Considering my recent fixation on the idea of Jeff Hardy challenging Roman Reigns I've been ignoring Monday Night Raw and only focusing on Smackdown. Reality is that both brands need help and need to establish an identity in 2022. It is pretty clear at this point that the only reputation WWE has right now is a bad one as they're unstable and lack direction with lazy booking plaguing the company throughout the last twelve months. I hate lazy booking!!
Booking a promotion takes time, investment, and patience! Not everything can be taken care of on the day of the broadcast and put on the program without a plan. The champions should always be featured on the program and factored into the long term plan for programming or they shouldn't be champions. Certain talent set for title matches in a few months should be set aside and groomed with feuds to prepare them for the future World Title program. This points to consistency being another important aspect of booking wrestling to allow for fans to invest in the wrestlers they're seeing featured in prominent roles on their screens.
Raw has been leaning on Randy Orton and Riddle, Lashley, and Styles for the better part of the last year to minimal success. The reason for the limited success is a limited pool of talent to choose from for them to have matches and programs. Not allowing Gable to feud with Styles or Riddle with more of a competitive undertone being the basis of the feud is a crime. Damien Priest on the other hand has seen a bit of character development which might benefit if the company has someone lined up to challenge him once he does turn to the dark side. Even though it might seem like I think I know everything I know I don't know everything, but what I do know is that WWE needs a plan for both Smackdown and Raw heading into the new year.
Coincidence more than likely, but I wanted to point out the similarity between how I chose to start my recent booking of one last run for Jeff Hardy at the top and the ending of the recent battle royal on Smackdown. More likely, WWE looked to test the waters of fan interest for a World Title match between Jeff Hardy and Roman Reigns. In my opinion, it seems like interest is there for Jeff Hardy getting one more run at the top of the card. This isn't a call for Sami to lose his chance or be moved out of the spot, because Sami Zayn deserves a chance to challenge as much as the next guy.
However, this does mean that Jeff Hardy should be positioned in a spot where WWE could lean on the veteran in the near future to breathe some life into Roman's never ending reign. The perfect way to do it would be keeping it simple and having a heel even The Uso's claim that nobody wants to see Jeff Hardy in that spot anymore and it isn't 2010. Claim that Hardy's time has passed and his moment is the rear view with Roman Reigns being the one true star. On the other hand Mustafa Ail or Jinder Mahal could be perfect short term competitors to fill the same role of claiming that nobody wants Jeff Hardy in the main event. Ali could use the idea of stepping aside and allowing a younger, faster person, who hasn't missed out on his potential to take the spot instead.
I know pushing the idea of Jeff Hardy getting one more run at the top may not be something that sells a lot of tickets. Putting that aside WWE doesn't need to focus on what will sell tickets instead the company needs to focus on what will get fans watching again. Giving Jeff one last "thank you" would give fans a reason to watch, because even after all this time everyone still loves Jeff Hardy. Seeing him positioned as a potential threat to Roman Reigns would get fans attention and interest enough to pay attention to Smackdown on Friday nights. This would only help Friday night as the problems on Monday Night are even worse!
At this point in his career there isn't much that Randy Orton hasn't done if anything during his nearly 20 years within the ranks of WWE. It is for that reason giving him a long term story would make a lot more sense then going day by day. Orton has been teaming with Riddle for most of 2021, but one question has persisted for most of the year. The question on everyone's mind is when will Randy turn heel on Riddle and split up the tag team allowing for a feud to finally happen between RK-Bro.
However, I have two reasons why this shouldn't happen anytime soon and one of the reason is pretty obvious. Think about it if they break up the current tag team champions in an already weak tag team division that's not really helping an already bad problem. I'd rather see Riddle & Orton on television every week in a tag team then have one of them missing from television as individuals as it gives something for both men to do and keeps the fans invested.
Long term it is likely that RK-Bro will break up at some point with Randy getting one final heel turn before hanging up his boots and calling it a Hall of Fame career. There is only one way that I would go ahead with the turn and splitting the team up though and that is if Riddle will win the feud and they allow Orton to make Riddle into the superstar we all know he can be. The last thing Orton needs is for this story arch to end like his arch ended with the Wyatt Family. At the time the fans wanted Wyatt to defeat Orton, but the company went the opposite direction and it cost them. In my opinion, making the same mistake twice would be doing a disservice to all involved and it would stop Orton from being given the chance to give back like veterans did for him while he was ascending in the wrestling business. Riddle winning the eventual feud is the only way to go otherwise it'd be better to keep the team together until Orton leaves or they get split up in the draft.
