Triple H & Stephanie Back to Business
The Authority is played out, and has been for ages. Stephanie McMahon is a skilled PR professional, and should be using her business-savvy self to promote the show in other international markets. Triple H clearly understands the business by looking at NXT alone, so let him take a step back from the spotlight and have him work with creative to craft the storylines. Give some of the NXT creative members a chance of coming up to the main event and work with Triple H. A chance in staffing could be just the thing that the show needs in order to shake things up.
As far as a replacement GM goes? Big Show, Mark Henry, and Goldust are on the verge of retirement. Any of these men can become a competent GM. They also have a plethora of former wrestlers to fill this role (JBL, Booker T, multiple trainers or road agents). Even Hornswoggle could provide a comic relief background GM. Regal is a clear cut perfect choice, but his duties in NXT as an agent/scout/trainer/on-air personality are far too important in the development of new stars.
NXT’s Time to Shine
Some people may have specific feelings about certain individual stars, but it can generally be agreed upon that there are multiple talented wrestlers (both male and female) in NXT that could thrive on the main roster, if given the chance and the backing. Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn, Apollo Crews, Bayley, Hideo Itami, JJ& Gable, and Cass & Amore are essentially all ‘ready to go’ for a main roster push, minor tweaks aside. There could even be a case for Dawson & Wilder, Storm, Corbin, Blake & Murphy (with Bliss), Auska, Emma, and Dillinger on the main roster.
Finn & Zayn both have built-in feuds with Sheamus and Owens, Joe has a history with Cena, and Hideo could use a number of stars (Owens, Breeze, or even a main roster star) say they attacked him. Bayley can play the underdog who slowly racks up wins, JJ & Gable can act like the cocky babyfaces against The New Day, and Corbin could go on a squash streak and become the specialty match guy. Most of these people have built-in storylines, and it writes itself. The fans will cheer the babyfaces, boo the heels, and enjoy the in-ring product (Corbin maybe being the one asterisk here). Yes, not all men will catch fire right away, but some will be catapulted enough where they instantly become an upper midcarder flirting with the main event, similar to Owens.
Utilize the Company “Workhorses”
Some of the best matches to watch as of late involve Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, and Kevin Owens. All three of these men know how to work, and know how to send the crowd go home happy. The issue here is that three men alone cannot carry a 3 hour show without becoming stale (especially with Cesaro injured). Guys such as Neville, The New Day, Breeze (who will establish himself in this role soon enough), Rusev, Harper, Barrett, and Cody Rhodes are all wrestlers who can work well. Now is the time to give these types of wrestlers more in-depth storylines, more time to work, and better opportunities.
Barrett and Rusev are poised for a good spot with Sheamus at the top of the card (unless they get booked like throwaway stooges going forward). The New Day needs to stay as a tag team leader, all while transcending Big E to a higher level (possibly by giving Woods and Kofi more of the tag matches). Breeze needs to continue his viciousness coupled with his gimmick, so he does not suffer the fate of Adam Rose and Fandango. Cody/Stardust is a complex character that must be handled properly. He must not go over the top, but not become stale. He needs to lose the Stardust character, but not have it be rushed. He must also have a strong redeeming storyline going forward. The possibilities of these workhorse wrestlers are quite endless, as long as they receive a full commitment by the creative team.
Accept Fan Input
We as the fans believe that we are right, and our fantasy bookings would save the company. The WWE believes they know what is best for us, even though we are the customers. In a sense, both sides are wrong. The WWE are the professionals, but without the fans, they have no business. WWE should be utilizing polls and test groups for helping guide certain aspects of storylines and business. Just as McDonalds and Pepsi constantly ask for feedback on their product, WWE should be following the same type of model (asking what they think of certain wrestlers, shows, PPVs etc.). Bringing back a Cyber Sunday-type PPV is also a good indication of what fans may want, all with the company controlling the parameters.
Hit Multiple Media Fronts
In the early 90s, we only saw the top stars on outside television (Piper, Hogan, Savage etc.), and rarely saw midcarders out to promote the show or accept cameos. It eventually changed when people such as Big Show, Nathan Jones, and Christian would make movie and television cameos. Currently, many non-main eventers frequent wrestling podcasts and wrestling talk shows. These shows only have a wrestling audience. Much like Paige recently, more stars need to frequent talk shows, local news stations, and Hollywood.
With multiple international stars, as well as great brand ambassadors, the WWE needs to utilize this and send more stars to talk shows, television, and movies. Have Rusev show up on an Eastern European television show, put Owens on a Canadian or French talk show, let Del Rio & Kalisto appear in Mexican media, or send Barrett to Hollywood for a “tough guy” role. Having the NXT talent hit multiple media fronts as well would help. The world is more connected than ever, so sending these men and women for outside appearances will make even more of an impact now. It will add exposure, potentially bring in old (and new) fans back, and create more of a buzz around the company. They have nothing to lose with additional exposure.
Restructure the Show
Although the Raw show has been evolving over the years, it could enjoy a bit of a facelift. Changing the ring, the Titantron, and even the layout may give a fresh feel. On top of this, Raw should continue to utilize themes (Raw anniversary, Classic Raw day, Holiday show, Vegas wheel etc.) in order to have shows not feel the same every single week.
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