Pro Wrestling

Top Five: Wish-List for WWE in 2013

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Top Five: Wish-List for WWE in 2013

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The year 2012 offered us many highs and lows in the WWE. Being the positive-minded individual that I am, I look back on many of the great memories that were witnessed by the WWE Universe. In 2012, The Undertaker and HHH took us on one last incredible journey at WrestleMania XXVIII while Brock Lesnar made his return to the WWE the night after. We have also had the pleasure of witnessing the everyday progressions of Dolph Ziggler and Antonio Cesaro being rewarded (MITB briefcase, US Title). We even witnessed one of the highs of the years without any in-ring action when a healthy Jerry Lawler returned to WWE live programming.

In the year 2013 there is so much potential with a deep pool of breakout talents on the main roster and an ever-producing development territory in FCW. There is very little doubt that the likes of Damien Sandow, Tyson Kidd and Wade Barrett can have breakout years while the likes of Ziggler and Cesaro can cement their spots amongst the main event scene.

Let’s not forget those who made an impact in late 2012. With so much moment and commitment to air time, guys like Ryback and The Shield are likely to get their opportunity to make some noise. The latter is all too possible and one just needs to look back a couple of years ago when The Nexus made their debut.

Lastly, there are those who seem to make moments that transcend the year and the sport itself. The WWE has the likes of The Rock, Brock Lesnar, HHH, The Undertaker, Randy Orton, John Cena, CM Punk and many other dependable stalwarts on hand. With WrestleMania XXVIV not too far, be sure to expect some magic from this group of athletes.

You can always find negatives in pro wrestling but throughout the years it is the greatest of moments that give us a reason to be pro wrestling lifers. I, for one, am looking forward to the next year to come with the end of 2012 being around the corner.

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#5: Get Rid of the Gimmicked PPVs

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I specifically remember pooping my pants as a die-hard fan when matches such as “Hell In A Cell” and “Tables Ladders and Chairs” were announced. Nowadays, it’s an immediate disappointment as these stipulations that once had a special aura to them are diluted and over-exposed to the WWE Universe.

These special matches use to sell PPVs themselves. It truly didn’t matter who was in it. If you had a top star in these types of matches it was icing on the cake. In today’s era of innovative match stipulations you can rotate a million different match stipulations and keep things fresh. To me, a Money in the Bank, Hell in a Cell, Steel Cage (thanks TNA), and countless other matches have lost their appeal. Even the Survivor Series concept has been hurt with several four-on-four contests on live television or with PPVs like Bragging Rights.

Who remembers when WWE faced off against The Alliance at Survivor Series? In my best Vince McMahon voice, “Winner takes all!!!” Remember that speech McMahon gave Team WWE in the locker room? It was fantastic! I had goose bumps. The match added so much to that storyline. It was used perfectly. It made it a must-see match. I cared about the outcome and as a result I tuned into every waking moment leading to that match.

I understand the short-term demands of today’s product with shareholders and buyrates – however – if you could make certain matches mean something just like the Royal Rumble match does then you will have a series of dependable PPVs and match stipulations to use at your disposal.

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#4: Build Your Women’s Division Around Tamina Snuka

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Find your next Chyna. The “it” girl that the women’s division needs doesn’t need to fit the diva mold, she just needs to stand out. Stone Cold didn’t fit the mold and neither does Punk. It works. In my opinion, Tamina is the best fit and the timing could not be better. With the departures of Kharma, Kelly Kelly and now Beth Phoenix, there is no front-runner in the women’s division and Tamina’s credentials are perfect.

First off, in the televised world of the WWE she offers a unique presence as a powerhouse diva. To the average non-wrestling fan the divas all look too alike. Gone are the days when the likes of Chyna, Lita, Molly Holly and many others offered unique (physical and personality) traits. Heels like this are money as they are the ones who make all the noise with an eventual babyface overcoming the odds and being elevated as a result.

The second generation superstar and daughter of “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka is also a graduate of The Wild Samoans Training Center who is a highly skilled and athletic individual. Her signature splash is a finishing move that not only gets a reaction due to its athletic efforts but also because it reminds the fans of her legendary father flying through the air.

There is promise for such direction with Tamina currently serving a role as Vicky Guerrero’s bodyguard. The WWE is also teasing a feud with AJ Lee which would be very beneficial as Lee is arguably the top female talent on the roster with ample of air time. In addition to that, Lee is also one of the few divas with an appealing identity that sorely lacks amongst the women’s division. Here’s hoping!

