Nearly three years ago, CM Punk cut a historic “pipe bomb” promo and main stream media outlets took notice of the angle, which is something that hadn’t happened in years. It provided something unpredictable that made fans tune in if they wanted to see what would happen next, which is also something that hadn’t happened in years. As I’ve mentioned previously, I think the WWE missed the boat and they could’ve done a lot more with the angle to potentially start another wrestling boom with CM Punk as the center piece, but he jobbed to Triple H shortly after he returned to the company. Don’t get me wrong, the level of popularity the industry reached during the Attitude Era will probably not be replicated and Punk wasn’t the next Stone Cold, but he had the main stream talking about wrestling again, which is something the WWE could have used to boost the business. Punk had a good run in WWE with a record setting title run and if he had a legitimate reason to quit the company after the Royal Rumble is another discussion for another time, but the point is, the WWE had an opportunity to put wrestling somewhat into pop culture again, but during the critical few weeks after Punk returned, they didn’t really take advantage of it.
Three years later, Punk quit the company and a new group of stars are in the spotlight. Despite the woes of the WWE stock price and the promotion projecting a record loss because of the cost to launch the WWE Network, the company actually has the best roster they’ve had in a decade so the WWE isn’t going anywhere. However, the numbers aren’t where the WWE probably wants to see them and if there’s going to be a boost, there needs to be an angle that makes fans want to tune in on a weekly basis. The Seth Rollins heel turn shocked fans and the angle generated a lot of buzz among WWE fans on Twitter. Even UFC Women’s Bantam Weight champion, “Rowdy” Rhonda Rousey was shocked as Rollins attacked Reigns and Ambrose so it’s a credit to the WWE to keep the heel turn from leaking online prior to Raw. While, I don’t think Rollins will be the center piece of Raw to boost the numbers, at least not yet, the angle could draw more viewers. The Shield/Evolution angle along with some of the other good segments on Raw, such as Wyatt, Cesaro, etc. could bring better ratings.
Ironically, it seems time for the WWE as a whole to “evolve” so to speak, which is the direction things seem to be going after the booking of the Payback pay-per-view, but as mentioned earlier, there’s a time frame for an angle to be taken to a new level to showcase a star or the angle will fall somewhat flat. In my view, the WWE should use the buzz the Rollins heel turn generated to really make the members of The Shield legitimate main stars of the program, not just addition pieces of a storyline. Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns all have the skills to be top stars and they should be a primary focus of Raw to establish themselves as top competitors. If Batista’s botched push proves anything, it’s that the audience doesn’t want to see part time performers monopolize the top spots of the company and while the booking of Batista’s return didn’t exactly help, the audience didn’t want to see him in the title picture. That being said, I think Batista could still be an effective heel and a Bryan/Batista feud for the title could have produced an intriguing storyline.
Speaking of Daniel Bryan, it’s extremely disappointing that he’s on the sidelines after finally winning the title at Wrestlemania. The argument could be made that the WWE should have put the title on him sooner, but hind sight is always 20/20 so it’s a moot point. Regardless, it’s an example that the WWE shouldn’t waste an opportunity to push a performer when they are over with the audience because injuries can happen at anytime. Hopefully, Bryan can return and get the title run he deserves because he has certainly earned it.
It should also be mentioned that the WWE has a great roster, but in my opinion, they could use some performers more effectively. Adam Rose is currently getting a reaction, but the gimmick is one dimensional and it will probably become stale in a few months. Damien Sandow was once considered to be a possible future champion, but he’s reduced to parodies each week on Raw. When you consider the talent on the Raw roster and the potential of NXT competitiors, the WWE has a lot of talent, but if the numbers aren’t where the WWE wants to see them, it might help if there was a better presentation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming to know the answers, but with a roster of great talent, the booking is the key to a successful product. The argument could be made that the wrestling business as a whole is down because of how over exposed the industry has become during the past few years, but again, the talent is there so it might be help to evovle the presentation of the product.
What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.
Until next week
That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It
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