I've done this in the past for Kevin Owens and others today the same will be done for the one veteran that deserve a final run. Instead of booking detail for detail I will lay out my actual plan for the Jeff Hardy getting one more deserved run at the top. For this though it wouldn't happen in 2021 it would happen in 2022. It is clear that Roman Reigns is the only star that has a future and anyone surrounding him is safe from the never ending releases within WWE.
Following Wrestlemania, WWE always needs something to keep interest and reignite the fans to keep watching after the biggest event of the year has past. The first episode of Smackdown following Wrestlemania we have a fatal four way to determine who will be Roman's next challenger. The match would be Jeff Hardy vs Happy Corbin vs Kofi Kingston vs Sami Zayn with the winner fighting Roman Reigns. Sami Zayn would toss Jeff from the ring after Hardy had planted Corbin with the twist of fate excited he is close to victory Zayn would celebrate before being rolled up by Kofi allowing Kingston to become #1 contender.
This would then prompt a promo from Roman the following week praising Kofi and accepting his new challenge by calling him to the ring but instead gets Jeff Hardy. Hardy points out the obvious and Roman asks if he won or Kofi did. Roman then questions if Jeff even still has what it takes claiming he'd be no match for the "head of the table." Sami with a wounded ego claims that Hardy is to blame for him not winning the title which sets up Hardy vs Sami Zayn and Hardy wins.
In the weeks after Backlash, Hardy continues to press Roman for a title shot with Roman shooting him down at every turn. In favor of trying something new Adam Pearce organizes a social media poll to crown Roman's next challenger at Extreme Rules and Jeff Hardy wins via landslide. At Extreme Rules though Hardy is again screwed this time by "Main Event" Jey Uso who chose to help his cousin from losing the title. The following week on Smackdown The Uso's fighting for the tag titles against The Street Profits and Hardy costs The Uso's like they cost him. Setting up another collision this time Jeff Hardy against "Main Event" Jey Uso if Jeff wins he gets one more shot against Roman Reigns for the Universal Title.
Money in the Bank is the night for one of the biggest matches in Jey's singles career and Jeff chance to once again prove he still has it. Hardy wins with the end of the show focusing on a stare down between Reigns and Hardy with Summerslam now in the crosshairs. Roman claims he will end Jeff's career at Summerslam and Jeff says this run has been everything I could've asked for and more. Win or lose I got my shot to prove I still indeed do have it. At Summerslam for the Universal Title the bell rings and the match ends with Roman Reigns still Universal Champion.
I know it could be a feel good story with Jeff getting one more reign as champion, but there is nothing anyone could say that would allow me to think he should be the one to defeat Roman. Roman is unquestionably the hottest superstar WWE has had in nearly two decades. Roman reign needs to end with a new star being made not by a veteran getting a thank you. The point of the story was not to give Hardy one more title reign it was to show he could still be asset and sell tickets in a main event spot.
I have no words right now with another string of releases from WWE and they have again left me going smh which they've done a lot this year so far. Take a look below at some tweets from fellow wrestling fans including one mentioning the names of the talent that had been let go:
There is no possible way to include all of them so I just picked out some of them and I made the choice to include them below. I will be expressing my opinion on this subject in long form in the coming days. Don't let the nonsense cloud your mind as I've not spoken very highly of WWE in a little over a year and it does seem that will be changing any time soon.
Recent news has been around that a tense situation arose to end the most recent edition of Smackdown this week when Becky Lynch and Charlotte swapped titles. There are a number of reports both about the segment and the after effect of the events. After he actions now it seems like very few women's wrestlers want anything to do with Charlotte after how she acted on Friday night. All that aside this belt swap thing is a joke and a waist of time. It's more lazy booking from a company that has become more known for lazy booking recently then anything else.
A championship is meant to be won not awarded or swapped won! It defeats the purpose of the championship if you just move it between two people as a result of the draft. Why not vacate the gold then instead of having the champions swapped. Oh wait if the "Queen's Crown" tournament is any indication then maybe a tournament isn't the best idea, they'd treat it as a joke again. There is no doubt that switching allows for various new matches from both top women swapping brands, but the titles shouldn't have changed with them.