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#3: Restore The Tag Team Division with Actual Tag Teams

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The WWE needs to restore the tag division with the right guys, the right way. This division needs to be branded like a good product. What sets tag team wrestling apart from everything else is the unity between two wrestlers. Legendary tag teams like The Road Warriors, The Steiner Brothers, The British Bulldogs, The Hart Foundation, Demolition, D-Generation X, The Dudley Boyz, and a list that could go on forever share one common thing, an identity.

The WWE is slowly heading in the right direction with tag teams like The Usos and Prime Time Players. However, neither team is seasoned enough to carry the division and there’s not enough depth in the division for both teams to compete with. Primo & Epico don’t have a tag team name and I’m not all too sure if they actually have a gimmick or identity. The same can be said about Camacho and Hunico. Tossing two guys together because of their ethnic background doesn’t cut it for me. There must be more invested in the teams and with these pairs, a team name would be a good start.

Then there’s my biggest pet peeve, tag teams that feature two single competitors. Team Rhodes Scholars and the tag team champions, Team Hell No are just that. These situations are never long term. They usually end with a feud between the partners or they are tossed into a wrestling abyss until one of the two gets injured or fired.

My hopes is for the WWE to get behind The Usos and Prime Time Players while developing more teams. The Shield and 3MB are other options but I have a gut feeling that they will both disband within a year or so. The WWE needs pairs who are committed to tag wrestling and do not oppose to remaining a tag team for the long term. With such a vacancy, I don’t see why some of the more talented members of the roster and development wouldn’t jump at the chance to run with a ball.

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#2: Give Damien Sandow Significant Air Time

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Sandow’s intellectual snob character is a breath of fresh air in the WWE. For such character to transition well he will require air time and promo time. It’s just that simple. The man comes off very polished in the ring and is doing a fine job with the gimmick aspect as well.

More importantly, Sandow’s gimmick doesn’t require him to be a flashy or cool heel. He is to walk, talk, and wrestle in a dull manner of sorts. Guys like Sandow are result driven and focus on efficiency. Their jobs are never to get a pop or to be the cool heel. Leave the corner enzuguris to the likes of Alberto Del Rio.

Finding a heel like that is rare. Looking back, when HHH or Edge would come out as a heel, their music would draw an instant pop because they were established and respected superstars. People have seen them in prominent face roles and seen them take incredible (and memorable) risks. Guys like Sandow should never earn your respect! Should a rich aristocrat spear someone off a ladder? No. Should he have a significant run as a face with his gimmick? No. Sandow is the kind of guy who will preach one thing and his actions will be completely hypocritical to those words.

Sandow needs to be a singles wrestler who competes against his polar opposites. The wild rebels, the underdogs, and the flashy fan favorites. Right or wrong, we are in a generation where there will always be cool heels and superstars will switch from face to heel more often than they should. Sandow’s gimmick provides an exception. He should be a heel for just as long as Cena or Rey have been faces.

In the long run maybe he won’t go down as the greatest heel or champion or have one of those five-star matches. Instead, he will forever be one of the best heels of his generation and the go-to guy to establish guys who need to get over as a face. He will always have a job and those who step into a ring with him will always sing his praise.

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#1: Dolph Ziggler Should Unsuccessfully cash-in MITB

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The man is guaranteed to be a future WWE champion and a prominent one if I may add. With that said, if you got something special, don’t rush it. Ziggler, being a MITB holder, has been given a prominent spot over the past year and with Guerrero managing him his spotlight has been amplified. However, MITB winners have cashed-in their title shots successfully so often that it’s lost its appeal. It did Edge wonders because he was the first to do so, and it helped his status as “the ultimate opportunist”. That’s why Ziggler needs his own defining identity or moment when he transitions into a main event champion.

My suggestion (and it’s just that) is to continue his current direction with Cena which is going to elevate him much more than a title win can do right now. I would love to see this feud make its way into WrestleMania. It may not be the best move for buy rates but WrestleMania can survive without a John Cena dream match.

Ziggler should lose to Cena at WrestleMania whether that’s when he cashes in or not. This is when you start running with the momentum you just built off his feud with Cena. You have him blame the loss on and turn on Guerrero. Be it after his WrestleMania match or the night after on Raw, the footage of Ziggler tagging Guerrero with the Zig-Zag would be tremendous heat.

Ziggler’s gimmick is perfection so anything short of that should infuriate him. A world title is the true definition of perfection in the WWE and Ziggler should become obsessed with that goal by then.