Rusev Day and 7 Storylines WWE Pulled the Plug on Too Soon in 2019

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2019

Rusev Day and 7 Storylines WWE Pulled the Plug on Too Soon in 2019

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    Rusev on WWE SmackDown.
    Rusev on WWE SmackDown.Credit:

    WWE Raw and SmackDown are television shows with scripts and storylines; and just like other scripted series, the red and blue brands often have stories that are ended prematurely or dropped without any explanation.

    This has happened countless times in pro wrestling. Two or more people will be embroiled in a feud or someone will have a personal storyline, and out of the blue, WWE will stop everything dead in its tracks.

    Sometimes this happens due to injury and sometimes it happens because the crowd is not responding positively to what it is seeing.

    Unfortunately, this also means things people are enjoying can come to a screeching halt, and 2019 has been no exception. Let's look at seven storylines WWE shouldn't have ended. 

Rusev Day

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    Rusev has been away from WWE programming ever since he and his tag team partner, Shinsuke Nakamura, were eliminated from the Battle Royal at Super Showdown on June 7.

    Prior to that, The Bulgarian Brute was a babyface riding a wave of popularity with his Rusev Day gimmick. He and Lana would receive some of the loudest chants at every show, even after Aiden English left his side.

    Once he began teaming up with Nakamura following the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Rusev Day was dead and the two men began pursuing the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

    Rusev Day was something that never should have caught on the way it did, and WWE was smart to capitalize on it when it took off. But it had more life in it than the company may have realized because his heel turn and tag team ended up being a flop.

Ali's Push

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    Kofi Kingston's singles push all started on February 12 when he replaced Ali in a Gauntlet match on SmackDown and ended up lasting roughly an hour before being defeated by a fresh AJ Styles.

    Ali had to be replaced due to a minor injury, but he was ready to be brought back shortly after all of this happened. Unfortunately, WWE ended up changing course due to the overwhelming amount of support Kingston received following his performance.

    WWE easily could have kept Ali's push going by inserting him into a midcard feud, but he has mostly sat on the sidelines for the past several months, which is a shame given how talented he is between the ropes.

    He will be part of the King of the Ring tournament when he faces Buddy Murphy on Tuesday's SmackDown in what is sure to be an incredible match.

Chad Gable and Bobby Roode's Partnership

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    Chad Gable has had more pushes started and stopped over the past few years than anyone else because WWE has failed to find the right way to use him.

    His tag team with Jason Jordan ended when Jordan was revealed to be Kurt Angle's illegitimate son, and his partnership with Shelton Benjamin ended when they were split up in the Superstar Shake-up.

    When he was paired up with Bobby Roode, it seemed like a solution both Superstars needed. The mix of a veteran such as Roode and a young upstart like Gable worked, and their in-ring styles meshed well to create a fun dynamic.

    For some reason, WWE decided to end their partnership during the 2019 Superstar Shake-up, and Gable transitioned to being used sparingly as a singles competitor on 205 Live while Roode has been all but forgotten.

    These are two entertaining and gifted Superstars who could be great in any role. Seeing Gable so mismanaged is especially disappointing since he is one of the best technical workers on the roster. 

The Women's Tag Team Division (Sort Of)

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    Remember when WWE created the Women's Tag Team Championships and had six teams compete in the Elimination Chamber to crown the first champions? Those were better times.

    Bayley and Sasha Banks held the titles for about a month before losing them to The IIconics at WrestleMania 35. Until Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross won the titles, WWE has struggled to feature the champions properly.

    These belts were touted as being cross-branded, with the possibility of being defended on the main roster or in NXT and NXT UK, and WWE has only booked a handful of title defenses since their creation.

    A number of women like Dana Brooke, Alicia Fox, Naomi and Sarah Logan would benefit from being in the hunt for the tag titles. 

    WWE produces over seven hours of television every week. There is no excuse for not finding the time to showcase every title on at least a biweekly basis. 

Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder's Redemption Story

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    Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder reuniting was something a lot of fans were excited about when it finally happened on the January 21 episode of Raw.

    They were a duo many remembered from their days alongside Edge in La Familia, but soon after they won the Raw tag titles from The Revival at WrestleMania 35 and ended Hawkins' losing streak, WWE forgot all about them.

    We went weeks at a time without seeing them on television and rarely saw them defend the belts before they lost them back to The Revival on June 10.

    Hawkins' losing streak became a weird storyline WWE would occasionally acknowledge without ever doing much with it, and Ryder was a popular star who had been buried years prior for some unknown reason.

    They are still a tag team, but their storyline ended the moment they lost the titles to Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder.

The Brock Party

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    Brock Lesnar winning the Money in the Bank briefcase on May 19 was controversial among fans, but he almost instantly became more entertaining once he had it.

    The Beast Incarnate came out the next night on Raw dancing like he was carrying a boombox on his shoulder, and a few weeks later, he actually had a special case with speakers installed and a different song. 

    This was a fun version of Lesnar we haven't seen before and it was a breath of fresh air. The moment he won the Universal Championship from Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules in July, he returned to his normal self.

    WWE should have explored a fun-loving Lesnar a bit more because it would have been a nice change of pace after years of having the same silent, serious Beast.

    This was never intended to become part of his character, but it was entertaining for the few weeks we had it.

The Brand Split

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    Let's be honest with ourselves: The brand split is dead until WWE does something to change that when SmackDown moves to Fox in October. 

    Raw and SmackDown Superstars move around at will without the Wild Card Rule meaning anything when it comes to how many people can show up on another show.

    Roman Reigns, Becky Lynch and AJ Styles regularly pull double duty, while teams such as The Usos and The New Day move around just as much.

    WWE either needs to make a definitive statement about the brand split being over or reinstate it permanently.

    There are enough people sitting on the sidelines when people stick to their owns shows. The problem will get even worse if the biggest names are expected to be at Raw and SmackDown every week.

    Which storyline from 2019 were you upset to see come to a premature end?