It has been apparent for a number of years that the WWE is in need of a serious shakeup. Despite the plethora of talents who have come and gone in the past decade, it still feels like WWE programming is missing some of the spark that it had during its heyday of the '80s and the Attitude Era. That's why the WWE may be in need of more than a few ways to shake things up, and we're listing 15 of them below.
While not every event on this list would be a positive (in fact, some are downright morbid) change to the company, all would have a tremendous impact on the way that the WWE currently does business. And in an industry where constant change is needed to stay relevant, these kinds of drastic changes may be necessary to keep WWE atop the professional wrestling world. Seeking out events which would lead to such a substantial change, the list includes; management changes, top stars joining and leaving the company, and major changes to the ways superstars and storylines are currently treated. If WWE were to enact even a portion of these shakeups, they will fundamentally alter how the product is viewed by the WWE Universe.
15 A Real NXT Takeover
One storyline which has been talked about for a while within WWE is an NXT takeover angle. This storyline would theoretically feature several NXT Superstars appearing on Raw and SmackDown, putting them in direct opposition to some of the main roster stars. While there is certainly the possibility that this storyline will be awful (see the infamous WCW takeover), even if it goes over terribly it cannot help but shakeup WWE programming. At the very least, this storyline would introduce several NXT Superstars to mainstream audiences in an era where the Full Sail program is not as popular as it once was. Therefore, this shakeup would not only booster WWE ratings, but would provide a positive after effect for the NXT show.
14 Kurt Angle Heel Turn
An easy move which could shakeup WWE (or at least Monday Night Raw) programming would be to have Raw General Manager Kurt Angle undergo a heel turn. An easy way to undergo this shift would be to take advantage of Kurt's kayfabe son on the Raw roster, Jason Jordan. Jordan has looked good in his new singles push; however, WWE has seriously failed to take advantage of one of their few interesting storylines. Having one, or both, of these superstars turn heel would give the WWE more creative licensing to push the envelope of this storyline. Admittedly, this move has the potential to devolve into another "Authority" storyline, but at least it would be better than the current crop of lazy storytelling which has been sucking the life out of one of WWE's hottest character developments.
13 Asuka Debut
The recent injury to NXT Women's Champion Asuka has set the stage for what can be the most memorable debut in recent memory. Prior to getting hurt, Asuka was in the midst of the sort of mega-push that most superstars can only dream about. This push may have stifled some of the lesser competition in NXT's Women's Division, but it has set up Asuka to be a dominant figure on the WWE main roster. With how unbeatable she has looked at NXT, expect a huge pop (and hopefully a storyline) to accompany her upon her main roster debut. Elsewhere in this article we discussed the need for women to be featured more prominently in Raw/SmackDown's bigger moments, and Asuka is one of the few females currently on the roster who are capable of creating this "big fight feel".
12 Ric Flair Passing
Not every event which could shake up WWE programming is a good thing. A perfect example of this is the recent health scare faced by Ric Flair. After he underwent a significant surgery, Ric received an enormous outpouring of support from superstars in the locker room and the WWE Universe. As such, one can only imagine the changes that would occur upon the death of the legendary 16x World Champion. For starters, I can imagine some sort of tournament would immediately be in the works to honor Flair. While Dusty Rhodes and Mae Young are each certainly iconic figures (both have had tournaments started in WWE in their name), both pale in comparison to the impact that Flair has had on professional wrestling in his over 40 years in the industry. Here's to hoping that this particular shakeup doesn't happen anytime soon.
11 John Cena Retirement
With his recent status switch to a "free agent" capable of appearing on either Raw or Smackdown, it is becoming increasingly apparent that John Cena's time as a WWE superstar is just about over. Despite heavily criticizing the Rock for leaving the WWE for Hollywood in the buildup to their historic WrestleMania 28 storyline, all signs indicate that Cena will eventually do the same thing. When he decides to finally hang up his boots, Cena will leave a notable void in the roster that a significant shakeup will be needed to erase. Roman Reigns may have replaced the Doctor of Thuganomics as the company's constant main event, but many spectators (including myself) doubt whether Reigns will be able to replace Cena as the consistent draw that he has been for so many years.
10 Raw - SmackDown Rivalry
Not all the shakeups on this list would require a lot of effort on the part of WWE officials. For instance, it would be a huge spike in the ratings to reinvent the rivalry between the Raw and SmackDown shows. Though the WWE commentators like to play up this rivalry in their broadcasts, there have been no efforts to transition this natural rivalry into a storyline. This is especially troubling considering how popular these cross-show programs have been in the past. Were WWE to relegate one of their yearly pay-per-views to showcasing this rivalry, it could quickly become one of the most popular events of the year. My personal vote is that the replace the ill-titled Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view.
9 The Authority Returns
I debated even including the next entry on our list, but I eventually decided that the return of the Authority stable may be a way to positively shake-up WWE programming. This stable was abandoned some years ago after it became clear that it was no longer compelling. The constant storyline of authority figures handing Seth Rollins the title had become increasingly stale, and WWE officials wisely pulled the plug. If done right, however, a return of The Authority could be a welcome addition to WWE programming. Not only would this storyline necessarily require the return of Triple H (a big star and able wrestler), but it would open the door for many of the other shakeups featured on our list. Rumor has it that a Triple H-Kurt Angle match is in the works, so don't be surprised if the Authority is featured heavily in that storyline.
