If you read all of the comments regarding the WWE in September and October, I think one thing was for certain among fans: A shake up was desperately needed. While this was only a two month time period, there’s no doubt that the product grew incredibly stale. This was very evident in the last month. Of course, having two PPVs in October and three in the span of seven weeks didn’t help matters either. But things needed to change in the WWE with Survivor Series coming up. We needed some new and fresh storylines to get the viewers back involved in the product.
And with what happened on RAW and Smackdown this past Monday, there’s no doubt the WWE did that. As people have pointed out all week, the WWE essentially hit the “reset” button when it came to their current storylines. But take a closer look at everything that happened this week. When you examine everything closer, you begin to wonder if the WWE actually hit the reset button. At second glance, it looks more and more like the WWE hit the “rewind” button rather than the reset button.
Before we get into that part of this column, lets take a look at some of the things the WWE did right. My biggest complement for the WWE is that they finally ended the CM Punk/Paul Heyman program. As I have said numerous times in my RAW reports, those two guys are some of the best mic workers in the business but everything sounded the same the last couple of weeks. I would personally like to see Heyman come back with Lesnar and get another Punk/Lesnar match down the road, but I don’t know if that is happening.
CM Punk needed a fresh program and he is getting that with the Wyatt Family. It’s the program that I thought Punk would go to at the end of the year. Punk can spend the next month or two with the Wyatt Family before getting back into the WWE Title picture in January and Wrestlemania season. The Wyatt Family has kind of been just there the last month or so. No real feud or direction. A program with Punk elevates them immediately. Punk is one of the top stars in the WWE and him feuding with the Wyatts gives them instant credibility. Similar to Big E teaming with Punk immediately after turning face. The promo exchanges should be good, as should the matches. And if Daniel Bryan is involved, that just helps the match quality. But I’ll talk more about Bryan later.
I also like the apparent refocus on the tag team division. Cody Rhodes and Goldust seem to be bringing some credibility back to the Titles. And they continue to put on quality matches with The Shield and The Usos. They had the match of the night at Hell In A Cell. And with the apparent addition of The Real Americans into the picture, we should be in for even more of a treat. Hopefully the WWE lets these eight individuals have singles matches with each other in the build up to what is likely a Fatal Fourway Elimination Match at Survivor Series. Now we can only hope the WWE puts more of a focus on the Intercontinental and United States Titles as well (LOL).
So there are some things to like coming out of RAW and Smackdown this week. But while the WWE changed things up a bit, you have to wonder if they didn’t put us in a time warp and send us back to the 2007-2009 time period. Because that is a little bit of the feeling I got from RAW this week. Let me start with John Cena. And let me preface this by saying that I had no problem with Cena coming back and getting involved in the World Title picture. That Title needed to regain some credibility and having the biggest star in the WWE fighting for it sounded like the perfect plan to do just that.
But part of me thought this would work because it would be the perfect opportunity for someone like Damien Sandow to cash in on an injured Cena and win the World Title. And that looked like exactly what was going to happen on RAW this past week. And then Sandow lost. Sure, everyone can say Sandow “looked good” in his loss to Cena. But come on, do we really expect the WWE to follow up on that. They had the opportunity to make a new star in Sandow. Then you have Cena chase Sandow and talk about wanting the World Title back. That brings even more credibility to the World Title when you have your top star talking about wanting to get the Title back. But instead, the WWE went the safe route and had Cena overcome the odds again. Seems a lot like the old days.
Then there’s the WWE Title picture. Lets start with Champion Randy Orton. Orton hasn’t been WWE Champion in a long time so he has that going for him. But the WWE decided to go the safe route with Orton as Champion instead of giving the Title to Daniel Bryan. If the WWE really wanted to reset things, they would have made Bryan WWE Champion and moved on from there. But instead they went the safe route again with Randy Orton. Just like they did with Cena. Seems a lot like 2009 all over again with Randy Orton as Champion and Triple H right up there with him. Sure they were feuding in 2009 and not partners, but it still kind of feels the same.
And then of course there is the man that appears to be Randy Orton’s next opponent for the WWE Title: The Big Show. When this angle with Triple H as The Authority started, we all thought Daniel Bryan would be made a star when it was done. Now Bryan has been knocked down a peg by going into a feud with the Wyatt Family. While that should be a fun program to watch, you can’t help but think Bryan is out of the WWE Title picture for now. He beat John Cena cleanly at SummerSlam and was booked like crap ever since. Will fans even buy into Bryan if he gets back into the Title picture? Bryan was as over as any wrestler in recent memory, and because it wasn’t the WWE’s doing, they didn’t put all their effort into it.
Now back to the Big Show. Someone really needs to explain to me why he is suddenly getting the star treatment in this angle. At this point in his career, Big Show should not be in the main event picture at all. Every once in a while, the WWE gets this sudden urge to re-push Big Show and treat him as a serious seven foot threat. But how many times have we seen it before. And has it ever worked out? And when has Big Show ever proven to be a good draw for the Company??? The WWE had so much potential for new starts when this angle started with guys like Bryan, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, and hell even Miz was a focal point at one point. Instead the WWE when with the guy that has been around the company for over a decade. The WWE decided to hit the rewind button even further and go all the way back to 2000 when Big Show was fresh and a focal point of the WWE. And I’m sorry, but that is not good for business going forward.
So while the WWE feels like they hit the reset button this past week, it seems more like that they hit the rewind button. And again, it goes back to the WWE’s inability to put any faith in new faces at the top of the company. They went from Daniel Bryan to Big Show. They have John Cena back at the top along with Randy Orton and Triple H. And I didn’t even get into the fact that Kane appears to be going back up the card again. Did the WWE hit the reset button, or did we rewind to a few years ago when those four guys were all at the top of the promotion. If the WWE really wanted to reset things, they would have given us some new people at the top of the card. The WWE failed once again to get behind anybody new, and it will eventually come back to bite them when it comes to the future of their company. You can only worry about the short term for your product for so long. Eventually, the WWE has to find new stars to build their company around. That is what is best for business.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka
Tags: big show, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan, goldust, john cena, kane, randy orton, Raw, The Shield, The Wyatt Family, triple h, WWE