WWE: Return to glory [Part II]
by, 08-01-2011 at 11:07 AM (4881 Views)
If you haven’t read part one of this mini-series, you can find it here:
--- WWE: Return to glory [Part II] ---
Ditch the belts
If the WWE remains a single entity with a rotating "draft" of stars hopping around from show to show, then something needs to be done about the championship title scene. Simply put, there are too many belts.
More to a point, there are too many redundant championship belts. Last I checked, we have a Heavyweight champion, a WWE champion, a US champion and a Intercontinental champion. Honestly, why? Why do we need two champions and two lesser champions?
Back in the day, if you were the WWF Intercontinental champion you were considered the top contender for the WWF championship. Same went for the WCW US Heavyweight champion in regards to the WCW Heavyweight championship. These days, however, both the Intercontinental and US championship are practically meaningless. One could argue the same point for the Heavyweight championship.
Why is that? Because there is too much redundancy and too little chain of recognition. What is the significance of each? As far as I or any causal fan can tell, the Heavyweight and WWE championships are practically the same thing. Or, at least, might as well be. And the IC and US belts basically signify someone who just isn't popular enough to be in the Heavyweight/WWE Champ conversation yet.
Honestly, the entire logic behind who gets which belt and why no longer makes sense. The booking department and the WWE's head writers have been doing it wrong for so long now that they've lost sight of the things that matter. Belts no longer hold the prestige they once did, and that is in large part because they're treated more like novelty toys and promotion material than championships that hold any actual weight. Perhaps that helps explain the WWE championship belt now looks like something you'd pick up at Toy R' Us.
The number of belts needs to be reduced, and the roles designated in a manner that actually emphasize their value. For example, Money In The Bank is a great idea, but seeing as anyone who wins always immediately goes after the highest belt attainable, it negates a lot of what it means to be the US champion. Because, honestly, who wants to be the US champion? Nobody. And that's the problem. Decrease the number of belts, increase their value and give them particular roles. We currently have a state of quantity over quality right now, and it just isn't working.
Having said all this, if the WWE were to split into age-bracket shows like I suggested in my first post, then holding champions in every category for each show makes a hell of a lot more sense. But the concept of a need for structure still remains valid.
Tag team division overhaul
You wouldn't know we still have tag team champions if it wasn't beat over our head every few weeks. Why is that? When did building solid tag team partners become a thing of the past? We still get tag team matches almost every week, sure, but it's typically a random pairing of heels taking on their counterparts. Where are the actual teams?
New Age Outlaws, The Acolytes, Legion of Doom - those are tag teams. Big Show and Kane versus two guys from the Corre are not. Either we have tag teams that compete for a tag team championship, or we don't. Make up your mind.
Eighty-six the Divas
They're awful. Sexy and wonderful eye candy, but awful. Just end it already. At least until it can be completely overhauled.
@The Brown One – There is a difference between living in the past and recognizing character dimensions. Kane is the latter. He is supposed to be a monster, but he isn’t intimidating. Kane lacks the appropriate mic skills required to give anyone goosebumps, and as result his gimmick suffers. As a silent, misunderstood monstrosity he managed to create more mystery, interest and, above all else, hype. That’s why the gimmick needs to revert, not because I personally miss the Attitude Era (although, I will not deny that I do).
A good example of this difference would be to take Daniel Bryan, who is currently flying under this “I’m a nerd who wrestles in the WWE” gimmick. It’s not really working, even though Bryan has decent in-ring work. Why? Not enough character direction.
So we’re supposed to believe he’s a dork, eh? What does he do that’s dorky? More importantly, no matter how hard the WWE tries to get him really over with casual fans, nothing of yet has worked. They've given him on-air time, championship pushes - even a handful of Diva girlfriends. But still no crowd reaction.
This is a bit of a stretch, but consider it: You know who Daniel Bryan reminds me a lot of? Chuck Norris. There’s your hook. Get Chuck involved – perhaps in a cross-promotional deal – where he appears alongside Bryan for a few months. Daniel is supposed to be a nerd, right? What’s nerdier than hanging out with CHUCK F’N NORRIS? The instant street cred he’d get would totally help his gimmick and, frankly, give Bryan someone to lean on until his following with causal fans begins to take a stronger hold.
I know, it seems a bit hokey at first. But that’s sort of what Daniel Bryan’s character has been trying to be. It’s just that up until now it’s fallen flat on its face. I think a Bryan Texas Ranger gimmick – one in which Bryan plays up his nerdiness in a manner that more fans can relate – will really help his character progress in the direction it seems to be trying to. But would need to have an edge. It's not all supposed to be all dorky jokes and puns. Besides, with Norris you have his legendary “tougher than anything” meme you can begin to attribute to Bryan. If done right, this could go a long way of bringing out the qualities Bryan’s character can’t quite bring to the surface.
It wouldn’t have to stop there either. If he still needs more help, you could begin pairing Bryan with nerdy icons. In that way you’d begin to give him a bit of a more pop culture reference to work from, and that’s really what a nerd gimmick in this day and age needs.
And as far as Smackdown is concerned, it’s not the in-ring work I’m referring to. It’s the storylines and characters they have to work with. None of them, in my opinion, are interesting. It carries this B card stigma, and as result it’s just not exciting. The real stars remain on Raw and only Raw, and that’s the problem. Frankly, the only real storyline that matters these days is CM Punk/Cena. With no real reference to them, and certainly no chance of seeing them, why bother tuning in?
Until next time, remember:
I am right.
I am MG Bertock.