Twenty-one years after twenty-one years William Regal is gone from WWE and the company just cut him like it was nothing. Ignoring the fact that it may have been time for him to step away from NXT as the general manager as a way to help move NXT into a new era. In my opinion, Regal should've been given the opportunity to announce the change and to give the fans the chance to say goodbye. I know it isn't a big deal, but it actually is something worth acknowledging since he was GM of NXT for seven years so it would be the end of an era. Also it would be a perfect way to bring the new era of NXT to the forefront and giving the previous era it's chance to be given the respect/send off it deserves.
After a few weeks I would bring William Regal to the main roster letting him appear in the crowd on both brands just watching the action. Regal would then be on commentary during Finn Balor's match again just watching the action. The following week Finn would come up short against Kevin Owens and then is approached by William Regal. This will lead to a partnership similar to what we have seen with MVP and Lashley over the last year or so. Regal would begin to manage Balor leading him on the same path as Lashley did to the World Title which sets up a feud with Damien Priest for the United States Championship.
I know this might be a random pairing but it would give a refresh to talent that needed a refresh even though Finn Balor just returned from NXT his momentum feel flat after his short feud with Roman Reigns. Regal still has a lot of knowledge to share as a mentor/manager and him brining stability to someone who could be a top star. Following a feud with Damien, I would set up a feud with Balor & Lashley with MVP wanting a thank you for setting the stage and Regal following in his footsteps. One thing I would avoid is Balor winning Money in the Bank as I believe that would an unneeded short cut to bring him to the main event spot that he should've been in a long time ago.
At this point though most fans love William Regal due to his run in NXT as the general manager and I do think the company missed the boat with not giving him the chance to manage someone like Finn Balor. I know that Finn may not need a manager, but it would add another layer to a talent that has been floating around with little direction on the main roster. If this partnership worked out then I think within a year Finn Balor would not only be challenging for the World Title again, but he would be World Champion.
Consider this, Impact Wrestling is more than willing to work with other companies, Ring of Honor champions are willing to work anywhere and defend their titles and New Japan would make the right business decision. Right now would be the best possible time for WWE to make a move to work with other companies and really change the perception of a promotion that hasn't had the best reputation in the last few years. Imagine Jonathan Gresham appearing on NXT to defend his World Championship against Carmelo Hayes, Roderick Strong, or Grayson Waller. Think about seeing the "Prodigy" Rox-C against Mandy Rose, Charlotte or Becky Lynch in a champion vs champion affair. Imagine the news coverage that would be abound just with a simple booking decision.
Now shift gears Mickie James who is the current Knockouts Champion over in Impact Wrestling. After an incredible victory at Hard to Kill against Deonna Purrazzo it is clear that Mickie James will carry another promotions title into the Royal Rumble. I would love to see her appear at the PPV holding the Impact Wrestling Knockouts gold. Moose has been referencing Roman Reigns for weeks as well. Why not give the people something they never expected and let Moose appear on Smackdown. Nick Khan is Not a wrestling fan, but he is a business man and this would be what is best for business.
Okada, Tanahashi, Suzuki, Naito, Osprey, Takahashi, and many others. The list of possibilities is endless. Imagine a New Japan invasion of WWE with top stars from across the sea appearing and breaking down the forbidden door for good. I know this is the least likely situation due to the current global pandemic limiting travel. However, if one domino falls then others can as well and once the restrictions lift imagine if Kazuchika Okada, Minoru Suzuki, Tetsuya Naito, or anyone currently under contract with New Japan appears in the audience on an episode of WWE programming. Again as I mentioned it has become clear that Nick Khan isn't a wrestling fan, but is a business man so for once he could do something good as a member of WWE and help break down the forbidden door. Not only changing the company's perception and reputation, but helping to rehab his own reputation.
Very few stars had a better last twelve months then the former WWE Champion Bobby Lashley. Recently, it seems like the company is setting up Lashley for a face turn or at least it has seemed that way in the last few weeks. In my opinion, WWE could've had The Hurt Business remain together for a lot longer last year and become a staple of the roster instead of breaking them up only to have them get back together. Even with questionable booking at the forefront we still saw Lashley move into the position on the roster we always thought he could've occupied.
