With a Hole at the Top of WWE, Who Steps Up?

June 1, 2012


By Nich Beesley

AGAIN?  REALLY?  The main event black hole is back.  This time, it’s not necessarily the fault of WWE creative or Vince McMahon.  Instead, it was a series of unfortunate events.

The two most recent and likely most influential suspensions.

Starting back in February, dominoes began to fall with Wade Barrett getting injured during a RAW battle royal that had some really gruesome moments (almost resulting in another bad injury to Dolph Ziggler).  He had been on a roll with his “Barrett Barrage” gimmick and looked like he would immediately be in the title picture after WrestleMania, but his momentum was stopped dead in its tracks with the injury.

It was alright though, his absence and rising star was hidden during WrestleMania season with the attendance of the Undertaker, Triple H, and The Rock.   Unfortunately, WrestleMania season can’t last forever as Undertaker went back to his possibly permanent hiatus, Triple H went back to being an emergency quarterback for WWE, and The Rock went off for more Hollywood action.  Suddenly, Barrett’s lack of presence was noticeable.

Then, just when Rey Mysterio was ready to make his big in-ring return from injury after missing his original target return at WrestleMania, he was suspended due to a Wellness Policy infraction.  Rey is now out for a couple more months.

The suspensions continued, Evan Bourne had another Wellness Policy infraction, as well.  Meanwhile, Chris Jericho had an international incident that almost had him arrested in Brazil for denigrating the country’s flag during a live event landing him a suspension for 30 days, which is nearly the rest of his current contract before he disappears to tour with Fozzy.  And super face, Randy Orton, just this week was suspended for his second Wellness Policy infraction.  He is now out for 60 days after he had just started a program with Chris Jericho before Jericho’s suspension.

So…..Yes, really.  It is happening again.  This lack of star power has it’s positives though.  Remember last time?  We began to see the rise of Sheamus, CM Punk continually made his mark as wanting to be a main event player, and Miz had some entertaining segments and programs as WWE champion.  Now, we are lead to the question of who is most likely to step up during this depleted time between now and SummerSlam.  Keep in mind WWE Raw’s move to 3 hours in July leaving open another hour a week for content.

Dolph has come far since his days as a male cheerleader

My first pick to grab this opportunity by the balls is someone who has been waiting for a Main Event spot to open up anyways, Dolph Ziggler.  He has all the talent to do it, from mic skills to in-ring ability.  He’s had a couple of chances when they used him as a solid fill in a year ago when Randy Orton had nobody to feud with as World Champion.  He put on good matches during those pressure situations, including having the best match of a pay-per-view with Randy Orton at a Royal Rumble.

He’s even already set up to be a top guy with the current breaking away from Vicki Guerrero storyline.  All WWE needs to do is to make him a legit threat to a babyface champion, such as Sheamus.  In this instance, WWE would get a chance to see what they have out of Ziggler because for the first time he’ll get to work with someone considered a larger wrestler who may be less talented than he is.

Brock Lesnar dominated this match.  John Cena had only 13 moves of total offense the entire bout. I know, I counted. 11 punches, 1 push, and his Attitude Adjustment finisher. 13 moves beat Lesnar? So much for the “legitimacy” Lesnar was bringing.  Give me a break.

WWE is going to need more than just a heel, they need a fresh good guy, too.  Zack Ryder has had his chances, and unfortunately, he just doesn’t cut it in the ring quite yet.  You can’t rely on Brock Lesnar as a face or heel at this point with him rumored to be back in talks with UFC after WWE dropped to ball by Lesnar losing to John Cena (See picture caption).  Meanwhile, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are holding the tag titles.

WWE may have to go to the “farm” for Alex Riley who still, despite not being on either major television show for the greater part of a year, is getting heavy cheers during Superstars tapings, dark matches, and live events.  His crowd reaction has been known to occasionally be the #3 babyface reaction on any given night.

Riley’s in-ring ability has greatly improved over the past year, and his mic skills were always his strongest quality, even on the terrible NXT.  The biggest issue WWE would have to address with Riley is how to make him seem legitimate without negatively affecting a top heel in the company because of how Riley has been used over this past year.

I would personally like to see Riley go over Big Show and get a chance to team with Cena over the next month.  Giving Riley that kind of rub should be enough to get him over the top and at least put him in the mid-card title range, which could then allow WWE to move Christian up to the Main Event spot.

With a vacuum at the top and the soon expansion to 3 hours of RAW every week, there is suddenly a strong need for recognizable wrestlers that an audience will care about enough not to turn the channel.  WWE is starting to fix that with the creation of several stables, each one managed by either Vicki Guerrero, Johnny Ace, or Abraham Washington (A.W.).

Also, WWE needs to realize that have some great people to fill in some of this extra time, if given opportunities.  The Divas may have the perfect chance to make themselves as well known as the TNA Knockouts division of 2009/2010.  In spite of what most people think, the talent is mostly already there with Natalya, Beth Phoenix, Kharma, A.J., Layla, and a few others.

She’s terrorized Japan, the United States indies, and TNA. There’s a reason why WWE wanted her. Oozing with talent.

Now there just needs to be time and story given to them by creative and McMahon.  Hopefully, the argument of a lack of crowd reaction won’t continue to be used because it’s self inflicted by WWE.  That argument is the equivalent of saying “We won’t advertise because advertising isn’t bringing any business in” while you aren’t advertising to begin with.  You can’t expect a crowd reaction when viewers don’t have the chance to develop any type of relationship with the female characters.

Case and point, A.J. has been getting a crowd reaction since WrestleMania because she finally got to show some of her character by having the chance to beg to be with Daniel Bryan after they broke up and then, ultimately, going insane.  Divas can pull off good programs and keep people interested.  I remember when Trish Stratus vs. Lita in a Street Fight was the main event of RAW.  It can be done.  I’m practically on my knees begging at this point.

Now that I’m off my knees, check me out on Twitter on Monday Nights.  We can “interact” and be sure not to use WWE’s stupid #hashtags. @twoxtreme

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About nichbeesley

Nicholas Beesley is a Michigan State University student majoring in television and film, a producer for MSU&U, and a lifelong wrestling fan. Also, he will gladly argue over facts, but will spend hours trying to form a simple opinion on any topic that’s not wrestling or fantasy football related.

View all posts by nichbeesley


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2 Comments on “With a Hole at the Top of WWE, Who Steps Up?”

  1. Grieser Says:

    Daniel Bryan is the most talented guy they have. Need to see more and more of him.



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