Welcome back to another round of Quick Takes—a post that indulges in the topics that aren’t worth dedicating a full article to, but are still on my mind.
Each week, I try to cram in as many smaller talking points as I can via a speedier process, and I invite you to chime in with your own thoughts about these topics and anything else by keeping the discussion going in the comments below! Drop some more talking points in there for everyone to chat it up about, too!
Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s topics.
NXT TakeOver Starrcade
Following Halloween Havoc, I think the next NXT TakeOver event should be called TakeOver: Starrcade. This works on several levels and I can’t get it out of my head.
First off, does this upset people who have fond memories of WCW Starrcade? Of course it does. But that hasn’t stopped WWE from doing house shows with the Starrcade name, so it’s no worse.
In fact, it’s better. At least it’s an actual pay-per-view of sorts, rather than a terrible house show masquerading as a special event.
It goes with the theme lately of using WCW names for NXT events, like Halloween Havoc and Great American Bash. Also, since War Games would be harder to do, if not impossible inside the Capitol Wrestling Center, this makes up for it in some ways.
Starrcade was traditionally a November/December event. More happened in December, if I remember correctly. Having Starrcade again for December 6th would fit along those lines perfectly well.
It also uses up a name that Cody Rhodes would like to purchase. WWE has to keep trademarks at least somewhat active enough to be able to justify their use, so this helps with that. They just opposed the Slamboree and The Match Beyond trademarks, which means they’re trying to keep all of the WCW entities. Starrcade is among the top. Just look at how AEW was trying to piggyback off that with Starrcast.
Otherwise, what’s it going to be? NXT TakeOver 32? What’s the fun in that?
Tucker vs. Otis is Proof WWE Needs a Planner
I’ve long said WWE doesn’t plan ahead for anywhere near as much as they should and that it’s extremely detrimental to not only the creative process, but just the sheer organization and logic of how things work. The less they plan, the more blunders happen and the worse the company looks.
That perception will continue as WWE has shown negligence with the Tucker vs. Otis situation. They were split up (which should only happen if there’s a reason) and then put on separate brands just so Tucker could turn on Otis and not be able to feud with him? How does that make any sense?
Worse, he was listed as a member of the SmackDown roster on the website. You can’t get the web team to coordinate and have the right information? Why not? How does this company have THAT many employees, THAT many people on the writing team and THAT many people working on the site, and no one can communicate?
So is Tucker on Raw or SmackDown? If he’s on Raw, as evidenced by his Main Event appearance (and loss, mind you, cause why would he win if they’re trying to push him in some way, right?) then why was he listed as a member of SmackDown? Also, why keep him on the other brand so that we can’t have Tucker vs Otis, which is the one and only interesting thing he can do?
If he moves to SmackDown, which he should, then why was he drafted over to Raw just prior to turning? They didn’t plan out the heel turn? If they did, this is ridiculous. If they didn’t, then why the hell did they not have a game plan for Hell in a Cell before the draft?
This stuff is maddening. And so often, when I’m critical of something, I don’t want to imply that I can do a better job. My rule of thumb is always that I can say a steak if overcooked because I know when something is burnt, but that doesn’t mean I think I’m the best chef in the world. However, when it comes to WWE and planning things out and communicating, I know for damn sure I could do a better job if given the ability to step in and patch up some of these holes. It’s really not that hard to just think ahead a bit and create some backup plans if the first idea doesn’t go as hoped.
If I can think of notes 2 months in advance for articles and podcasts for multiple sites and then adjust accordingly to accommodate WWE’s flux of changes, then WWE can sort its own ideas out before executing them.
Matt Riddle is now Just “Riddle”
This is SO dumb. If the excuse is that it will stop people from googling his name and finding information about his legal situation, that’s not going to work. Anyone who cares already knows and if they don’t, they’ll just google “WWE Riddle” and it will come up “Matt Riddle” anyway. If the excuse is that the name “Matt” somehow takes away from him, that’s just absurd. That won’t make a difference. If anything, just being Riddle takes away from him because it sounds like he’s trying to be gimmicky, like a luchador without a costume on.
What are your takes on these topics? Keep the discussion going in the comments below!