The WWE is in need of a shakeup. Some things are done well, others poorly. As a fan, I believe that some things need to be changed and tweaked in order to improve the product that WWE airs. There’s no question amongst young WWE fans that the Attitude Era was one of the best periods to be a wrestling fan. Growing up during this era, I can only hope that WWE tries to recapture some of the things that made this time frame so great. What the WWE has become now is great for kids, but as ratings continue to slip, it’s become clear that staying on their current path moving forward will not do the trick. The following are some suggestions for WWE to consider moving forward, in no specific order;
Turn Triple H Heel
I know I speak for a lot of people when I say that babyface Triple H sucks. Bring back heel Triple H. The same HHH that ran Evolution. The same one that destroyed Shawn Michaels so many times. From my perspective, HHH has been main eventing for 10+ years and has more title reigns than anybody else in the WWE. Oh, and he’s married to the boss’ daughter. I can’t cheer for him anymore. Plus, making him a heel can open more doors in terms of storylines and feuds. Early rumours point to HHH saving the WWE from Nexus, but I’d prefer it if he was their leader. Bring back the closest thing to Evolution as possible.
Scrap the PG-TV
That said, this will not happen. With Linda McMahon running for Senate, WWE needs to keep a squeaky-clean image in order for her to stand a chance. In addition, some of the big players from the Attitude Era – Vince McMahon, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon – all have children or grandchildren. The old PG-14 stuff is gone – at least for the time being.
Move SmackDown! Back to Thursdays
Again, this will not happen (this year, at least) because SyFy will be picking it up in October in the exact same timeslot. The move could potentially be done next year, though. Personally, I find it hard to catch SmackDown! since Friday is…well, Friday night. Thursday nights are not only more convenient for a lot of people, but statistically, Friday is the second worst night of the week for TV ratings, behind only Saturday.
For the Love of God, Get Edge & Christian on the Same Show
At this year’s draft, Edge was moved to Raw, which is where Christian was. I thought that they’d be on the same show, finally, after *years* of waiting for them to team up again. And what happens? Christian moves to SmackDown. The SmackDown following the Draft Lottery on Raw saw Christian and Edge have a great in-ring promo segment, followed by an excellent TV match on the following Raw. Why are they always separated? The guys have known each other since grade 6 and came up together through the ranks. Chemistry like that doesn’t just happen. Plus, both are excellent workers and both can play believable babyface and heel characters. Attitude Era fans would love to see them together again for the first time since 2001 – teaming, feuding, whatever the case may be. While Edge is a main eventer and Christian is midcard, I believe it can still work. WWE found a way to push Evan Bourne, who has zero mic experience, so they’ve got to be able to do the same for a veteran like Christian.
This went on for a very short period in the WWE, but I loved it. It makes for a terrific storyline heading into a PPV like Survivor Series, where Raw’s best 5 take on SmackDown’s best 5. I remember guys like Orton (SmackDown) running into Raw, disrupting a match and RKOing Shawn Michaels for no real reason. The following SmackDown, HBK ran in and superkicked Orton, causing him to lose the match. Kane, Undertaker, Big Show, HHH – all of these guys were involved in showing up at the rival show and ruining matches, and whoever had the home turf had to fend them off. It was awesome, just like the WWE/Alliance angle worked well. Anytime you band together a bunch of superstars and give them a solid storyline to work with, you’re going to see results.
Re-Sign Bryan Danielson
I’m sure you all know the story by now. Danielson was fired for choking ring announcer Justin Roberts with his tie, which WWE thought was too violent for their PG-TV audience. Danielson is currently in the midst of his 90-day no compete clause, meaning that he can work indy bookings (which he does), but cannot appear on TNA Wrestling during this time. This clause is expected to be lifted around mid-September, where rumours suggest that WWE will re-sign him. Danielson is far too valuable a talent to let go for nothing. My suggestion would be to bring him back as a babyface in any ugly duckling situaiton, assuming the Nexus angle is still around.
Rebuild the Women’s and Tag Team Division
The WWE Divas division is atrocious. The company has had zero pushes for anyone since Lita and Trish Stratus. In terms of a performance standpoint, their best Divas are Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim, Natalya, Melina and Michelle McCool. Now, Gail is constantly being buried, and Natalya is finally getting some ring time. But what bugs me is the lack of storyline and build for these matches. If you give them time, these women can perform. They also need a story to hook the audience. They also had Mickie James, who they stupidly released (in April, began pursuing her singing career which WWE didn’t like) but is also amongst their best performers. Which reminds me, they need to sign Awesome Kong. Especially now, with Beth and Melina injured, the Women’s division looks feeble. Speaking of feeble, how about WWE’s tag divison? Can it even be called that? All they do is stick two singles wrestlers together and call it a tag team. Guys like Chris Jericho, who they often don’t have a program for, usually gets thrown under the bus and is stuck doing tag matches. That said, because he’s such a great worker, he has the ability to better some of the younger guys (The Miz, etc.) and turn them into better performers. Finally, WWE is starting to push the Usos and The Hart Dynasty, which are two legitimate tag teams. Quit pairing singles wrestlers together and start developing tag teams. Brian Kendrick and Paul London were amazing. Why not do Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy back when Jeff was still around? DiBiase & Rhodes? Cryme Tyme? The Colons? The division would be decent if they actually gave it a chance.
