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.
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present