The first third of 2017 has been rather interesting for World Wrestling Entertainment fans. WrestleMania 33 was a show that lasted roughly seven hours for viewers who tuned in for every aspect of that event shown on WWE Network, and it served as a reminder that certain individuals working for the company have maybe lost their way as it pertains to what casual fans want to see on a monthly basis. Fans and viewers around the world have made a plethora of complaints about WWE booking decisions via social media platforms such as Twitter. Even NXT, which has carried the flag for the WWE Network for the past several years, feels somewhat flat heading into the summer of 2017 and future Takeover shows that will seemingly struggle to live up to events from previous years.
There are, of course, plenty of reasons to be excited about upcoming WWE programming and shows. The perception, as of the spring months, is that WWE won't be shy about signing independent talents who are beloved by diehard wrestling fans, and the hope is that the company won't squander such wrestlers once they are working underneath the WWE umbrella. With that said, there remains a long list of things we do not want to see happen in WWE between the middle of May and December 31, 2017, and most of those have to do with creative decisions and ideas that are out of the hands of paying customers. Make use of the deepest roster in company history, WWE, or risk losing fans for more than just a period of a few months.
15 Adam Cole on the Main Roster
Assuming you're a wrestling fan on the Internet who is purposely reading this piece, you probably have read and/or heard the rumors that Adam Cole will be a member of the WWE roster sooner rather than later. That's only a positive for the company, as Cole is a tremendous in-ring worker who is gifted on the microphone.
14 Brock Lesnar Losing
There is zero reason, none whatsoever, we can think of for why the WWE would even consider having Brock Lesnar lose the WWE Universal Championship at any point in 2017. Lesnar remains a unique act who is special because he isn't on every show, and the former UFC Heavyweight Championship brings a realness to the product unlike any other performer on the roster.
13 Roman Reigns Being John Cena 2.0
Those who watch WWE programming on a weekly basis can see the WWE obviously wants to make Roman Reigns the company's top babyface star and an updated version of the John Cena character who sold merchandise and drew both positive and negative reactions from fans for over a decade. Whether or not you like or dislike Reigns being in main-event angles, you don't have to be a wrestling journalist or combat sports expert to see the company's handling of his character isn't working.
12 Shinsuke Nakamura Losing
Critics who would claim the WWE no longer knows how to book babyface wrestlers need only review how the company treated Shinsuke Nakamura during the first half of his stint in NXT. Nakamura was made to be a big deal via vignettes and promos, and he then never lost on weekly programs or on Pay-Per-View shows. This is exactly how Nakamura should be treated as a member of the SmackDown roster for the rest of 2017.
11 Shane McMahon Wrestle Again
We appreciate the work Shane McMahon and A.J. Styles put in at WrestleMania 33, and even those who weren't looking forward to that bout would have to admit the two put on quite an entertaining match. Still, we do not want to see Shane McMahon wrestle more than once a year, and he's already filled that quote for 2017.
10 Return Of The Authority
We fully understand this one is wishful thinking, like hoping you'll win the lottery when you buy a ticket. The lack of “The Authority” and of heel General Managers and Commissioners making the lives of babyface wrestlers miserable has been refreshing, and bringing those characters back to feud with acts such as Seth Rollins and Finn Balor isn't going to help ratings or cause fans to spend money on the WWE Network.
9 American Alpha Versus The Revival
This feud couldn't happen as of May 2017 because Dash Wilder of The Revival is currently recovering from a real-life jaw injury, and also because American Alpha work on the SmackDown brand. It's believed the WWE is going to do another roster shake-up/draft during the summer months, and the fear is that WWE may feel compelled to bring these acts back together so they can continue the feud that began in NXT.
8 John Cena Breaks Ric Flair's Record
You may love it, hate it or be somewhere in between, but all need to realize that it is only a matter of time before John Cena wins a 17th World Championship and is viewed as the most successful professional wrestler in WWE history.
7 A.J. Styles Return to Heel
For whatever reasons, the WWE has not yet fully invested in a babyface run for A.J. Styles, who may be the best overall worker in the business today. Styles is largely beloved by diehard followers of the product and also by WWE fans, but even his character as of May 2017 has both babyface and heel elements.
6 Women Split Across Brands
The WWE has the deepest women's roster in the history of the promotion, and yet the promotion continues to water it down by splitting female workers across the Raw and SmackDown brands. We do not want to see this continue in 2017. Every episode of Raw goes over three hours in length, meaning there would be plenty of time to showcase a full Women's Division that includes every woman that is part of the main roster.
5 The Cruiserweights Remain on Raw
Let's say, for the sake of argument, we get our wish and we no longer see women on both Raw and SmackDown. It would only then make sense for the WWE to abandon the experiment that has been the Cruiserweight Division being part of the Raw brand.
4 Rush Braun Strowman Versus Brock Lesnar Match
While injuries should never be celebrated, it may actually be a blessing in disguise for all involved that Braun Strowman is set to be sidelined for much of the summer because of an injured elbow. Rushing a Braun Strowman versus Brock Lesnar match is something we did not want to see before SummerSlam 2017, and that feud can now be pushed back and given some time to naturally grow once Strowman returns to the active roster.
3 Balor Getting Buried
Finn Balor was slated to be a big deal last summer and that's exactly what transpired early on during his main roster run. However, the good times came to an end sooner than expected when he suffered a lengthy injury which forced him to relinquish the title. He's now back on the WWE roster, but it's safe to say he isn't enjoying the same treatment coming off a recent loss to Roman Reigns on Raw.
2 Asuka Jobbing on the Main Roster
Probably the biggest fear WWE fans have about the company eventually adding Asuka to the main roster is that the “Empress of Tomorrow” will be made to job to other women on the roster en route to just becoming a normal act. This cannot and should not happen in 2017.
1 Lengthy Jinder Mahal Title Run
The WWE pushing Jinder Mahal as a potential champion for business reasons, particularly in an attempt to tap into a fan base located in India, makes plenty of sense, but the company has done the Mahal character few favors, minus a handful of positive results, during his return to the promotion.
The company made Mahal a champion in 2017 after he beat Randy Orton at Backlash, and regardless of what fans in North American feel about it, the hope is that smarter heads will prevail and realize giving him a lengthy title run will do more harm than good in the long run. Watching Mahal serve as the baddest heel on the SmackDown brand who holds a major title throughout 2017 is just about the last thing we want. Avoid this at all costs WWE, have him drop it quickly.
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