want to turn. WWE has no intention of going that direction.

    It can be argued that this insistence on limited character growth will always stunt top faces in the eyes of older audiences, but WWE has other ways to connect to those long-time fans. The central heroes are there first and foremost for those kids just getting into sports entertainment.