WWE will hold their draft next week. It should be no surprise that WWE will stack the show and make a desperate attempt to bring in viewers. We’ll see past stars (a WWE “go to” tactic), gimmick matches, and the ever popular “draft”. But how long until the “new car smell” wears off? What does WWE do then?
Most call me a cynic but the proof is in the pudding: at some point, either RAW or Smackdown! will be viewed as the “b” show. I’ve already said that I’m not a fan of split brands. While some argue that it will allow more guys to grow, I argue that WWE will have too much going on. They’ll revert back to booking the same storylines for both shows. They’ll have different participants but they’ll be the same storylines.
WWE has the best roster they’ve ever had. The problem is that their full-time maineventers aren’t built for that level, yet. The company has spent far too much time investing in established part-timers that they’ve neglected the full-time roster. This is the “new era” yet we’re still focusing on John Cena (the true face of the company), the McMahons, and Brock Lesnar. It’s only a matter of time before Dwayne (yes, that’s what he prefers to go by, now) and Trips return to the picture. Long gone are the days where there were 6 legit World title holders that were easily recognizable to non-wrestling fans. They’ve been replaced with guys who have PG watered down gimmicks with little outside credibility.
I’ve always thought the UFC contained aspects that were staged and/or predetermined. Brock Lesnar needed to win his fight. Brock needed it. WWE needed it. UFC needed it. Randy Orton (a “fake” wrestler) is supposed to be a legit threat to Lesnar (a real fighter)? Don’t worry, WWE will make this rivalry a main focal point during next week’s draft build. But I have to give WWE credit. As much as they promoted the UFC fight, on social media, they didn’t take away from TV time. Wait, wasn’t UFC “competition” for WWE? If you can’t beat ‘em….join ‘em. We live in a smarter time. It’s becoming harder and harder to suspend disbelief.
NXT (the minor leagues) has been far more entertaining than the “action” taking place on the main roster. The women (remember #GiveDivasAChance and #WomensRevolution) had better matches and storylines. Since getting called to the main roster, we’re already seeing the drama seep into the athletics. Just wait until the new season of Total Divas and Total Bellas takes shape.
Instead of a brand split, WWE should pair down the roster. Focus on a select group of wrestlers (while building others in NXT). If a main roster guy gets injured, call up a minor leaguer. It’s worked for the MLB and WWE continues to imitate professional sports (WWE Fantasy and their version of College Gameday are direct rip-offs). Allow the fans to truly invest in these guys. Don’t just throw them into a multi-tag match on a weekly basis. Have a point to each feud and allow BOTH participants to get a payoff. Have the characters add depth to their gimmicks. The Wyatt Family has been doing the same thing for years. Let’s dig a bit deeper. The poetic promos were great for the first few months. Let’s see some more depth. Just because Dean Ambrose stole an ambulance (twice!) doesn’t mean he’s a lunatic. Have him take some pages from Cactus Jack and the Loose Cannon.
With Smackdown! going live, WWE can replicate the same feel as RAW (thanks to live TV) and build. The ratings and viewership numbers speak for themselves. Something needs to change. Ultimately, WWE needs another wrestling company to compete with. The wrestlers and fans have options. This will force BOTH companies to put on solid products. Until then, we’ll continue to see low numbers and WWE will continue to focus on THEIR agenda #RomanReigns.
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