Monday, October 15, 2012

5 Things To Look For By The End of 2012

There is just a little over 2 months left in the calendar year. While some might say that the build to Wrestlemania doesn't really start to around the Royal Rumble, I beg to differ. While you don't need to have your Wrestlemania plans set in stone at this point, you usually have a general idea of where you want things to go. That is why it is important to start getting there right around now. If done right, you can tell a great story over the span of a couple of months.

If you ask me, this is a big Wrestlemania season for the WWE. We know The Rock will be there, as well as Brock Lesnar. By the way, good job keeping up with storylines WWE. Brock Lesnar quite. Why is he on the Wrestlemania poster? There's some doubt, but I really can't see The Undertaker missing Wrestlemania. It wouldn't seem like Wrestlemania without him. Triple H could be there too. Stone Cold? I wouldn't rule it out, by I would make him the least likely to appear. I know his name has been dropped a lot on WWE TV lately, but he's rehabbing a bad knee. Add all those guys with the likes of C.M. Punk, John Cena and Randy Orton, and the WWE should have a star studded line-up. With the fans that always come back for Wrestlemania, it will be important for the WWE to try and keep those fans around after Mania.

In order to make their current stars more appealing to part time fans, the WWE needs to start building them up now. When people come back for Wrestlemania season, they will be curious to see what happened when they were gone and go back to look at how everyone got to where they are now. So that is why there are 5 things the WWE should do to get fans interested now and get viewers back before the Royal Rumble comes around.

1. Give Dolph Ziggler the World Title and Don't Look Back
I know the WWE likes him and they think he can be their next top star, but I just don't think Sheamus is getting over like that. It happens every time the WWE turns someone face. They start off strong but in the end they just turn into the typical WWE face. He's making corny jokes like John Cena and hasn't cut a good promo or a promo without corny phrases in quite some time.

The WWE has two heels waiting in the wings to take the World Title. There's Wade Barrett, but the WWE hasn't been ready to pull the trigger yet despite having high hopes in him. I think there are plans for Barrett in the future. But right now, the man of the hour is Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler has been carrying around the MITB briefcase since July and has yet to cash it in. He's actually failed to do anything of note since winning it. He lost both his PPV matches. He's had one win of note since MITB, and that was over Chris Jericho on the RAW after SummerSlam. But Ziggler has done nothing else since then.

Hell In A Cell is the perfect time for Dolph to cash in. And quite frankly, if Dolph doesn't cash in there, I would pretty much consider it a lost cause. Not every cash in needs to be done immediately, but the more you drag it out with some perfect opportunities it becomes less relevant. And if it was up to me, I would keep the World Title on Dolph Ziggler all the way up to Wrestlemania. And if the WWE decides to have Dolph ditch Vickie and possibly give him Ric Flair as a mouth piece, that makes it all the more better. An extended month heel World Title reign is much needed. It makes it that much better when the face captures the World Title from said heel at Wrestlemania. Speaking of that....

2. Start Building Toward A Daniel Bryan Mega Face Push
Daniel Bryan and Kane have been the best thing on WWE TV the last two months. It's a toss up between those two and the Punk/Heyman Alliance, but Bryan and Kane bring the comic relief and are definitely over with the fans. Their act right now as Tag Team Champions is perfect. But sooner or later, like most pairing in the WWE, things must come to an end. Daniel Bryan and Kane won't be Tag Champs forever, and it may end as soon as Hell In A Cell.

When tag teams break up, it usually means good things for one person and mediocrity for the other. Kane has been around a long time. He's best served in the mid card role from here on out. Once this tag team breaks up, it should mean good things for Daniel Bryan. Bryan has gotten over tremendously in the past few months. For a guy that many people thought lacked charisma and personality when he came into the WWE, he is certainly showing he has some now. The WWE should have no reservations about giving Bryan the ball and letting him run with it. He can wrestle, he's shown he has some personality, and he can cut a decent enough promo.

The easiest way to start the push is to have Kane and Bryan split with Kane giving Bryan a massive beat down. Keep Bryan off of TV for a couple of weeks before he return to defeat Kane at TLC. Bryan puts on a strong showing at the Royal Rumble and is the last person eliminated. Bryan continues his string of victories and wins the Elimination Chamber Match at said PPV and takes on Dolph Ziggler at Wrestlemania. I know, the thought of a Daniel Bryan/Dolph Ziggler World Title Match at Wrestlemania seems like a dream with Sheamus and Randy Orton on the show, but it would make sense if the story is done right. And I would trust those two to put on a good match and have a good program on TV. Everyone knows who Randy Orton and Sheamus are already, give them a chance to find out who Bryan and Ziggler are.

