QOTD #45: WWE Style

Today’s Question: In sort of a continuation of yesterday, I hear people talking about WWE Style. Strictly focusing on the in-ring product, I think we are headed for a more homogenized product, as WWE insists on new guys going thru developmental first. So my question is: What automatically comes to mind when you hear someone refer to the “WWE Style”?

 
Yesterday’s Question: Let’s say that hypothetically speaking, of course, that Vince McMahon were to hire you to run WWE, with one mission: fix what’s wrong with the company, and turn things around. He would (again, hypothetically) give you complete autonomy over RAW, SmackDown, WWE Network, etc. with one caveat: You cannot turn John Cena heel. What would be the first 3 things you would do as the new head of WWE?
 
Lots of responses. some of the best ones:
 
cultstatus:1. Fire all the writers/re-assign Stephanie to a division that has nothing to do with the on air product. 2. Overhaul TV/PPV. Cut the shows to just Raw and Smackdown. Raw is a 2 hour live show and Smackdown is a taped jobber/recap show. Cut the PPV lineup to 6 and make them PPV exclusive. Rumble, WM, MITB, Survivor Series, SummerSlam and one tbd. The remaining 6 would be Network exclusive live Clash style specials. 3. Change the in-ring product and presentation. Very few in ring promos, 2 man booth at ringside calls the action, 4 man panel analyzes matches and feuds in between matches near the stage. UFC Countdown style video packages hype big matches like we saw on Raw. Way less goofy gimmicks. Treat it like a legit sport. Ring style would be a mix of WWE style and ROH style.
 
SweetLee:1) Hire Judy Bagwell
2) Place her on a pole
3) ????
4) Profit
But in seriousness…
1) Dark, edgy face Cena.
2) Hire Jim Cornette just to let him fire Kevin Dunn.
3) Build new stars by remembering who I am trying to push.
 
To which Judy Bagwell are you referring: Buff’s mom or his wife????? (does this guy have issues or what? and that is one movie I won’t be watching)
 
Stan Ford:Lots of suggestions that would never fly with concerns like stockholders, the USA network, etc. Three that would:
1. Fire Kevin Dunn. The WWE’s video production machine at this point is an autonomous beast that requires little to no one-man micromanaging, especially from a bigoted dipshit sexist who thinks his opinion about what he’s in charge of recording properly matters. 2. Visual overhaul. Something. Anything. Think tank or focus group it. Just… No more weird color cubes surrounding the Titantron and video wall behind the wrestlers. Make it look new and fresh. 3. If champions are going to wrestle, it should only be for the title or sparingly in tag team matches. Hulk Hogan wasn’t wrestling on every show in the 80s and when Shawn Michaels was IC champ, he didn’t eat music distraction roll ups from every Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart on the roster every time he was on TV.
 
Extant1979: All these people posting that Dusty should get the book… not sure it’s the best idea. Are we ready for Goldust or Stardust, new world champ? No? Good, because there would be Dusty finishes any time we’re expecting a title change…Dusty Rhodes may be a better option than what we have now, but surely there are better wrestling minds out there available than the ol’ Polka Dot Plumber.
Big Dirty Murph: 1: Jobber matches. Build characters by having them squash some indie geek every week. They get to show off all their offense and get their character over without any 50/50 treadmill bullshit. Plus you can save money by paying the jobbers peanuts and only having one or two “real” matches on TV. 2: Change the look. I’d ditch the big ramp and video wall. Go to an MSG style smaller tunnel entrance, and instead of pushing the live entrances so much, i’d have them cut to a video of some sort, so you get the effect of an entrance without doing it in the arena. And that way you can book slightly smaer arenas and make up the difference by not blocking off a quarter of the seats. 3: Goals. Every angle exists because both people have goals and they need to beat their opponent to achieve them. Titles, opportunities. I’d hype up the idea that the winner gets paid more, so that each match has more at stake. only when an angle calls for it do we then have personal issues be at stake. Every match has a logical conclusion when there’s stakes involved.
 
I couldn’t agree more with the jobbers. This would eliminate the 50/50 booking altogether….an interesting take from Dusty Rhodes RF Video Shoot: He actually said his son Dustin and Steve Austin were the most gifted athletes to hit the business in that generation. Nothing against Dustin, hes a good worker and athlete, but that sums why: Dusty + in charge = bad idea
 
grizzlybear:Sorry if this sounds like I’m deliberately undermining the point of the question (you are)… but ‘one mission: fix what’s wrong with the company, and turn things around’ kind of assumes that those enlightened folks at WWE think there’s anything wrong with their business model in the first place. Unscripted promos, less exposure by cutting back on TV, PPV’s etc and rig up an elaborate stunt for John Cena to rappel to the ring from the rafters but tragically fall to his doom. Can’t turn him, but you didn’t say anything about bumping him off.
 
This would be why its hypothetical: No way in hell these things will ever happen….but you do make a good point.
 
Stelio Kontos: 1. Get ex-wrestlers with an aptitude for booking to write the shows, instead of the Hollywood types they have now. 2. No more heel authority figures. Just get Hogan to come out every so often for a big announcement. 3. Hire back Kaitlyn and have her writhe naked on my desk all day. OK, seriously…..3. Change up the announce teams. Give King an ambassadorial role. Keep Cole on RAW, but put him on with Regal. Philips and Renee do Smackdown, JBL becomes a manager, because I can’t stand him for five hours a week anymore.
 
Redman: 1. Stop having 2 or 3 *** matches every night on raw or smackdown. One reason no one buys ppv anymore. Still have plenty of wrestling but shorten the matches on free tv and have more of them so you can have more storylines and characters. Then have the awesome matches at the “special events” every month.
2. Stop the 50/50 booking nonsense. Dont think I have to explain that one.
3. Fire michael cole and jerry lawler. Replace cole with anybody it wont matter and let jbl be the great heel commentator he used to be. And when someone is getting destroyed in a beat down, the commentators should be calling it and talking about how horrible it is. Not sitting there in completely silence and then softly saying “he kicked him in the head” so I would put a stop to that too
 
You kinda lost me on #1
 
Jason Clark:1) Analytics driven booking decisions – I’d build a database of Nielsen ratings of Raw & Smackdown, volumes of crowd pops, and weekly merch sales along with who appeared in segments. Based on that, I’d score how much revenue & ratings each wrestler, manager, etc is providing the company. I’d then use that information to inform booking & creative who is actually “over” and craft story lines and matches around this information. The current system looks too subjective
2) Heavy creative cuts – The scripts and storylines are not very compelling. They could save a shit-ton of money by reducing the amount of scripting, have a single booker stick to making finish decisions, then let the road agents lay out the match. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
3) VP of Common Sense and Continuity – new position: Person’s job is to be familiar with the history of the product and of each wrestler, feuds, and matches. As booking decisions are made, their job is to inform bookers of any breaks in continuity or any actions which are not in the scope of the wrestlers’ character. After discussion, the VP has limited veto rights to a number of booking decisions. They can also support match finishes and lay-outs, recalling past finishes and allude to those during the course of the match.
 
J.T.Murphy: 1. Suspend all other productions by the WWE Network staff until every single bit of useable footage from 1995-2001 is up and running online. WWF, WCW, ECW, the whole lot of it. Then, run outside advertising begging lapsed Attitude-era fans to join in the big-ass nostalgia party. For the next few months, the late 90’s should be the secondary focus of promoting the Network after (the events formerly known as) PPVs. Unearth guys like Ken Shamrock, Steve Blackman, Val Venis, The Godfather, Bob Holly, the Headbangers and Bull Buchanan, and align them with the Attitude stars already on board (Rikishi, Too Cool, The New Age Outlaws) to convince old-school fans to party like it’s literally 1999. Tell Mick Foley and Steve Austin whatever the hell they need to hear to win them over again, and if this initiative starts to take off, spring for a Rock cameo. If TNA goes under one night, then Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, and Bubba Ray Dudley should have Legends contracts (if nothing else) FedEx’d to them by sunrise, followed by attempts to bring in the likes of Matt Hardy, Taz, D’Lo Brown and Al Snow if their requests are at all reasonable.There were more eyeballs on wrestling shows during that era than there ever were before or have been since, and it’s a waste to barely even try to appeal to that goldmine of nostalgia when they need subscribers more than anything else in the world.
2. Quietly, with no fanfare, convert NXT into a haven for indy wrestling geeks. They’re already quite a bit of the way there already, all that needs to happen on this end is bring in more high-profile indy guys and foreign stars on furloughs or developmental deals (again, already happening) and then crib a few ideas from ROH or Chikara to make the product feel noticeably different from WWE. NXT can be the Touchstone Pictures to WWE’s Disney just by nudging it even more in its current direction, and it would result in the company’s first true success at brand extension. In order for this to work, though, NXT should only get passing mentions on WWE TV, as if it were an independent company renting air time. Word of mouth and social media should be doing the heavy lifting here. If NXT starts getting the same fanfare as WWE’s other events and shows, that’s the end of it right there.
3. Reverse course completely on the Zack Ryder rule. Encourage performers to interact with fans on social media and YouTube in particular. Keep some producers on staff to help the superstars and divas build custom video content, and reward them by letting them keep a major portion of the revenue of their WWE-approved channel. Study and replicate the recent successes of independent YouTube stars, and use that goodwill to put butts in seats and cash in the Network’s hand. Things I wouldn’t touch: WWE.com as it stands (they’re holding their own and then some in creating content). The main shows in general (The storylines and booking decisions can be suspect, but the wrestling and promo delivery have been improving dramatically over these past 12 months. If #3 works, it could give Smackdown a new lease on life as a showcase for fan-driven stars while the uppercard does its thing on Raw. Real change in the main event can and should come from the ground up.). Total Divas (I don’t think enough is made of how WWE, at long last, produced a successful, profitable program that isn’t wrestling)
 
Stuart_Chartrock: The solution is pretty simple: actually CARE about the entirety of the roster, not just two or three guys on top.
It can be hard to predict who or what is going to get over, but it’s better to keep throwing ideas at the wall than to just arbitrarily decide that nobody other than Cena is worth anything. If a guy debuts a new character, run with it! If a guy wins a title, run with it! If a guy begins to gain popularity, run with it!
And in the mean time, for people who AREN’T being utilized well, COME UP WITH SOMETHING! Come up with ideas for the entire roster. I’m not even saying that it’s easy or possible to come up with GOOD ideas for everyone, just brain-storm and do something other than having guys under contract for YEARS, but only allowing them to pop up once every six months on your D-level show.
Don’t just say “this guy isn’t Cena” or “nobody cares about the IC title” and then rush through 2.5 hours of filler just to spend thirty minutes on your biggest name.
 
riraho: 1a. Make the belts mean something. No champion should ever lose if it’s not for losing the title.
1b. Stop being embarrassed about WRESTLING. It’s what the fuck it is. It’s why people watch.
2. Continuity. Tito Santana and Rick Martel kept their feud going for years, as long as each of them were in the Fed. Now, HHH can hit HBK in the spinal cord with a sledge hammer and then they become best buds and reform DX.
3. Have the balls to create new stars. SK mentioned something along these lines this week. Hogan’s spot on top of the WWF lasted 9-10 years. Bret’s lasted 6. Austin and Rock, about 5 years. Now, Cena and Orton have been on top for nearly 15 and there is no chance of them fading any time soon.
Between 1a, 1b, 2 and 3, it’s an absolute wonder to me why any one even cares about what they knew as wrestling from their childhood. It’s not even the same thing anymore.
It’s not freaking rocket science. If they fix those things, ratings and the Network will take care of themselves.
 
BooBoo1782: 1. Hire Mick Foley as head of creative. I feel like Mick, given his creative talents (have you read his novels? I really like them…shame they didn’t sell better), his knowledge of the business, and the great character work he did as an active wrestler, is probably the individual best suited to leading a wrestling promotion on the creative side. He clearly has a lot of ideas about the business, and an eye for talent. He’s also seen more than enough bad bosses that he knows what NOT to do. I feel like a CEO should probably stay a level or two removed from individual storylines and booking decisions (except in extreme cases), but I would trust Mick to head up Creative.
2. Give Mick a directive to emphasize long-term booking: for every angle and character, a member of the creative team should be able to answer the question: “Where are we trying to go with this?” That doesn’t mean that we should doggedly attempt to get there when it isn’t working, but there should certainly be a Plan A, and probably a Plan B and/or C. I think there’s too much throwing guys on TV with a cutesy gimmick – Fandango, Bo Dallas, etc. – but without a plan. I would want that changed, even if the plan is “get a few wins to establish the character, then settle back as enhancement talent.”
3. Change the overall structure of RAW (and I’m assuming Smackdown as well…haven’t watched it in a long time), and divert from the 20-minute opening promo at least once in a while. I’d probably reinstitute the Cruiserweight title and use it to pop the crowd early (a la Nitro), then maybe get into the big angles.
 
Thats a LOT of Mick Foley….and people would get tired of him in short otder.
 
TheConvictor: I don’t think there’s any point in talking about creative stuff because you can never plan on a guy catching fire a la Steve Austin or the NWO. Instead, I’d focus on fiscal and employment issues.
1. Find a revenue source to replace the loss of PPV money. If the Network is here to stay, then it must generate more revenue. This could be accomplished by increasing the price of “Special Events,” charging a one-time “installation fee” in order to discourage people from cutting off service, or creating “premium content” for customers to pay additional money for. Maybe live events cost $2 to watch in real-time, or maybe RAW and Smackdown replays are $1 if you want to watch the same day or the day after. Basically, unless there are a bunch of customers clamoring for the network in the UK and overseas, then they have to make due with the subscribers they have and figure out ways to get more money out of them.
2. Figure out ways to combine the network with other content providers. It might be anathema for the WWE to consider this, and I have no idea if this would be feasible, but why not enter into a joint venture with UFC, HBO/Showtime, AAA and New Japan to create one gigantic fighting network? At the very least, they should be looking for ways to cross-promote. Heck, they could throw the WWE Films onto the Network, too (who wouldn’t want to watch Fandango in “The Marine 8?” A diversity of programming is what makes Netflix and Hulu successful. Obviously, the WWE Network isn’t Netflix or Hulu, but there’s no reason why they can’t broaden their offerings a little without losing their core identity. Hell, put the old XFL games on there, too. I wouldn’t mind reliving the Tommy Maddox Era.
3. Mandatory off-seasons for wrestlers. It’s not healthy for wrestlers to work all year. I’d institute rotating off-seasons where wrestlers can’t have matches for 2 months. They can still appear on TV, but best case scenario is that they go home and rest. Wrestlers might not be in favor since it would decrease their earnings, so I’d compensate by offering them benefits, such as health care and disability. In addition to having healthier wrestlers, I’d also get a nice PR bump (don’t scoff at the value of this – Linda McMahon would have killed for some good PR in 2010 and 2012).
 
Paul Meekin: For starters I’d make the Network available in two options, and add some incentives.
1. a Free to Watch model where you can watch X number of shows for free, but you’ll get ads every few minutes like a TV show, and it wouldn’t come with PPVs, which would run around…29.99.
2. The current model we have now, 9.99, BUT with exclusive discounts and bonuses on merch, tickets, and other neat perks for long-time subscribers.
3. Add in a rating system for the WWE Network, per match, which would allow people to rate matches and segments on a 1-5 scale, allowing the best of the content to rise to the top.
Second:
Establish the belts more. The World Title is fine, and it seems the Tag division is actually decently decent for the first time in quite a long while. WWE seems obsessed with their legacy and prestige and legacy, but rarely does that translate in wrestlers bitching about needing a title.
Third:
I’d love it if they shot some of their matches on film for special segments or parts of video packages, it’d look amazing.
Fourth:
Re-ignite Kayfabe. I want wrestlers to appear on TMZ then get attacked by ‘a masked figure’ that turns out to be their opponent on the PPV, the more I question “Is this for real?!” even if I know it’s not, the more engaged I am in the product.
 
