It’s no secret the WWE has solidified its place into the mainstream light and is now a household name. And whether you like it or not, there will be no going back from that, because quite frankly, it’s best for business. But along the way, as each passing era segued into the next, components from prior periods of greatness were ditched for presentation and simplicity purposes to cater to the modern world. Meanwhile on the contrary, WWE programming has also been known to frustrate its fans for an inability to let go of the past. But overall, Vince and company are in a good place and are thriving. But nonetheless, work remains to be done. Here are five changes WWE needs to make to appease its fans and to keep up with the times.
- Bring Back the World Title
If I were ever the RAW general manager, my first order of business would be to ditch the unoriginal Universal title and to replace it with a beautiful big gold. WWE created a masterpiece with the WWE World Title currently featured on Smackdown Live, but then proceeded to crank out three near-identical variations to be used as RAW’s top honor and in the women’s divisions, respectively. The unveiling of the Universal Title at last year’s Summerslam left the WWE faithful in utter disappointment, as they proceeded to flood the ensuing main event of Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins with their displeasure. “More important than a titles appearance is what it represents for the men fighting over it,” wrote Rollins on Twitter. “You really let me down tonight, Brooklyn.”
If WWE didn’t want to redesign a belt, then bringing back a fan favorite should have been the obvious choice.
- Showcase Local Talent
Making your way up the independent ranks for a shot at making “the show” is a lifestyle you must give yourself to, and wrestling fans recognize this. There are no guarantees to make it, no instruction manuals, and there’s a chance you could be greatest thing that never was. One match per show on Smackdown Live, the land of opportunity, a local talent should go one-on-one with a WWE superstar to showcase what they can do and to help them generate a buzz on the national stage. Sound familiar? See James Ellsworth. The Braun Strowman and Nia Jax squash matches lit up social media for the local talents who had been given the golden opportunity to job to them – and it was brilliant.
- More Female Referees
Independent wrestler, Kennadi Brink, broke barriers in the wrestling world earlier this year when she signed on as a referee with WWE and has gone on to officiate in the Mae Young Classic. Suddenly, a lightbulb went off for some when realized there have only been male referees officiating in the ring. No one noticed the refs – go figure. During a recent Mae Young Classic taping, Brink was introduced as WWE’s first full-time referee to a loud approval from the Full Sail University crowd. This move was a no-brainer if WWE is completely serious about elevating the women’s division. Opening more doors for women to shine and to do what the men are doing continues to demonstrate that WWE is a place for everyone, and also, to be among the first to put a stamp on that.
- Bring Back Unique Pay-Per-View Sets
One of the biggest thrills of tuning into a WWE event in the 90’s and early 2000’s was seeing what the company came up with for a stage, because it gave the night character. As the years went on, your recollection could stay sharp because you specifically remember what the entire event looked like. With the most recent brand split, we finally moved on from the HD set towards separate looks for Smackdown and RAW again. But that is where the evolution process has come to a halt, with WWE opting to put all of its chips into jaw-dropping WrestleMania stages once a year. WWE 2K gamers feel it too, having to pick between recent arenas that have essentially been reduced to a variation of ring coloring. Who can forget the Smackdown fist, the Madison Square Garden floor level curtain, the old King of the Ring sets, and so forth? It’s time to put some flavor back into the sets.
- Bring Back CM Punk
It’s time to end the beef with CM Punk and to make the inevitable happen rather sooner than later. Punk, who reportedly is still determined to rule the octagon, left WWE on bad terms in early 2014 and has shunned them ever since. But still, if recent history stays in its path, Vince has shown the ability to build a bridge over a solid grudge if he sees enough green on the other side. Give Punk his money, a lighter schedule, and the biggest edible arrangement made available. Punk was a workhorse in WWE, and has more than paid his dues along the way to superstardom. Any return should be contractually given the Brock Lesnar treatment… or dang near it.
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