Friday, July 17, 2009

I’ve been in Jedi training…

and now this is what I see when I seek advice

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Big Fixes Wrestling

We make no apology's here at TB&TB when it comes to wrestling. We have enjoyed the entertainment "sport" as long as we have been alive. If we don't get together on Mondays to watch RAW, we spend most of Monday night texting each other like little school girls.
Last night, the question was asked "who are the writer for WWE, and how can we become one?" The question was fuled by another show of predicable story lines and more and more of the "same ol' stuff." Thus began the debate on how, if you were in charge of the WWE, would you run it? So have no fear, Big is here, to "fix" the WWE.

Step one. Branding. The current WWE roster is "broken down" into 3 shows. Monday night Raw (the flag ship), Friday night Smackdown (the "b" show) and ECW on Tuesday night (the C show and proving ground). The first thing I would do is make these show completely independent of each other. No more stoylines that have people cross over between the three shows. The idea is to make the one company, WWE, feel like it had three different identities.

One step to do this is move all the Women wrestlers (or as WWE calls them, Divas) onto the Monday night show RAW. Now you may have to "trim the fat" of some of the Diva's on the roster, but condensing and focusing the talent into one brand would only create better Diva matches, which the WWE desperately need right now.

The next step in Branding is move all the tag teams to Friday night. For too long now the tag team division in wrestling in general has been forgotten and miss used. By replacing the women on Smackdown with tag matches and more importantly mic time, I believe the fans would get behind them in no time flat. A caveat to this is you can't have just also ran Tag Teams in the tag team division. You need star power. Think Hardys or Edge and Christian (note, they are doing a good job of this with having Edge and Jericho hold the straps right now).

While ECW is being used very well at the moment as a proving ground for up and coming wrestlers, even it could use a slight retooling. I suggest reforming the Cruiser weight Division Championship, and giving that to ECW. While Vince has always been a fan of the Super Heavyweight, and always will be, there is a sector of people who enjoy the small, high flying aspect of cruiser weight wrestling. Don't believe me? take a look at this video from WCW Starcade, 1999, where 4 cruisers stole the PPV with this crazy match which included Billy Kidman Vs. Rey Misterio, Jr. Vs. Juventud Guerrera Vs. Psicosis.



You can't tell me people won't be entertained by that.

So let's break down the branding.

RAW - Diva's (stays the Flag ship. Geared more toward family's, pg rating)

Smackdown - Tag Teams (a little more mature, place where people who preform on the mic and in the ring are valued more, geared more toward the older wrestling fan)

ECW - Cruiser's (Still a proving ground for up and coming Heavys, also has the infusion of cruisers to make show worth watching.)

Step 2 Fixing PPV's

Over the years, WWE has tried to create more buz around its PPV's by including things like the Elimination chamber during No Way Out, or the extreme rules matches at Extreme Rules. This is exactly what WWE needs to do, but take it up another notch.

As it stands right now there are 4 big PPV's every year, with 8 or 10 others every month. As it stands right now, only the Royal Rumble has an yearly pay out of a title shot. I'm going to change that. Stating with the Big One, Wrestlemanina.

WrestleMania is the biggest show of the year, and to add to it, every year the WWE Champion and World Heavyweight Champion will fight. The end of every wrestlemaina will have one superstar holding both title belts in celebration, and the time between Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania will be the only time during the season that wrestlers would be allowed to cross brand lines.

Of course this creates a wrinkle in the winner of the Royal Rumble has traditionally gotten a title shot at Mania, but this is an easy fix. I would move the PPV No Way Out, which is traditionally between the Rumble and Mania, to October, and the October PPV, Bragging Rights, to February. This way the winner of the Rumble gets not only a title shot at Bragging Rights, but if he wins, he gets to headline Wrestlemania with a match between the opposing brands champion.

Think of the push a wrestler can have in just 3 months. From winning the Rumble, to winning the Title at Bragging Rights, to becoming the unified champion and headlining Wrestlemania. I will explain swapping Bragging Right and No Way Out in just a bit.

