So Brock Lesnar is gone for the moment and he’s taken the Universal Title with him. At the moment, we’re looking at about two months before he’s back for his title defense at “Great Balls of Fire” (stop laughing). After that, we’ll likely see him at “Summerslam 2017” and then….I’m really not sure what else we’ve got for him. I’d assume he’s at maybe “Survivor Series 2017” and probably “Royal Rumble 2018” and then it’s Wrestlemania season. That leaves us with the problem of filling in a few months of “Monday Night Raw” main events. Today we’re going to take a look at some potential moves and how this isn’t a major problem.
Mine the Midcard
I know it’s hard to believe, but the Intercontinental (and United States) Title used to be a huge deal. Midcard title matches used to headline house shows back in the glory days and they still do to this day, especially when Roman Reigns was the US Champion a few months back. Here’s the thing that people often forget: it’s not so much the title that matters but the feud around it.
Consider the current Smackdown World Title scene. You know, the one starring Jinder Mahal. How interested do you think people are going to be in seeing him headline a show at the moment? At the same time, you have Kevin Owens and AJ Styles feuding over the United States Title. Now which of these do you think is going to draw more interest? It’s the story rather than the title that’s drawing the interest and that can be the case on Mondays as well.
In addition to helping fill in the void, building up the Intercontinental Title can do a lot of good for the future. When Lesnar gets back and needs challengers, how does it sound to have him face a former World Champion who just came off a hot feud over the Intercontinental Title? Look at what John Cena’s 2014 US Title run with the open challenges. If you build up someone like that and then have them face the returning Lesnar, do you think it might work?
Make It Personal
Who says it has to be about the title? That’s something that so many wrestling fans have gotten accustomed to over the years and there’s no real reason to stick with it. Instead of having everything be about a championship, come up with something a little more personal and let some people fight over those issues instead.
I know it’s asking a lot but maybe we could have the creative team actually be creative for a change. Remember when Shawn Michaels cracked Undertaker over the head with a chair at “Summerslam 1997” and started one of the best feuds ever? Of course I’m not asking for anything that great but is it really asking too much to have the writers come up with a scenario that could get people excited? Take two wrestlers, give them a story, and execute it well. The current main event feud is Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman over a violent attack. Come up with more things like that and you might even get some people over.
Last year, Charlotte and Sasha Banks main evented “Hell in a Cell 2016” in a historic moment. The days of the one minute women’s matches with maybe a half grain of talent between the two of them are long gone and the women have become featured attractions. Why not build up another feud like Banks vs. Charlotte and run with that near the top of the card?
The women offer such a major change of pace from the men as it feels so different to see them in a featured match. We’re long past the point of the women main eventing a TV show being a huge deal and that allows for some major buildup for stories. With the long build between Bayley and Sasha Banks, can you really not picture the blowoff match headlining a low level pay per view? Banks did it last year and she can do it again.
If nothing else, it can continue to change the way wrestling fans look at the women’s division. Fifteen years ago, the idea of women main eventing an episode of “Monday Night Raw” seemed like a dream. Two years ago, the idea of women main eventing a pay per view seemed like the lofty goal that women threw out in interviews to sound good. Is it really that hard to imagine women being built up for a pay per view main event and delivering a great match?
Viva El Authority!
I know this one won’t be the most popular but it’s something that is likely to happen. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon haven’t been seen since “Wrestlemania XXXIII” when McMahon went through a table at ringside. You know full well that that’s not going to sit well with her and we’re going to see her come back and attempt to destroy Seth Rollins in a massive revenge plot.
Whether you like it or not, the Authority is one of the most important acts in WWE and no matter what they do, they’re going to feel more important than almost anyone else on the show. There’s a really good chance that they’re going to come back and be the featured attraction for a long time and while that’s going to be very annoying, it’s hard to argue that it’s best for business (or at least close to it).
The Authority can make an impact when they’re gone for a little while and then come back for a much bigger moment. Triple H doesn’t need to get in the ring more than once or twice a year but he can still show up and look like a monster. McMahon on the other hand is a great heel, as long as she doesn’t go overboard with her dominance. I know that’s the likely outcome but it does have some benefits, which could help the show a lot.
Lesnar being gone makes things a bit tricky for “Monday Night Raw” but that doesn’t mean the show has to come to a grinding halt. There’s a creative team for a reason and there’s no reason they can’t come up with some fresh ideas (fresh doesn’t mean brand new) to fill in the gap. There’s more to wrestling than the World Title and there’s no excuse to just sit around and wait for Lesnar to come back.
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