Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present
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I just finished remaking the WWE 24/7 Championship and that seemed to go quite well so I figured what to do next. It just so happens ten years ago WWE went through a year full of missed opportunities which paved the way for plenty of more to come in the following years, but it all started with 2011. The year 2011 was the "Summer of Punk" and when the pipe bomb was dropped on that episode of Monday Night Raw. Think about that and now think about what actually happened in the year 2011? The exact opposite of what you would've expected to have happen. Instead of embracing the new superstars and young talent they never gave them more of a cup of coffee to really see if they could succeed.
Let me have a go!! Now I know for long time readers this seems similar to series from the past, but this will be very different actually. In the past I just followed one tried and true formula, but this time that formula is out the window. As we will start with some changes you will see from the outset:
Starting point is April 4 edition of Raw after Wrestlemania 27 and end point will be December 2011
NXT will no longer be a game show brand and will instead be used as a way to allow underutilized talent on the main roster a space to grow and developmental talent the chance to gain experience on the main roster.
Capitol Punishment will not happen and instead Vengence will happen in June for two reason I never liked the PPV and the company had way to many in 2011. This will allow more breathing room to develop worthwhile feuds for the big shows.
Two changes to Wrestlemania 27: First The Corre win against Big Show, Kane, Santino and Kofi as they hold half gold in WWE. Secondly, Great Khali will earn a shot against Sheamus on Raw the following night.
Another change I would make is I would sit down with certain talent for them to assist in the creative process as it would help to take some pressure off the creative team and allow us to focus on other talent that need help. Those names would be CM Punk, Christian, Goldust, and Rey Mysterio. I'm not saying that'd have creative control, I'm saying they would help come up with ideas and a direction for themselves on the program.
I was going back n forth on this one, but I made the best decision following his loss to Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler would take a hiatus from programming for a few weeks. Josh Mathews on the other side will remain on Smackdown only with Matt Striker. Each show needs it's own voice and that won't happen if Josh or Michael are on both Raw and Smackdown.
I would also sit down with legends to here there perspectives and listen to who they believe could have a bright future and who might need some help.
No assist general managers, the computer is gone and a person will be named interim president of WWE going back to how television was when Jack Tunney and Gorilla Monsoon were in charge. I would give Roddy Piper the spot as President of WWE.
Last thing would be Booker, T and Todd Grisham would take over announcing duties on NXT every week with Byron maybe joining here and there.
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Following the end of the "Undisputed Finale" Adam Cole likely had his last moment on the "black and gold" brand. Cole has been a top star on the brand since his debut four years ago attacking Drew McIntyre with Bobby Fish and Kyle O' Riley at the end of NXT Takeover Brooklyn III. It didn't take long for not just his momentum to jump start his career, but to become the biggest star on NXT. In the past we've seen so many names come and go from NXT, but only a handful of names can be placed on NXT's Mount Rushmore alongside the Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Finn Balor would be one of the many variations of NXT's Mount Rushmore.
At this point, Adam doesn't have an official contract with WWE with Takeover 36 being his final contractually obligated day. Right now with the momentum heading in the way of AEW following the signing of CM Punk and likely signing of Daniel Bryan soon to follow the WWE needs to keep Adam Cole under contract. For once though Adam needs to be treated as a big deal upon his arrival on the main roster. Much the way they jump started his career in NXT and presented him a major player from the start they need to do the exact same thing when he appears on the main roster.
In my opinion, Adam Cole doesn't need to win his first feud on the main roster, but he does need to be placed into a feud right out of the gate. Based on the depth and security of each roster if Adam does resign then Smackdown would be the place for him to make his debut. Raw needs to have it's roster reconstructed from the ground up and unless Adam is placed into a top position Smackdown would be a better place for him to go so he can grow. Outside of Drew McIntyre all of Raw's other Main Event level stars are paired up in a tag team of some kind leaving the question of how did this happen. If Adam does make the jump to Smackdown then Kevin Owens would be the ideal first feud for him on the main roster giving him the chance to fight someone who is not just a fellow NXT legend, but someone he has only fought a handful of times in the past.