Bring Back the Older WWE Championship
It was fine when John Cena was rapping, but the spinner belt has worn out its welcome. The WHC just looks so much nicer – bring back a solid plate championship. Cena even said that the spinner was getting stale and that it had run its course. Bring back the old WWE Championship.
Scrap the Guest Host Gimmick
This concept was a mess from the beginning. Once in a blue moon did a guest host do something great. Otherwise, they took up a lot of airtime, especially for a show that’s promo-heavy and doesn’t future lengthy matches. Some guest hosts provided nothing to benefit the Raw telecast, while others (all?) were making appearances for a company that they’ll never be associated with again. I understand the idea behind it – that WWE could potentially be getting some mainstream attention by having, say, Ashton Kutcher on the show, but simply put, it’s not working. Stick to the basics – sound wrestling built by solid storytelling. That’ll lead to more viewers for Raw, and in turn, more Pay-Per-View buys. Not watching Jerry Springer attempt to piece together his show on Raw.
Give Commentators Personalities
WWE used to have announces that played to personalities – some were babyface, others heel, etc. JBL is an example of a heel commentator. He praised a “heel move” saying that it was smart, strategic, etc. Everyone now seems to have one bland, generic personality. WWE was headed in the right direction when they had Michael Cole work normally until Bryan Danielson showed up, then constantly chirped him. My suggestion? Bring JBL to the commentary desk. His back won’t allow him to wrestle anymore – so be it. Do colour commentary for SmackDown, and get someone like William Regal for Raw. A fantastic heel character who is outstanding from behind the desk.
Stop booking champions to lose non-title matches
WWE was not happy with Jack Swagger’s WHC reign and decided to take the belt off of him, citing him not getting over. But reading further into it shows that WWE really dropped the ball on this one. According to the Wrestling Observer, Swagger had 4 singles wins on TV, 6 TV losses (Orton, Morrison, Undertaker, Kingston & Mysterio twice), a loss in a three way, a loss in the only tag match he had and three DQ losses. That’s 15 matches, where he won a grand total of 4. As a World Champion. But how can you when you’re constantly booked to lose? Look at Sheamus on Raw, he’s not booked like that. Rey Mysterio got the same treatment a few years ago. It just doesn’t make sense. The champs don’t need to lose every single non-title match.
John Cena vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania
It’s been a long time since these guys feuded on SmackDown, and it’s about time they do it again. Cena’s the top dog in the WWE, while Undertaker’s undefeated streak remains intact. The best part about it is that a championship doesn’t need to be involved, and it remains a high-calibre match. Git’r done.
Build an actual WWE Hall of Fame
A lot of WWE HOFers are in that deserve to be, but a lot of names are left out for stupid reasons. Guys like Bruno Sammartino (not on good terms with Vince) and Randy Savage (Vince not on good terms with him) and The Ultimate Warrior (see Savage) are left out, while people like Koko B. Ware and other random celebrities are in. But while that may never change, why not build a physical Hall of Fame? The NFL (Canton, OH), NBA (Springifield, MA), MLB (Cooperstown, NY) and NHL (Toronto, ON) have them, where fans can visit and interact. Why not build one in Connecticut? I’d visit. Assuming the names like the three aforementioned were included.
More Raw/SD/PPV in Major Cities
Big name cities like Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, Cleveland, Chicago, Miami, etc. need more shows. As it stands, they only get a few live shows a year, and it sucks. Typically, WWE likes to book major house shows in these cities, they sell out their buildings that hold about 20,000 and then put TVs in smaller cities because that’s a better way to sell out in the smaller cities. But some cities just want it more – reward them and bring more shows here. House shows suck. I want Raw, SmackDown and PPVs.
Marc Valeri – email@example.com
VoV – www.voiceofvaleri.com
Add me on Facebook at Facebook.com/VoiceofValeri
Add me on Twitter at Twitter.com/VoiceofValeri
Join the VoV Forums
Ask me anything on FormSpring
Get VoV RSS feeds
Become a Fan of VoV on Facebook
Join the VoV Facebook Group