Brock has been a house of fire since his return at the end of the summer, because in almost decade this is the first time that Brock Lesnar is a good guy in WWE. At Day 1 the pandemic tossed another wrench into the game after Roman Reigns tested positive earlier in the day he was out and so was his title defense against Brock Lesnar. This lead the company to move Brock Lesnar into the WWE Title match making it a fatal five way match which Brock would win. This lead to the original four way match taking place the following night on Raw with the winner fighting Brock at Royal Rumble.
Lashley would take the victory and this means we finally will be getting the "dream match" we've wanted and that has been rumored since Lashley's return to WWE. I thought it would've been better to go with any of the other three members of the four way and to save Lashley vs Lesnar for later in the year. The reason being this does mean that WWE will likely be going with Reigns vs Lesnar again at Wrestlemania. I would guess this could be looked at as a test run to see if the fans are interested in seeing Lashley in that spot, but at the same time I think fans might be more interested in just seeing Lashely win then Brock vs Roman happening again or that just might be me. Either way I think Big E vs Brock or Rollins/Owens vs Brock at the Royal Rumble should've been the match they went with instead of Lashley, but I'm just old school with the idea of not giving away big matches with little build behind them.
Since the reboot of NXT a few months ago at this point we have seen the introduction of a number of new stars. The new stars include Tony D, Bron Breaker, Carmelo Hayes, and others. Recently though we have seen the quick ascension of Australian native Grayson Waller. Since the War Games event we have seen the arrival of Grayson Waller who has been keeping his name in the headlines taking out both Johnny Gargano and Eli Drake in the span of a few weeks. The beatdown on Gargano would actually end Johnny’s run with his home promotion.
In the days prior to this week's edition of NXT 2.0 the loud mouth Aussie had been running his mouth calling out AJ Styles. Well we got the confrontation we were waiting for when Styles appeared on the broadcast for a confrontation with the rising star. Based on what we saw Styles give the rub to the youngster again elevating his rising stock in the promotion. I don’t believe that this will see the end of the developing rivalry between Waller and Styles to be honest. I would like to see this continue a little longer as it could continue to elevate Waller while reestablishing Styles as a good guy.
In the past I've done a variety of booking series on this site, most recently keeping the series simple and not really going too crazy. Over the last few months I have mentioned that WWE needs to refocus and work on not only changing perception, but changing preparing for the future. At one point, WWE's Women's division was the deepest division in North America. A division that once included the likes of Deonna Purrazzo, Ruby Riot, Chelsea Green, and others now isn't in the best place. Recently, I wrote that WWE needs to change the face of the division and allow a new generation to gain some traction at the top of the division.
Both Toni Storm and Liv Morgan have seen their stocks rise in recent months within the division feuding with their respective brands Women's champions following the most recent "Superstar Shake-up." It is more than time to shake up the division and have some new stars take up the mantle of the division as we enter the new year. That is the focus of this article! With Day 1 right around the corner it would be the perfect time for the switch and kick off 2022 with a new vision for the women's roster. Let Toni Storm and Liv Morgan take up the mantle. Unless the long term plan is for one of them to take the Rumble win and gain the eventual title victory on the grandest stage. Either Toni or Liv would be a perfect choice for the win at this point though I think that Liv should take the win on Day 1.
Let the established stars take some knocks to the armor they've built up over the years and bring some new stars forward finally. Toni Storm, Zelina Vega, Doudrop, and Liv Morgan are among those poised to breakthrough and with names like Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez waiting in the winds the division needs a refresh. The best time for the refresh would be on Day 1 to start the new year off with fans wondering if we finally will see new stars take the lead. It's time for a change, and not a new era!!
Though the rebranding of NXT has faced a ton of criticism in recent months it was time for WWE to make a move with the talent on the brand and they chose to move on instead of keep the status quo. We have seen Bron Breaker breakthrough pretty rapidly in the last few months, but we may have seen someone else breakthrough. Grayson Waller! Before War Games that's a name I never heard before and now he's the hottest heel on NXT and clearly is showing a ton of potential to become a future star on the brand.
