These are in no particular order.
What else were they going to air?
Why don’t all matches have contract signings?
What exactly are the bosses paid for it they don’t set up the matches?
How many times have you seen two people come out, talk for a bit, and then set up their match for later in the show? What did the boss have planned for that spot? Were they just hoping that someone would come out and have an issue that sets up a match later in the show? If no one was in a bad mood that night and nothing happened, or if they agreed to have the match at a later date, were we going to watch a Mighty Mouse cartoon?
The worst part of this for me is how quickly this can be avoided. This past week on “Smackdown”, Kevin Owens interrupted Roman Reigns and the two had a match immediately after. The key different here though was Rich Brennan saying that they were scheduled to have a match tonight.
It was quick, it was simple, and it solved the entire problem. All that had to be done was say that yes, these two people who interacted on “Monday Night Raw” were going to interact again just a few days later on the second TV show. That one line that took two seconds to say and gave the show so much more realism instead of feeling like the show was in chaos with almost nothing scheduled.
On the other side of realism, something that has been missing for a long time in wrestling is a unique feeling for most of the shows and a lot of that is due to their appearances. “Smackdown”, “Monday Night Raw” and most of the pay per views have looked the same for years. How many shows have had the exact same set and the exact same look for years now?
Only a handful of major shows a year offer anything unique. This past week’s “Smackdown” was the Halloween special and the arena was decorated as such. Of course you can’t do that all the time, but it’s so boring to see the same style week after week and month after month. It’s rare to say this, but this is a place to take a lesson from WCW.
Flash back to some of the WCW pay per views. Halloween Havoc would have the big pumpkin and the demon. Spring Stampede would have the western set with the wagon and bales of hay. Bash at the Beach was a walk down the boardwalk. Road Wild was outside at a biker rally (not exactly a great idea as you can’t sell tickets but the atmosphere was cool).
Now of course you can’t design a new set for every show every week, but it feels like most of the pay per views are the same. How many shows do you remember that look the same or are just the show’s logo at the entrance? Show some creativity with these things instead of just running the same stuff at every pay per view. Remember the cube thing at Wrestlemania a few years back? Or the chairs that hang from the wall around the set at Tables, Ladders and Chairs? That’s the kind of stuff I want to see more often instead of the same ideas. Just a few props can work wonders for a set.
Going in a different direction, how about less authority figures? In WWE, you have the Authority themselves and until recently, Kane as Director of Operations. Is there any reason to have two bosses with equal power and then a third as a lieutenant? Instead of just letting the matches be made by someone off screen (such as “this match has been set up by the Authority”), we normally have to see it being made in the back or even worse, after a ten minute speech where the matches are announced.
I understand the idea of filling in time on the card, but why not use the time on the card to try something new? You often hear about how people don’t have strong characters, but that’s likely due to them only having a few minutes to get out there and perform every week. The inset promos during entrances have helped a lot but there still needs to be more.
Some of the old, quick promos from the NWA days would help quite a bit. Take thirty seconds and let these people talk. You often hear about promo classes down in NXT, yet it seems more like the people are just reciting lines. If that’s the case, why are they learning promo skills?
Speaking of promo skills, another strong wish is to stop having promos be one size fits all. Anymore it seems that everyone is supposed to be able to do this long winded Ric Flair style promo where they touch on everything that has been happening to them recently (listen to a Seth Rollins promo in the arena and see how far back he goes with his recaps).
The problem with this is not everyone fits that same style. Look at someone like Roman Reigns. There was an attempt at having him talk this way and it bombed horribly. It really shouldn’t be surprising as that’s just not in Roman’s character. Reigns is a gladiator who hits hard and keeps getting up. He isn’t meant to be cerebral (not saying he’s dumb or anything) or cunning or witty.
Instead, Reigns is the kind of guy who communicates by punching you in the face, give a battle cry and striking an intimidating pose. However, for some reason WWE insists on giving him a microphone and telling him to talk for five minutes. Some people simply aren’t cut out to do this kind of thing and Reigns is one of them. Why try to make him do something that doesn’t suit him?
It’s like insisting that everyone wrestle the same style. If Rey Mysterio couldn’t do a powerslam, that doesn’t mean he isn’t a good wrestler. If Batista couldn’t do a Sharpshooter, that doesn’t mean he isn’t a good wrestler. All it means is that they have other strengths, which would be stupid to eliminate to make them like everyone else.
Finally, I’d love to see some more over the top characters. These days there are so many “realistic” characters and it gets annoying in a hurry. Look at someone like Bray Wyatt. He’s completely over the top and got people’s interest as soon as he debuted. In addition from having a great promo, he was different. Much like the Undertaker, he plays the character so well that it’s easy to be drawn to him. Simply put, what’s more likely to grab your attention: someone average looking or someone who looks like a freak?
Of course there’s a ton of stuff I missed but you often see specific lists like this and you didn’t need to read “push new people” or “turn Cena heel” (mainly because that would be a horrible idea) or “fewer old guys” again and again. There are so many little things that can be changed to make a show better and even a few of them would do wonders for WWE. Unfortunately I can’t imagine seeing these things happening soon, but you can always hope. Or wish in this case.
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