I'll tell you something. I was struggling to come up with ideas for this week's article. I had a couple things pop into my head late this week, but they would need more time and research. They weren't something I could write in a day or two. So in a way, having writer's block this week was a blessing in disguise.
So what was my idea for this week? There are four months left in the calendar year. The WWE, in my opinion, has done a great job of rebounding from an off 2009 and 2010. Especially during the summer, the WWE has churned out some great TV. The storylines for the most part have been good, and the match quality, especially on TV, has been up from the last two years. But of course, there are always certain things that you as an individual want to see. There are things that I'd like to see that probably haven't even crossed the mind of some people in the WWE. Everyone has a different opinion on every wrestler and storyline, so I figured I would give my take.
Here, for your consideration, are 10 Things I Would Do If I Booked the WWE This Fall:
1. An Extended Mark Henry World Title Reign
Two months ago, six months ago, a year ago I would have laughed at this idea. But somehow, the universes have aligned perfectly and Mark Henry has become the best thing going on Smackdown, and one of the best things the WWE has done in quite some time. It's a shame it only took the WWE ten years to figure out how to book Mark Henry. Henry has had so many face and heel turns over his career that I've lost count. I never liked Henry as a babyface. He just never appealed to me.
Henry as a heel has also been up and down. He was never booked properly or encountered an injury that stopped his push. But Henry has remained healthy all of this summer and has been booked how he should have been booked a long time ago: As an unstoppable monster. Henry has taken out Kane and Big Show, he put Sheamus through the ringside barrier, and he hasn't backed down from anyone. Henry finally has his World Title shot. For some reason, I smell a countout or DQ finish in his match with Randy Orton at Night of Champions. With another PPV in two weeks, I wouldn't expect a clean win. But at Hell in A Cell, I would expect Henry to walk out World Champion. His push has more than warranted it. Henry seems to be in the best shape of his career. As long as he can put on a decent 15 minute match he should have no problem as Champion. His matches won't be on the level of Orton/Christian, but they can still be good.
Now how long should the reign last? As long as the WWE doesn't screw it up, I would keep it going until the Royal Rumble or Elimination Chamber. While I wouldn't mind Henry as World Champ, even I probably wouldn't want him main eventing Wrestlemania. I'm sure Daniel Bryan could get a decent match out of him, but Bryan/Henry doesn't exactly scream "Wrestlemania World Title Match." Plus, that would leave almost nothing for Randy Orton to do. But a properly booked Mark Henry five month title reign should be good. The wrestler who takes the Title away from him would have instant credibility.
2. Establish Daniel Bryan As A Credible Threat
Daniel Bryan is Smackdown's Mr. Money in the Bank. I was shocked to see him win the match. I had him #4 on the list of people to win that match. But what has Bryan done since then? Pretty much nothing. He had a good match with Wade Barrett at SummerSlam and lost. I would have liked to see an extended feud between those two. Have them trade jabs at each other for a few weeks, then at Night of Champions Bryan could have put his MITB Briefcase on the line. But that was a lost opportunity. Since SummerSlam Bryan has had some good matches with Alberto del Rio and Christian, but has came out on the losing end of both.
Bryan has shown that he can hang with the main eventers in the ring, but now he needs to pick up a few wins. A program with the heel Sin Cara appears on the horizon. Hopefully Bryan picks up a win there. I would explore the feud with Wade Barrett again. Even though it looks like Christian may be moving on to Sheamus, I would book a Christian/Bryan program as well. Daniel Bryan also needs to appear on the RAW SuperShow to help him get over to the entire WWE Universe. Bryan ahs already put on great matches with Dolph Ziggler. Why not give us that treat again?
There's one "Out There" idea that would take some balls for the WWE to do. First, Daniel Bryan loses the MITB briefcase to someone. Lets say Wade Barrett. Late in the year, Barrett cashes in the contract and becomes the World Champion. Bryan, hell bent on revenge, wins the Royal Rumble and faces Barrett at Wrestlemania. Now again, Daniel Bryan vs Wade Barrett doesn't scream "Wrestlemania World Title Match," but a great build could change that. But both Bryan and Barrett appear to be going nowhere, so this scenario seems highly unlikely.
