CM Punk wanted change, and he got it, perhaps not in the way he expected, when HHH got hold of the reins of WWE as Chief Operating Officer. In this post I’ll take a look on what he has «accomplished» as COO, the situation around the titles, and the storyline itself.Let’s start with the titles.
More than a belt
For once all the belts are held by worthy champions, and yes, that includes Kelly Kelly(!).
I’ll get to her in a minute, but let me first say that I wholeheartedly applaud the way they have put over Mark Henry with him winning the World Heavyweight Championship. For a long time WWE have lacked a pure bred monster, and booking an upset win, cleanly, over Randy Orton just underlines what an unstoppable juggernaut «the world strongest man» is right now. His promos is flowing more clearly, and to me it looks like he’s in better shape than last year. He might have lost a few pound, and that should help on stamina. If you look at proper strongman-competitors or weightlifters, they’re not built like bodybuilders. They have a strong core, and less bulging muscles. Henry has just that kind of built, it betrays his immense strength, and when he’s allowed to use that in the ring, he looks dangerous. Not to forget that his power game makes for a different kind of match, which is a good thing in my mind. He can manhandle anyone, literally. Maybe they let Orton regain the belt at Hell in a Cell, but I hope they keep Henry in the championship picture for a while!
As for putting the WWE-championship back on Cena so fast, I can understand them. Alberto DelRio has been underwhelming as champion to say the least, but you all ready know that. *wink*
A title change also makes a triple threat match with Punk thrown into the mix on HiaC possible. Thirdly, WWE likes to have at least one of the main titles on a face, so with Henry winning the WHC, stripping Del Rio of the WWE championship was a given. Last but not least: The ratings have dropped lately, and then Creatives standard quick-fix usually involve Cena.
Del Rio also seems to have pissed of the boss. Vince McMahon reportedly went livid when he was name dropped last RAW. Vince seem to think the fans have the imagination and memory of a 70 year old storke patient, and thus would forget him if he isn’t mentioned on TV, which would make his inevitable return a big and shocking surprise. (Even though he never was kayfabe fired, just relieved of the day to day duties of running WWE.)
Cody Rhodes has brought some respectability back to the Intercontinental Championship. All he now needs is a good feud. DiBiase shows promise, and deserves to be used better, but not in a feud for this belt. Much to early, he needs to wash of his jobber-sweat first and establish himself in the midcard. I would much rather see Daniel Bryan as a contender to the Intercontinental championship. He could even win it, and then lose it again, before Wrestlemania and his MitB cash-in.
Dolph Ziggler is fine with the U.S. championship, but I think he should drop it soon, as part of an extended storyline with Jack Swagger. I see many claim one or the other of those two should turn face. I disagree. I think both should stay heel, and feud via one-upmanship. Let Ziggler lose the U.S. championship thanks to Swagger interfering. And then let them ruin each others matches against the new U.S. Champ, so neither gets hold of it. With good promo work that should be an interesting plot. Who I’d put the US belt on as part of that story? I’d say let Zack Ryder have a go, he would not be hurt by being portrayed as a lucky and mostly clueless champion. Then WWE could see how the general fans would respond, and if Ryder could get over in earnest as a babyface comedy act. It’s not like the US championship would be devalued much by being used as a prop.
Air Boom has finally given the Tag Team championship meaning again, and I would not mind having «Awesome Truth» challenge for them.a while. Air Boom even have matching ring gear now, that is just marvelous! The only thing missing is a common entrance, make a mash-up of their old personal theme music WWE!
And no, I haven’t forgotten: The Diva Championship. The original plan was to have Beth Phoenix win at NoC. But I’m happy she didn’t. Because who would be a suitable contender? They are obviously hot on Kelly Kelly, and the feud works much better with she as the champion pulling of wins through resilience and attitude against a more powerful but overconfident heel.
When Kelly is in the ring with a good opponent, she’s actually become quite capable, and her in ring abilities have improved leaps and bounds the last year. And she’s not afraid to take a vicious bump either, when was the last time you saw a superplex in a WWE divas match? She might look like Barbie, and in fact be named Barbie, but don’t forget that Barbie, the doll that is, is made to withstand the punishment of a million pre-teen girls bashing her about…
The COO, Punk, Laurinaitis, Nash & co
Just when it seemed this storyline was running out of steam it rekindled. I like the thought of CM Punk and HHH both trying to figure out what’s going on, as unwilling allies. Nash still has a role to play as the towering mercenary, and as with any good conspiracy-story there is more layers than you could suspect at first glance. My prediction is that we will see the return of «The Chairman of The Board» Mr. McMahon, and it will boil down to a handicap match with Laurinaitis (he’s a trained wrestler after all) and Nash facing HHH for the control of the company. Whether or not CM Punk will have the last laugh remains to be seen. It is at least a captivating storyline in my view, because there is so many ways it can be spun.
RAW supershow and making the Brand division count.
With the new concept of superstars from both brands showing up on RAW regularly and at the same time Smackdown having falling ticket sales it is obvious something must be done. I think the best solution would be to streamline the differences between the brands. Make RAW the show with plenty of pyros, involved storylines, and harebrained promos, the kids show. As for Smackdown, make it grittier, more brutal and darker. It would need to be arranged with Sy-Fy of course, but to the Smackdown draws better ratings than any other program they have so they should be willing to listen.
And yes that means maybe returning to a TV14 rating for that show.
Now several things would need to be done for that to work. First of all, the different rosters would need tweaking. Put the superstars with kid appeal on RAW. Let HHH reveal he was in fact the anonymous GM, but that he now needs to concentrate on running the whole company, so he appoints Teddy Long as new Raw GM. Then build up to the revealing of a new Smackdown GM: Mick Foley! He could proclaim that from now on, «Wrestling HURT» and reinstate the Hardcore Championship.
The new Smackdown would concentrate on longer matches, less promos and more basic storylines.
In the clean up, the Intercontinental championship would transfer to RAW, maybe putting some limitations on the US championship to make that stand out more. Just American wrestlers could hold it, or it would always have to be defended on TV or something like that, while the Intercontinental title now signified that the holder always could challenge the #1 contender for the WWE-championship for the right to meet the champion. The point being that they would need to be different.
Anyway. PPVs would still generally be PG, except Hell in a Cell, Extreme Rules and TLC.
I think this would make the brand division significant again, without limiting wrestlers from appearing on just one show. If and when WWE get their own network running, they could just mix up the programming, putting Smackdown after the watershed.
Last but not least, the Sin Caras
I’m a bit apprehensive towards all «evil clone» storylines but on the other hand I think Hunico deserves TV time. WWE just need to make the ring gear of the two more distinctly different as to not confuse the viewers at home. Either give Hunico an evil color scheme (red and gold as opposed to Misticos blue and silver) or just make the suits inverted in the coloring. One Sin Cara in blue with white trim, the other in white with blue trim for instance.
Well that was all for this time, as always I hope you’ll leave a comment if there’s anything you agree or disagree with!
[In English as it was written for my blog at ewrestling.com, and re-posted here.]