World Wrestling Entertainment fans enjoy taking time to “fantasy book” their own storylines, feuds and other parts of programming they would like to see play out on editions of Raw, SmackDown and on shows that air on the WWE Network. In some cases, viewers wish to re-live portions of television that they watched while growing up as wrestling fans, such as pockets of the “Attitude Era,” the “Monday Night Wars” or the early 2000s when the WWE had a deep roster after the company purchased certain World Championship Wrestling contracts. Others merely come up with ideas by playing video games or by visiting online wrestling forums that are filled with similar fans who post about who they would like to see featured in main events and at the tops of cards.
A harsh reality some who spend their money on WWE programming should realize is that they’re going to have to get used to several things not changing regardless of their wishes, even if they believe their ideas would improve the company’s TV ratings and reputation among wrestling fans who aren’t keen on following the promotion. For better or for worse, the WWE has a long history of attempting to cater to casual followers of the organization rather than trying to make passionate viewers and customers happy. Maybe, in time, WWE Executives will stop taking their best fans for granted. For now, however, all would do well to accept the following 15 facts as gospel and as things that aren’t going to change anytime soon.
15. “Divas” Will Still Be Pushed
WWE fans around the world embraced the idea of the company’s Women’s “Revolution” that was supposedly about featuring female performers as workers just as important as the top men wrestling for the promotion. Unfortunately, it’s become clear that acts such as Lana and Eva Marie, two wrestlers who don’t posses the in-ring skills had by so many other women on the roster, are still going to be pushed because of how they look.
Add in those insufferable romantic segments that have included Alicia Fox throughout 2017, and it’s clear that we are not going to get rid of “Divas” regardless of what the WWE may say about the subject. The biggest shame of all here is that NXT has proven women can get over via matches alone.
14. Best Of NXT Is Over
You weren’t alone if you felt that the NXT roster was the best part of the WWE for roughly two years beginning in about 2014. That probably will never again be the case so long as certain individuals working for the company have their say.
For starters, Ryan Ward, the writer seen as a key contributor for the best days of NXT, was promoted to creating storylines for the main roster in March 2016. It’s also become clear that the WWE is going to purge the NXT roster whenever it becomes filled with an influx of talent, even if those wrestlers will be wasted on either Raw or SmackDown. At least we can all go back via the WWE Network and remember when NXT was a revolutionary product.
13. Tag Teams Still Overlooked
WWE fans who actively follow NXT were probably hopeful several years ago that particular part of the company’s developmental system would produce top-tier tag teams. While that was, in fact, the case, the WWE has seemingly squandered almost every one of those acts once they were called up to the main roster.
The Ascension is a complete joke, Enzo Amore and Big Cass were broken up in the summer of 2017, and it seems as if American Alpha is done, with the new plans that see Jason Jordan as the son of Kurt Angle (yes, this did take place), and Chad Gable fending for himself on SmackDown Live. The WWE isn’t going to appreciate tag teams, and fans are going to have to get used to it.
12. WWE Will Always Love Big Wrestlers
When the WWE had no other choice than to push Daniel Bryan to the top of the roster and even place him in the main event of a WrestleMania card, the hope was that the company would learn that fans want to see great workers even if they don’t posses the supposed desired look had by some who make big decisions for the promotion.
We now all know better. Braun Strowman is seemingly the next big star about to be made into a top heel or a top babyface depending on what the WWE does with him. The Authors of Pain and Heavy Machinery are currently slated as the best tag teams in all of NXT. Size, it appears, is still what matters most for those within the WWE Universe.
11. Daniel Bryan Isn’t Coming Back
We’re struggling to come up with explanations for why the WWE has repeatedly teased the idea that Daniel Bryan could make a return to the ring for any feud, specifically with the Miz. WWE doctors will never clear Bryan to perform in any real match after head injuries and issues stemming from the many concussions he suffered during his career forced him away from the ring.
The possibility exists Bryan could resume his wrestling career away from the WWE once his current contract with the promotion expires and he’s able to make such a decision on his own. So long as he remains with the WWE, however, all would do well to realize that Bryan won’t be wrestling for the company ever again even if he continues to be an on-air talent.
10. NXT Call-Ups Will Be Squandered
This is one that stings more than others if only because we have seen it play out time and time again over the past several years. Acts such as Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and Finn Balor who were proven draws and Superstars while wrestling in NXT became just random acts upon being called up to the main roster, and we have no reason to believe that trend is going to end anytime soon.
Even Shinsuke Nakamura, arguably the most unique potential star signed by the WWE in the past decade, has been turned into nothing more than another wrestler on the SmackDown brand. Perhaps worst of all is Bayley, a former champion who was the top babyface ever produced in NXT but who has been completely squandered since being added to the Raw roster.
9. Pay-Per-View Events Are Going Long
The WWE Network is a blessing in many ways in that we can watch hours upon hours of wrestling action on demand. It’s also a curse, however, in that it gives the company free reign as it pertains to the lengths of special events and pay-per-view shows. It’s now an accepted reality that major shows such as WrestleMania will go well over four hours, which is far too long for any one event.