8 Give Women a Chance
Now you may be thinking "wait, hasn't this shakeup already occurred in WWE?" While WWE has admittedly given the current crop of WWE ladies noticeably more respect than they have in years past, there is still a long way to go before the women are treated on equal footing with the men. A noticeable example of this is the main event match which just occurred between Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women's Title. Despite both of these women being some of the most popular superstars on the roster, WWE has decided on a peculiar narrative between them. For starters, Banks' loss on Monday night signals the third time that she has lost the title defense immediately after winning the title. How she is supposed to build any momentum without ever successfully defending a title is beyond me.
7 Go All In on Nakamura Push
In the introduction I talked about the need for WWE to make the best use of wrestlers it already has on its roster, and this next entry is a perfect example of this fact. Since making his debut on SmackDown Live, Shinsuke Nakamura has already established himself as one of the few true main event talents on the roster. As such, it is absolutely necessary that WWE Creative "pull the trigger," and give Nakamura the push that he so justly deserves. It appeared as if SmackDown officials were going to do just that, but they then nonsensically allowed Nakamura to get cheated out of the WWE Title by Jinder Mahal at SummerSlam. It would be in the WWE's best interest to correct this mistake, but to do so in a grand fashion at another "Big 4" pay-per-view.
6 Lesnar Leaves For UFC
While most of the entries on our list involve something being added to WWE programming, our next shakeup would involve WWE actually losing one of its top stars. Since Brock Lesnar returned to the WWE, he has been an immense draw for the company, and his arrival on Monday Night Raw instantly signals a significant uptick in the shows pace. This has caused WWE to rely heavily on his star power, something which may not be good for the brand as a whole. WWE has been able to avoid making some of the other changes listed in this article because they know if ratings drop that they can count on Lesnar for an immediate spike in viewership numbers. In this way, Lesnar's presence in WWE has become a crutch which allows WWE Creative to go forward with their mediocrity.
5 Shield Reunion
The success of any change in WWE can easily be measured by the reaction to the change by the WWE Universe. WWE has no "pop" left in its arsenal greater than that of a Shield reunion. The enormous response to the team of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins should pale in comparison to the fan reaction when Roman Reigns finally rejoins the fold. I don't know if any stable in recent memory is as universally loved as is The Shield, and WWE would be hugely remiss to not allow its reformation at some future point. This reformation need not hinder the singles pushes of these Superstars, however, as the three can easily retain their own gimmicks while continuing to be loosely aligned together.
4 Purchase GFW
An interesting way in which WWE officials could seek to shakeup their current programing is to purchase rival wrestling promotion Global Force Wrestling (GFW), previously known as TNA. While this would certainly be an expensive way to revitalize the WWE, it may be the most worthwhile. You need only to look at current WWE standouts AJ Styles and Samoa Joe to realize that GFW has some talent worth acquiring. In fact, there were points in the recent past where is was reasonable to argue that GFW/TNA's talent pool was actually superior to that of WWE. Awful writing and management prevented TNA from capitalizing on its immense talent, but this fact shouldn't' discourage WWE officials from making this talent their gain. At the very least, this move would allow the WWE to siphon GFW/TNA's significant archives for the WWE Network.
3 Finn Balor Becoming the "Top Guy"
People have blamed a lot of the problems with WWE's current product squarely on Roman Reigns. While this is somewhat unfair, there is some merit to the argument that WWE programming has been hampered by the lack of fan support for its "top guy." An easy fix to this would be to abandon Reigns and begin supporting another wrestler as its "top" star. Looking at the current WWE roster, my vote for WWE's next top guy would have to be Finn Balor (as much as I love AJ Styles, I have some concerns about his age and durability). It appeared in 2016 that WWE was considering this direction (following Reigns' suspension for violating the drug policy), however, an injury to Balor during his title match at SummerSlam made officials skittish about giving him a large push.
2 Daniel Bryan Returns to Wrestling
A potential shakeup that WWE fans have pinned over for a number of years is the in-ring return of Daniel Bryan. While I am not the biggest Daniel Bryan fan, I will admit that it was somewhat anti-climactic to see Bryan become injured (and subsequently have his WWE Championship stripped) at almost the very moment when his WWE career peaked. The chances of this potential shakeup happening varies depending on who you ask. Some analysts draw hope from the fact that multiple independent doctors have cleared Bryan to return to the ring, however, detractors have noted that WWE's own physicians have absolutely refused to clear him for competition. If nothing else, his willingness to accept a non-wrestling role with the company signals his belief that he will someday reclaim the ring as one of WWE's most popular performers.
1 Vince Gives Up Creative Control
I think the best way to see immediate positive change with WWE programming would be for Vince McMahon to give up creative control. Despite being at the helm for what many wrestling fans consider the company's greatest years, it is clear that Vince has lost the ability to enthrall audiences. Were he to relinquish his creative control of the company, his son-in-law Triple H would serve as a more than adequate replacement. A year ago, it was a widely popular opinion that the NXT product had actually surpassed that of the main roster. A constant siphoning of its talent has limited its impact, but wrestling fans should drool at the prospect of Triple H running the show the main roster at his disposal.
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