The Ten Count 6.21.13: The Top Ten Things The WWE Should Bring Back
Posted by Jesse Nguyen on 06.21.2013
From the tag team glory days of Edge & Christian and the brand separation to having Money in the Bank at WrestleMania, the King of the Ring tournament, WarGames and more, 411's Jesse Nguyen counts down the top 10 things that WWE should bring back!
The WWE has been changing every since the first episode of RAW back in 1993. While some people dislike this promotion with a passion, I believe most people would agree that they have had some great things to share in the world of professional wrestling. Unfortunately, the WWE has gotten rid of a lot of their great aspects in the recent past. They have also let some past idea just to rot in the gutter even though they are free for them to use. If anyone from the E is reading this, then you're welcome.
10. The War Games Match
I put this high on the list just for the sheer certainty that it will never return in the WWE. With their PG style of programming, the brutality of this awesome match is just too much for the audience. I also doubt that the WWE would want to remind the viewers that their former rivals had a gimmick match that was fantastic. I also realize that putting two wrestling rings in the arena for one match would be a bit of a problem in a time where you want more butts in the seats. What I would suggest is having a one ring War Games match with maybe only three men per team. With the Shield getting as popular as they are, it would be pretty swell to see them in a violent and team based environment. The War Games match has always been one of the best ways to end a feud between teams and stables. With the Wyatt Family on their way, I see many options and possibilities if this match ever returns. Even if we only see one more War Games match in the future, I'm sure many fans would be happy just to say they saw it happen live.
As of right now, the only real manager in the WWE is Paul Heyman, who as of this writing, is busy handling both Brock Lesnar and Curtis Axel. He may also still be managing CM Punk, but I doubt that will be continuing in the near future. Ricardo Rodriguez has been delegated down to male cheerleader, and is also currently getting bigger pops than the object of his cheering. Zeb Coulter didn't add much with his speeches. I would be more entertained if he carried a huge sign on his shoulders that said, "Boo us, we're kinda, but not really, racist." I miss the managers that could hype up their clients like no other. Abraham Washington managed to be great in this role before being released for a 'controversial' joke. The WWE has plenty of talent they can't find roles for, so I would pair the more charismatic ones with the more unlikable talent. That way you're not paying your workers to just stand around and lose on house shows constantly.
8. Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania
I think the Money in the Bank can be a great thing. It gives you an easy way out to push someone, or an excuse for a title change if it needed. The problems lays with having two of these matches a year, and having a MitB briefcase for both the WWE and World Heavyweight Title. This essentially means we know that the winner of WWE MitB will be WWE Champion at some point (Except Cena, but he was going to get the title again sometime anyway.) Back when they only had one match at Wrestlemania, there was at least room for the briefcase holder to tease what title he wanted to go for. You can build up an interesting feud where the case holder is causing problems for both champions. Also, can we go back to where the case holder can cash in while the champion is laying face first on the mat after being beating within an inch of his life? The recent adding of 'the champion must be able to fight' is a terrible thing. If you want it like that, you might as well make the MitB briefcase like the Royal Rumble, where they have to set a certain date. One more thing! If someone wins the case, then they shouldn't have the physical case to cash it in! They won the match, they get the title shot!
7. Women's Title
The Divas Championship is so pointless at this point that everyone I know uses diva matches as their scheduled bathroom break/snack fetching time. I remember when you could look forward to seeing a female competitor defending the Women's title. Now, the prospect of walking to the bathroom and possibly missing a segment is more alluring than seeing a divas match. I really don't understand how this is possible. From what I know, Sara Del Rey, one of the greatest female pro wrestlers of our generation, is part of the training team. I understand she may not have the 'WWE body', but she's still gorgeous! Have her come out and dominant the female roster. Oh wait, we were suppose to do that with Kharma, but oh well. At least we get to see Layla spank AJ Lee, right? How sad is it that when I see the divas, all I can think of, "Hey, we have our sex appeal on our PG wrestling show."?
6. Meaningful Midcard Championships
It seems like forever ago, but I remember when the Intercontinental and United States Championships were titles that mattered in the WWE. Nowadays these titles have been giving the athletes they are put on the kiss of death. It really makes no sense as the champions are suppose to be in the spotlight. One of the bigger problems with this is that the champion belts have just become accessories for the pro wrestlers to wear to the ring. It seems that winning either belt just means you will lose to anyone currently in a feud. At this point the only championships that should be in the WWE are the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship. If they want to make these titles relevant once again, they need to put the champions in feuds and storylines. Have the champions look dominant in their division. Another helpful tactic would be to have actual number one contenders to these titles, instead of just drawing a name from a bowl and going, 'okay, you get a title shot.'
5. The King of the Ring Tournament
The King of the Ring needs to return, and it needs to return as a PPV event. The best way would be to have the qualifiers on RAW and Smackdown, then the semis and finals on the King of the Ring PPV. It would make for an easy way to push someone, granted they can stay on a straight and narrow. The 'King' gimmick doesn't need to return, but the annual tournament should. If it were up to me, or any sane booker, the 'prize' for winning the tournament would be the grandeur of winning the King of the Ring. That was the main reason for the roster to battle in the tournament, they wanted that prestigious title of 'King of the Ring'. It is a simple solution to bring back one of the many events the WWE is known and loved for. It also lead to quite a few fantastic matches the WWE has had in the past. It wouldn't surprise me to see KotR return randomly one week on RAW, as the tournament has been appearing and vanishing at intervals since 2006. With the amount of midcarders just floating around the rosters right now, I believe the KotR would be the best excuse to either push one of them, or even introduce a new talent to the roster. There are many wrestlers on the NXT roster that many would love to see up in the main shows. I personally would love if our final King of the Ring winner wasn't Sheamus.