Flair name has a legacy of being a champion and her father would've never treated the World Title the she treated the title that is suppose to be considered the top title of her division. Frustration is one thing, but there is a professional way to handle business and an unprofessional way and this was extremely unprofessional. You wanna shoot? Clue in the other people in the ring before you do it and don't go into business for yourself because your not the only one in the company that's angry with WWE about the current booking of the women's division. Grow up!! It's insane looking all over to ROH to Impact and especially that company down Florida they prove Women's wrestling can sell.
AEW built the division from the ground up and continue to pave the way everyday building a little further. When the women of the past retired they needed someone to pave the way, but they only wanted part of the road paved. They cut off the cement before the whole road was even dry! WWE has done a wonderful job elevating certain stars in the last year and found ways to properly use part time stars like Edge. However, the shortcomings are still extremely present and some discipline needs to past down as nobody should be bullet proof anymore.
Since he left the "black and gold" brand there has been nothing but negativity given toward the former NXT World Champion Karrion Kross. Kross has been repackaged more then once since his arrival on Raw and given a new attire various times. From the start it seems like WWE has no idea what direction to send the former two time NXT champion. Kross was presented as the most dangerous man in NXT and a very violent individual. Initially it seemed like they had a good idea for Kross having him struggle for a time before Scarlett would join him and refocus him like he had been in NXT. However, it's been long enough that you wonder where Scarlett is and when she'll be appearing on the main roster.
Comparable in my opinion to Samoa Joe when the "Samoan Submission Machine" first appeared in TNA back in the day or Taz in ECW anyone with a dangerous submission has no reason not to be treated as a madman. Look at Kross's expression anytime the Kross Jacket is locked in on his opponent and tell me he doesn't look like someone who enjoys inflicting pain on his opponent. WWE made it happen years ago with Chris Masters and his "Master Lock Challenge" they put over a submission as unbreakable.
Kross might be on the wrong side of thirty, but so is most of the WWE roster at this point and reality is take a chance and run with him while he has something to give the company. Investing in one wrestler and not in the roster as a whole prevents the company from having depth or the ability to move roster members in and out of spots. Kross proved that when healthy he can be a top star and an asset to the company or give him a run.
Fans were excited to see Kross's arrival on the main roster, but disappointed to see the changes that were made by management on the main roster. Imagine if upon his arrival the main focus was placed on him and not his appearance. Think about if the importance was placed on his unbreakable submission hold rather then wearing some sort of BDSM outfit. The "Kross Jacket" could be an unbreakable submission hold with one question being brought up every match wondering when or if the submission would ever be broken. Placing the importance on the move instead of the person improves the presentation of the star and allows the fans to invest in the move and prompts depth in the character. Depth in the character or allowance for emotional investment is something that WWE has been lacking for many years.
Simple titles seem to work well and keep the focus on the main idea of the articles. The announcement of both the King of the Ring and Queen of the Ring brought a feeling of new possibilities for a product that has been lacking in recent months. I will leave this right here, because there are words needed:
For years the WWE treated the Women's division like a joke and then the Women's revolution began to take shape. NXT kicked off the change in perception and allowed the fans to start being able to believe in the idea that women could be a star in WWE. Impact Wrestling took the lead on changing the perception of women in wrestling on a national level something that WWE never cared to do. Now it's well hovering around where it had been years ago with nothing getting the respect it deserves. Fact is why giving the division a tournament if you weren't going to treat the tournament with any respect. It's a joke that the matches have lasted for such a short period of time, because why bother with the tournament if you weren't planning of giving the matches any time.
Setting aside those who lost in tournament and just focusing on the tournament in general if those in power can't see the problem then they are more delusional then I thought. Toni Storm was one of the top women in NXT and is one of the reasons Zoey Stark has gotten over to the degree she has within the ranks of the black and gold brand. Zelina Vega was brought back and I'm sure she wasn't brought back with this type of booking being the main focus on the sales pitch. This doesn't revolve around my normal criticism of WWE this focuses on LAZY BOOKING!!
Look back years ago one of the only women still with the company from the previous era is Nattie and she survived. Tamina debuted near the end of "divas" era and was also a manager for the better half of his early days in WWE, but she was in that era as well. Charlotte, Becky, Sasha, Bianca, and Bayley are the only members of the women's division to have broken through. The All Elite problem was a lack of development, but that didn't mean they treated the division as a joke. Britt Baker is one of the top wrestlers today, because she has carried that division on her back and sold more tickets then any women in American wrestling in the last twenty years.
