Over the next few weeks I am going to break down how I would tweak every major wrestling company. So of course I have to start with the king of the mountain. The WWE is the undisputed king of professional wrestling. Well I guess they would brand it as sports entertainment. Either the company makes its money based on selling an in ring product. Here is how I would rework things to make that more of a focus and get things back to a state where fans can buy into the product again.
Changes to the TV Shows
RAW being three hours is just entirely too long. The WWE still hasn’t truly figured out how to fill all the time and that is way too long for average fan’s attention span. It would have been rough to pull that show off 15 years ago with few television channels and a different internet but now it’s almost impossible. I think it has done harm to the ratings of the program and how can you have a special RAW when you are doing 3 hours every week. Add that to 2 hours of SmackDown, while NXT and Main Event are both running an hour each of programming that is a lot for a wrestling fan to ingest.
The USA Network will not like cutting RAW down by one hour but in exchange I would offer them a Saturday morning show. One hour of a weekly recap with one or two matches that were not aired on TV that week but were taped at a RAW or SmackDown taping. The network does not really have any original programming on their weekend line but mostly syndicated shows. So this may bring more fresh eyes to the network. It would be a kid friendly show that would be light at heart and not mention the more adult stories from the week.
Reworking The PPV Format
The WWE has entirely too many pay per view events. Doing an event every month doesn’t allow the stories to breath and part of the reason why feuds can’t last. The company can reduce that amount from 12 to about 8 a year and be perfectly fine. They may increase the buy rates for their events since fans may see them as special. The 4 majors Wrestlemania, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and Summerslam all can stay. The other events will land in between those.
We will do away with the PPV’s named after matches like TLC, Elimination Chamber and Hell in a Cell. The idea of these matches has been diminished by running these events every year. You cannot even surprise fans with these matches under the current format because we all know that they have to happen at the event. So when announcement that the heel champ will defend his title Hell in a Cell he can better pretend that he is surprised. It can’t be a shock to him or the fans if it’s the next big event. There would be no guarantee that any of these matches are going to even happen in a calendar year and would only be used as blow offs for long term rivalries.
Survivor Series would return to its original format. There would be no more title defenses at the Thanksgiving Day classic. The event will strictly be a team versus team competition where the company can showcase their top tier talent and help introduce and make new stars. Last year Roman Reigns eliminating 4 men to lead his team to victory is an example of how things should happen at Survivor Series.
Taking it to the NXT Level
The NXT brand has be to be one of the best things going on in the WWE. This has to be the closest thing to a classic wrestling that we have from this company. There is a lot of talent down there and the show focuses on in ring action. That being said there are some changes that could really amp things up down in Florida. With this being the developmental territory we could start a challenge series. Any wrestler on the NXT roster can challenge a member on the main roster for their spot. The wrestler gets 2 chances a year and if they fail both times cannot challenge again for another year unless they win the NXT title. They can sacrifice their NXT championship for roster challenge.
Tag Teams will also be governed by the same rules. So if the Ascension wanted to challenge Titus O’Neal and Heath Slater that would happen on NXT. If the team or person from the main roster loses they will now be a part of NXT. The only way back to the big time to challenge the person who beat them or another wrestler on the active team. This will create the simulation of actual competition and bring guys and ladies up to the main roster with a little bit of a push to start. The veterans on the lower card would actually get time to work on their craft and teach what they have learned to the newer guys who has come in. This could also allow wrinkles in the story lines where maybe another wrestler can sabotage someone he or she is feuding with and get them sent back down to developmental.
These are the current ideas that I have to add spice to WWE programming. The next company I will tackle will be TNA. Stay tuned…
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr