The Fantasy Book on Needing Something More – Part 1 (Goldberg, Hulk Hogan, Harry Potter)

I’ll admit it. This column is getting a little harder for me to write week in and week out. The reason? I am just in the WWE doldrums, I guess. I’m bored. The WWE programming just isn’t exciting to me these days. Let me see if I can explain why.

The WWE tried to shake things up with the brand split and all the new titles. To be honest, they are doing a fine job of doing their job. What I mean by that is that Raw has created some nice moments and storylines with Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins, Sasha Banks, etc. Meanwhile, Smackdown Live has created a champion we want to see in AJ Styles, has allowed Dean Ambrose to play to the crowd, etc. It’s all okay to good weekly television. Nothing revolutionary or anything, but serviceable.

Therein lies the issue though. I don’t need the world of professional wrestling to be changed every time I watch. WCW tried to do that during their Vince Russo years, and it resulted in nobody knowing who was a good guy or a bad guy. I like well developed storylines. I like seeing how the performers/wrestlers get from A to Z. But I don’t want to start reading a book and realize on page 3 what the end result of the story will be. Even if I could figure out the conclusion, I would want the journey to be worth my while.

Another way to describe it is this – a wrestling storyline is like a book in a series. Let’s say Harry Potter. Now, I start reading the first Harry Potter novel and I like it. Then I read the second Harry Potter novel and I like it. Then I start to read the third one. I know the characters and have become invested in them (much like the wrestlers in WWE). I know that at the end of the book Harry Potter is still going to be alive and moving on to the next year at Hogwarts. But I will still read the book and be excited by it, because the story of how Potter gets to that point is different than what he did in the first and second book.

But the WWE has Harry Potter and they know you like Harry Potter. They know you want to see Harry Potter move on to the next year of his eligibility at Hogwarts. But they tell you the same story for every book. If I know where Harry will end up AND I know how he’ll get there, there is ZERO reason to read the book. (I am sure Vince Russo would have swerved everyone and had Harry turn evil, die three times, and then sell Voldemort for some magic beans or something.)

Everything right now is just boring. It’s predictable. It’s the same thing that we have seen over and over and over again. It is lazy writing and lay writing leads to lazy performances by your stars.

But wait, Goldberg is coming back to fight Brock Lesnar! Oh joy. Did anyone see the disaster that was Goldberg-Lesnar I, twelve years ago? I want something new, or at least something that worked the first time.

But wait, Raw and Smackdown Live are going to have classic Survivor Series matches between the two brands. That’s all nice and good, but the brands haven’t been separate for very long. And what is at stake? As far as I can tell, there is little to nothing at stake, and that is a big problem. The matches themselves should be nice to see, and there should be minor little stories being told within the matches themselves, but in the grand scheme of things, who cares?

A quick way to jump start things would be a big turn, ala Hulk Hogan turning nWo back in WCW. But who would you turn, and why? Could you turn John Cena? Sure, but people have been clamoring for that for a long time. You’ve already turned Seth Rollins. You could turn Roman Reigns, but everyone is booing him anyway (although is it just me or his reactions becoming more X-Pac heat lately?). Everyone likes Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho anyway, so no need to turn them. Could you turn Randy Orton? Sure, but I don’t think you want to put your entire audience to sleep.

Another quick way to jump start things would be an invasion angle of some sort. The WWE does not have a good history of invasion angles though. And how would you do it? Buy TNA and have them invade? No one would believe that, unless the TNA wrestlers were invading the camera guys or the concession stand workers. Could Smackdown Live invade Raw or vice versa? Sure, but what’s the point? Then we would just have what we had a few months ago. One invasion idea could work, I think, and that is an NXT invasion. But I already fantasy booked that over the course of five weeks back in May and June.

So what else is there to do? I’ve got one idea but it is still formulating. Hopefully I can put the finishing touches on it for next week. I hope you will like it.

What are your ideas to jump start things in WWE these days? Let me know in the comments section. Let’s get the conversation going.

 

Until next week…

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