Recently, I wrote about pole bearers for the Women's division on the main roster needing to change with others ready to take the lead. I would toss Bron Breaker, Grayson Waller, and Carmello Hayes in the category of the future of NXT. Grayson took a big step last week being the guy who took out Johnny Gargano ending his NXT career. It is unclear if a future match with Wade Barrett could be in the cards based on Grayson's recent personal attack toward Vic Joseph. Grayson is getting a loud negative reaction from the NXT universe and is a future champion on the brand.
This proves that WWE needs to do this on the main roster, and allow fresh talent to poke the foundation and become stars to refresh and slacking brand. Within a year I do believe that those who are spotlighted on NXT right now should be joining the main roster, the only problem is WWE needs to a shot in the arm right now and not in a year. In early 2016, AJ Styles broke the forbidden door down and WWE needs to do that again. This year they shook the foundation of NXT and next year they need to shake the foundation of the main roster.
Flash back to the beginning the year is 2015 and the "Women's Revolution" has begun in WWE or at least on the main roster. One announcement from Stephanie McMahon changed the perception of women in WWE with the introduction of Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch to the main roster. Since then these three women have helped changed the perception of how women are viewed in the WWE and show that women can sell tickets just as well as the men. Bayley & Alexa Bliss arrived later on, but helped just as well aside from some bumps in the road.
It is hard to put into words the amount of talent that WWE has had and still has within the ranks of the women's division. Look at Impact where a number of former WWE stars have ended up or AEW with Ruby Soho, WWE had depth and let go. But potential only goes so far and WWE doesn't always recognize potential until it's to late. Drew McIntyre is the exact example of this someone who was lost in the shuffle and didn't find his way until he left the big company. Take a look at what Deonna Purrazzo has accomplish since leaving WWE and arriving in Impact Wrestling. For the better part of a year Deonna carried the Knockouts Division on her back and proved not just that she had potential, but that she is one of the best women's wrestlers in wrestling today.
Recently, both Charlotte and Becky have begun feuding with unproven names specifically Toni Storm and Liv Morgan respectively. From the outside looking in it appears that Liv and Becky's rivalry is a bit more intense. However, as I've mentioned countless times WWE needs to find stability next year and change the perception of the company and it starts with the good long term decisions. Almost seven years ago WWE made the decision to invest in Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Sasha Banks now they need to do it again and invest in Liv Morgan, Toni Storm, and Raquel Gonzalez.
Until news has been confirmed of the next step for these three individuals I will not speak on where they will go next. As any talk about where they will go is speculation until the time comes that it can be confirmed that they are free from WWE and can move on to somewhere new. Recently, Johnny Gargano and Kyle O' Riley have both seemingly said farewell to NXT which is a tremendous loss for a brand still within transition. Gargano and O' Riley couldn't have peaked a more trying time to join the free agent market as the market is the deepest it's been ever. Out of the two former NXT champions I think it is more likely Kyle ends up in AEW joining up with his former Undisputed Era stablemates with Gargano likely remaining free.
Former Universal Champion and former United States Champion Kevin Owens soon to be a free agent at the end of next months. It is crazy to think Kevin Owens will be returning to the Independents after spending so many year under the WWE banner. In my opinion, Kevin had limitations place on him a long time ago and it seems like some may believe the former champion underperformed the first time with the title and that's why he never really hit that status again. Owen belongs in the main event and could be a World Champion. It would be interesting though to see Kevin head back home for a spell to lend his name to a certain local Canadian organization in need of a little shot in the arm.
I mentioned this in the last article that the only WWE needs to focus on in 2022 is stabilizing the promotion. This year has been very unstable for WWE with far to much time spent on who could be leaving as oppose to something positive the company needs to work on changing the perception next year. However, that can only start when the contracts set to expire are thing of the past and we as fans can move on from talking about who could be leaving.
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!
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present