My last Fantasy Book focused on WrestleMania 32 and my disappointment with it. But I don’t want anyone to think that I am just a Negative Nelly about the WWE all the time. Even though I don’t love a lot of the main eventers, I like a lot of the current wrestlers in WWE. My biggest frustration with the WWE product is really about the laziness of the writers. There are so many ways to get people over, but they keep falling back on old tropes which don’t work anymore.
Let me give an example today of a way I think the WWE could make some new stars and salvage some old ones all over the course of one long-term storyline.
To begin this journey, I will start with the current landscape. The League of Nations has just dumped Wade Barrett. The Wyatt Family just attacked The League of Nations. The Social Outcasts have been gaining momentum but haven’t moved past jobber status really. Dolph Ziggler hasn’t won a match in months and just got destroyed by Baron Corbin of all people. Kalisto is the US champion and The Miz is the Intercontinental champion.
What if Bo Dallas approached Wade Barrett backstage to give him a motivational speech before a match against a member of the League of Nations, let’s say Alberto del Rio. Barrett, instead of blowing him off, seems to really listen to him. During the ensuing match, Barrett picks up a victory with a roll-up. Afterwards, he thanks Dallas backstage in front of the Social Outcasts who look at Dallas oddly.
The next week, we see Bo Dallas approach Dolph Ziggler and give a motivational talk to him. Ziggler also appears to listen to Dallas’ peptalk, and wins his non-title match against The Miz. Again, just like the week before, Dallas is thanked in front of the Social Outcasts who start to question Dallas about what is going on with Barrett and Ziggler.
On the next Raw, both Barrett and Ziggler win individual matches with Dallas coming to ringside in the middle of each match to cheer them on. The following week, Bo Dallas is on guest commentary when Barrett defeats Alberto del Rio again, this time with the Bullhammer Elbow. Dallas gives no answers to what his relationship is to Barrett or Ziggler, despite the other announcers grilling him with questions.
Later in that same Raw, the Social Outcasts come out for a match (let’s say Heath Slater versus Apollo Crews). Slater would lose the bout due to interference that backfired. After the match, Slater grabs a microphone and demands to know what Bo Dallas is doing. He goes on about how the Social Outcasts are supposed to be tight-knit and Dallas doing things outside of the group is unacceptable. As Dallas begins to explain, he is jumped by Curtis Axel and Adam Rose. All of a sudden, Ziggler’s music hits and he charges out along with Wade Barrett to even the odds. Barrett and Ziggler clear the ring and leave with Dallas.
On Smackdown, the Social Outcasts could replace Dallas with someone. They could possibly reach out to Axel’s former partner Damien Sandow. Sandow could tell them he will think about it, and Fandango could grab the spot in the meantime.
Later, Bo Dallas would come down to the ring with Wade Barrett and Dolph Ziggler in tow. Barrett talks first and tells everyone that Dallas has given him back the confidence he needs to succeed. Then Ziggler takes the mic and says that Dallas opened his eyes and he is not going to limit himself any longer. Then Dallas gets the microphone and declares that Barrett and Ziggler have everything it takes to be big time, they just needed to Bo-lieve. He proclaims them Bo-lievers, and we have a new face group formed.
The initial battle for the Bo-lievers is obviously against the Social Outcasts, which they will win handily. Then they will move onto the League of Nations. In order to build the Bo-lievers as serious threats, they will have to win a majority of their matches against the League of Nations as well. With more and more victories under their belts, the Bo-lievers will appear more and more as a threat and a valid challenge to anyone.
At this point, we can see the return of Damien Sandow. Sandow can see the success the Bo-lievers are having and attempt to get in good with them so he can absorb whatever inspiration Dallas is dishing out. He can even try several times to get into the group before finally defeating Tyler Breeze one night and fully “Bo-lieving” in his ability.
Now we have Bo Dallas leading a group of wrestlers who have gotten themselves over in the past, for the most part, in spite of the material with which they were given to work. In order to make the group even more bo-lievable, Ziggler will defeat The Miz for the Intercontinental title and Barrett will beat Kalisto for the US title. With the Bo-lievers holding both secondary titles, their legitimacy is secured.
