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Good Will Wrestling: Fixing the WWE Part One

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Will is joined by Dylan Hales (Wrestling Culture) to help WWE assess its current roster. We run down the wrestlers from Adam Rose to Zach Ryder. Who needs to turn face or heel? Who needs to be repackaged? Who should be given their pink slip? We throw in some fantasy booking, honest critiques and some laughs along the way. Later this week, we’ll be back with another panel to discuss more problems facing WWE and how they can fix it. Enjoy!

 

http://placetobenation.com/good-will-wrestling-fixing-the-wwe-part-one/

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This was such a good show, so many good podcasts in the past couple weeks. Will's line about saving careers was incredible. I had some things to add for a few guys:

 

LOVE the Zeb Colter/Rowan and Harper good old boys idea!

 

This will never happen, but the Adam Rose gimmick needs an adult edge to it. I wanna see Rose doing lines off of strippers with Tommy Rich. I wanna see Ricky Morton passed out on the bus and Rose waking him up to rock and roll all night and party every day. Like a feel good movie where they show the 80's guys are still cool and can hang with the young crowd, and maybe teach them a thing or two.

 

I think if Del Rio is sticking around, he needs to shed all aspects of his character. I would love to see him as a Mexican Ken Shamrock, maybe he loses all his money and has to go back to his roots or something. Kind of like what they did with Wade Barrett a couple years ago. Keep him as far away from Cena, Sheamus and those guys as possible, they're death to midcard acts. Let him tap out all of the midcarders for a few months.

 

Dylan is spot on with Christian, I've been watching a lot of his older stuff and he was always great. There were so many missed oportunities with him over the years. At this stage in his life and with all of his injuries, he needs to be in a backstage role or doing color somewhere.

 

I actually disagree on Fandango. I think he does a lot of little things with his character that people don't notice. He's great at being a creepy womanizing scumbag. He's so low he broke up with his girlfriend on Twitter! I like the ifea of him going through an assembly line of Divas. The guy has women on his mind at all times, nothing else matters. I like how his fueds primarily involve women over other wrestlers. He's a modern day USWA Chris Adams mixed with one of the guys Patty and Selma would try to hook Marge up with on the Sinpsons.

 

Can't wait for part two!

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I totally disagree on turning Cena heel. He only gets booed on TV while getting cheered on house shows, and the reason he gets booed on TV is because people want to be part of the show. Yes, there are people who genuinely hate him, but I agree with the WWE line that these are the people that are never going to stop watching no matter what, so why cater to them? A Cena heel turn has the potential to cost them tons of merchandise money and turn off children completely. I don't see the reward in it. Will, you said it wouldn't matter if Cena turned heel and was cheered. Why not? Isn't that the same problem in reverse, only now you've taken all the things about Cena that bring in a profit for WWE and taken those away. I think Cena should retire in his current role. What huge, dome-show sized matches are suddenly on the table because of a Cena heel turn? I say that not because I think there are any options like that for him now, but I don't see any benefit - at all - to turning Cena, other than it would make hardcore fans feel good, which is not what a heel turn is supposed to do.

 

Still listening to the rest.

 

EDIT: On second thought, I would support a Cena heel turn, but only if there were 2-3 new guys (or even one guy) who were every bit as over as him. I don't just mean in terms of getting cheered by a live audience either. I mean someone popular with women and children with tons of merchandise that people buy. They still haven't built up anyone else enough to where I think it's a viable option, especially when we don't know yet if Roman Reigns is going to work out. The time to turn Cena was when Rey and Jeff Hardy were around.

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I agree with what was said about Miz by Dylan.

 

I agree with turning Sheamus heel, but I also think his biggest problem is that he rarely gets promo time to explain what his motivations are. The company sees Sheamus at a certain level internally - supposedly - but he doesn't get TV time consistent with that.

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The problem with Alberto Del Rio is that I've never seen him get any type of crowd reaction that was consistent with his level of push. He's a good worker, but for whatever reason, I don't think the people have ever really bought him as a star. His matches always seem heatless, even if they are technically fine.

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I totally disagree on turning Cena heel. He only gets booed on TV while getting cheered on house shows, and the reason he gets booed on TV is because people want to be part of the show. Yes, there are people who genuinely hate him, but I agree with the WWE line that these are the people that are never going to stop watching no matter what, so why cater to them? A Cena heel turn has the potential to cost them tons of merchandise money and turn off children completely. I don't see the reward in it. Will, you said it wouldn't matter if Cena turned heel and was cheered. Why not? Isn't that the same problem in reverse, only now you've taken all the things about Cena that bring in a profit for WWE and taken those away. I think Cena should retire in his current role. What huge, dome-show sized matches are suddenly on the table because of a Cena heel turn? I say that not because I think there are any options like that for him now, but I don't see any benefit - at all - to turning Cena, other than it would make hardcore fans feel good, which is not what a heel turn is supposed to do.

