No Chance – The 2014 Wish List Reviewed (CM Punk, WWE Wrestlemania XXX, Smackdown)

Every year at the beginning of the year, I offer up a wish list of what I would want to see out of the WWE in the upcoming year. Nothing too specific or outlandish like “Get Wrestler X to come back and give him the title,” but things that are vague enough that I would like to see happen at some point in the next 365 days. That wish list will be next week’s column, but this week, I want to take a look back at the list that I made at the end of last year to see if all of (or any of) my hopes and dreams for 2014 were realized. So below, are the things that I hoped would happen in 2014 at this time last year.

Make WrestleMania XXX worth it: Last year’s WrestleMania was kind of a sad repeat of the Mania before it, so I wasn’t looking to fondly on what was supposed to be the greatest wrestling event of the calendar year. But this was WrestleMania XXX, I wanted a show that not only could live up to that title but come away as one of the finer moments in WrestleMania’s thirty year history. Safe to say, WWE delivered big on this one. From the Daniel Bryan saga bookending the event with two different matches, to the Streak being broken, WrestleMania XXX was one for the history books. Even the seemingly filler matches in between the big moments really brought their A game making the card one of the strongest Wrestling cards in recent memory.

Do something great with CM Punk: At this time last year, CM Punk seemed to be floating from meaningless feud to meaningless feud never really sticking to anything. This was WWE’s longest reigning champion of the past two decades and I wanted to see something great for him! That…didn’t really happen as you all know. Just a few weeks after making my 2014 wishlist, CM Punk walked out on WWE, seemingly never to return. So no, I didn’t get the amazing CM Punk centered storyline that I was looking for in 2014, but I can’t place 100% of the blame on WWE for that.

Don’t Screw Up Sheamus: At this time last year Sheamus was out due to injury and for the first time in a long time, I wasn’t more tired of the Sheamus character than any other wrestler I had ever seen. Did 2014 repair my relationship with Sheamus? Eh, hard to say if WWE did or did not screw up Sheamus when it seems like they did pretty much nothing with him the whole year long. To be honest, I’m not sure I could tell you a single match that Sheamus was in on WWE television this past year. Was he in the Rumble? I think he might have been in the Rumble at some point.

Make Someone Champion for the First Time: The people who were WWE champion this year: Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and Brock Lesnar. All four of those men had already been champions before 2014 started (Some of them several times) Even Daniel Bryan, who’s championship victory had that “finally the champion” feel to it, was actually winning the championship for the third time. You guys, there are so many people on the roster just waiting for that title shot. Seth Rollins, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, and the title goes to Cena and Orton for half of the year. (Also Vacant held the title for a while there between Bryan and Cena, but even he had a brief time with the title last year)

Get Me To Watch Smackdown Again: I’ll admit it, one year later and I still barely watch Smackdown. And really, why should I? What is it that I’m missing by not catching up on two hours of Raw Replay with a blue tint every week? I’ve hardly watched Smackdown at all this year other than the occasional match here and there and I feel like I’ve missed nothing. Meanwhile, I wasn’t actively watching NXT for the first few months of the year and I really feel like I’ve missed out on something, to the point where I’m trying to catch up via the Network. So handling of NXT: A+. Handling of Smackdown: D- (That one triple threat match saved Smackdown from an F)
Don’t fumble on the Network: Honestly I gotta say, for me, WWE’s doing everything right with the network. All of the PPVs free for Network subscribers. Lots of original content exclusive to the network. Varying quality but a lot of it is quite good, and there’s way more than I’ve had a chance to see. NXT has been off the charts when it comes to quality wrestling. And the network has thousands of archive hours for me to go back and watch anytime I want. Yet WWE continues to struggle to hit the numbers that they are hoping for to make the Network a success. I’m curious, for those who don’t have the Network, or perhaps had it and decided to cancel your subscription. What is it that the network is still missing that you don’t think it’s worth it. Too expensive? Not enough time? While WWE struggles with their network, I gotta say, quality wise, I have very little to complain about.

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