Starting with Kevin Owens also allows Adam to be placed in a prominent position from the start fighting against a respected member of the roster and getting a chance to prove himself against a veteran of the main roster. Another possible choice for his first feud would be against Cesaro who much like Owens is in a prominent position within WWE and would be in many ways an unexpected dream match between two supremely skilled athletes. I am aware placing Cole on Smackdown puts him in the crosshairs of Roman Reigns, but you need to be aware that he will not be on the level of any main eventer right out of the gate and will need time to grow into one on the main roster. Which is why building him to challenge Shinsuke Nakamura first as oppose to bypassing the growth stage would be the smarter choice.
Nakamura was leaving New Japan around the time or just before Adam Cole first appeared for the promotion so this would be another fresh contest that has yet had the chance to take place. There are so many possible matches that should leave fans salivating for Adam Cole to move to the main roster. The only question is if Adam Cole resigns with WWE?
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To be clear, the occasional appearances of random crowds of talent does happen, but every time it does either Moss fights them or outsmarts them, leaving the other side. Moss begins to catch the ire of former champions, namely Murphy, who has been on and off television in 2020. Leading to Hell in a Cell, the match is set Murphy vs. Riddick Moss for the championship also on the show Jeff Hardy decided to assist Truth against Elias and Ryker after having similar problems with the duo. Moss wins after using whatever means needed to keep his gold around his waist.
On Smackdown, Murphy sits down with Michael Cole and explains his reasons to capture the 24/7 title. “Since winning the gold Moss has shown a different side of himself outsmarting people, always ahead, and just a lot more calculated the previous champions. I’ll admit that, but I know I needed to rebuild my stock and wanted to start from the bottom and completely rebuild. I want to prove myself to not just Adam Pearce, but these people all over again.” Murphy continues, “this title helped Riddick Moss invent himself, maybe it can help me reinvent myself.”
Six man tag match on the kickoff show including Raw and Smackdown stars Truth, Hardy, and Murphy vs. Riddick Moss, Elias, and Ryker. Murphy pins the champion on the Survivor Series kickoff show. This is the first time that Moss has been pinned since joining forces with Paul Ellering after Wrestlemania. We now move to TLC in December, when the Murphy vs. Moss rivalry writes another chapter and officially ends Riddick’s reign and allows Murphy to kick-start his reinvention.
Looking back, this would allow Riddick Moss to not only establishes himself, but it would give a fresh name a good amount of TV time. It would’ve given R-Truth a break from being in the 24/7 Championship picture and allowed him to have an actual feud, not around the title. We’d actually see the 24/7 title treated like a title that matters and not just a paper title meant to be treated as a joke. The main idea is reinventing Riddick Moss opens the door for other stars to attempt to use the 24/7 title to reinvent themselves as well.
Murphy needed a chance to reinvent himself after the story with the Mysterio’s happened. In my opinion, Murphy proved himself in his series with Alelister Black, but was never given the chance to do more. I also never understood why Smackdown was never given sometime with the 24/7 title. I would allow both 205 Live and NXT stars to come up to Smackdown and challenge Murphy for the gold. Furthermore, I’d also put a rule in place that the title can’t change hands during a match in the ring, once the bell rings it has to be between the two in the ring.
Overall, the title needed more respect and could be something that is used to assist the company in the continued effort in developing new stars. Instead of it being used to just be a cheap form of comedy like they currently use it for, even though this is unrealistic, we can all dream a little can’t we.
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Though the recent NXT releases didn't do much to really change the face of the "Black and Gold" brand it did shake up the foundation of the brand. On a card filled with long term story telling taking center stage it also the moment that will be bringing NXT into the next phase. For example, current NXT Women's champion Raquel Gonzalez was brought into NXT as the bodyguard of Dakota Kai who is her opponent tonight. This rivalry has similar roots to the Diesel vs Shawn Michaels rivalry from 1994-95 the only question is it having the same results.
