It’s time again for the latest edition of “From Across the Pond” with yours truly. Thanks to everyone that got in touch about last week’s FATP, where I reviewed the year so far in WWE. The feedback was pretty positive, so I’ll be doing the second part of that column at the end of the year. This week I’m gonna run through five predictions for things I’d like to see between now and the end of 2012.
Let’s not muck about and get straight into it!
The return of Kharma to the WWE Divas Division
Simply put, the WWE Divas division is brutal to watch at times. That’s not solely down to the girls who work there, it’s also down to the company’s refusal to dedicate more than 5 minutes to any Divas match on TV. There are women employed by WWE who can actually wrestle, whether they’re in developmental or on the main roster. I’m thinking immediately of names like Beth Phoenix, Natalya Neidhart, Paige and the reported new signing of Sara Del Rey.
It’s been widely reported that Kharma went through some emotional turmoil at the start of the year and it was right for WWE to give her time to try to recover from that experience. Right now, WWE needs Kharma in their Divas division. Feuds with the girls that I mentioned above would be money, if they’re built right and given time to show what they can do.
Undertaker wrestling again before Wrestlemania
I know that, over the last 3/4 years, WWE fans have been conditioned to think that we’ll only see Undertaker wrestle once a year. When you factor in his age, the length of time he’s been in the business, as well as the toll it’s taken on his body, it’s no surprise that he’s not wrestled much lately. After this year’s Wrestlemania, I think most people would’ve been happy if he didn’t wrestle again. The image of Taker, HHH and HBK standing at the top of the ramp together was as iconic as we’ve seen at Mania, and The Streak now sits at 20-0.
However, reports are flying round that he’s in better physical shape than he’s been in years, so there’s every chance we might see him before next year’s Wrestlemania. If that’s the case, then I fully expect to see him “wrestling” Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series.
Daniel Bryan to win the WWE Title
For me, Daniel Bryan has had the most impressive 2012 of anyone on the roster. It started with a slow heel turn and now he’s one of the most over wrestlers that WWE have. The great thing about it is that I genuinely think Vince McMahon is either shocked or pissed off that Bryan’s managed to get over. He even said it to Bryan himself a couple of weeks ago: “You don’t look like a WWE Superstar!”
No Vince, he doesn’t look like what YOU think a WWE Superstar should look like. He doesn’t need to be a jacked-up big man like Ryback or Ezekiel Jackson to be a great asset to your company. I said last week that, in the heat of the moment, I thought Bryan got shafted at Wrestlemania, but it turned out to be the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Bryan is red-hot right now and WWE should capitalise on it by booking Bryan to be the man that ends CM Punk’s title reign.
Chris Jericho to win the Money in the Bank WWE Title contract
It’s become clear to everyone that Chris Jericho does what he wants, when he wants to do it. If he feels like he needs a break from wrestling, then he takes a break. When he’s ready to come back, his returns are promoted as being a huge thing. He’s deserved it, nobody can deny that. Later this summer, Jericho’s probably going to take another leave of absence to promote and tour the new Fozzy record. That’s gonna leave another HUGE void in the WWE. Not to sound like a mark, but the overall quality of WWE’s shows improves when Jericho is there. His promos are great and his in-ring work is better than most.
Like I’ve said before, Jericho always likes to make an impact when he comes back to the WWE, so give him the rub in the WWE Title MiTB match. That way he’s got a guaranteed WWE Title shot for the next 12 months and he can walk back in anytime to cash it in.
Re-establish the brand split after Raw goes 3 hours long
When Raw goes 3 hours long, that’s the perfect opportunity to re-establish the brand split. Make sure that Raw is exclusive to Raw superstars and the same with Smackdown. The SuperShow format was a great idea in theory, but when it comes down to it, the SuperShow has killed the Raw mid-card. To fit in the likes of Sheamus, Randy Orton, Alberto del Rio and Daniel Bryan, the Raw mid-carders are reduced to appearing in backstage segments or pointless squash matches.
WWE will have an extra hour to fill on Raw from July 23rd onwards. If they’re smart, they’ll use the extra hour to end the Supershow and focus on the young, hungry superstars that haven’t been given TV time. It’s not like they don’t have the workers to do it. Obviously the 1,000th Raw is a one-off show and after that they’ll build towards Summerslam.
On the first Raw after Summerslam (I think it’s on August 20th), WWE should hold a draft where the SuperShow officially ends and re-establish Raw and Smackdown as two separate brands. The only two times after that where Raw and Smackdown superstars should be in the ring together are in a traditional Survivor Series 5-on-5 match and at the Royal Rumble.
By ending the SuperShow and doing a draft, it would give each brand a fair number of established superstars and younger wrestlers, improving the product. It also makes the titles more prestigious if they’re exclusive to their own brands instead of having a Smackdown star fighting for the Raw title and vice-versa.
Post your comments and thoughts below to let me know whether you agree or disagree.
Anyway, that’s just my two cents. It doesn’t mean that any of these things will happen; they’re just five things I’d like to see. As usual, get in touch with me on Twitter, I’ll leave my Twitter handle below.
A quick plug from me before I go. I’ll be on this week’s edition of STLD Radio, discussing all things TNA and WWE. If you want to check us out, search SLTD Wrestling on iTunes, listen to the latest show and give us a rating! I’ll be back again next week with another edition of “From Across the Pond”, but until then, thanks for reading!
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