In this three part series we will look at one of the major issues plaguing WWE in recent years and that is stop start booking and talent disappearing. The best way to get fans to invest in talent is to consistently allow them to appear on programming and give the fans a reason to care about the talent. The worst way to get fans invested in someone is by having them show up once and a while never really doing something worth giving much attention to from a fans perspective. Over the years this has happened quite often in WWE especially recently and is some cases the biggest gripe fans have with WWE's booking of certain stars. For example when new champion is crowned and then disappears for weeks at a time without mentioning where the champion is or what happens next for the new title holder.
Stars like Cesaro, Shinksuke Nakamura, The Miz, Baron Corbin, Dean Ambrose, Big E, The Revival, and various others have fallen victim to the stop start booking of WWE but some have finally seen the light. This isn't about those who have found the promise land or on there way to the best run they've had in the promotion it is about those who have been forgotten about due to the company having an overabundance of stars and no real plans for a majority of them in the long term.
Time can go by quick and without a plan what was suppose to be something you get back to in a week turns into something that remains unaddressed for a few months. Even though last year WWE did eliminate some stars that hadn't been doing much in the company that doesn't change the fact that the roster is still on the bloated side and not being used at their potential. At this point flying under the radar is something of a right of passage for way to many stars who walk in the door of WWE. Let's call this a deep dive into the roster that always seems to keep growing even when they subtract.
Let me talk to you we got ourselves a scoop!! One of the many names that failed in early WWE development was a name nobody has heard of his name was Slate Randall. This prospect was under WWE control back when Deep South Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling were among the developmental territories of WWE. Slate didn't last in the promotion and would get let go from the promotion and catch on with Impact Wrestling. and would become known as Eli Drake. As a member of Impact Wrestling he showed exactly what WWE was missing out on becoming a grand slam champion in Impact including a much talked about World title reign which was his coming out party to a degree. Following his departure from Impact he would find his way to the NWA and would become a top star in Billy Corgan's new NWA. Eli would team with James Storm to become NWA World Tag Team champion while under contract with the brand and was released from NWA back in November.
Drake was always a highlight on episodes of NWA Power and could've been a nice challenger to take the title away from reigning champion Nick Aldis. In my opinion, this signing is another a big loss from the struggling Alliance, and a ku for WWE. Seeing Drake put his personality on display upon his arrival put a smile on my face and he will bring himself to the forefront of NXT once he's given the opportunity to get on camera once again.
I knew what I wanted to write in this article, but wasn't sure what the title should be and so I decided to name it after the star that will take center stage. Finn Balor made his main roster debut in August 2016 as a fresh face to bring an infusion of interest on Raw as Brand Split 2.0 had just begun. Unfortunately, Finn would sustain a shoulder injury during a Universal Championship match at Summerslam against Seth Rollins. Even though his arrival started on a high it shot down from their and never truly recovered until he made his return in NXT last year.
Finn Balor was never looked at anything more then a upper card space saver even though he had the potential to lead the promotion or a brand and would've been a breath of fresh air for WWE. Balor is the embodiment of someone held back by a glass ceiling cast upon him due to his size and occasional injury. Finn had the skills and ability if he was given the stage to show his potential, but WWE never wanted to give him the stage for that even though they would lean heavily on his demon persona. The main difference between Finn in NXT and him on the main roster is that his character has depth and his alter ego doesn't exist as it didn't provide depth it just existed.
Balor is the measuring stick for NXT and has been since he returned to the black and gold brand. Last year it was clear that NXT was unsure of the direction they wanted to go due to the injury that forced the World Title to come off Karrion Kross. In my opinion, they made the best decision they possibly could've made as Finn is finally showing depth to his character and being given the chance to be center stage. Finn has always had potential to lead a brand now WWE is giving him the chance to finally prove that he can if only he could've done this on Raw or Smackdown. NXT found stability with in the form of the Prince.
This is the second time that I tried writing this article, it was surprising to see Edge return in the Royal Rumble. Edge had been on the shelf since Backlash after sustaining a severe triceps injury against Randy Orton. After nine years away from the ring Edge return last year during the Royal Rumble and would have his first match at the proceeding Wrestlemania against Randy Orton. I don't think anyone expected Edge to return in the first entry position in the Rumble especially against his longtime rival Randy Orton.
Recently Edge has been appearing on each program teasing a possible match against Drew McIntyre on Monday and then faced-off with Finn Balor and Pete Dunne on Wednesday promoting the idea of fighting the NXT Champion at Wrestlemania. On Friday, Edge would confront Roman Reigns who demanded that Edge show him respect and give him an answer about Wrestlemania. However, before Edge could respond the champion was attacked by Kevin Owens with a stunner to end Smackdown. Edge would turn and leave the ring to leave the question unanswered of who he will fight at Wrestlemania.
Even though a match against Drew McIntyre or Finn Balor or even Pete Dunne would be an interesting turn of events for the "Rated R Superstar." It's more likely the we see him against the Universal Champion at the big event in April. Right now Roman is unquestionably the hottest heel that WWE has had in decades and is the first sign that the company hasn't forgotten how to get someone heat and keep the heat. Edge would get the sympathy vote from fans for Wrestlemania which will lead to an interesting build to the eventual title match. If this is the match that WWE choses then it should be the headliner for Wrestlemania night two as it is one of the main matches that fans would be looking forward to in my book and it would end Wrestlemania on a high note.
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present