Women's wrestling can sell tickets!! Women's wrestling and treating with the respect it deserves allows for fans to idolize wrestlers that would make them want to strive to become a pro-wrestler. Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn may look at women's wrestling in the same light as tag team wrestling, but their delusions do not echo the opinion of pro-wrestling. Fox and USA Network want to know a major issue for WWE and why the ratings are slacking it's shortsighted decision making.
The last time someone in wrestling directed something toward a network he chose to shoot from the hip. USA Network has been a major supporter to pro-wrestling for over thirty years dating back to Southwest Championship Wrestling in the 1980's which predates WWE starting on the network. Fox is new to wrestling and hasn't really had a piece of the pie since FSN One hosted TNA's weekly PPV's in 2004.
Sit down and ask WWE about plans, long term plans! ask them why bother debuting a women's tournament to treat it like a joke. Ask them why it matters if Tubi TV carries another wrestling company on the streaming service if WWE/Fox don't have an exclusive contract. Ask them about fresh ideas to correct the current issues and when they explain why a legend returning will fix the problem kick back and explain why that will only put a band aid on it and not fix it.
I could keep going and keep talking, but I've made my point. One last thing, WWE why should we care about who you march out the ring if you don't. You barely give them time on television and you sometimes don't even give them time. Why bother having a division or titles for the division if you clearly don't care about the division. Prove me wrong!!
It seems like we will be seeing Toxic Attraction leader Mandy Rose as the next challenger for Raquel Gonzalez. Gonzalez has been one of the most dominate champions in WWE and continues to prove why she belongs as champion. At some point it will be time for Raquel to make the move to the main roster, and I think allowing Mandy Rose to continue develop in her role would only help her. It would also be interesting seeing Raquel go on the chase for a few months instead of keeping her as champion. Momentum is key in any wrestling promotion and it helps believe that certain stars are the real deal and Many needs that momentum not just for her sake but for the sake of her group and her new role in NXT 2.0.
Recently, I wrote about my thoughts on NXT's hottest up and comer Bron Breaker. It seems as though the future is just as bright as we thought it would be for the fresh faced star. Confusion filled the air when the word came down that Samoa Joe would be vacating the NXT World Title having just won the gold. However, we saw something good come out of the deal Tomasso Ciampa regaining the NXT title again. Breaker is absolutely an interesting choice for Ciampa's first challenger and an fair first test not just for the champion but for the youngster to show how far he still has to come before hitting that level. I have been a fan of Bron Breaker thus far and would love to see what he can do against the current World Champion, but nobody is taking "Goldie" from him this soon. The upcoming Halloween Havoc event needs to reflect the new era of NXT and with promotion of current North American Champion Isaiah Scott we will be seeing a new champion crowned likely in the weeks to come.
In my opinion, WWE has a major issue with splitting up tag team especially within the ranks of the Women's tag team division which doesn't have many to speak of to begin with and now has one less after the draft. It was interesting seeing Shotzi Blackhart on the main roster a few months ago to begin with considering her former partner Ember Moon was still in NXT, but she had found a new partner in Tegan Nox. Now with this years draft in the rear view though we have lost another tag team with Tegan Nox moving to Raw and Shotzi staying on Smackdown. The Women's Tag division has been weak for a while and this just another nail in an already weak division.
Speaking of a weak division the company have also decided to split Mace and T-Bar which is interesting as it'll be interesting to see what the two accomplish alone. However, much like Tegan Nox and Shotzi being split up it's just another sign that WWE doesn't care for the tag team division. Hopefully, though this could lead to both men or at least one of them being renamed as the names are lame even though we are use to the names that doesn't mean they are good. In my opinion, though there isn't enough depth within the division to take away another team from the again already weak division.
Based on recent events though it seems that Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo are working as a tag team which will cover an open spot. They need to prove themselves as a team though considering they are new at this point, but it would help both men a bunch finally being able to find a spot to show off instead of having to rely on being a singles talent. Not all the moves were bad or questionable though with Gable Stevenson being brought right to the main roster which is intriguing. Seeing Hit Row being brought up as well shows how well the group has been received since they debuted earlier this year.
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present