Matches should tell a story and keep the fan/viewer’s attention from bell to bell. WWE was exciting during the “Attitude Era” because the promos weren’t as prevalent as they are today, and the promos lead to actual in-ring wrestling that was entertaining and sometimes unpredictable.
How can WWE be exciting again with AEW on the rise and their stale product not resonating with fans?
WWE can be exciting again if they were to get back to those days- The Attitude Era.
Some will say the wrestlers back then had more personality and better mic skills. To me that is true to a point, but the thing that is overlooked is that they could give you a quality matches also. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Mick “Mankind” Foley, The “American Bad Ass” Undertaker and Edge, just to name a few, were the guys that WWE kept in the forefront and allowed them to perform in great matches not just on PPV but also on TV.
Today’s wrestlers can be groomed the same way. For example, Ronda Rousey was horrible on the stick at first, but as she became more comfortable, her mic skills got better as wells as her in-ring wrestling.
Raw and SmackDown are entertainment shows that happen to incorporate wrestling. NXT is a wrestling show.
The show centers around the in-ring ability of the talent while building solid storylines. NXT is the model that Raw and SmackDown used to be like when viewership was at all-time high. NXT is old school wrestling in this modern day, meaning the promos are short, but the in-ring wrestling is the meat and potatoes of the show. WWE should mirror some of the ideas from NXT to make Raw and SmackDown exciting again.
As fans of WWE, we understand that wrestling is a form of entertainment, but it should focus around wrestling. WWE’s Monday Night Raw is three hours long, but at least an hour is based on talking (promos, backstage interviews, wrestler created talk shows). Basically, after commercial breaks, we are lucky if we get one and half hours of actual in-ring wrestling. To simply put it, there is too much talking which means less wrestling.
Another factor that turns fans off, is WWE putting part-timers in main events, or even worse, putting a belt on them. This is particularly pertaining to Brock Lesnar. WWE have overly relied on Brock as a main attraction for quite some time and it has had some devastating results. As the Universal Champion and not being on TV caused the title picture to dry up, leaving Raw without a full-time champion. This has effectively held many stars back.
Part-timers are good for the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, but outside of that, the focus should be on developing and building the characters of the Superstars that are on TV every week. This doesn’t mean part-timers can’t serve in a limited role or be a part of a high-profile storyline, but having them win a title and then staying off TV doesn’t work.
Showcase the women more.
The women should have their own weekly show while also being on SmackDown and Raw. This would bring more focus on the women’s division while also giving them their own platform to showcase their skills, while not being overshadowed by the guys. The All-Women’s PPV, “Evolution” was a big moment for WWE in 2018. So why not do more for the women?
WWE has more than proved that they can create interesting/appealing storylines around the women and the fans have grown to enjoy what the women bring to the table. Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Bayley, Alexa Bliss, Naomi and Lacey Evans have proven to the WWE Universe that they can hold their own in the ring by putting on great matches. The women’s tag belts also bring another dimension to the division. Creating a women’s TV championship belt would give them a mid-card title like the guys and WWE could use the champion on both Raw and SmackDown.
Mid-card championship belts need to mean more.
The Intercontinental and U.S. Championship belts should be relevant and defended each week on TV. The model WWE should use when it comes to these belts could fall in line with the open challenge format they did with John Cena and eventually build someone up to dethrone the champion.
Also, this gives the fans a chance to get to know some of the guys that are considered mid-to-low card performers a spotlight. Just go back a few years when Cesaro was putting on quality matches every week against top guys and his popularity shot through the roof.
Lastly, Vince McMahon running the shows should not happen.
He is out of touch with today’s wrestling fans, and it’s becoming more and more evident. Triple H should be running SmackDown and Raw, as he knows what the public wants and has a feel to what works in and out of the ring. If you don’t believe that, watch an NXT show, and you will understand why this isn’t Vince hate, but a valid suggestion.
However, one improvement made is appointing Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff to WWE Executive Directors. Instead of Triple H, Heyman will run Raw and Bischoff will take SmackDown. There are ways to make the WWE exciting again but they must be willing to change the way they have done things, and it seems better days are coming.