As much hype that surrounded the past three WrestleManias it was the spring through the summer months prior to those mediocre at best pay per views that set the tone for where the WWE is today, stuck. The past three WrestleManias have been as keep you on the edge of your seat entertaining as a 52-7 score in the Super Bowl. It was the months and months of programming before that kept us all tuned in and set our (the fans) bars even higher for this year before the WrestleMania seasons snuck in to steal all the glory, and the money too, . What can the WWE do to make sure fans will be talking about this year’s programming and not regress back to the Summer of Punk? The WWE has a lot of talent on the verge of really breaking out to become new stars so the WWE doesn’t have to rely on ‘stars’ of the past to put over talent and help story lines progress, and it’s about damn time they use it. CM Punk‘s Return, The Shield, John Cena, Part Timer’s storylines, Dolph Ziggler, NXT, Team Hell No, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Mark Henry and The Big Show are the key factors heading into WrestleMania 30 and I am here to dissect them.
I’ll start with the return of CM Punk. Punk has done just about everything he can do in the limited about of time the WWE has given him to shine. He will be sitting on the sidelines for the next month or so. If I’m Vince McMahon I have a creative team based solely on booking the next two and possibly the last two years of CM Punk’s WWE career. Here is what the cliff notes version should look like: Another long WWE Title reign, feuds with Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Dolph Ziggler, and if everyone involved can get it done, top it all off with a match with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
While CM Punk takes him much deserved time off the next best heel(s) are The Shield. Now is a great time to really focus on The Shield. As I mentioned on the latest Creatively Endeavored PulseCast I think the three of them should/will be holding the Tag Team, Intercontinental and United States Titles. It just makes sense, the WWE doesn’t dedicate enough time to the mid card titles so putting them with The Shield as they take on all comers is an easy yet great way to book not only the titles but The Shield as well.
The news coming out today that John Cena has suffered another injury but plans to continue to work came as no surprise to me. John Cena, I might take some crap for this, but is the WWE’s number one worker, in and out of the ring. Cena is 36; he has another four to five GOOD years left to work for the WWE. If he can work healthy this title reign will not only help the buyrates of the upcoming pay per views but maybe this will spark another round of Super Cena.
It’s no secret the WWE loves to use part-time talent to cash in big, especially the past two years, including last year’s WrestleMania where four of the six Superstars involved in the three main event were less than part-time workers. I understand the business, and am in favor of bringing back part-time talent, but only if they are used the right way. Especially in the case of Brock Lesnar, I know he is being booked as a ‘must see’ attraction, but Lesnar losing is doing nothing for that type of thinking. The WWE may not see it that way, so why not put him in a feud with someone who can stand to benefit from a Brock Lesnar loss? Sheamus, Ryback and even Mark Henry would be a good fit for Lesnar, a win for either of those three guys and boom they are off. Brock obviously doesn’t care about going under, he came back just for the cash, so I’m begging you WWE put him with someone who will benefit the company for the long-term not just the big Mania payday.
Dolph Ziggler is arguably the best worker in the ring and on the mic. Although he has been World Heavyweight Champion before, this time around SHOULD be the title reign that will send him to the moon. He is ready, the WWE NEEDS another top guy that can headline the SmackDown shows and the house shows that lack in attendance and the TV ratings the WWE so desperately chase after. Now is the time to build the next PG Era Superstar to go along with John Cena and CM Punk.
The WWE is really behind its developmental product that is NXT. They are in the process of building them a brand new facility not to mention every NXT Superstar gets paid if they appear on the shows they record for Hulu Plus. Don’t let Bo Dallas’ lack luster debut fool you, NXT is stacked, just ask any member of The Shield, Big E Langston or Summer Rae. It is now more of a when not if for the likes of Bray Wyatt, Kassius Ohno, Corey Graves, and Paige. I understand all of the Superstars won’t have the effect like The Shield did, but if the timing and angle is right the WWE has their future just waiting down in Florida.
Everyone prepared themselves for the breakup of Team Hell No, that time has come and gone, several times now. Kane and Daniel Bryan were supposed to headline the rebirth of the tag team division, instead that rug was pulled and they were reduced to, at times very funny, and other times very dull comedic segments with no real team feuds. If they do end up defending and losing the titles to The Shield at Extreme Rules the only way to follow-up would be a break up on Raw the next night; eventually leading to a blow off match at Payback. Kane is so versatile that he can go into a feud with just about anyone, and I know I’m not the only one who thinks Daniel Bryan taking on Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Title for a couple of pay per views.
We’ve come to the real brain scratcher of this whole entire column, what can the WWE do to keep the likes of Sheamus, Mark Henry, Randy Orton and The Big Show all relevant without having to pay overtime to the guys who edit the play backs of Raw and Smackdown? In my opinion Mark Henry, right now, has the most to gain. He’s the only guy of the four that has any momentum; it’s just a matter of if the WWE really wants Mark to be a big time player again or not. Orton, Sheamus and Big Show have been stuck in wrestling purgatory ever since their loss at WrestleMania. The Big Show is almost like Kane, he can be stuck with just about anyone and do a decent job so Show really isn’t the problem here. Randy Orton and Sheamus’ character both scream heel turn, but the problem is there aren’t enough ‘good’ babyfaces to balance out WWE programming. The only way I can really see Sheamus and Orton making an impact this summer depends on what happens with guys like Antonio Cesaro, Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger, until then we all have to just sit and wait.
Until next week guys, leave a comment, tell a friend, listen to the Creatively Endeavored Pulsecast on iTunes or BlogTalkRadio.com, follow me on Twitter @CamDougharty and let’s talk rasslin! If you haven’t done so yet, check out Matt’s announcement about the exciting future of Creatively Endeavored.