 

Still listening to the rest.

 

EDIT: On second thought, I would support a Cena heel turn, but only if there were 2-3 new guys (or even one guy) who were every bit as over as him. I don't just mean in terms of getting cheered by a live audience either. I mean someone popular with women and children with tons of merchandise that people buy. They still haven't built up anyone else enough to where I think it's a viable option, especially when we don't know yet if Roman Reigns is going to work out. The time to turn Cena was when Rey and Jeff Hardy were around.

 

Cena gets a reaction every time he comes out, which is more than can be said about most of the other guys on the roster. I wonder if the reason they're hesitant to turn him isn't because of merchandise or losing the children, but because they're worried if it flops, then they've lost the one guy on the roster who always generates a live reaction, even if it's an odd reaction of boos, cheers, pro-Cena chants and anti-Cena chants. Bottom line, people are reacting.

 

Honestly, I don't think it would matter much if he turns. He'd still get mostly the mixed reaction he gets now and he'd still mostly wrestle guys he's already wrestled before.

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Going to listen to some of this now. I kind of like the "comprehensive look at the roster" way of getting at things.

 

It reminds me how much i loved these magazines as a kid:

 

 

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They are absolutely building to Cena getting the first win over Rusev and waving the American flag. I would be surprised if that's not the planned end game.

 

If he were able to clear medicals I could totally see them using a big Angle return for Rusev's first loss.

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I'm sure WWE would be willing to rehire Angle in a company ambassador role and occasional TV character, but not as a wrestler. Angle clearing his medicals is a big if, anyway, especially if the stories are true that he failed a UFC physical several years ago.

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I don't think Cena has to turn heel, but I do think the "safe" booking that he represents is something that makes it absolutely impossible for the product to grow. As long as he is the top guy things will be exactly as they are, or worse. I see zero hope in things getting better with him as the tip top babyface.

 

On the Ryback/Rusev idea, I have developed it much more. Here is what I would do.

 

This week on Raw Rusev puts down Jack Swagger in short order. Next week on Raw he's in the ring and Lana is doing her thing, when Mark Henry's music hits. We get the face off, maybe some physical stuff. This is your Summerslam program for Rusev, and you play up Henry as a former Olympian, with Lana talking about how he failed his country then and he will fail them now. At Summerslam Rusev beats Henry clean there in a ten minute match. Post-match Henry turns heel (possibly attacking the ref, or even someone sent in to interview him after the match) and goes on to work with Xavier Woods led stable.

 

The Raw after Summerslam you have Rusev come out and Lana says they have proven their superiority over the U.S. but now it's time to set it in stone. She says they are setting their site on the U.S. title and they are going to bring it home and lay it at the feet of Vladimir Putin. Sheamus comes out and you have a brawl. This sets up the Night of Champions match. On that show Rusev becomes the first guy in forever to kick out of the brogue, which they have spent months heavily protecting. Post-match Sheamus blows off an interview and the next night on Raw he too turns heel.

 

Fast forward to Raw the week after NoC (8 days later). Rusev is out with the belt and he's got a Russian flag on the plate of the title. They announce that they are going to declare the title the Russian Heavyweight Title and bring it back to the motherland. Ideally you do this with a video package showing the history of the title and Lana laughing about how that lineage will be effectively dead. Rusev is about to leave when John Cena's music hits. Cena at this point will be coming off the loss to Lesnar (possibly two ppvs in a row), but of course he's still Cena and he's not going to let them walk out with the belt that has that much history. Lana manages to keep Rusev from getting physical but they set up a match for the next ppv between the two with Cena aiming to bring the U.S. title back home. There are plenty of things they can do in the weeks leading to that but that's not important to me. The key is at the ppv you deliver all the signals that Cena is winning. I would keep Rusev from ever getting locked in the STF and would book the finish this way. Cena hits the STF once, but doesn't cover him right away. Instead he sort of looks around, does the Cena weird facial expression thing, than after about thirty seconds he hits a second one. He goes for the cover and Rusev kicks out at one, with a huge powerhouse kickout. Cena is completely shocked and looks at the official, turns right around into the big Rusev kick, gets locked in the Camel Clutch and passes out with Rusev winning. Cena does the full stretcher job and is not on t.v. the next night.