I hate to break it to you, but there’s no way the toothpaste is going back in that tube. Kayfabe – for better or worse – is dead. The dual Network idea is a good one – all about profit.
 
X-Man: 1) Fire EVERY single member of the writing staff.. Every one. Hire some younger writing talent with an emphasis on people that are longtime fans of wrestling. Have one Head writer (not named McMahon) that can make the decisions, but he should get input from the others.
2) Talent shift. Bring up Sami Zayn, Aiden English, Devitt, Kalisto and Kenta. Change the announce teams using wrestlers like Christian that are collecting dust.
3) Immediately bring back the cruiserweight division. Hire some cheap luchadors and Japanese talent to build up people like Kenta and Zayn and watch them lead the company into the future.
joedust: 1) Put commercials on the Network as an additional source of revenue. Try and pursue high end advertisers almost exclusively to change the narrative about how wrestling fans are low-brow and while the ratings are good, the add rates suck, so that when my next TV contract comes due I can show Universal that my ratings are worth more and improve those TV rights fees.
2) Book my own version of the G-1 Climax. Two matches on Raw, two matches on Smackdown, two matches on Main event = 6 matches a week. Run it over the dead fall period and promise the winner a title match at the Royal Rumble. This can sort of start the clock on the WrestleMania season earlier, since they can promote that the winner of the tournament could win the WWE title at the Rumble, which almost guarantees a title defense at WrestleMania. It makes all the TV shows more important because now there’s six matches a week that could determine who is main eventing WrestleMania. No convulted rules either: 2 pts for a pin/sub win, 1 pt for a dq/COR win or draw, 0 points for a pin/sub loss, -1 for a dq loss.
3) No more four way matches for the WWE Championship or NXT Championship. These matches are a bad idea, and if a match with four guys is the most interesting thing you can book, and some more guys and throw it in a cage or something. Look at Battleground — how many problems with the booking of that show could have been solved if they didn’t even bother with that stupid four-way, and instead did Cena/Abrose/Reigns v. Kane/Orton/Rollins in a cage?
 
I gotta say: AWESOME idea with the G1 concept. I think this is what TNA was going for with the Bound For Glory, but could never quite get people to care (well….because it sucked) but the talent in WWE could pull it off.
 
Stranger in the Alps: 1. Dump the screenwriters trying to work their way up to The Big Bang Theory. This does not translate well to wrestling, and gets you segments like Hornswoggle hanging with Fandango for “comedic” purposes. You can go back to the traditional style of booking angles.
2. Bring back squash matches. It saves you from having to book yourself into a corner where some guy trying to work his way up has to lose to a more established star. That way when two guys meet, chances are good that they have not met before, and people would believe that it really can go 50-50 on the outcome.
3. Replace the commentary team with people who understand storytelling and wrestling holds and let them do their thing and tell Vince to get the fuck out of their ear. Michael Cole would be a backstage interviewer, or fired altogether, JBL would be allowed to stay on color provided he went back to his insider knowledge, and Lawler would be sent home to retirement. Since TV is very important in getting the message across to the audience, you need commentary that is interesting.
Crikey Mate Down Aussie: 1) clamp down on illegal streaming and torrents, remove them around the clock. Having matches on YouTube does promote the product, but having people watch network specials for free is costly.
2) buy TNA, have them invade in a total overhaul of the company, like all storylines just come to an abrupt halt as The Authority, after failing to have there guy as champion, back another company to get it done. This would get the same level of mainstream attention the Punk walkout of MitB did. Once the storyline runs it’s course the majority of TNA’s roster settle on Smackdown, using the World title again as the show’s centre piece. Specials like battleground and survivor series have meaning again.
3) allow blood again. If they are serious about drawing in the lost attitude era fans for the network then they have to allow it to some extent. I’m not condoning chair shots to the head or piledrivers or anything, they can still be safe and protective, but blood feuds draw, and blood feuds need blood.
 
Jason Andreas: 1) Implement a definitive “league structure” for the shows. NXT is the Minor League show, as now, where talent is developed and honed. Talent then is promoted to Smackdown, which has a focus on technical wrestling and has a guaranteed mandate that more than 50% of the show run-time will be actual matches. It will have a league structure and every quarter, a special match will be held between the top two/three/four (depending) to determine who is promoted to Raw, with a bottom tier talent coming back from Raw (either for losing too much or as storyline punishment/stipulation). Raw will be the show it is today, mainly story-driven, with the top echelon of talent, big guest stars, etc. If a talent wins the Rumble and isn’t a Raw star, they gain immediate promotion to Raw. Same goes for MitB, which would have 2 entrants from each of the three shows. There will also be a “you won’t see this elsewhere” theme to the shows, meaning recaps of eventa on other shows are at a bare minimum and only used for big events.
2) Tag Team wrestling will be given a new focus. Any team entering tag competiton must have a team name and something, whether it’s gear, paint, etc, that makes them feel like an actual and definitive team unit, not just two guys shoved together because there’s nothing else to do with them. Teams will be kept together an absolute minimum of 6 months, barring injury/sacking. Teams made of two singles stars cobbled together for storyline reasons will only beat an established team unit on rare occasions, as a nod to the fact it’s a different and specialises style of match.
3) The gimmick ppvs (HiaC, TLC,etc) would be no more. They would get generic names again and these matches would be reserved as genuine special attractions (a HiaC should end a huge, bloody feud, not just happen because it’s that month’s gimmick). The exceptions to this woukd be Elimination Chamber and, of course, the Rumble. I would also make Survivor Series unique again: all matches are SS style matches, barring the world title match.
 
Yes! I HATE the gimmick PPVs! The league structure sounds too much like the NBA Summer League (and nobody watches that either).
 
Brian Scala:1) Build a physical WWE Hall of Fame building and make voting requirements for future inductees.
This is my biggest pet peeve. A physical HOF would add an aura of legitimacy to an area that is in desperate need of it. Yes, we’re talking about a form of entertainment that is pre-determined, but that’s no reason to make a mockery of something (Koko B. Ware?) that is supposed to be as prestigious as main-eventing WrestleMania. A HOF museum would add another form of revenue. WWE network subscribers get in at a discounted rate. Voting is open to all subscribers every year from December 1 to December 31. Those who acquire 80% of the vote get in. Announce the inductees at the RAW after the Royal Rumble.
2) Cut the PPVs down to six per calendar year & charge an extra $10 for each
WWE has already cannibalized their PPV revenue thanks to the network. They can have as few or as many as they want. Cutting PPVs to every other month would make them special again and would make the buildup that much more special to boot. Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, King of the Ring, SummerSlam, <insert random=”” title=”” here=””> and Survivor Series is all I need. Charging subscribers an extra $10 for the PPVs isn’t going to blow up the internet. That’s still $180 for everything in one year. Not a bad deal.
3) No more Heel Authority Figures (at least, not for a few years)
One of the dynamics I loved about WWE growing up was seeing heels get punished by Jack Tunney for doing dastardly things. If he got involved, you knew this was a big deal and there would be hell to pay. Plus, it gave the heels a chance to outsmart the boss and make them appear more evil (i.e. Jake Roberts / This Tuesday In Texas). Write the Authority off of TV and hire a new figurehead to act as WWE President.
 
AlexBull: 1. Ditch the U.S. title and establish a “Beat The Champ” TV title. Defended only on Raw; gimmick it so opponents are drawn at “random”. Five victories in a row as champ earns you a World title match. In the same vein, stop booking the IC champ like a JTTS. The IC champ should be the top midcard guy, not fodder for the main eventers.
2. Establish an annual tournament a-la the G1. Use the well-established King of the Ring name. Stretch it out over several months, like TNA did for the Bound For Glory series… just don’t screw it up like they did. A format similar to the World Cup would work — put four guys into a group, have them round robin, then the top two from each group advance to single elimination. Book the finals at Night of Champions. Make it important, use it to elevate new talent, create storylines, etc.
3. Make the dialogue and the flow of the show more organic. Let guys cut promos that aren’t read off of cue cards, bring back promos in front of the live crowd, let the announcers call the matches without Vince coaching them through their headsets.
Can think of many other changes, but those would be my top three.
 
Mike_N: 1. Get rid of the 50/50 booking in the midcard. You can’t elevate anyone with it. If everyone always trades wins and losses, no one stands out. That’s part of the reason every six-man match is Cena, Orton, Sheamus, Bryan (when healthy, HHH when he’s not), and Random Midcarder A and Random Midcarder B. RMA and RMB have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, and they always feel like they’ve been stapled on to the main event.
The ex-Shield seems like the first three guys in a million years (other than Daniel Bryan) to escape the black hole of the midcard.
2. Bring in guys with different looks/different styles. So what if they don’t have generic looks, names, or styles? We’re going to make money off them anyway. Hell, we might even make more money because they’re different. Variety is the spice of life, right?
Sure, some of them might not pan out, but some of the generic WWE guys won’t either. If they don’t work WWE style, that’s OK, as long as the crowds are responding and they’re not hurting guys.
3. New announcers. Jesus Christ, new announcers. Or just get let them improvise (without Vince in their ears, I mean), and see if the commentary improves.
 
Starscreamlive:1. Build up the midcard. Restore prestige to the IC title and create storylines/feuds that are meaningful and compelling. There is a lot of talent in the mid-card/tag division that goes by wasted just to fill time. Kofi and Ziggler are two of the most talented guys on the roster and their talents are wasted week in/week out because no emphasis is put into midcard feuds anymore.
2. Bring back the brand split. Too many guys on one roster right now and all these guys sit backstage with nothing to do. It’s a similar situation to late 90s WCW with all the guys just showing up to do nothing, or just to do a nothing match on Superstars.
3. Cut out scripted promos for most talent. Some talent need scripted promos b/c they don’t have promo skills, but the gifted guys on the mic need to be turned loose. Go back to bullet points and have wrestlers/Superstars speak from the heart. If they can’t cut it, send them packing. These scripted promos that we are forced to watch every week just makes most of these guys’ characters so bland. CM Punk got over as big as he did b/c they turned him loose on the mic. Imagine just how much more awesome Ambrose would be if they turned him loose on the mic. NXT is a great idea for talent development; they need to focus on NXT wrestlers cutting promos so their promos will be much more natural when they get to the main roster. I think they’ve given Bray Wyatt a little bit of freedom on the mic. How much better would Bo Dallas’ charachter be if they let him loose on the mic rather than having to memorize his lines before coming out on camera. I think Bo would get over a lot better if he was allowed to speak his mind.
 
RosAlGhulScoe:1. Institute a top 10 where the top three are guaranteed a world title shot within some period of the time and the IC title holder is guaranteed a top three spot. The goal is to bring the sport back to wrestling and make matches have a little more meaning as wrestlers try to get into the top 10 and top 3, so when Heath Slater beats Seth Rollins, there’s some actual value to him.
2. Start doing big surprises on the WWE Network shows. One of the ideas that came to mind after someone posted the awesome Brock backstabbing Triple H idea was making it mandatory that Brock defend the title, everyone assumes he’s going to Raw but instead, he shows up on NXT and murders Zayn (playing plucky underdog). Since the Network shows are replayable, you don’t need to announce big moments in advance and it will actually drive people there to subscribe to see, say, Chris Jericho’s surprise return on Main Event more than them trying to heckle you into subscribing all night during Raw. You don’t need to announce things in advance there because you’re not trying to drive ratings, you’re driving subscriptions.
3. Demand that everyone respect continuity. Know the history, utilize it in storytelling, not just long term continuity, but short term. Make sure everything done at any time is taken into consideration going forward. Understand what you’re trying to accomplish with, say, Cesaro taking Cena to the limit, and how that impacts booking two weeks later.

Charismatic eNegro Jef Vinson: After making Layla, AJ and Naomi dance on my desk wearing nothing but thongs and high heels I’d:
1.) Redo the roster split. Heyman books Smackdown, Dusty or Dutch books RAW. Unify the IC and US belts and make it the main belt on Smackdown. Both shows to be independent of each other except for PPV’s. (save the Diva’s and tag titles which will float between shows.) All wrestlers that are not doing anything will be forced to find a tag partner, become a manager/valet or be fired. Wrestlers need TV time to develop their characters, and they can’t do that if they’re not booked. Go to the picture in picture interview style to maximize match time. The more established wrestlers like Cena do not need a lot of TV time so give it to the up and comers that could use it.
2.) Find a new announce team that acts like they care about the product. I’m tired of the rambling, schilling and overall incompetence of the three idiots they have on RAW.
3.) Whether it be through Facebook, Twitter or planting people in the crowd do whatever it takes to find out what the current fanbase wants and tailor the product to it. If there is an overwhelming desire to push a certain wrestler give him the opportunity to have his moment. If he drops the ball no one can say you didn’t try. If you hear that the crowd is not responding favorably to something tone it down or scrap it.
 
Possibly my favorite post……Honestly, I was sold before you got to #1
 
 
My first 3 things would be:
1 – by hook or by crook, shorten RAW to 2 hours
2 – Bring back the brand extension, with 2 separate products. After seeing what he did with the “Smackdown 6” back in 2004, Smackdown would be Paul Heyman’s gig. The emphasis on keeping the brands SEPARATE (but equal). Rarely having them interact AT ALL.
3 – Focus on making the titles mean something again. I can’t say how crucial this is. Why would I tune in to see the champion….if he just lost 3 weeks in a row because of ridiculous 50/50 booking? This is where the occasional jobber would be beneficial as well.
 
Some things I’ve discovered reading this blog:
* I have too much time on my hands
* You guys REALLY hate Kevin Dunn. REALLY!
* Not much better are your opinions of the announcers
* People overall want to see a better product…..but the WWE ain’t listening….I’m guessing they really DO believe they are doing whats best for business.
 

I think the #1 problem that faces the WWE is that the matches mean…..nothing! Why did Austin and Rock fight like hell? Because both wanted to be the champion. If you needed a new star, back in the old days the I-C champ was there waiting in the wings. Thats whats missing. Nobody cares who wins – the champions lose EVERY WEEK to build up the PPV. It’s become a cliche. The Intercontinental title used to be a ticket to stardom. Now its a ticket to a 3-month losing streak. They are so busy trying to build the “Face of the WWE” that they have all but ruined the titles…..reason #1 nobody cares.

 
The main things I think we can take from this is that people want to see….

* Blood. I think we can safely say the PG TV isnt working. The main thing is that the sponsors would get upset, but heres a thought: dont the PPVs on the Network have blood? Why not have a special a few times a year geared towards the TV14 audience? (Hell I would even tune into HBO!)
* The people they WANT to get behind get pushed! Let those who get over run with the ball. We dont care whos the face of the WWE…..give us more Bray Wyatt. More Daniel Bryan.

What we don’t want to see:
* Heel commissioners. Honestly, its gotten to the point where I honestly saw no point in Brad Mattox.
* Gimmick PPVs. Hell in the Cell once every year or two? Special. A card full of them? Not so much.
* Kevin Dunn. Or anybody associated with the writing team
* 50/50 Booking.
* New announcers. I think they screwed up by running Jim Ross off because new announcers mean we get….well….Mike Adamle (yikes!). I think its irrelevant as long as the announcers spend more time talking about what’s trending worldwide than whats going on in the ring (though THANKFULLY, it appears the Tout era is over)
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