WWE SmackDown Needs A Suitable Replacement For The Departing John Cena
If we are talking match quality - Cena CONSISTENTLY has put on excellent matches for the past few years. Orton can go when needed, but appears too uninterested/sluggish for my liking.
Cena gets a ton of crap, some of it I get. His character is pretty stale. But he puts on good to great matches more often than not. I don’t ever expect him to fully leave the company, though. He will stop wrestling full time, sure, but he’ll pop up for big events if not take some sort of GM role eventually.
And people will always, always, sing “John Cena sucks” to his theme song.
It’s become kind of a term of endearment, like when they chant “You Suck” during Kurt Angle’s theme music.
The only thing that really sucks about Cena is his inability to vary up his promos. I hate that he thinks he has to legitimately bury his opponents. They can get away with it because their target is Cena, who’s been the face of the company for more than a decade. But if Cena’s doing it he’s only reinforcing what they’re saying about him.
I see a dinosaur skull…no bull.
WWE SmackDown Must End The Pushes Of Jinder Mahal And Shane McMahon
I think the superstar shake-up thing was a disaster for Smackdown. Of course, it started with having Orton beat Wyatt at Wrestlemania and then shipping guys like Wyatt and the Miz to Raw. Miz and Wyatt should be over on Smackdown where they could still be the top heels. Instead they’re on Raw in meaningless feuds while, for some reason, Jinder is WWE champ and Sami Zayn and Rusev are still wasted.
So yeah, please end the push of Jinder Mahal if they want Smackdown to worth watching again.
5 Reasons WWE Needs An Off-Season
It’s worked out extremely well for Kevin Owens. Arguably he’s the real star of Smackdown. Finally he’s got a platform where he’s inescapable. Even when he was Universal champion on Raw it was all about Lesnar and Goldberg (which became exceedingly obvious heading into WrestleMania), and the Jericho feud favored Jericho. The feud with AJ Styles, which ended at the perfect time and in the perfect circumstances, has made Owens into the hottest commodity, arguably, he’s ever been in the company, even when he was one of the few guys to get a win over Cena when he first debuted on the main roster. Even if you think Shane McMahon has overplayed his hand since his return, you’ve got to admit that if anyone can sell just how important Owens has become, it’s Shane. I think it’s Shane’s best program since his return, too. It’s just a shane, I mean shame that between this and Cena/Reigns, WWE is seemingly playing WrestleMania-caliber matches half a year in advance.
They’re loading up No Mercy because it is the last PPV of the third financial quarter of the year, so they want to be able to tell investors that they had a large number of network subscribers at that date.
(Of course, they’re still sending out offers to lapsed subscribers for three months free, so best to look at the number of actual paid subscribers…)
Smackdown’s woes really started with their underwhelming contributions to WrestleMania. I know WWE had their long-term story mapped out in advance for Orton and Wyatt but they really should have changed it. Once the two of them were an actual tag team and in a title feud with American Alpha the audience were genuinely into the whole deal, while Jordan and Gable, for the one and only time on the main roster, were also getting over. They should have just kept that title feud going until Mania and put Jordan/Gable over for the titles there, then pick up the Orton/Wyatt singles feud after that point.
This would have freed up the WWE title match to be Styles/Cena, which would have been a far more suitable championship match for WrestleMania and allowed them to make a bigger deal of Cena going for the (made-up) record number of title wins. Assuming that Cena still won #16 at the Rumble, AJ could have won it back in the Chamber without beating Cena, leading to a rematch at Mania. Styles could have retained to be firmly established as the top dog on Smackdown. In defeat, Cena then gets on the mic and cuts a promo about how some things are even more important than the gold, asking Nikki Bella down to the ring and then on with the proposal in a slightly less obvious manner.
Meanwhile, this would have freed up Shane McMahon for a match with the Miz. It wouldn’t have been pretty but it wouldn’t have needed to be. It would have been a logical pay-off for all those times Miz bullied Daniel Bryan knowing full well that Bryan couldn’t retaliate - but Bryan’s boss, Shane, could. Just a quick match with Shane beating up Miz for a bit and then he and Bryan can have a nice Yes-chant celebration for the fans afterwards.
I honestly have no idea why fans cling to the fiction of how awesome Bray Wyatt is. The best thing about him is the entrance. His promo skills are alarmingly one-dimensional. His wrestling skills are adequate. But the fans continue to insist he’s better than all that. He’s given the biggest program of his career, and he can’t do anything with it. Bray’s the problem. And so was Mahal. Orton did everything he could in those feuds. He’s a guy who knows from complacency, but he’s been on-point since being a figurehead on Smackdown. But he can’t carry mediocre talent. Anyone can pull a good match out of mediocre talent (Jericho used to say his Wyatt program was a career highlight, but he can make anyone look good, and so he’s more often than not taken for granted), but mediocre talent can confuse you into thinking they’re better than they are with the right packaging. That was the ECW playbook after all.
No, WWE knew what it was doing at WrestleMania. It’s just, half of that match was never going to be able to deliver, but the fans demanded it, so they got it.
I don’t think the fans demanded the Orton/Wyatt match. People were getting into the idea of the two of them being a tag team, even if everyone knew Orton wasn’t really a heel.
I do agree that Wyatt in general is very lacklustre. The gimmick had a lot of potential but none of it has been realised. The only possible chance he has of that is if they turn him face and make him into an anti-authority figure… but that would require having a heel authority figure in charge once again, which I would definitely avoid.
I think Wyatt had a chance to be something special, but WWE keeps rescinding his pushes to the point where it’s hard to care about it any more. He talks about being the big bad evil dude, but he’s lost nearly every major feud he’s ever been in. They’ve had plenty of chances to take the character to another level, but they keep balking and hitting the reset button.
So I agree he’s fairly lackluster these days and has been for a while, outside of the Orton story. Still, I think Owens might be the only person who’s benefited from the brand switch. Wyatt’s back to boring, meaningless feuds, Miz wasn’t even really part of Summerslam, Ambrose is back with Rollins, but that’s a step down from his WWE title and IC title runs, Sami Zayn is still doing nothing, Charlotte went from owning the Raw women’s division to having nothing to do on Smackdown (I’m sure recently that might have something to do with her dad’s health), Mickie James was kind of a big deal for a minute on Smackdown and now she’s got nothing to do on Raw. I guess Alexa Bliss has done fine for herself on both brands.
Basically, I just think WWE creative needs a shake-up. Particularly on SDL.