Exactly one month ago, Vince McMahon and WWE gave us WrestleMania 34. The gluttonous affair was by no means bad, but the aftermath has been questionable.
WWE has been on the equivalent of a hellacious bender since 'Mania. After the seven-hour behemoth, WWE hosted a Superstar Shake-Up, a girthy Greatest Royal Rumble, and a putrid Backlash. Now that the month-long bacchanal has passed, WWE has to pick itself up off the bathroom floor, wipe off the running mascara, and brush its vomit-coated teeth because there is work to be done.
Here are 10 Concerns WWE Needs to Address Before We All Start Watching Impact Wrestling:
Look, I'm guilty of apologizing for Reigns and Lesnar. Both have earned a terribly polarizing reputation, but for the most part, they are vital parts in WWE's machine.
However, their rivalry could not be staler.
It feels like we've been watching them, or at least anticipating them, for five years. Sure, they've had other opponents, but WWE has always kept their feud preserved.
It's time to move on.
This version of Roman Reigns will never get the cheers Vince McMahon seeks. Pitting him against Brock Lesnar was once novel, but outside of his fling with Goldberg, Lesnar's character hasn't undergone a molecule of change. This lack of evolution had made every Lesnar/Reigns match interchangeable.
What started as factions against Reigns and Lesnar has now become the prominent sentiment of WWE fans. There's nothing left to be harvested here, let's get them some new opponents.
A lot of fans are ready for Braun Strowman to be Universal Champion. But I'm not yelling for that.
While he'd make a lovely Universal Champion, I'll settle for some direction. His WrestleMania victory can be redacted, and his Greatest Royal Rumble is looking more meaningless by the second. Maybe he wins Money in the Bank, but whatever it is, arbitrary tag matches cannot be the answer.
Strowman will get his time, but the waiting period may get boring.
Like Strowman, Rollins' rise to the top of the company is imminent. So why should we wait?
In just a month, Rollins has already become a memorable Intercontinental Champion. Sooner than later, though, it will become obvious that he's ready for a Universal promotion.
But it's not coming—maybe not until 2019.
There's no telling when WWE knew they'd be able to use Daniel Bryan again—maybe it was March, maybe it was last fall. I'll guess it was closer to the former because his WWE is booking him as if they were handed a hot potato.
In all fairness, fans are likely waiting for the Yes Movement to reboot, but that's not going to happen. That's like us asking for Stone Cold and Bret Hart to re-do their iconic WrestleMania 13 double-turn. It was a moment, one story, and can't be revisited.
So as WWE concocts Bryan's next journey, we're in for a lull.
You could walk into any wrestling discussion and say Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles are the best wrestlers in the world and no one would judge you. But instead of letting them simply compete, WWE making them kick each other in the balls.
Shinsuke as a heel has been great, but Styles has just been OK as this story's hero. Maybe our expectations got the best of us, but this has been forgettable.
I like Carmella. I think she'll surprise us as champ, but that doesn't make her the best option for
With names like Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch
Like most comedy acts, The New Day have to constantly battle the ebbs and flows of humor. Some hit, some miss, but as long as they keep trying they'll stay an attraction. However, it feels like a new audience could help them find some momentum.
I'm sure they'll be fun on Tuesdays—their beef with The Bar already looks promising—but considering how thing RAW's tag division is, I refuse to believe it's not a better fit for the animated trio.
Nia Jax is more than likely a Hall of Famer. However, her career can only be as good as her competition.
We don't know how hurt Alexa Bliss is, but her and Jax's rivalry hit the point of diminishing returns a few weeks ago. Injured or not, Jax will likely move on, but to where?
It looks like Jax won't defend her RAW title until July and that's going to do a number on her momentum.
Sasha Banks and Bayley been in limbo for more of 2018. WWE wants to jump into a rivalry but refuses to pick a real starting line. Instead of asking "will they or won't they," WWE fans may start to ask a more pointed question: why do I care?
It looks like Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are on a similar path. While their rivalry will be fun, it will be one we've already seen before, and both men deserve a higher opportunity than a 2016 reboot.
For the next six weeks, we'll get Money in the Bank qualifying matches, Seth Rollins' Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge, arbitrary tag matches, and Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal.
Now a lot of this is due to timing—WWE is freezing everything in the name of MITB—but this is a recurring issue.
Too much emphasis has been placed on cool moves and long matches. While any great show needs both of these, WWE has abandoned the foundation of their company: storytelling.0comments
WWE has gone out of their way to legitimize their sport in the eyes of casual fans. Everything about their presentation is an imitation of an NFL game. The panels, realistic backstage interviews, and sleek set designs all have cleaned up WWE's perception, but at what cost?
This is still professional wrestling. Don't forget to be crazy.