There are days where it is hard to be a wrestling fan. If you read the Summer Slam preview Doc Manson and I had late last night, you could tell that for both of us (though Doc is suffering far worse than I), there is a definite vein of pessimism in how we feel about the WWE product. In our minds, too much has been mis-managed, too many worthy superstars are being ignored, and there is way, way, WAY too much being shoved down our throats.
Yet, despite the negativity that can drag me down at times, I have hope. Perhaps its, as @NewAgeInsiders says, just because the relationship I have with WWE is an abusive one. Or perhaps its because, as an actual classroom teacher, hope is sometimes all you can hold on to in order to maintain your sanity. But I think there are opportunities abound here for WWE to start heading in a positive direction.
We all have our ideas on how we’d book it were we a McMahon, so I humbly submit my own thoughts on a few directions WWE could go.
(Disclaimer: All of this is conjecture, based on the information I have gleaned, rumors floating around, or just my best guess. This should not be considered to be anything other than a series of thought experiments, and should in no way be considered entirely original thoughts.)
World Title Picture
Tonight, I want to see Brock Lesnar win the title. I want it to be a competitive match, but mostly controlled by Lesnar, with Cena having to resort to more and more desperate acts to stay in it. In the end, though, Lesnar’s just too big and too bad.
On RAW, I want Heyman to come out and be presented with the new belt. Lesnar would be here, says the Advocate, but frankly, there’s just no reason to be. He dominated Cena, and there is nobody out there who is worthy of a title shot, so Brock’s going on a little vacation.
Heyman than calls out the WWE roster and says, simply. . . “Impress me”. He wants to see somebody step up and make themselves worthy of the honor of being next conquered by The Beast.
The next week, Heyman comes out again, once more condemning the lack of worthy talent. This brings out Chris Jericho, who reminds his good friend Paul, and the rest of the WWE universe, of his track record. Before Jericho can finish, however, he is interrupted by another blast from Heyman’s past, Rob Van Dam, who also seeks to stake his spot as a potential contender.
Heyman, shrewd as he is, begins to pit the two would-be challengers against each other, and a match is made between the two for later that night. Heyman says he will be at ringside to watch, and once again, reminds them. . .”Impress me”.
The winner of that match is irrelevant, really, because Heyman returns the next week to state that while they both have had great careers and are close personal friends, they are still not worthy of the champ. That’s when Jericho and Van Dam get creative. They begin going back and forth on how sad it is to see Heyman in such a position. Paul Heyman, once the creator and lifeblood of ECW, now just shilling for the corporate champion.
Heyman, who was the one to make stars of Austin and Foley. Heyman, who single-handedly began the Attitude Era. Heyman, who created the Three Way Dance.
Heyman, shrewd as ever but swayed by the “ECW ECW” chants that you just know would ring through the arena, begins to cave. “Three Way Dance? You two and BROCKKK LESNARRR in a 3 way dance? That’s really how you want your careers to end, huh? Well, who am I to turn down the last request of a friend. You’re on!”
Night of Champions: Brock Lesnar vs. Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam for the World Title.
Rise of The Undercard
After Heyman’s announcement on the RAW after Summer Slam, we see the Authority backstage. Orton is not happy about feeling like he has to earn a title shot, Rollins is looking smugly at his briefcase with his new protection at his side (more on this later), and Kane just looks like Kane.
Amidst the hubbub, Dolph Ziggler enters the room. He walks up to Triple H and all but demands to be given the opportunity to show his stuff, fully intending to prove his worth to Heyman, Lesnar and the world. He refuses to be “held down” any longer.
The Authority, naturally, finds this hilarious. Triple H, in his weekly poke at the Twitter-verse, asks if Ziggler has been dropped on his head one too many times, daring to come in here like this. But, being in a good mood (with Cena out of the picture), he sets up Ziggler vs. Kane for that night. Ziggler, despite the size and experience advantage, picks up the win.
Random aside: Did I mention in my booking, Cena takes a few months off to sell Lesnar’s beatdown? You’re welcome.
The next week, Ziggler appears again, insisting on another match. This week, it is Rollins who is set up against Dolph. As Dolph gets ready for his match, he is approached by a handful of lower-card talent (Woods, Kofi and Big E was my original idea, but you could insert anyone who isn’t where they should be). “You’re fighting our fight,” they tell him, “Fighting for the guys who The Authority won’t let through the glass ceiling. We got your back.”
Despite having his security team with him (wait, friends, your patience will be rewarded), Ziggler once again is victorious, thanks to the assistance of those lower card guys I just mentioned.