3. Turn Jack Swagger Face
I brought this idea up in my Fall Fantasy Outlook. Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler apparently can't both have Vickie Guerrero as their manager. It doesn't look like they can get along. A feud between the two seems more than likely. But who to turn face? To me the answer is easy: Jack Swagger. Dolph Ziggler just doesn't have the look or appeal that a face should have. I think the WWE dropped the ball with Swagger when he was with Michael Cole this spring. Had Swagger turned on Cole, he would have gotten instant face heat. The crowd would have popped huge for Swagger putting Cole in the ankle lock.
John Cena and C.M. Punk are 1A and 1B on RAW, but somebody needs to step up and take the reigns as the next face on the card. John Morrison's time has come and gone. Alex Riley's push is on standby. Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne are now a tag team. Swagger is the next best option. If Swagger dropped the goof ball persona and got serious, the fans could become accepting of his new attitude. I would let Swagger win the U.S. Title and feud with Ziggler a bit before moving on to maybe Miz.
4. A Traditional Survivor Series PPV
This is a minor thing. I know the WWE has had trouble selling this PPV in recent years. But with the brand split apparently over for the time being, there's no reason the WWE can't mix and match there superstars to make for some compelling 4-on-4 match ups. Plus, with The Rock already advertised to appear on the show, they can take a risk on the rest of the card. Especially if The Rock doesn't appear at all on WWE TV before then. The Rock, a WWE Title Match, a World Title Match, and 4 traditional Survivor Series matches would make for a great PPV in my opinion.
5. Start the Build for Rock/Cena
Building off my last point, the build for Rock vs Cena at Wrestlemania needs to start at Survivor Series. Just the match alone will be enough to sell the PPV and sell out the arena in Miami, but the WWE needs to start hyping up the back story more. The audience needs to be reminded why these two are facing each other. No matter how the WWE tries to spin it, John Cena is going to be heavily booed anytime he's out there with The Rock. The Rock could come out and rip on every person in the audience, and the second John Cena opens his mouth the crowd will just boo him again.
At Survivor Series, the back story needs to be re-established between these two. Give them another talking segment in the ring together. Hell, don't even book John Cena in match. But I doubt that happens. But if John Cena is the WWE Champion at this point, they also need to throw out the idea of their match at Wresltmania being for the WWE Championship. I still wouldn't make that match for the WWE Title. Rock/Cena is going to be the main event, so why not give the WWE Title Match to two guys who can use it to elevate their careers. The Rock won't be around every week to build the match, so they need to re-establish the Rock/Cena back story and foreshadow an array of possibilities that can hype the match even more.
6. Bring Back Chris Jericho
This one is a bit tricky. Chris Jericho's band Fozzy has a tour set up all through November. Plus, I wouldn't want to bring Jericho back until the Wrestlemania build. But there is no reason the WWE can't get the ball rolling on a possible return. Throw out a handful of scenarios for Jericho to consider. What if he won the World Title and faced Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania. The idea of a 20 minute Chris Jericho/Daniel Bryan match is very appealing, and you know Jericho would be more than willing to put Bryan over. On RAW, there is the possibility of a great program with Alberto del Rio. There's also the possibility of a feud with C.M. Punk. The two exchange verbal insults on Twitter. I'm sure they could transition to a great program in the ring.
But if it was up to me, the guy I would bring Chris Jericho back against would be Randy Orton. It already has the back story. Orton punted Jericho in the head on RAW last year, and that is the last we saw of him. Plus, this could be the one match Randy Orton could have at Wrestlemania that doesn't involve the World Title and would be a legitimate could match. Jericho is the established veteran that the WWE has been missing for some time now. Jericho's presence on WWE TV brings star power back to either show. He would be more valuable on Smackdown, as there are many more young guys on that show that could use the rub of working with Jericho. While I wouldn't bring Jericho back until 2012, there's no reason you can't give him a call and start negotiations soon.