Next up after Mania? Draft. On the second Monday following Mania, the Draft takes place. I would like the draft to be a little more calculated, and a little less random as it is shown now. Let the GM's of the shows actually draft, or maybe even have a small 3 vs 3 matches where the winner can chose what brand he goes to. (think of the champ who loses at wrestlemania, winning a chance to change brands and go after the guy who beat him).
Now as I said earlier, there will be no cross brand competition other than the time between the Rumble and Mania, and a small time before Survivor Series, so when Mania crowns a new unified champion, the superstar who wins would have to chose which belt he wants to defend on which show. The other belt then becomes the main story line for the next PPV, Backlash. Any number of things can be done for that PPV, a King of the Ring type tournament, a Scramble match for the vacant title, a tourny that takes place during TV culminating in a finials at the PPV, any number of things can take place.

After Backlash, there is a normal PPV in Judgment Day, which can be used to finish Mania feuds and start building toward the summer push.

Then Extreme Rules. I like this PPV a lot because of the fact it is a little different then most. The only change I would have with this one is use ECW more. This needs to be the one PPV of the year that they really get over. Have 2 or 3 ECW matches on this one, including a ECW title match, Crueser Weight Match, and ECW vs the world in a 5 on 5 extreme showdown, where each week on ECW, one member of the ECW team calls out someone who they think "soft" from the other brands, and forces them to be in this crazy extreme match.

The next two PPV's The Bash and Night of Chapionons, would remain unchanged.

Then the 3rd biggest PPV of the year, Summerslam. This has always been one of my favorite PPV's for little reason than it usually the only one during my childhood where I could convince my parents to let me order it while I had a bunch of buddies over to watch it. Looking back, I'm sure it was because there was no school during the summer and this was the last good thing that happend before school started, and my folks thought it would be fun to have one last summer hoo-rahh.

With the Summerslam PPV, I can fix 2 problems with one little solution.

I have always been a fan of the IC belt (and TV belt in WCW), because the IC champion was always one of my favorite guys to watch as a kid (Warrior, Rude, Honkey Tonk), and I feel the IC and US belts right now have very little meaning. Well, that would change here, because at Summerslam, it would be IC/US vs. WWE/World Champion. Belt for belt, every year.

This would help in 2 ways, it would give credence(especially leading up to Summerslam) to big name guys wanting to win the IC/US Belt, and it would create another situation, much like after Wrestlemaina, where after the Slam, the IC/US belt would be vacant, and the idea's of what do to with vacnt belt are endless, and it at the least gives you two good matches mid to high card matches for the next PPV, Breaking Point. If this is too much title changing, than make Summerslam a non title match for the IC/US champ.

Breaking Point would be for the most part a normal PPV, with the chance to have the vacant IC/US title belts up for grabs.

Next is Hell in a Cell, normal, no changes.

Now the swapped No Way Out. I moved this one here because it gives yet another opportunity for someone to become number one contender during the Elimination Chamber, and the pay off is having a title shot at the 4th biggest PPV of the year, Survivor Series.
Survivor Series would have the pay off from No Way Out as well as a traditional (sort of) 3 way 5 on 5 on 5 survivor series match between the 3 different brands.

The last PPV before we get back to the Rumble is Armageddon, and should be more or less a set up the the story lines that will start at the Rumble and end at Mania.

So lets recap

Royal Rumble - Winning getting title shot at Bragging Rights.
Bragging Rights - Title Shot for Royal Rumble Winner
Wrestlemania - WWE Champ vs. World Heavyweight Champ
Draft
Backlash - Crowning of new champion who's brand lost a Mania
Judgment Day - Normal, finish story lines of Mania.
Extreme Rules - ECW Payday, 3 or 5 ECW Stars/Future Stars vs 5 other brand stars who have been called out as not extreme enough for WWE.
The Bash - Normal
Night of Chapionons - Every Title on the line
Summerslam - IC/US vs. WWE/World Heavyweight Champ.
Breaking Point - Normal
Hell in a Cell - Normal
No Way Out - Elimination Chamber, either for Title, or for #1 Contender.
Survivor Series - Chamber Pay off, 5 on 5 on 5 Tri-Brand tradional SS match.
Armageddon - Normal

With all of these changes, I believe it would give the WWE three separate yet competitive brands, put more clout in both the IC and US belts, and give each brand a different identity. But I'm just a cave man.