WWE appears to be going through a few issues right now and record low RAW rating don’t seem to be making things better as of yet. I’m sure the news of John Cena taking some time off won’t help Vince McMahon sleep at night either. There are many reasons why things are not thriving in WWE right now and looking at the glass half full maybe Cena being out can force WWE’s hand to make the right moves going forward. Not everything that’s going on in WWE is bad but there some things that just need tweaking. Between the booking of their World Champion to the lack of depth on the main roster, here are my thoughts on what’s going on in the WWE today.
Seth Rollins needs help
He is hands down the best professional wrestler in the world today!!! With that said, he cannot carry all of this WWE television by himself. They have five hours a week and eight hours if there’s a pay-per-view of storylines and TV to produce. Apparently some WWE officials feel that Seth Rollins is overexposed. If that’s the case I ask, why put two titles on him? Why is he in almost every segment on RAW and SmackDown? Why is he wrestling multiple matches a night? Why did he face two hall of famers on a recent pay-per-view? That is a lot of Seth Rollins on our TV every week and they are really pushing him to the limit. Even with him doing this much, he’s still doing a really good job. All of his matches are must watch and his promos tend to go a bit long but he’s answering the call.
The way Rollins has been booked since cashing in his Money in the Bank contract at WrestleMania has been weak and I am not just talking about him being a scared champion… I’ve already shared my feeling of that here and I’ve come to terms with his character as champion. I touch a bit on this later but he has not had a consistent, long-term feud yet. I would love to see him get involved in a well thought out program with an up-and-comer. This problem plays into the John Cena effect, which I dive into below. There are main event performers on this roster and it’s time to utilize them properly so your top star doesn’t burn out.
My biggest issue is that the WWE World Heavyweight Champion is really being booked as a mid-card champion. John Cena, the U.S. Champion, has been elevated above Rollins. Cena has beaten Rollins clean more times that I would like to remember and at the Madison Square Garden live event Rollins is challenging Cena for the U.S. Championship. That’s right; the WWE World Heavyweight Champion is competing in a match for the U.S. Title. I’m sorry but that does not make any sense to me.
The program with Sting was more about a statue than the title. Keep in mind we are talking about Sting and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The only major title that Sting has not held and the focal point of the feud was a statue. And this program with Kane? It’s nothing more than a gimmicky mid-card type of feud. The WWE Title needs to be in the main event every night and treated as the top prize in all of professional wrestling.
The Depth Issues
The depth in the WWE is possibly the biggest issue today. This goes back to what I said about Rollins. He needs help. Going month to month, program after program is not the best way to book your champion in my opinion. He needs a good, strong, heated, long-term feud. Could Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Kevin Owens or Cesaro be the guy? There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Rollins can have a great long-term championship feud with any of those guys but they are not given the opportunity to prove themselves which leads to the issue. With Cena taking time off, one of these guys will need to get a strong push to the main event.
One of the things I continuously hear is how todays WWE superstars lack charisma and star power. Everyone wants to compare the product to what it was like during the attitude era and you can’t. It was a different time and the freedom of the performer to adlib does not exist anymore. I’m obviously not in the know but from everything I read and hear says EVERYTHING is scripted today. There are a ton of writers preparing everything for the wrestlers. It does not sound like there’s a lot of freedom for these guys and gals to say or do what they want in a promo. How do we really know if Roman Reigns has charisma if he’s being feed lines that don’t fit him? How do we know if Bray Wyatt is a main event star if you don’t allow him to have a long run on top? The training wheels need to come off at some point for the good ones so we can really see what they are capable of. There are some amazing performers in the WWE today and it will be a shame if we never get to see them meet their full potential.
Wins and loses matter
Recently in an interview Bray Wyatt said, “At the end of the day, wins and losses are meaningless.” I do not care what anyone says about this subject… wins and losses matter a ton. It is very hard to build someone who loses all the time. The fans need to be invested in whether someone is going to win or lose. If the performers really don’t care if they win or lose why should the fans care? If wins and losses didn’t matter then John Cena would lose more. If loses didn’t matter why did we care so much about The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak? Bottom line… winning matters.
In today’s landscape, I can think of one scenario where someone can come out of a loss looking strong and that’s if they put on a spectacular match against Brock Lesnar. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins are prime examples of that. I don’t think there’s any question that their stock went up after having great matches with Lesnar. People want to say losing to John Cena isn’t a big deal and to those people I say look at the results. With the exception of Kevin Owens, Bray Wyatt and Rusev are still floundering in the mid-card and Rollins is perceived as a week champion after losing feuds to Cena. Rooting for wins and losses is what being a fan is all about. If a fans favorite performer continues to lose, what’s the point of investing the time into that super star? I’m a huge supporter of Bray Wyatt but since he loses so much I don’t invest as much time in his feuds because I know there’s no push. No one wants to root for a loser. So at the end of the day, wins and losses are very important.
Every week we hear Divas claiming they are the ones who started the Divas revolution. It definitely was not Nikki Bella because I think we can all agree that the revolution started in NXT. The women really started getting attention after the match Charlotte and Natalya had at the first NXT TakeOver live event. Fast forward about a year to when Sasha Banks and Bayley had their match at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn. It was the best women’s match I have ever seen and many observers are calling it the clear cut match of the year so far. Before that, Stephanie McMahon called for a “revolution” in the WWE Divas division on RAW which resulted in the call up of Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch. When this happened I was very surprised and excited for the possibilities. Today the Divas Revolution is a mess. What NXT did with the women worked because everything was well thought out, they were given the time to work and their programs told a great story. On the main roster they threw all the women into factions and none of the storylines made sense. Also, pretty much all of their matches meant nothing because there wasn’t really anything at stake. Nikki was just holding the title until it was time to break AJ Lee’s record as longest reigning Divas Champion. Now, we have a new Champion, factions are starting to break up and things are starting to matter a little bit more.
But the biggest problem? Where is Sasha Banks? They picked the wrong wrestler to take the belt off Nikki Bella. I get why Charlotte was the one but that doesn’t mean I agree with it. Sasha is BY FAR the best female wrestler in the world and should have been the centerpiece of the feud with Nikki. Sasha will have another spectacular match with Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Respect and WWE will have no choice to make Sasha the face and focal point of the Divas division.
So to wrap things up, Seth Rollins needs a long, productive feud, the super stars of the company need some freedom to do what they are comfortable with, start using wins and losses to build the wrestlers up and Sasha Banks needs to be the face of the WWE Divas division.