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TNA & WWE: Brand Evaluation

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This is my first of many articles to come so I'll start by introducing myself. I'm Craig and I shall be writing exclusively for . Each week I will gauge my opinion on the 2 WWE brands that are RAW and SMACKDOWN. I will give my opinions, thoughts, ask questions (or should I?!) and basically look for your reaction and own take on the "must see TV"(or not) that is the WWE !

Firstly this week I'm not going to give my views on this weeks Raw but more along the lines of just Raw in itself and Smackdown in general. I'm just going to throw out a few ideas of what I'd like to see going forward and basically see if many of you feel the same way. Please bare with me though, being my first article I think I'll have the tendency to start rambling just a little bit.

So lets start with the fallout of the recent WWE Draft. On the Raw face side you've got superCena(please don't hate me) the only real top face on the show, followed closely by Rey Mysterio, Big Show and JoMo. Now we've just learned that Morrison will be out of action for a few months with neck injury that requires surgery. Its unfortunate, but should lead to a decent feud with R-Truth when he's ready to return since they are playing on the story that Truth caused him the injury.

So in the mean time you've only got 3 "main event" faces on the brand, can you actually see Big Show battling for the WWE Championship again? I cant. He's just a mid-carder these days who likes to battle groups of men and knock them out with WMD every week. Let him put over some new talent, let Mason Ryan get the best of him, destroy him, show his dominance? 2 weeks ago he hits him with an impressive spear and leaves him laying then last week he gets squashed by Show and Kane.. it doesn't make sense!

Meanwhile can you see anybody getting bumped up the card? Kofi Kingston maybe? Santino? ok I'm kidding now! But seriously is the whole point of the draft not to make fresh feuds? Why are we seeing the same stuff over and over? We seen Kingston/Swagger for months on Smackdown battling week after week for the Intercontinental Championship (in some great matches though) but yet 2 weeks into the draft they are back to feuding again!! This time over the US Title. Yes they put on good matches but its been done before too recently. Not jus done, over-done! Thing is If you look around the heel mid-carders where are the fresh feuds going to come from? Even Dolph/Kofi has been over-done in 2010 on smackdown. Kofi/Drew we've seen a million times as well! Who else is there? Not that the US Title is as prestigious as it once was, but who could give Kofi a run for his money? Who could genuinely help him cement his place (and their own) in the upper mid-card whilst making the US Title more worthy of itself?! My pick.. CM Punk! By the looks of it he isn't going be around the main event picture on Raw with Miz and Del Rio being the new top heels on the show and also the rumours that he is ready to leave in the summer due to burn-out and being unhappy with the young guys taking his spot. So why not capitalize on this.. Give Kofi/Punk a 3 month feud ending at Summerslam with punk! 3 straight PPV wins for Kofi over Punk would cement him where he needs to be and that's at the top! If he hadn't pissed Orton off back in 2008/09 he would of probably been up there by now!! If your losing a top star like Punk have him create a new top star like Kofi before he leaves. Its what the "un-protected" top stars do i.e. Jericho.

Speaking of top guys lets talk about the main event picture on Raw right now and WWE Championship! Why give it back to Cena? Why? Why did Cena pin Miz? Why didn't JoMo take the pin? Why was JoMo even in the cage match at Extreme Rules? It doesn't make any sense at all. Not one bit.. Cena doesn't need the belt! He doesn't benefit from having it, so why not keep it on the Miz? Don't get me wrong in not a total Cena hater, I just hate the way he's booked (as in when does he ever lose clean?) Miz went over at Mania yes, but because of interference towards Cena from you know who. So no clean loss again and then he pins Miz cleanly at Extreme Rules, they do the messed up finish the night after on Raw and then they book an "I Quit" match for Over the Limit basically shitting on Miz because Cena never quits does he? He isn't ever going say them words and upset all the women and kids! The only way would be for Miz to pull a Rock/Mankind 1999 Royal Rumble moment and get a recording of Cena saying those words and Riley playing it over the arena speakers when Miz hits a big move on Cena? I cant see it happening though. I think Cena having the title is part of a plan going forward into the Money in the Bank PPV. I'm picking Del Rio to win MITB and cash in on Cena the same night leading to a Summerslam showdown between the two. Could be an excellent feud if booked well! During the next month or so expect to see maybe Truth get a shot at Cena or a Truth/Mysterio/Cena Triple threat or add in the Miz for a Fatal Fourway at the next PPV. Maybe a 5 man scramble with Del Rio in there as well? Its a way to use all the top guys at the moment without seeing Del Rio/Mysterio singles match number 1326!