In my opinion, some of the best programming of the last few months has been given to us from Cameron Grimes and Ted DiBiase with LA Knight fitting in like a glove. Knight's confidence has grown since his arrival in NXT a few months back, and even in defeat so has the stock of Cameron Grimes. Every now and then WWE shows they still know the best way to prove that some legends can be assets to television instead of liabilities. Grimes has tapping into his inner Damien Sandow as the butler for LA Knight recently and this match is the final straw for the rivalry. Knight has enough momentum to take one of his first loses in recent memory and finally give something back to the underdog who has won both the fans over and the "Million Dollar Man."
One thing missing from this show seems to be any involvement from one of the feuds that has seen intensity rising weekly and it's over the NXT North American Championship. Santos Escobar and Isiah Scott have been tangling in brawls seemingly every week with the tensions and temperature rising on a week to week basis. I know that Takeover 36 has the matches to spotlight and you don't want this to take away from any other match, but it'll be interesting to see if anything happens between the factions.
At this point, not much is needed to be said about the three other matches set for the event on Sunday. Kross and Samoa Joe became a match people wanted to see from the moment that Joe returned to NXT a few months ago. It seems likely that Joe has taken the spot once occupied by Finn Balor as the brands veteran, but it is hard to tell if a win is needed to give him credibility or Kross needs a little more seasoning. Two of the biggest matches on the card though that need no conversation about are the likely main event between Adam Cole and Kyle O' Riley and the UK World Champion Walter vs Ilja Dragunov.
It is entirely likely that this Takeover is the last we see of Adam Cole in NXT and is one of the many reasons why Takeover 36 needs to stand and deliver. In my opinion, this Takeover closes a chapter in cases of NXT's past and will open the door for the future of the "Black and Gold" brand.
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It was only a few weeks after his title win that the nationwide shutdown was put in place. WWE would move to the Performance Center for all events and fans would disappear from ringside. I can only imagine how surreal this was or would be, especially for someone like Riddick Moss who only just arrived at the main roster. I would pull Truth, Tozawa, Gulak, and Moss aside to film videos for the 24/7 Championship to air and virtual interviews with Riddick explaining his path to WWE.
The virtual interviews would be designed to test Moss’s comfort level with free-range interviews and the other would test his entertainment skill, but also add depth to his character. Having to watch your back all day every day can make even the sanest man crazy. Riddick would to show signs of being paranoid and not staying focused, which causes him to lose the championship that was meant to give him his big break, and at Wrestlemania no less.
To give him a chance to breathe, Riddick will disappear for a few weeks before returning on the April 27th edition of Raw, but he’s not alone. Riddick has a second and its former Author’s of Pain manager Paul Ellering. Why Paul? Simple, he is the one-man known for reading the Wall Street Journal and being very calculated, smarter, and respected. Also, much like he did for the AOP in NXT it will allow Riddick a chance to stick out.
For the next few weeks Ellering is seen “training” Moss by going over the events that happened leading up to Wrestlemania this year involving Gulak, Truth, and Tozawa over the 24/7 Title. The final video shows Ellering asking Riddick how did you spend your Wrestlemania? Moss says “I wasn’t there” and Paul exclaims “Now what is wrong with that picture.”
Riddick has attention set on Drew Gulak then Tozawa pretty handily dispatches them. Shifting his focus to the champion R-Truth demanding a fair contest against the champion which is tough to offer, but Adam Pearce gives him his request. Moss meets Truth on June 14th as a part of the Backlash kick off show where Moss regains his championship from Truth becoming a two time 24/7 champion.
Almost immediately though Moss shows he’s going to be a different champion outsmarting those who pursue him and defending himself, fighting off attackers. Proving that aligning with Ellering was a good choice for him and is included in the main card for Extreme Rules in a Triple Threat match with Truth and Drew Gulak included in the match. The following week Riddick alongside Ellering appear on Smackdown declaring that as 24/7 he shouldn’t be condemned to appearing on just one show or the other and is out to prove himself in WWE not just on Raw.
First week Grayson Waller from 205 Live appears to challenge the reigning champion and then Shane Thorne comes close to defeating him but Moss again wins. Before heading back to Raw, the duo have an encounter with Universal Champion Roman Reigns, who praise Riddick for realizing he could use some help and selecting someone like Paul Ellering to lead him in the right direction.
