It is fair to say that WWE‘s storyline was at it’s lowest between WrestleMania and Extreme Rules this year. Win/loss percentage was an afterthought and rivalries were building upon uninspired storylines. It was getting unbearable to watch the shows without questioning the character’s motives and logic. We are now on road to WWE‘s second-biggest pay-per-view of the year, SummerSlam. Things have started picking up in the new era of Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff, but the effect of the last three lackluster months is visible on the build-up. This is especially noticeable in the company’s main event scene
It doesn’t feel like the SummerSlam season. We have all the marquee matches announced, but it lacks that ‘big event’ feeling. Seth Rollins has made a lot of enemies online since June this year and the challengers for women’s titles lack credibility. The match for which fans are most excited for is Bray Wyatt vs Finn Balor, which is probably the most predictable one on the card. The main event scene is a mess right now. WWE invested far too much money and resources to build up Baron Corbin, Lacey Evans, and Shane McMahon as the top heels of the company and it has come back to bite them.
In Raw, only Brock Lesnar feels like a credible heel at the moment. His drawing power and aura around him separate him from the rest of the roster. But, he is not going to stay in the company forever. What’s next after Lesnar? There are only so many times they can do the same part-time heel storyline every year. They rely heavily on him for selling tickets in all the big events like SummerSlam and WrestleMania. Vince has booked Lesnar to put other guys over in the past, but never cleanly. Roman Reigns beat him after distraction from Braun Strowman in last year’s SummerSlam and Seth Rollins beat him after a low-blow at WrestleMania this year. They did manage to take the title off of the Beast, but it never came across like a huge deal. Vince McMahon has been keeping all its eggs in the same basket for years and now it has backfired. Who is the next worthy opponent to challenge for the Universal Championship in next month’s pay-per-view?
SmackDown is having the same problem. Even though the roster is filled with potential heels, no wrestler deserves a shot at the WWE title at the moment. The situation is so bad that they had to fast track Samoa Joe last month after he lost his United States Championship at Stomping Grounds just so Kofi could have an opponent at Extreme Rules. Wrestlers like Buddy Murphy, Rusev and Andrade are great at what they do, but they have to make way for Shane McMahon’s 20-minutes promo each week because that is what crowd wants, right?
Drew McIntyre had all the momentum in the world last year. He was a probable contender to win the Universal champion in 2019, but all he had done so far is get a role as Shane’s sidekick and lose to Roman Reigns consistently. According to Cagematch his TV & PPV win percentage has dropped from 54% to 35% and he is now as far away from the title as Cedric Alexander. Sami Zayn was the talk of the town when he returned on Raw after WrestleMania because of his promo criticizing the WWE fans, but the management for some reason lost interest in that and now he can’t survive in a match for even a minute. Daniel Bryan is another credible heel but after losing to Kofi in WrestleMania he went to the tag team division. Samoa Joe’s whole run in the main roster has been one sad story. Someone like Shelton Benjamin is an afterthought.
WWE had four simultaneous top babyface champions in Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch, Bayley, and Kofi Kingston till last month. But, they can’t carry the whole division on their own. Every MCU universe needs a Thanos and every Stone Cold needs a Rock to make a good storyline. WWE desperately needs to invest in some good heels to revive their sinking product. They have some top babyfaces at the moment in Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens right now, but it would mean nothing if they will not have worthy challengers. Bray Wyatt’s new character has been a hit among the fans. It is completely different from the usual wrestling gimmicks and is one of the few characters whose graph went upwards this summer. WWE has a golden opportunity to create a fresh main eventer from scratch. Let’s hope it will not get destroyed like Bray’s first gimmick.
In an era rising competition, WWE desperately need bad guys who are not Brock Lesnar and are capable of headlining big shows. Otherwise, it is the beginning of the end.
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