We are one full month into 2020 and outside of the outstanding Royal Rumble event, WWE doesn’t seem to have changed very much. In fact, the company seems to at times be taking one step forwards but two steps back. WWE finally have credible competition after many years of pretenders snapping at their heels but ultimately falling short, so how can WWE improve their product in this new decade and convince the fans not to jump ship?
Before we get started, I will not be suggesting a full time champion or that Vince McMahon retires. As much as I want those things, we aren't getting them anytime soon no matter how much we want it. Let's be realistic here folks!
Understand When To End A Feud
You all know exactly what I’m talking about here. I am a big fan of all 6 guys involved but the Roman Reigns, Baron Corbin, Uso’s, Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode storyline has been going on for at least 2 months too long. WWE never know when to let something die. We had a definitive result at the Royal Rumble with Reigns coming out victorious… yet we were then ‘treated’ to a rematch literally 5 days later. A rematch where the loser had to eat dog food. You couldn’t make this sh*t up… well somebody sure did!
Remember the Anonymous RAW General Manager? The car crash that was Rusev/Lashley/Lana/Liv? The Nexus and The Corre? AJ Styles vs Nakamura? We want feuds that last 1-2 months maximum, championship reigns that last long enough to actually be memorable and definitive ends to feuds. You lost at a PPV to your rival? Move on.
Is that really too much to ask?
Remove Jerry Lawler from commentary
This is an absolute must and needs to happen with immediate effect. Though this may not seem like a big deal, a wrestling match is often only as good as the commentary team can hype it up to be. I am under no illusions that Lawler has a long and storied history within the WWE and is deserving of his Hall Of Fame spot. Throughout the 90’s, Lawler and Jim Ross were the most recognizable voices in WWE and were the soundtrack to some of our most cherished wrestling memories. I often remember JR’s soundbites more than the matches themselves. The problem is… that was 15+ years ago now. Lawler’s references are horribly outdated, he can’t go a full match without getting something horribly wrong and at times he seems to completely switch off altogether. It’s also worth noting that he described Humberto Carillo as a “Mexican jumping bean” and “cute like Justin Bieber”.
The guy is stuck firmly in the 70s and still holds the same values that most did back then. His status with the company genuinely astounds me considering how much of a general piece of dirt he has proven to be over the years. He adds absolutely nothing to the commentary team and has no chemistry whatsoever with his colleagues. Would you genuinely even realise if he wasn’t there anymore? A 2 man booth was fine in the 90’s, fine in the 00’s and would be fine again now. Love or hate Michael Cole, his commentary over on Smackdown with Corey Graves is usually fantastic.
The man is past it and should be retired to the annals of history along with that cheap, toy shop, Burger King wannabe crown he wears.
Mix up the Women’s Division
I love Becky Lynch. I think Charlotte Flair is possibly the greatest of all time. Sasha Banks is hugely underrated. Bayley has come on leaps and bounds as a heel. The Women’s Evolution may not have happened at all if it wasn’t for these four exceptionally talented women. But boy oh boy have they grown stale. The responsibility does not lay solely at their feet though. Becky has grown stale, people are fed up of Charlotte being handed titles, Sasha has suffered from inconsistent booking and Bayley’s heel turn came far too late. For all the good WWE have done, they have largely handed these four women poorly.
I know I’m not the only one thinking this, as can be proven when you listen to the decline in crowd reaction that The Man has been receiving recently. We are getting thoroughly fed up of seeing the same four women showcased while everyone else is forgotten about.
Give the spotlight to some of the other talented women on the roster. Naomi has just returned, Liv Morgan is finally escaping from a horrendous storyline, Lacey Evans has all the tools to succeed, we keep being teased with a Dana Brooke push that never happens. Even just putting them in the ring with any of the 4HW elevates them and demands that they push themselves to that next level.
In recent months the wrestling world has seen just how incredibly talented the deep NXT women’s division is. But outside of Rhea Ripley and Shayna Baszler, would any of them realistically go over any of the main roster stalwarts? Can anyone see Taynara Conti dethroning Charlotte? Tegan Nox sticking it to the Man?
WWE need to stop the obsession.
Introduce A Win/Loss Record
Why WWE haven't done this yet is beyond me.
Almost every single fan of every sport in the world is more attached to the win/loss record or league ranking of their favourite team than anything else. We like to see our teams play well, sure, but where they finish at the end of the season is what’s truly important. Why WWE isn't using a similar method to get people even more attached to their favourite wrestlers is baffling.
Right now it doesn’t matter at all who faces who. Title matches appear out of thin air, handed to whoever Vince likes the most at that given time. But with a win-loss system, you can easily determine who should get a title shot and who has the most work still to do. Sure it’s all scripted and the person topping the rankings will be whoever it has been predetermined to be, but you can create storylines based off of the records. How about a disgruntled wrestler who can't get a title shot despite wins over the guy above him, or a wrestler who's desperate to make an impact because he's on a losing streak over the last few months and is afraid he's going to get fired.
