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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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EOTR Retrospective: 7 Ways The WWE Is Currently Dropping The Ball

By @TrueGodImmortal 

It isn't everyday that I take the time to write an article to shit on the WWE and their booking, instead I usually just do that via tweets. However, after watching the highlights of RAW and Smackdown this week and seeing what is on tap for the Royal Rumble, I think it's time to talk about where the WWE has dropped the bell in a number of ways. Now, for some of you, this might be an exciting time, as the Rumble is a few weeks away and always can be accounted for some surprise returns, but something tells me this will be disappointing. I'll get into that later of course, but for now, let's look at 7 ways that the WWE is dropping the ball currently.

*Lack of Roster Depth On Both Shows

-The two main feuds on RAW and Smackdown are boring rehashes and honestly uninspiring. Sure, Owens vs Reigns isn't a feud that's been done to death, but Reigns has been in the title picture for the last 2 years now, and he seems oddly primed to get another Universal Title run, which is a horrible idea. One would assume that Vince is going to the well again due to a lackluster depth on the roster. Cesaro is a singles star, but he's not competing in a solo role. Finn Balor isn't back yet, and WWE refuses to call up Samoa Joe just yet. Smackdown is no better either in terms of depth, as Ambrose and Styles have feuded for 4 months, and Cena and Styles have had 3 PPV main event type matches and unfortunately will fight once more at the Rumble. Ziggler has gotten tons of title shots, and this Enzo and Cass storyline has no involved Jinder Mahal randomly. Lack of depth is hurting the product. They have guys they can build up and some NXT guys ready to be called up, but it doesn't seem like the WWE is ready to move forward. Instead they are bringing stagnant. Which leads me to my next point....

*Royal Rumble Title Matches

-With the Rumble selling the PPV, and the PPV being in the 60,000 stadium Alamo Dome, you'd expect BIG marquee matches that could help sell out the venue. At this point, the Alamo Dome isn't close to being sold out and the reason why lies within the lackluster and lazy booking of the Title matches that could have been bigger and better. However, WWE completely dropped the ball and ruined the whole feel and anticipation of the event. Hypocritical fans aside, let's put it out there: Vince really booked Cena and Reigns to be in the two title matches of his 2nd/3rd most important PPV of the year thinking this would sell out the Alamo Dome. This is no worse than him putting HHH vs Reigns for Mania and doing 88,000 tickets, but claiming they got well over 100,000 to make a record. The Alamo Dome will not likely sell out. The rumors previously had Brock Lesnar vs Kevin Owens for the Universal Title, and The Undertaker vs AJ Styles for the WWE Title, two matches that are dream matches and could benefit the event itself. Somehow, Reigns gets another unnecessary title shot, with Jericho being put in a cage, and Cena returns after 2 months (and taking three losses to AJ) and automatically challenges for the WWE Title instead of entering the Rumble. Once this novelty of Cena's return wears off, you'll see why this is an issue. If you trying to sell out a 10,000 seat arena for a simple PPV, sure, Styles vs Cena for the belt and Reigns vs Owens for the belt might do it, but when we're talking 60,000 seats and excitement needed, this just isn't it. Taker vs AJ is a much more fresh and intriguing match up than the rehashed Cena vs Styles, which will be a good match, but also brings gear that the WWE is going to put the title back on Cena for absolutely nothing. Nothing about these matches make me want to see the Rumble PPV, and the Rumble match itself isn't much better. Which leads me to my next point....

*Goldberg And Brock Lesnar The Main Selling Point Of Rumble

-Look. It's 2016, about to be 2017. Your selling point of a fucking Royal Rumble should not be Goldberg. It shouldn't even be Brock Lesnar. The WWE is scared to give a shot to the talent who is there 24-7 busting their asses, and rely on these older stars to make something happen, but newsflash, no one wants to really see another Brock vs Goldberg match. They are both in the Rumble and will likely cross paths leading to another match, but to use the Rumble to further a needless story is just more evidence that the WWE has no idea what to do anymore. Brock is being wasted. Goldberg returning just to face off with Brock three times overall is just pointless and wastes his return. This is the current selling point of the Rumble match. No other entrants have even been announced yet, and the surprise entrants seem like they could disappoint of not exist at all to be honest. How could the WWE get this so wrong??? Well... because they're the WWE. Speaking of getting it so wrong....