 

At the next nights Raw Lana and Rusev come out with the Russian Heavyweight Title. They announce that they have beaten everyone from "We The People," to American Olympians, to Irish immigrants, all the way to the ultimate here John Cena. Lana says they are leaving that night for Russia where they will take an extended tour around the country with the belt, which will only be defended on Russian soil going forward. Lana says they have no doubt in their superiority, so they are putting forward one last open challenge to anyone in the back who wants to be Rusev's last victim on American soil. There is a referee at the ready with them and several seconds go by with nothing. Lana goes to lift the mic to her mouth when you hear "Feed. Me. More!" over the P.A. Ryback hits the ring as Lana quickly jumps to the floor. Rusev tries to ambush him but gets hit with the meathook clothesline and then the shellshock and is pinned in about fifteen second.

 

This accomplishes several things

 

1. It gets both Henry and Sheamus into the heel column and does so as the result of a loss, which is something I like in my heel turns.

2. It gets the U.S. title over as a meaningful belt.

3. It gets Cena off t.v. for a while and you can toy with the idea of Cena turning heel because Rusev's previous two victims had gone down that path. He doesn't even have to go heel, but that tease would build big interest in him that is lacking right now.

4. It gets Rusev over on another level and the loss doesn't really hurt him because A. look at what he had already done and B. he wasn't ready!

5. It gets Ryback back over as a main event player/major star.

6. It sets up a potential money rematch between two guys who are still fresh as main event players

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If WWE creative put even half the effort into an actual simple storyline such as the one you've created, the product would be hitting on all cylinders. Everyone in your proposed idea comes out fresh and better for it. The wins mean something and get this, the losses actually mean something. It would kick start fresh main event players and contenders and as evident by Swagger getting massive face pops against Rusev it would make Ryback a star. A star that he actually already should be but isn't portrayed as such. I could definitely see a air brushed American flag singlet in Ryback's future, love it!

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I think Christian should probably be an announcer. He's got a pretty quick wit and understands how to put a match together as well as anyone.

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Why can't guys like Christian and Regal work house shows where they have more time and can be teachers? They may be done on TV, but they can still work long matches on weekend house shows off camera and help some of the newer guys gain experience and improve.

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Why can't guys like Christian and Regal work house shows where they have more time and can be teachers? They may be done on TV, but they can still work long matches on weekend house shows off camera and help some of the newer guys gain experience and improve.

 

House shows or NXT... that would be acceptable. Maybe an SD Jones jobber role on house shows would be good for Christian. For Regla, he should be world champ. Just saying.

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Just curious.... what do you disagree with? Some examples?

 

I think Triple H is actually been pretty great during this current heel run and if we're going to have a "person in charge of the show", Triple H is probably the best reasonable qualified guy out there that would actually be chosen by WWE Creative. Obviously, you guys were working within a perfect world on that, but realistically, a McMahon or McMahon-aligned character is going to have lots of TV time, and of that entire group, Triple H and Stephanie are the best.

 

In a purely business way, Brock may not make as much sense now (even though his contract may be different now than his original one), but on a storyline level, a full-time Brock also doesn't work. I don't need to see Brock in a random six-man on RAW every week or in a four-minute match with Curtis Axel. Now, does he have much use beyond winning the title at Summerslam and then dropping it to somebody at Wrestlemania? Probably not. Unless he takes way less money or works more dates for the same amount of money.

 

With Cena, I just think a heel turn won't work long-term (you'd just get a reversal in reactions and those reactions would be less intense on both sides), and also, business-wise, they don't have a #1 guy to replace him. When Hogan turned, there was at least the idea that hey, there's Randy Savage, Sting, Ric Flair, and Lex Luger to make up for him turning to the dark side. Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, and whoever the #3 face would be (Dean Ambrose? Sheamus?) simply aren't strong enough to make up for that. Which is WWE Creative's fault, but you don't fix your broken windows by setting fire to your working water tank.

 

I'm also not as high on Ryback as you guys both are. I don't think he's bad or anything like that, but I don't think he has much of a sustained main event run in him (I think the HiaC buyrate was largely built on the concept of 'jacked up undefeated guy vs. weasel-y guy with long title reign - not Ryback vs. CM Punk the wrestlers). Once he lost the undefeated streak, any draw he had was pretty much gone, then he got booked into oblivion. Honestly, I think Titus has way more upside than Ryback in the long run.

 

Finally, this is more disagreeing with Dylan than you, but I think Seth's a good heel and Stardust works, even if I'd actually like to see a Dust Brothers match sometime, along with the wacky promos. This probably looks like a lot, but I agreed on your basic ideas probably 3/4 of the time. I mean, beyond obviously, Kane should be pushe - OK, I couldn't finish that sentence.

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