WWE and Fox are desperate for Smackdown to have a more sports like feel to it. Simply giving the WWE a ranking systems with wins and losses gives it a more credible look. There's just so much it brings to the table that it's literally insane to not be doing it already. You can even create a dream match between two undefeated superstars - undefeated from the start of a win/loss system—and match them up at Wrestlemania for the ultimate showdown.
And need I mention the occasions where a win-loss formula was used in wrestling to great effect. WCW did it perfectly by having Goldberg counting his victories during his career defining streak. The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Asuka in NXT.
AEW are doing it, so why can’t WWE?
There's so many things you can do with a win-loss formula. The WWE is really dropping the ball on this one.
Make Tag Team Wrestling Great Again
Remember the good old days? When The Hardy Boys, Edge & Christian and The Dudley Boys were regularly putting on MOTY contenders? Remember how a tag team match once closed out WrestleMania? What the hell happened?
I have no idea. What I can tell you is that WWE have a plethora of super talented tag teams, too many to mention here, but the tag division is treated as an afterthought and has been for far too long. Tag team wrestling had a mini revival (pun intended) back in 2017 when New Day and The Uso’s were absolutely killing it but ever since then we’ve gone back to the days of tag matches being used as filler or for comedic purposes. The Revival should not be shaving each other’s backs in the shower. Street Profits should not be presenting the news.
Another huge issue is how often we see two random men put together, passed off as a tag team (Gable & Roode, Ziggler & Roode, Ziggler & Drew) and handed the titles. It is disgraceful that The War Raider Viking Experience (give me strength) lost the belts to a team created 2 weeks before. Heavy Machinery are the most over tag team on the main roster, but their talent is playing second fiddle to the admittedly fantastic comedy/love story between Otis and Mandy Rose. I’m all for having fun, but we have specific superstars for that already.
When done right there is nothing that comes close to the excitement and drama of tag team wrestling. Look at anything Moustache Mountain have done. The long-term storytelling of DIY. Everything Undisputed Era have accomplished in the last 2 years.
But no, it’s okay. Give us Miracle on 34 Street Fight matches instead. TLC3… or a bowling ball to the gonads?
Mid Card Titles Need To Mean Something
During The Miz’s most recent Intercontinental Championship reign, the belt was hands down the most important in all of WWE. Helped of course by the fact Brock Lesnar was never around, The Miz established the belt as must-see by having great feuds with everyone he stepped in the ring with. Then something happened, something changed. After a bit of good old fashioned hot potato-ing the belt it found its way to Shinsuke Nakamura, who held the prestigious belt from July 2019 until February 2020. That’s 7 full moths. In those 7 months he defended the belt three times. His reign has arguably been the most forgettable in the championship’s history, leading to me on multiple occasions genuinely forgetting who the champion was at that time.
The United States Championship has certainly been treated better, but only just. Short title reigns for Samoa Joe, Rey Mysterio and Ricochet were underwhelming and did nothing to make the belt feel special or coveted. Andrade is a once in a lifetime superstar who deserves a long and impressive title reign after some questionable main roster booking. Hopefully he can bring legitimacy to the belt once again.
The mid card belt should never feel as important as the Universal or WWE Championships, but they guys who hold them are quite often former world champions. Why not let them main event occasionally on TV? Nakamura vs AJ vs Roderick Strong at Survivor Series was infinitely better than any Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar match I’ve ever seen.
Give Underutilized Stars A Chance
This is a big one right here. I could quite easily name 15 to 20 guys and girls stuck in the mid card, or not even on tv, who should be given more spotlight, title opportunities and to get more tv time than running after R Truth backstage. I have never met anybody who doesn’t think that Cesaro deserves a monumental push. Elias has achieved absolutely nothing on the main roster outside of a few 24/7 championship victories. Cedric Alexander, Apollo Crews, Jinder Mahal (fight me), Samoa Joe, Aleister Black, EC3. All deserving of a push. All criminally underutilized.
The WWE roster is the most stacked it has ever been right now and if the company doesn’t take note, they may lose a lot of talent to rival companies, especially with the very real threat of AEW constantly looming. Luke Harper has already jump shipped after publicly stating his displeasure since the turn of the year... who will be next?
Give us somebody new to cheer. We really don’t want to see the same 4 or 5 guys constantly fighting for the top prizes.
So there we have it. In my humble opinion, if WWE can make even just a few of the changes I've suggested here they could easily convince lifelong viewers who have grown tired of the company to stick around while enticing a new generation of fans at the same time. Let me know what you think WWE should do in the comments!