For years, WWE RAW and Smackdown ratings have been in steady decline, while the hardcore fanbase becomes more and more upset with the decisions that the company makes that seem to be directly opposed to the desires of the fans.
2019 seems to be the beginning of the company actually giving the fans what they want, as Kofi Kingston became WWE Champion, WrestleMania 35 featured a women's main event and more. However, 2019 is not over yet, and there are a few things that WWE should definitely do if they wish to maintain their dominance in the world of professional wrestling, while avoiding others.
10 Should: Keep The Undisputed Era on NXT
The team of Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly, and Roderick Strong is perhaps the best thing about WWE programming today. Their dominance in NXT continues to make NXT television must-watch, which is something that they will severely need on Wednesday nights to counteract AEW's Wednesday night show. Additionally, Adam Cole has said recently that he does not see a move to RAW or Smackdown as an upgrade. Cole's desire to stay in NXT mixed with NXT's need for star power makes the decision to keep The Undisputed Era on NXT.
9 Should Not: Integrate 205 Live with NXT
In a recent Newsweek interview, Triple H was discussing the future of NXT on the USA Network and began to discuss 205 Live. He admitted that 205 Live was "in limbo," and that the brand would likely be integrated with NXT in the future, now that NXT will on the USA Network. Anyone who has seen Cedric Alexander, Buddy Murphy, and Ali's performances on the main roster would agree that the cruiserweights deserve the biggest platform possible, and, like it or not, RAW and Smackdown will still be bigger platforms compared to NXT.
8 Should: Make the 24/7 Brand-Exclusive
There is no doubt that the 24/7 Championship has revitalized the career of R-Truth, given direction to stars that have floated around the bottom of the card, and even allowed the WWE to get some mainstream cross-promotion, with people like Rob Stone and Enes Kanter winning the belt. However, with the Smackdown and RAW rosters going brand exclusive with the new FOX premier, it is inevitable that the 24/7 Championship will have to be brand exclusive. However, this will allow for more mobility on the card for a show like Smackdown if the 24/7 Championship remains on RAW, giving the curtain jerkers a belt to fight for.
7 Should Not: Counterprogram AEW's PPVs
When AEW announced Fight for the Fallen, the third event officially under the AEW banner, WWE conveniently also broadcast Evolve's 10th Anniversary Show, Evolve 131, on the same day. Then, WWE scheduled NXT UK's TakeOver: Cardiff happened on the same day as AEW All Out. The fact that they counterprogrammed a show on the same day as AEW's charity event was not a good look for the company and caused them a lot of negative press, so WWE should avoid any more counterprogramming for at least the rest of 2019, if not entirely.
6 Should: Bring Back Ronda Rousey
Acquiring Ronda Rousey was one of the biggest moments of the last decade for WWE. Not only was did she add an air of legitimacy to the company, she was perhaps the biggest mainstream acquisition in professional wrestling history since Dennis Rodman joined the nWo in WCW. When Smackdown moves to FOX, the network has already made it clear that they expect Smackdown to draw big numbers, and they wish to treat it more like a legitimate sporting event. WWE would benefit greatly from bringing back Ronda Rousey, as Rousey would add to that legitimacy that would appease the heads at FOX.
5 Should Not: Return to Saudi Arabia
Before WWE made the most recent trip to Saudi Arabia, Super ShowDown, which took place only a few months ago, they received much backlash from it. Not only was some of this backlash political, as a carryover from the political backlash during over their 2018 trips, but the backlash also came from many fans, citing the awful Goldberg vs. The Undertaker match as one of the worst matches of the year, if not the worst. At best, the Saudi shows are an overblown spectacle, at worst, the give us horrible matches involving wrestlers past their prime.
4 Should: Unite Finn Balor with The OC
While Finn recently made his television return as a full-time member of the NXT roster, Finn would be much better suited for a role with The OC. AEW was built on the back of former Bullet Club members, and uniting the most successful Bullet Club members in the WWE under one banner is the best way to counter AEW. The reunion was teased briefly before Finn's match against The Fiend at SummerSlam, but it was ultimately not followed-up on, as Finn took a requested vacation. Former NXT Champion Tomasso Ciampa also returned to NXT, so Finn's presence on the brand only serves to complicate the NXT title picture.
3 Should Not: Push Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon has taken up too much screen time already in 2019. Additionally, he has gone over too many superstars, beginning with defeating The Miz multiple times. While his heel turn was effective initially, he has far overstayed his welcome. Like the previously mentioned Wildcard Rule, Shane has taken away screen time from superstars who deserve to be featured more. While Shane has been featured on multiple PPVs this year, superstars like EC3, Eric Young, and Matt Hardy have not been seen in months. Moving forward, Shane McMahon should avoid television as much as possible in 2019.
2 Should: Bring Back CM Punk
This really feels almost like beating a dead horse by this point, but every fan knows it: CM Punk was one of the best things to happen to the WWE in the last decade. Over the past few weeks, CM Punk returning to WWE has been the talk of the internet wrestling world, with Punk himself even jokingly daring The Rock to call him live on Smackdown's FOX debut, referencing the last time that The Rock attempted to call CM Punk. FOX has also reportedly had discussions about bringing back CM Punk, but as an analyst.
1 Should Not: Make Smackdown Live 3 Hours
While making Monday Night RAW three hours was a smart financial decision, as it meant an increase in revenue for WWE and more wrestling for fans. However, most fans agree now that 3 full hours of wrestling every Monday night is just too much. The third hour of RAW is consistently the lowest-rated hour, and most fans are tired and burned out by the third hour, whether watching from home or in person. While making Smackdown Live 3 hours would indeed increase revenue for the company, fans currently love the 2-hour Smackdown, and adding a 3rd hour would make it just as overexposed as its Monday night counterpart.