Even though fans and viewers routinely complain about this via social media platforms, the WWE is seemingly set on continuing this practice as of the summer of 2017. Get used to this being the case heading into Summerslam, Survivor Series and even next year’s WrestleMania, as it seems to be the new norm for the promotion.
8. Three-Man Commentary Crew Will Remain
The WWE and also other wrestling and combat sports promotions have shown that two-person commentary crews are what work best for shows. For reasons that make little sense to those of us who don’t work for the WWE, however, the company has insisted upon putting no fewer than three people on commentary for Raw, SmackDown, NXT and pay-per-view events.
Not only does this make for awkward moments between those announcers. It actually detracts from matches and from segments when the commentators talk over each other and appear to try to get themselves over rather than talk about what is taking place in front of them. At this point, we’d all happily welcome Joey Styles back as a solo announcer, but we clearly aren’t getting such a gift in 2017.
7. Each Brand Will Have World Champions
When it was announced in 2016 that the WWE was reattempting the brand split that spectacularly failed years ago, it was hoped that the company would push one wrestler as its overall World Champion who would jump back and forth between Raw and SmackDown and serve as the top performer for the promotion.
That, obviously, is never happening again, as the organization is seemingly obsessed with the idea of having one main champion for Raw and one main champion for SmackDown even though both brands also have mid-card champions. Things have become so ridiculous that the company currently has a “Universal Champion” for the Raw brand because apparently “World Champion” wasn’t good enough. This says plenty about what the WWE thinks about the Intercontinental and United States Titles.
6. Cruiserweights Will Remain On 205 Live
The Cruiserweight Classic that was featured on the WWE Network in the summer of 2016 gave fans reason to believe the company was going to treat that division with the respect it deserved once it was brought back to the main roster. We should’ve known better…
Cruiserweights are no better off than were similar workers during the dying days of that division years ago, and they have been relegated to the 205 Live show that airs only on WWE Network and that takes place after fans in attendance have already sat through editions of SmackDown. Get used to this, WWE fans, because cruiserweight wrestlers clearly are never going to have a real home on either Raw or SmackDown in the current climate even though those programs literally have hours of space for such talented acts.
5. Asuka Will Lose
No wrestler can remain undefeated forever in or out of the WWE. Even Andre The Giant eventually took an “L” back in the day. WWE fans have been treated to Asuka serving as the best overall women’s wrestler signed by the company and as NXT’s greatest ever champion for a long time, and we’ve become so used to seeing her hand raised at the end of matches that we don’t want to see her take a pin or submit at any point during her NXT tenure.
With that said, the WWE has prepared us to be ready to see her lose to Ember Moon at some point before she’s called up to either Raw or SmackDown. As much as we all may hate it, we should get used to the fact that Asuka isn’t going to remain undefeated for much longer.
4. John Cena Won’t Turn Heel
It’s almost hard to believe pockets of WWE fans have yearned for John Cena to turn heel for at least a decade if not for longer. As of the summer of 2017, Cena has become a part-time act who takes all kinds of gigs away from the promotion. He hosts national television shows, serves in movie roles and works as a spokesman for different organizations. At this point, turning Cena heel would be doing so just to do it. Heck, even the “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chants that occur at shows he performs on have become part of his gimmick among those who supposedly can’t stand him.
Why do anything to get rid of that and have anybody turn on who has become the biggest wrestling babyface of the 2000s?
3. PG Era Isn’t Ending
A popular opinion among WWE fans of a certain age, particularly among people who grew up as fans during the Attitude Era, will tell you that the company needs to embrace a TV-14 format and move away from PG programming.
For starters, that isn’t happening because the WWE has to answer to multiple sponsors who supposedly like the fact that the company is essentially meant for audiences of all ages. It also has to be noted that moving to TV-14 wouldn’t solve of the WWE’s woes. It wouldn’t, for example, immediately propel an act such as Roman Reigns to a Superstar at the level of a Steve Austin or The Rock. The PG Era is a way of life for the WWE, and those who don’t like that need to get used to it.
2. Raw Will Always Be 3 Hours
Just about everybody, from diehard WWE fans to wrestling journalists to outside observers, agree editions of Raw should probably be two hours in length at absolute most. Nevertheless, the WWE and USA Network continue to air Raw from the hours of 8-11 pm ET every week, and all need to get used to that until the current television contract is set to expire.
USA Network is obviously OK if not thrilled to air three hours of consecutive WWE programming every Monday even though literally every one of those shows drags, and we have no reason to believe the network and/or the WWE will use even one of those hours to air something such as NXT or a different program. Face it, we’re stuck with three-hour Raw shows.
1. Roman Reigns Will Be The Top Guy
The sky is blue, water is wet and Roman Reigns is going to be pushed as the top babyface and top star in the WWE: You can count on each of these. Don’t think, for a second, the WWE hasn’t noticed that many of you boo Reigns during events featured on television and at live events, as the company has actually altered videos placed online to make it seem as if Reigns is over among all audiences.
Reigns is going to be the guy who headlines multiple WrestleMania shows (he’s already done so), who holds the company’s top championship and who replaces John Cena whenever Cena decides to stop being an active performer. Unless somebody else proves to be a top star, get used to seeing Reigns in that role up through the end of the decade.
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