Truth challenges Moss again for Summerslam but Ellering makes Pearce declare if Truth loses he will not be allowed to challenge for the title with Moss as champion. Truth agrees and loses at Summerslam after Elias and Jaxson Ryker try to get the gold. Either way, Truth is now out of the title picture thanks to Elias and Ryker. Moss on the other hand now has the Lucha House Party coming after him for the gold as we move to the Clash of Champions PPV. Moss continues to impress running the gauntlet against Lucha House Party at Clash of Champions keeping the gold.
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Since the arrival of the 24/7 Championship two years ago, a lot of fans have questioned both the legitimacy and importance of the championship. The title was brought into existence as a result of the USA Network advising WWE to bring some unpredictability into the programming. One person has found insane success with the gold that being R-Truth, as it has really given him the opportunity to succeed and show how gifted he is as a performer.
However, at one point I thought that this championship could be the window to gain unproven talent some air time. In early 2020, I thought that was exactly what we’d be seeing with the sudden arrival of Riddick Moss on the main roster. If I remember, Mojo had been feuding with Truth over the gold and found himself a partner that being Riddick Moss who ends up stealing the gold for himself right from under Mojo.
Following his title win, we saw a more developed side of Riddick Moss. Moss would appear on television in a suite, and he suddenly became this arrogant, full of himself star, who was smarter than previous champions. Riddick would become the fourth-longest reigning champion in the history of this misunderstood championship. Unfortunately, due to injury and a big mistake (Raw Underground) Riddick Moss would be gone from television by late 2020. Think about it though what happens if you remake the 24/7 championship picture and try to give Riddick Moss a springboard.
Every character is not immediately put in the right role, and sometimes it takes time for talent to get comfortable being on-screen. Moss was just getting comfortable and finding his footing when the rug was pulled out from under him to give R-Truth another title reign. I would imagine the reason for the switch is people didn’t care about Moss, and they thought having Truth with the gold would be more entertaining.
In hindsight, maybe they should’ve let the title disappear when Gronk was champion instead of bringing it back. To answer this question, what good has the title done since it has arrived other than shown us what most of us knew already, that R-Truth was comedic gold. Imagine if the title was used to elevate new, fresh talent instead of just being treated as a joke.
Now let’s look back and rethink or remake the ideals that most of us dislike about the WWE 24/7 Championship. Starting in February 2020 with Riddick Moss as champion and our direction completely up for grabs:
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For once, it seems like WWE might be circling back to an old moment from the Authority era. Following Survivor Series 2014 the Authority were sent packing for about a month or so before Seth Rollins got them back into power. The way Rollins got his way was by threatening to break Edge's neck on a night when he and Christian were guests on an episode of Raw. Cena caved in to save Edge from Rollins injuring him even worse than we thought he had been at the time.
Edge approached Rollins backstage recently on Smackdown, telling him that he hasn't forgotten what happened between them years ago. Now that Roman Reigns and Edge are done with one another, it's time for Edge to hit some other dream matches. A number of stars should be punching their ticket or wanting to punch their ticket to have the match with Edge in an attempt to get themselves over. Reality WWE should be looking to do anything they can with Edge and other stars to help fresh names get over. In my opinion, if it wasn't Summerslam season, I would've had someone else fight Edge next as a way to him a short feud and some wins. However, Rollins and Edge both need to be on Summerslam, but imagine trying to recreate the moment from seven years ago when Rollins tried to injure Edge to get The Authority back in power.
Edge having a revenge feud with Rollins is a good start for the Hall of Famer, and he could split with Rollins, but just needs a win against him to get revenge. Following his feud with Rollins, Edge should move into a feud with an unproven name like Cesaro or Finn Balor. Imagine, Edge and Finn Balor feuding to wrap up the year and officially welcome him back to the main roster. Remember though Wrestlemania is less than a year away and much like Summerslam we will see Edge on the card the only question is who he will have his match with I'd rather see Edge vs Finn or Edge vs Adam Cole next year at Wrestlemania.