*Not Properly Using Cruiserweights 

-Allow a bit of personal bias to show for me. The best Cruiserweight in this entire division is Cedric Alexander. The man is gifted beyond belief as an athlete and his promos have improved considerably since the indies. He's able to captivate fans every time that he steps out in the ring. And yet.... he's being used for a storyline with Alicia Fox, with whom he has no chemistry with at all. Smart. Noam Dar, another solid star in the division, is being used in the Alicia story as well. Why? Who thought this was a good idea? It's not. It's wasteful. Cedric deserves much better and Noam deserves better as well. The same could be said for Jack Gallagher, who is currently getting over, but in a pointless feud with Daivari, where there is no focus on getting to the Cruiserweight title. WWE brought back Brian Kendrick and turned Neville into a Cruiserweight and instantly they got over for the division, but they don't invest time into the other stars to really make people care. The heel turn of Neville is legit the only thing we've seen where they've given a Cruiserweight character some life. They change the ropes, they give them a title, but it really feels insignificant. The title changes are a bit too frequent and they all feel insignificant. Speaking of insignificant...

*Charlotte Remains Champion, Feuds With Bayley

-Anyone with a brain knows that the WWE wants to force both Charlotte and Bayley. It's obvious. Here's the issue: Sasha is the most over woman on the roster and the highest merch seller. Bayley is definitely good, but she doesn't have enough to really grow or be as versatile character wise or promo wise as Sasha. Charlotte has been in the title picture for a year and a half and she's not leaving anytime soon. It's boring now. Is Charlotte a solid heel? Sure, but she didn't really hit her stride until she feuded with Sasha. So far, these two interactions with Bayley have fell flat and while I'm sure they will have a decent match at the Rumble, it would have made more sense to give Sasha the feud win over Charlotte and begin her feud with Nia Jax with the belt, while using the Charlotte vs Bayley feud to catapult Bayley into the much wanted Bayley vs Sasha Wrestlemania Title match that doesn't seem as likely. The word is that Charlotte vs Bayley is set to continue til Mania and that would be a huge mistake if so. WWE has a women's revolution, yes, but they aren't executing it right. The same could be said for Smackdown actually, but that's more about lack of depth than the actual build and stories. Speaking of that depth again however...

*The RAW Tag Team Division

-Imagine having a team break the record for holding the tag team belts.... only to lose it to a makeshift team that doesn't REALLY work. Cesaro and Sheamus make no sense still as a team. Two singles wrestlers who were fighting to get a solo title opportunity, now are the tag champions of a division that just had a 483 day reign. The New Day didn't lose their titles to a debuting Revival team, Enzo and Cass, Gallows and Anderson, or any of the ACTUAL regular tag teams. No, they dropped the belts to Cesaro and Sheamus. I have no interest in Cesaro and Sheamus feuding with Enzo and Cass or even Gallows and Anderson, though I'm sure The Revival vs Cesaro and Sheamus would be solid to watch. However, we don't know if The Revival will debut on RAW or Smackdown. This leaves many confused and the RAW Tag team division in jeopardy somewhat, mostly due to the lack of roster depth once again. We need a strong tag division and actual tag teams being the forefront once again, not makeshift teams with two singles stars who deserve better.

*Brand Specific PPVs 

-We just witnessed a really solid episode of Smackdown with a title change, three total matches and a big return from Cena. This feels like a huge show, and it was. Imagine if once a month, each show did something like this on their respective brand, and on PPV, both brands are featured, like before. Wouldn't that be better? It would give fans more incentive to tune into PPVs and hopefully force the brands to give us fresher feuds. Two PPVs a month that really feels like nothing important just misses the mark and instead of just having one big episode of each show per month and one PPV that allows both brands to come together. This would be 10 times better than what we have.

Honestly? The WWE has so many areas they are currently dropping the ball on, but these 7 reasons are the most noticeable in the current WWE landscape. I could probably go on, but let's just end it here. The WWE has a lot of work to do to make the Wrestlemania season much better. Let's hope they do it.



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