3. Decide Now How Much You Trust Ryback
Isn't it weird, WWE, how deciding to push a guy like a monster and sticking to it can get a guy over. That is what is happening with Ryback. Ryback hasn't spoke, he hasn't done anything flashy. He's just been high impact and powerful. It looked like he was going into an Intercontinental Title program with Miz, but the WWE shot right by that. Ryback squashed Miz and moved right on to C.M. Punk and the WWE Title. And if John Cena can't go, Ryback is going to get the call at Hell In A Cell.

It is very important for the WWE to decide where they want to go with Ryback right now. I would say if John Cena ends up wrestling at Hell In A Cell, you could make a case for Ryback going undefeated all the way up until Wrestlemania. Especially if you keep him out of the spotlight. Then again, if you do that, the fans may lose interest in him. If Ryback wrestles Punk at Hell In A Cell, do you really have him win the WWE Title? Does the WWE really have that much faith in him?

And where exactly will Ryback be come Wrestlemania? If he's undefeated, do you have him go up against The Undertaker in a Streak vs Streak match? Do you trust Ryback to wrestle a big match on the show? I would not throw away the idea of a Ryback vs Brock Lesnar match. I would put the odds at about 10,000:1, but I'm sure someone in the WWE has at least thought about it. I honestly don't know what to do with Ryback myself. That's why I can't give the definitive answer on what to do with him. But he could be a key piece of the WWE puzzle going forward.

4. Show Us Now How Much Faith You Have In C.M. Punk
This is kind of the same thing I've said with Ryback, but this time it applies to current WWE Champion C.M. Punk. Punk has been the WWE Champion since November 2011, over 320 days. But it is just until recently that it feels like Punk has become a full time main eventer. Until he started his program with John Cena, Punk only main evented one PPV as WWE Champion. Punk and Paul Heyman have been a focal point of RAW for the last month or so. It seems like they are starting to have more faith in him.

To me, there is no doubt that C.M. Punk will have a big program heading into Wrestlemania. But how big a program will be a question. Let me rule out the obvious first. As much as we would all love to see it happen, I don't think we are getting C.M. Punk vs Steve Austin. At least not this year. Austin is nursing a surgically repaired knee. And if you bring Austin back, he is going to want to be the main attraction. He would be fighting with Rock and Brock Lesnar for main event time here.

There's two ways Punk can go. Lets say Punk loses the WWE Title at Survivor Series. Punk gets his rematch at TLC and loses. This forces Punk to enter the Royal Rumble, where he wins the Rumble Match and faces The Rock at Wrestlemania for the WWE Title. While the WWE likes to send fans home happy, there would be a strong possibility Punk beats The Rock at Mania. Especially if Rock is not sticking around long after Mania. If the WWE sees Punk as "the guy," then this move makes sense. But we all know the story in the WWE. Punk doesn't look like a top guy and is not the prototypical main eventer. But the WWE fails to realize that fans don't care about how main eventers look. They just want them to be good. This program to me seems like a "we have the most faith we could have in this guy" type of program.

The second program I can see C.M. Punk working is with the Undertaker. In this scenario, Punk holds the WWE Title all the way until the Royal Rumble, where he loses it to The Rock. This would be the "simple booking that some people say the WWE is looking at doing. Cena would then face Rock at Wrestlemania. Where would that leave Punk? If Punk is still out on a mission for respect, he could challenge The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. How can a wrestler not get respect if he beats The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Now would Punk be the guy I would pick to end The Streak? No. Punk is already a main eventer and he really doesn't need the rub from that win. These are really the only two scenarios I can see for C.M. Punk. I think both would be good, but Punk/Rock would be my choice.

5. Get Your Big Stars To Start Making Appearances
There are twelve RAWs left between now and the end of the year. If you take away the Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve RAWs, there are ten. The WWE needs to start getting Rock, Brock Lesnar, and The Undertaker involved in some fashion between now and the end of the year. One would feel that the WWE would contact these guys and let them know the direction they are headed in with them come Wrestlemania. But the sooner these guys start appearing on RAW, the better for not only their future programs but the WWE product in general.

Even if they are just cameo or short appearances, those are still fine. I feel that sooner or later, Brock Lesnar will show up to help C.M. Punk keep the WWE Title. Rock might show up at Survivor Series or TLC to even just do commentary or possibly be the special referee for the WWE Title Match. And with The Undertaker, you don't even need to have him show up. Just play the gong and have the lights go out with some special effects and you already have the presence of The Undertaker on your TV. It is little things like that which create a buzz around your product and can be good for business.

As far as my Wrestlemania card, I'm still going with the same thing I predicted a couple of months ago with a change to the World Title Match:

WWE Championship: The Rock (c) vs C.M. Punk
John Cena vs The Undertaker
Brock Lesnar vs Randy Orton
World Title: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Daniel Bryan
Sheamus vs Wade Barrett
MITB Match: Cody Rhodes vs Antonio Cesaro vs Kofi Kingston vs Christian vs Ryback vs Damien Sandow vs Dean Ambrosse vs Zack Ryder
Rey Mysterio vs Sin Cara

That's All I got. Let me know what you think.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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