Looking At The Evolution Of The WWE

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

E mail drwrestlingallpro@yahoo.com | You can follow me on Twitter @jimlamotta

  • Bryan

    Good article

  • RLG

    Great article! I think they blew 2014 big time. With DB hurt, H should have won the strap…setting up DB to return in time to win it at SS. They wasted a great Shield/ Wyatt match at Elimination Chamber…should have made that a Mania worthy feud. Instead of the Wyatt family costing Cena at RR, it should have been the Shield. Keeping them walking the heel/face line, yet continuing to serve justice.

    After the quality match Cena & Cesaro had on Raw…the rematch should have have been at Mania, the build up being, “Cena getting out the way of younger talent”. After a second epic match, with Cesaro pushing Cena to the limit…Super Cena wins. The next night on Raw Cesaro officially becomes a Heyman guy to “get him over the hump”, meanwhile the Shield attacks Cena explaining they’re seeking justice for all the younger talent. They begin their program from Extreme Rules leading into Summer Slam…after beating Rollins & Ambrose along the way setting up for Reigns/Cena @ SS.

    Reigns is about to finish off Cena, when Rollins & Ambrose attack him allowing Cena to win. On Raw they announce they’re tired of him thinking he’s the Shield etc…they along with Cena join the Authority. As new members of the Authority, Cena sets out to return the title home from the newly crowned Daniel Bryant who beat H at Summerslam. Now Reigns is set to go on his initial push as a face. As they’re going on, Bray Wyatt can continue to build his momentum as a top heel through winning programs with guys like Shamus, Ziggler, Big E, etc…

    You can then set up Bryan for a huge title run, Cena turn face again after winning the title from DB & face H, set up Reigns to face Lesnar or Bray, Cesaro continue his ascend, there would be plenty of options for the young guys you’re building up.

    • Booyakasha

      John Cena a heel? Getoutahere with that nonsense lol!!! As much as I’d like to see a Cena heel run, it just ain’t gonna happen.

  • Brandon Smith

    great article and if they take this shield angle and do the long storyline originally intended for bryan vs the wyatts it could be huge if set up right.

  • jmull

    Best roster in a decade? Perhaps talent wise, but not in star power. Ten years ago we had Austin, Rock (I could stop there), Angle, full time Undertaker, Foley, Michaels, HHH, Hogan, and the list goes on. WWE has got learn how to make stars again. People like Cena, Edge, and Orton got shoved down out throats and won a bunch of titles; they weren’t huge stars. Punk and Daniel Bryan (and now potentially the Shield) are the closest to what we had a decade ago.

    • codys moustache

      It’s not really wwes fault that today’s roster aren’t confident enough to hit a home run with their promos. Right now the top three are wyatt, cena and Ambrose. Luke harper is surprisingly good too. They don’t let ziggler talk or he’d be on there too and other than Paul heyman and zen colter noone really is standing out as a bonifide superstar. But I suppose two new superstars (Ambrose/wyatt) is better than none.

      • jmull

        It is their fault because they hold everyone back. The attitue era was so popular because Vince turned everone loose with their characters.

        • codys moustache

          Why would they hold everyone back? Makes no sense. They hold back the guys they don’t think have “it” or aren’t “humble” maybe but a stars a star and to vince stars equal money. Name one guy other than the ones I’ve listed who are all round stand out stars?

          • jmull

            I meant they are limited by the PG product. They cannot give the fans what they truly want to see. And of course I cannot list more stand out stars, that’s the point — they’re not making stars. You said it yourself, they won’t give guys like Ziggler time on the mic or book him credibly enough.

          • OpposingVue

            Why would they hold people back? Because they don’t like the “look” of a wrestler themselves. Because they don’t like their politics. Because they don’t like who they are dating. Or simply because they can.

      • OpposingVue

        Actually, you can blame the WWE when it’s not the athletes themselves that are coming up with the promos; writers who have never been inside the ring or undergone competition are the ones doing it. The fact is that the best people at doing promos do it themselves. They don’t follow scripted lines; they improvise. (Best case in point: Punk’s “pipe bomb” speech.) however, the WWE does not like improv; it smacks of not being in control.

    • OpposingVue

      Ten years ago would place us in 004. At that point, the “greatest” roster was on its last legs. Hogan had already left, and both Rock and Austin were finishing their careers, and Foley had long since finished as an active wrestler.
      At the same time, I’m not sure how Cena and Edge were “shoved down our throats” any more than Triple H himself was; to this day, I have to wonder how much of a push he would have gotten if he hadn’t started dating the owner’s daughter. (I’ll agree with you on Orton being shoved down our throat, though, the same as Batista.)

  • Barack Lesnar

    In order to survive in WWE, you have to evolute.