Going forward I see Raw getting rather stale this year if they book Cena to win every week and PPV. Use Punk to elevate someone, think of some fresh feuds, book Cena to lose a match, just think outside the box Vince because your "A-show" comfort zone is getting a little more stale every week! Oh and get Zack Ryder on TV every week! Ryder = Ratings!

Now lets move on to the "B-show" no not the Big Show, I'm talking about the actual wrestling show Smackdown!

Randy Orton is your top Smackdown guy and new WHC (World Heavyweight Champion) beating Christian just 5 days (technically 2 days) after Christian fended off Del Rio in an excellent ladder match for the vacant championship which was recently surrendered by Christians best friend Edge. Edges retirement was a big shock to all and what way can Vince replace the void on Smackdown? Move his number 2 Golden Boy behind Cena to Smackdown, Mr. RKO himself Randal Keith Orton. Fresh off his squashing of CM Punk 3 matches in a row he turns up on the "B-show" and beats Christian for the strap! Unexpected by all! Why you may ask? because Christian battled his whole career for that moment, it was a great moment in the business and then what happened? I'll tell you exactly what happened... Vince took a massive shit on Christians Career! that's what happened! Vince has never thought of Christian as anything but an upper mid-carder. Maybe its all part of a bigger picture? a heel turn for Christian or Randy? a return for Jericho (remember Randy put Jericho out of action storyline wise and the history between Jericho/Christian). If its the "bigger picture" case I think Christian gets the belt back at Over The Limit after Jericho returns and costs Randy the belt! If its the "Vince still sees Christian as a nobody" case then he will be back to fighting JTG on superstars next month.

I hope its the "bigger picture" case because Smackdown needs a top heel on the show. Sure Sheamus and Wade Barrett have the potential but they need a cemented heel at the top of the show. Jericho fits that bill perfectly
and any story involving himself, Randy and Christian is going to rocket ratings and allow for some fresh feuds to take place. If this doesn't happen I'm guaranteeing your WHC match at Summerslam is Orton/Mark Henry/Great Khali in a triple threat Punjabi Prison made of chocolate match!

On the plus side of Smackdown the mid-card is impressive and the potential for young stars is endless. I'm going all out right now and picking Cody Rhodes to win the Smackdown MITB briefcase! I think it will take time before he cashes it in though.

I'm also predicting a big push for Sin Cara soon as well, Give him a feud with Chavo or Daniel Bryan! Give them 15minutes in the ring to put on some classics! Have them all based around the IC Title picture! Get the belt off Barrett asap and push him as a top heel! Include him in a storyline with Jericho/Randy/Christian.. after all he was Jericho's "apprentice" on the original NXT. Let the likes of Cara, Bryan, Chavo, Tyson Kidd all fight for the IC Title. Give the belt some prestige back with some amazing TV and PPV matches.

I'm not going to talk about the WWE Divas or what is left of the tag-team division(which isn't much). They are for another time, another article.

Thanks for reading. Next week I will revert to a weekly recap of both shows offering similar views and thoughts. I will also have several other reads now and again so stay tuned. Feel free to leave feedback below.

Craig 11/5/2011

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Updated 05-14-2011 at 05:22 PM by Frank

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