This weekend WWE will present their second biggest event Summerslam, only behind Wrestlemania in terms of promotion, extravagance and the culmination of storylines. It’s also seen as the next reset of storylines to lead into next years Wrestlemania. There’s even rumors that there could be another superstar shakeup sometime after Summerslam.
This is good news as often times WWE can get quite stale really fast. There’s only so many times you can see the same wrestlers lock up and the same ideas rehashed with maybe a slight variation. Also missing is a fresh presentation of their respective shows. I’d like to offer three things I think could help the product freshen up.
First I think WWE should bring back inset promos on a consistent basis. It’s a small change that they’ve done from time from time mainly on Smackdown but I think could be more. One of the biggest knocks on today's roster no matter how talented they are is that a lot of the roster just doesn't connect with the audience. Not entirely all of the rosters fault as there's only so much tv time between Raw and Smackdown to share. Guys and gals like Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Cedric Alexander, Emma, Chad Gable, and more could benefit from this. A lot of the wrestlers are very athletic and talented but they have no personality that draws people to them. On the flip side if they have a little charisma and personality but not enough time to attract people, the small 30-45 second inset promos will allow them to gain a personality and confidence in cutting a promo, while in a controlled pre taped environment and hopefully becoming more connected to the audience in the process.
Next up I believe this will really help a good deal of wrestlers out is if they bring the managerial role back. Lana did very well in her act with Rusev before she decided to become a wrestler. They have Titus O’Neil being a hybrid manager/ wrestler role but he himself is not that great of a talker. I’m talking about the Jimmy Hart, Bobby Heenan, Captain Lou, Paul Bearers of the world. Someone who has just enough personality of their own and can talk on a microphone but won't steal the spotlight away from the wrestler their working with. Managers became a lost art when attractive valets became the norm, and hey T and A sells but managers can also sell. As Paul Heyman showed this past Monday he is one of the best of the game, and when you have a manager who add’s to your act and can hype a match up and sell it bigger than it already is…..it can greatly add to the wrestlers appeal.
Lastly The era of unpredictability really needs to make a comeback. During the Monday Night Wars on Raw and Nitro you just never knew what was going to happen to change the landscape. I’m not saying return to those times as the Attitude era was a product of its time and was a great time, however times have changed. Those shows kept you engaged and wanting more by switching things up within a blink of a eye. WWE had what I think was a golden opportunity to bring the feel of unpredictability back this past Tuesday. Baron Corbin cashed in his money in the bank and looked like a dumbass afterwards when he lost the match. Had he won..it would have made Summerslam a little more interesting. Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura wouldn't be for the title any longer, and John Cena vs Baron Corbin stakes would be higher. At the last minute after some protest from Jinder and Shinsuke the two matches could've been combined into a Fatal Fourway for the title. With anyone but Cena winning, it would present a new champion/challenger dynamic and show people things can change at anytime. With all the entertainment options grasping for people's attention, doing something like this would have people thinking it’s must see tv and they have to watch it live.
These are just a few ideas I feel would help WWE keep their product interesting, I think the same applies for Ring of Honor and TNA/GFW as well. I know there's a lot more variables involved and times and people have changed. I'm a guy who loves wrestling and thinks if you look back at small details of the past it can help improve and freshen up the current and future product. All the while improving the overall product.