4. Cruiserweight Championship
If they want to call it the Light Heavyweight Championship again, I'll be fine all the same. I remember staying home on Saturday nights for Velocity just to see matches between the athletes in the under 215lb weight class. I'm probably partial to this as a lot of my favorite wrestlers have held these titles. Dean Malenko, Jushin 'Thunder' Liger, Chris Jericho, Paul London, the Hardy Boyz, the list goes on. I know that the WWE roster is filled with many wrestlers who qualify for this championship. Even if they don't really weight under 215lb, they look the part and fly around the ring enough to justify their contendership. Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, Justin Gabriel, Curt Hawkins, and Tyson Kidd are some to name a few. There is also Adrian Neville from the NXT roster just waiting to been brought up. The best idea with this title is to put it on Main Event. I know it would make me watch that show a lot more, knowing that there is some potential for great matches just waiting for me on the show.
3. Tag Teams
I realize that the Shield has been a dominant team in the WWE for the past couple of months, and Team Hell No has been quite entertaining, but I still feel like the tag team division is lacking in regular teams getting the spotlight. We have Tons of Funk, Primetime Players, and the Usos. The Usos seem to be getting a push, and the crowd is responding quite well. Rhode Scholars seem to be off and on, until they can find something for them to do, or at least that is what I believe. International Airstrike is nowhere to be seen, unfortunately. My main gripe with the tag team division is that the regular teams are regulated to either the secondary shows or are only given less than five minutes on RAW or Smackdown. It seems the only teams that receive a chance to perform well are the ones that are formed together by the main eventers. Again, I love the Shield, and I've loved Team Hell No for the past couple of months, but I am dying to see more regular tag teams to get the spotlight. The Primetime Players are a blast to watch, and the Usos have been surprising me with some good performances in the small amount of time they are given. The WWE has been the home of many brilliant tag teams, but they need to realize that we need new regular teams to be fans of. It would also be nice to think that the Shield's championship reign actual has threats to it.
2. Better Writing
I put it as 'better writing' because that covers a couple of things. The main issue would be the rivalries and feuds we have in the WWE. Most of them feel as if they are just thrown together by the powers of randomization. It also seems that most feuds only last at the upwards of three months. Even when they surpass that, the story behind the rivalry is boring and has no meat to it. We've seen Del Rio battle for the title or number one contendership over and over again. His battles against Swagger were nothing more than a slightly racist story. The heel is suppose to find a way to get under the face's skin, which I haven't seen in a while. Ryback is just muscling his way to show that he is physically stronger than Cena, but hasn't really done much more than that. It feels like a schoolyard bully tearing up some poor kid's action figure in an attempt to show how much tougher he is. The other part the writing that needs to change is the continuity. I refer back to the Swagger/Del Rio I Quit match not long ago. I know the 'replay' finish is something that pops up every now and again, but the way it was handle was so terrible that just thinking about it makes my head hurt. We haven't seen that finish in a while, probably because of how terrible it is just on paper. I feel like the WWE is treating the audience like they are children. 'This guy is bad, that guy is good, they should fight each other!'. Faces don't like heels, we understand that. The problem is that we are not getting good reasons as to why they hate them beyond the fact that one wants the other's title. That or either one of the persons in the feud is just bothered by the other is some small, insignificant way.
1. Brand Separation
Oh, this is the big one. I remember back in 2004 when I would watch Smackdown more than I would RAW, for a couple of reasons. The first would be that Smackdown had competitors that I like more. Anytime RAW and Smackdown got together to battle each other, I would root for the Smackdown brand. SD also had the Cruiserweight Championship, which was one of my favorite titles of all time. It also made for interesting rivalries, when one champion would try to prove that his/her title was more opponent than the one on the other brand. This would also bring back the draft, and while that was a usually a bit hokey, it was fun to watch. We also got to hear Paul Heyman tell Nadia he hopes she goes blind again.
The draft was a good way to shake things up and create new feuds and storylines. All of this possible because of the Brand Separation. One of the main problems with having the entire roster compete on both shows is that you put only a small amount of guys in the spotlight. The main eventers are RAW are going to be the main eventers on Smackdown. Having separate rosters would, hopefully, cause the WWE to highlight more wrestlers on their shows. I understand there is an unspoken clause that Smackdown is the 'B' show, but that didn't happen until the brands were put together. Out of all the ideas I put on this list, I feel that this one move would benefit the WWE more than any other.
Now I have a very special place in my heart for the WWE, as I believe every wrestling fan does. I know that their programming is not the best it could be, but I still support it to this day. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be the fan I am today. I hope that some of these aspects will return to the beloved promotion someday, but until then, there is always hope. Support Pro Wrestling!