You're now a loud critic of Brock Lesnar as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. While I will agree his part-time nature leaves an awkward situation to book around, it's not the first time a world champion hasn't been present every week. So my question is simple -- why is Brock Lesnar such a bad WWE World Heavyweight Champion?
Brock Lesnar isn't the first world champion that hasn't been featured every week and we can find examples throughout history of guys that were full-time wrestlers but not featured every week because they're billing was to be considered a "big deal." The problem is that doesn't work today.
Yes, times have changed but it's more than that. Add up Raw, Main Event, NXT, Superstars and Smackdown and you have 8 hours of new in-ring programming each week. This without even touching content like Total Divas, WWE Network originals, the pre and post shows or the weekly YouTube series' that are distributed online. I'm not suggesting that Lesnar needs to be on Main Event, NXT or Superstars, heck I can live with him not on Smackdown. But when Brock misses Raw, it seems like an eternity before we see him again. Take into account that he's not at live events and there is a lot of material in-between his appearances.
What makes it worse is all of this time is passing without a viable champion. There's only world title and the secondary titles couldn't mean less than they do currently. So, in essence, Brock Lesnar as champion is almost like not having a champion. The idea of "keeping his appearances special" sounds good on paper but when you consume the amount of programming that WWE puts out each week, it makes him completely forgettable.
I mentioned in my latest rant that someone Tweeted me they were exciting for Raw because of the way the Night of Champions main event ended (in response to my criticism). The company didn't follow up at all. People said I was crazy and heavily criticized me for suggesting Seth Rollins should have won the title.
What would have been better? Watching the beginning of a new era on Raw featuring a strapped Seth Rollins with a pissed off John Cena and a returning Dean Ambrose or doing absolutely nothing and producing yet another skippable show? Because the latter is exactly what you got!
Armchair booking and playing Monday morning quarterback is an easy thing to do online but actually turning things around is far more difficult. I'm not going to sit here and BS you like there is some type of A+B=C formula to turn around WWE's creative woes. These problems weren't created overnight and they won't be solved overnight. Further, we can't go back in the past and erase things such as Brock Lesnar ending the streak. Once a plan is executed, there is no going back.
However, I think the first step in solving WWE's problems is getting their World Heavyweight Championship back on a full-time performer. As much as everyone hates John Cena as champion, at least it would give someone for the up and comers to chase that can actually make weekly appearances. I personally would have strapped Seth Rollins at Night of Champions to reset and see what could be built for the rest of the year. I think there would have been a lot of money in Rollins/Cena/Ambrose for the title from now through WWE TLC (the December pay-per-view).
Since they didn't do it at Night of Champions, they could create something for Hell in a Cell but Lesnar was nowhere to be found on this week's Raw. Other than that, the company is going to have to look towards some of their new talent. I appreciate Goldust's resurgence just as much as the next person and Kane has been a reliable veteran for years. However, these guys must take a backseat to talent like The Wyatt Family, Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, etc. Mark Henry helping get Rusev over is fine but I question Rusev's ceiling and still feel like Lana has been the one to benefit the most from it.
The talent is there but the creative direction isn't. WWE was blindsided by the injury to Roman Reigns and they have absolutely no idea what to do with Brock Lesnar after John Cena.
So once again, I can't give you a formula but even the most sour fan will tell you that Dean Ambrose was entertaining on Raw. It's time for WWE to go that route and abandon the hot-shot short-term mentality. I don't know if you follow sports but here's an analogy. Sometimes when a team has struggled for a prolonged period of time, they bench their veterans and play some of their promising prospects to see what they have. I believe it's time to do that and stop relying on guys that used to be popular or have proven track records based on past success (remember how bad Batista backfired when his success minimized the emergence of Daniel Bryan?).
I also want to address the people that believe taking the belt off Lesnar means the streak ended for nothing. The Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak is over. We can't go back and change that but it shouldn't mean that we are forced to endure a paper champion for a prolonged period solely in the name of respect. I respect The Undertaker and the streak but the whole idea of keeping Lesnar strong until Wrestlemania 31 next year only for him to "pass the torch," shouldn't come at the sacrifice of the entire product. WWE sucks right now and trying to keep Lesnar strong when he has one foot in, the other wherever else is a big part of it.
Do you think WWE missed an opportunity by not revisiting Dean Ambrose after he was locked in that room on Raw? How do you feel about his magic trick at the end of the show?
There was so much other stuff to criticize from this week's Raw (no Brock Lesnar/PPV main event followup, random switching of titles, champions getting pinned clean, etc), I don't feel we need to focus negative energy on the lone bright spot. I believe we can use our own imaginations to figure out that Ambrose, the maniacal babyface, outsmarted The Authority to get back to ringside.
What was the reason for the cryptic "9/22/2014" Tweet?
WWE's cryptic Tweet over the weekend was for the first official gameplay trailer of WWE 2K15 as we reported here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com. This shouldn't have surprised anyone, considering WWE has used cryptic Tweets all along in promoting WWE 2K15. There was some speculation it had to do with new NXT talent but that's probably exactly what WWE wanted people to think.
From the Ask WNW vault…
March 2012: Has WWE considered lowering the prices of their B-level pay-per-views. By giving up some money they could in turn boost a show’s butyrate? - I agree the price of WWE pay-per-views is too high, especially paying more for High Definition (which should have never been the case). The pay-per-view business is not what it once was and I’ve gone as far as saying it’s an outdated model with the multitude of ways people are now viewing content. There has been a lot of talk about WWE’s pay-per-view business taking a dramatic shift with the launch of the WWE Network but it has been delayed with the network’s delay. When the network finally premieres, I expect a change to take place in regards to the company’s pay-per-view model.
Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.