The next week, Triple H addresses Ziggler personally, talking about the “little troupe of misfits” he seems to be acquiring. (Which, as we see backstage, has now nearly grown to the entire undercard of the roster.) Despite the dig, HHH does praise Ziggler for taking the ball and running with it, unlike some people he knows, looking dubiously at Orton (who lost to Reigns at Summer Slam.) Maybe Ziggler does deserve a title shot, muses the COO. Orton, naturally, flies into a frenzy, challenging Ziggler to a match at Night of Champions.
Night of Champions: Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton
Protectors of the Briefcase / Tag Team Dominance
During the lumberjack match, Big Show and Mark Henry, who had been scaring the bejesus out of Rollins each time he rolled out of the ring, turn heel, attacking Ambrose and helping Rollins pick up the victory. (Also giving Ambrose an out to go become a movie star)
It is revealed on Monday that Big Show and Mark Henry are the newest members of The Authority, had their services bought by Rollins and Triple H in exchange for a tag team title match on RAW. The Usos, though blessed with that all-powerful “Twin Magic”, basically are steamrolled in quick succession, giving the WWE a new dominant pair of Tag Team Champions.
Rollins and the champs come out to the ring the following week (before the Rollins / Ziggler match) to gloat at all of their success, only to be interrupted, oddly enough, by The Wyatt Family. While not officially making a face turn, Bray and his boys do take issue with the “World’s Biggest Tag Team” for taking ‘their titles’, and Bray accuses Rollins of not being man enough to handle his problems on his own, as Bray did by defeating Jericho solo at Summer Slam.
We see a six man tag the following week, and we now have two matches scheduled for our next PPV.
Night of Champions: Big Show and Mark Henry vs. The Wyatt Family (Tag belts)
Bray Wyatt vs. Seth Rollins
(Note: Will move more quickly through the last few, as I don’t want this to become ridiculous in length)
Reign’s Next Roadblock
Reigns comes out following his victory over Orton at Summer Slam to call out The Authority, basically saying he’s toppled every single member, so what’s next? (With a ‘Believe that!’ thrown in for good measure). Triple H comes onto the Titantron and sets up a rematch with Orton for that night. After beating Orton again (this time by DQ), Triple H comes out to say “Oh wait, I forgot. There’s still one more member of the Authority you haven’t beat.” Everyone expects it to be Triple H himself, but then Batista’s music hits, and the Animal runs to the ring and destroys Reigns, starting off their feud.
Night of Champions: Roman Reigns vs. Batista
International Take-Over / Mid-Card Title Relevance
Despite having lost his flag match to Jack Swagger, Rusev’s post-match beatdown assured us we hadn’t seen the last of the Bulgarian Brute. On RAW, Lana comes out and sets their sights on a new target; the United States Championship. Never being one to back down from a fight (at least on camera), Sheamus comes out and accepts the challenge, and we have a US title match on our hands.
During the match, Sheamus is attacked by Cesaro, who seems to have aligned himself with Rusev and Lana. Moving gracefully away from all the pro-Russian banter, this new pairing of “International Mercenaries” (the name needs some work, I grant you) is hungry for respect and power in the WWE. While Rusev continues to go after the US title, Cesaro begins issuing open challenges to anyone. Being relegated to pre-show status for Summer Slam was an insult, and he’s going to force the WWE to notice him.
Meanwhile, The Miz, bragging about being able to hold onto his belt post-Summer Slam, has been getting into it with Jack Swagger. According to Zeb Colter, Miz’s Hollywood lifestyle and cowardly antics are entirely un-American, and its time to honor that title (giving opportunities to promote the history and relevance of the title) by putting it around the waist of a real hero.
Having been beating his opponents (sometimes 2 at a time), Cesaro’s joins this group, declaring himself the rightful heir to the IC title. Zeb can use Cesaro’s ‘betrayal’ of their team as fodder, while Miz can try to set his two opponents against each other and weasel out of the way.
As these three argue, Bo Dallas comes out, saying he’s tired of hearing all this hostility, especially when everyone knows that the real IC champion just has to . . . You guessed it. . . Bo-lieve! I imagine this would be where everyone else beats down Bo, but he winds up in the mix regardless.
Night of Champions: Rusev vs. Sheamus (US title)
Miz vs. Cesaro vs. Swagger vs. Bo Dallas (IC title)
Oh Yeah, the Diva’s Title
Paige beats AJ. Brie beats Steph.
Night of Champions: Brie Bella vs. Paige (Diva’s Title)
Just for Fun: Let’s do the Pre-show, too
The Uso’s vs. The Dust Brothers vs. RybAxel vs. Kofi / Big E for #1 contenders to tag titles.