Meanwhile, the Wyatt Family will return to their heel ways. It will turn out that the attack on the League of Nations was just a random attack, and the Wyatts just want to cause chaos. They will be involved with some very one-sided feuds over these couple months against AJ Styles, Zack Ryder, a returning face Randy Orton, and even Big Show. The Wyatts will continue to use their numbers advantage to win matches and/or beat down their opponents.
Eventually, the faces decide to work together to try to take on the Wyatt family. Bray Wyatt will tear it up on the microphone for a couple weeks. Eventually, a match will be booked at a Pay-Per-View with Styles, Orton, and Big Show (Ryder has been “injured” during his confrontations with the Wyatts) versus Braun Strowman, Erick Rowan, and Bray Wyatt. The Wyatt Family will win that match thanks to a returning Luke Harper.
The next night on Raw, all four members of the Wyatt family will be in the ring with Bray bragging about tearing apart the face team the night before. Big Show, Orton, and Styles will come to the ring and stare down the Wyatts. Before they come to blows though, Bo Dallas’ music will hit and Dallas and the Bo-lievers (minus Sandow, who will be out due to illness or something in the storyline) will make their way to the ring. Bo will take the microphone out of Bray Wyatt’s hand and start running down the Wyatt Family as Bray just laughs in his face.
Suddenly, Bo will drop the mic and the Wyatts AND the Bo-lievers will attack Styles, Orton, and Big Show. The faces will be beaten down and left laying around the ring as Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas (real-life brothers) shake hands and hug in the middle of the ring.
The next week we hear from Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas only as the rest of their groups are backstage. Bo Dallas goes full heel while Bray and Bo admit their sibling status and make a case that they are the same. They are simply Yin and Yang. They have the same goal, just two different methods. They both want to conquer and control the WWE. If they decided to, they could have Sandow disagree with the direction of the Bo-lievers and leave the group, remaining a face and providing another competitor to fight.
At this point, you have a Super-Heel group with Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, Braun Strowman, Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, and Bo Dallas. You have faces such as Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Big Show, Damien Sandow, and Zack Ryder all wanting to get a piece of them. You also have Ziggler and Barrett holding the secondary titles, which could bring in multiple challenges from many directions. You can also have Bray make a major move towards the World title, with his family hurting his opponents before his matches, making them easy picking. The tag titles could also be in their sights as Harper and Rowan could refocus on that chase.
Everyone involved would be seen as a legitimate threat, if not by actions alone in the ring, then by association with a large group. You would have some of the championships involved automatically going forward, with others appearing to be in danger of being lost to this strong group. The crowds would hopefully be engaged with this storyline as they had bought in to the Bo-lievers heavy (in no small part to their desires to cheer Barrett and Ziggler already).
All of this could be accomplished far away from the World title picture. The WWE could have Reigns run roughshod over opponents. Dean Ambrose could be rebuilt into a top face. Cena could come back and fight with Chris Jericho and others. Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and more could put on wrestling clinics on a nightly basis. And the Wyatt Family/Bo-lievers stories could run unimpeded in the mid-card. This would give the groups time to grow organically and let the crowds responses be genuine and not forced.
And just like that, we would have a much more watchable and enjoyable WWE product within a couple months. We would have finally found a niche for Barrett and Ziggler (and then turned them on their heads with the Bo-lievers heel turn). We would have given Bo Dallas a lot of heat (good and then bad) by allowing him to fully engage his uber motivational speaker character. Plus, we would have the Wyatt Family regain prominence again, something they lost a lot of as Rock emasculated them at WrestleMania. You would give a lot of faces something to do even when they weren’t chasing the world title.
And none of this would take up too much television time. You wouldn’t have to sacrifice the woman’s division or main event builds or McMahon family drama hour or any of the NXT folks. This storyline could be the backbone of most of your cards for months on end and eventually turn into a major main event storyline without Vince and Co. even realize it is happening.
It can be done, WWE writers. You can make the product enjoyable with the people you have. You just need to be a little creative. And stick with it. Vince doesn’t care about anything not in the main events, so why not use that to your advantage. Don’t be lazy.
Plus, if Vince does notice and ask what is going on, just say “factions” and he will back off. Vince loves his crazy factions.
Let me know what you think of this idea. Why would it work or not work? What would you do to boost the current product with the talent in place?
Until next time..
Tags: AJ Styles, Bo Dallas, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar, Damien Sandow, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Randy Orton, Wade Barrett, Wyatt Family