7. Turn HHH Heel; Form the New Corporation
The problem with the whole HHH/C.M. Punk story right now is that there is no clearly defined heel. Fans right now are suppose to choose who they want to cheer for. They haven't been told who the heel is in this situation. A lot of the story has been rushed. I'm surprised the WWE has gone ahead and book the match for Night of Champions. With two PPVs in October, you have to wonder what the WWE has in store for the rest of this program. They shouldn't rush through this story. If Nash would have been medically cleared, he obviously would have been the opponent here. I would have had Punk beat Nash. Have a rematch at Hell in A Cell with Punk winning again. Then HHH finally puts C.M. Punk in the WWE Title Match at Vengeance in a Triple Threat Match, and THEN have HHH turn heel, and have Punk/HHH at Survivor Series. That's how I would have booked this.
But alas, the WWE has decided not to do that. So therefore, HHH needs to turn heel sooner rather than later if the WWE wants to keep the story interesting. An effective stable has been lacking in the WWE for some time. Nexus was only relevant for about two months. HHH loves stables. He was in one of the better ones during the Evolution days. A new corporation lead by HHH could be interesting. With HHH as the leader and Kevin Nash as the bodyguard, you can easily build around that. And with RAW now a SuperShow, it's easier to get some Smackdown guys involved. Alberto del Rio can be the top guy as WWE Champ. I would throw Wade Barrett into the new Corporation. How about Dolph Ziggler and Vickie too. And the last piece of the puzzle: Miz. The guy doesn't really have too much going for him right now. And for some reason, I could see him turning on R-Truth. So here's your Corporation 2.0: HHH, Nash, Alberto del Rio, Wade Barrett, and Miz. A piece or two could be added along the way. But that would be my starting point.
8. End the Anonymous RAW GM Storyline
One way or another, the RAW GM storyline has to come to an end. When was the last time an e-mail was even sent? I don't think one has since before the Money in the Bank PPV. The podium has just been sitting there for no reason, probably obstructing some poor fan's view at ringside. It is stupid to just not address it at some point. If there's nothing planned, then just dump the podium and scrap it from existence. A creative way to bring the RAW GM storyline back would be to have some e-mails start popping up if HHH loses at Night of Champions. HHH loses at NOC, relinquishes COO duties, but all along he was also the RAW GM. Triple H is back on TV and the HHH/Punk feud continues. That's my suggestion.
9. Turn R-Truth Face
R-Truth has been one of the more entertaining characters in the last few months in WWE. I loved his main event run in June. Sure the match with John Cena at Capitol Punishment was disappointing, but it gave Truth a chance to shine in the spotlight. R-Truth's in ring work has also improved in the last few months. He's still not one of the best out there, but he's been better.
Now of course, how could you turn Truth face after all of this? After all, he despises all of you Little Jimmys. And there is also a giant conspiracy out there. How do you add to the conspiracy? By having your new tag team partner join it. Miz and R-Truth can become Tag Champs, but after they lose the belts, have Miz start to become frustrated with Truth. Then, Miz turns on Truth and joins the newly formed Corporation. It'd be a risk turning R-Truth face after all of this, but his gimmick is just so far out there and hilarious that I think fans would take to it if given the chance.
10. Make C.M. Punk the Focus of WWE TV
Slowly but surely, I think the WWE is starting to move towards this. With John Cena becoming more focused with The Rock as Wrestlemania approaches, someone will have to take the reigns of RAW and be focused with the actual wrestlers that are on that show. Who else would you rather have in that role than C.M. Punk? Punk has been money in recent months and can more than easily handle a permanent role at the top. If the new Corporation were to form, you can have Punk go up against all of them one by one. Then at Wrestlemania, you can have Punk take on WWE Champion Alberto del Rio. Or maybe a Punk/HHH match with more on the line this time.
Making Punk your top face also throws out the possibility of turning John Cena full on heel during the build to Wrestlemania. Turning Cena heel is thrown out constantly, but until you can have someone replace Cena's popularity and merchandise sales, then it can't be done. If Punk is given the opportunity, he could be that next top guy. Especially if he is turned into the anti-authority figure that Stone Cold Steve Austin was. I don't think this will ever happen, but now might be the best time to turn Cena heel with C.M. Punk's popularity growing by the day. If it was up to me, I would slowly transition more TV time to Punk, and let him have the opportunity to be the next guy at the top.
That's all from me this week. I will have my Week 1 Picks up later today, and my Week 1 Review as well as my RAW Review up on Tuesday.
Until next time,
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka