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Anazlying WWE's Plans Moving Forward and Raw Thoughts

Even though it was far from the greatest Summerslam event ever, it was still a big success moving forward. It gave the fans enough content to be satisfied, yet left them wanting more. Ideally, Summerslam should be a culmination of the feuds from post-Wrestlemania to Summerslam’s go-home show. But remember: the business model has changed because of the Network. The PPV was the end of most of the subscriber’s subscriptions. That means Night of Champions is going to be the “A-PPV”, because they want to get those subscribers to renew their account. 

 Most importantly, the show diligently built up three wrestlers for the future. Dean Ambrose came out looking like a crazy phene on a mission; Rusev came out looking like a repulsive and despicable heel; and Lesnar came out looking like an immortal juggernaut.

The main event’s objective of Summerslam was not to be a 5-star classic. Its purpose was to get Brock Lesnar extremely over. Given that he broke Undertaker’s undefeated streak, they needed to make him come off as larger-than-life as possible, in order to capitalize off it. And they did just that. One of the main reasons people were against Lesnar conquering the streak was because he was not a future star - although a future star conquering Lesnar could have just as much significance if it is booked properly.

Now, the question is: who is going to conquer Lesnar? It has been rumored that Vince McMahon wants it to be the Rock, and HHH wants it to be Roman Reigns. Unless Lesnar is going to keep the title until Wrestlemania 32 – or some big show after Wrestlemania 31 – the Rock would not be a good idea, though. Sure, it would grab tons of people’s attention and would probably do an earthshattering buyrate (especially since people can now pay 12.99 to watch the network for a month), but  it is an idea that would only benefit in a short-term perspective. Rock beating Lesnar does nothing for the company from a long-term perspective.

For that reason, Roman Reigns winning the title at WM makes more sense than Rock winning. Nonetheless, he would not be the best choice either as of right now. Granted, he is more talented than a handful of the wrestlers WWE pushed down our throats. He is more talented than Batista was in 2005 and arguably more talented than John Cena was as well. And considering how far Cena and Batista have come since then, it is not that far-fetched to believe he could improve dramatically given more time to find his strengths. Which means he is not even close to being a failed commodity just yet. However, jamming a wrestler down our throats may have worked several years ago, but the more vocal and opinionated crowds nowadays are not going to accept something they do not want to see (i.e, Dave Batista’s main event babyface push this year). That is why they should have Reigns work on his weaknesses and then push him to the moon once he is officially ready.

Even though Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar would put on an unbelievable, possibly five star classic match, it would be a questionable decision for Bryan to be the one to end Lesnar’s reckoning. Bryan is already an established main eventer, receiving his iconic moment in the limelight at Wrestlemania 30.  But does Bryan really need another rub? He seemed to be doing quite well for himself up until his neck injury. Secondly, it is hard to pencil him in for that big spot. It is risky to invest into someone who is coming off a serious injury. That does not mean Lesnar vs. Bryan should never happen, though. It, of course, should happen when the time is right.

WWE would be silly to not to attempt to capitalize on Dean Ambrose. Just like Daniel Bryan last year, his popularity cannot and should not be ignored. He is one of the utmost multilayered and unique personas in WWE’s history. He is awesome in just about every facet. His deliberate, detailed promos are fantastic. His facial expressions, mannerisms, and body language make his intentions and emotions crystal-clear. He is true to his character and develops it well in the ring. His psychology is extremely realistic, and he can deliver in the ring with just about anyone. He really could be a perfect foil for Lesnar. Lesnar loves to dish out pain while Ambrose loves to take pain. Lesnar laughs at pain while Ambrose loves it.  Lesnar is a beast while Ambrose is just flat out crazy and fearless. It would be a great moment if Ambrose ever walked right up to Lesnar, who everyone is now afraid of, and brushed him off as if he was nothing.

The “Cena never puts anyone over” theory has officially been put to rest. He did what was best for business by making the Beast in Carnage look like a billion bucks. This is not going to affect Cena either in the slightest (which is why it can be so irritating when WWE puts someone over a top-tier main eventer in an inadequate manner). Cena is practically bulletproof and thus has enough credibility to overcome this one-sided loss. Sometimes, your opponent is more dominant than you are on a particular day. That does not mar Cena’s dominance for the past near decade at all. I mean, Anderson Silva did not lose his status quo of being the greatest UFC fighter of all time, just because he could not beat Chris Weidman.

If Cena lost to every up-and-comer, or to someone that could use the rub, it would diminish its significance. Besides, someone can still get over from facing Cena even if it is in a losing effort. Bray Wyatt did not get more over, due to how ineffectively he was booked. But, on the other hand, Cesaro looked better than before when he went to-toe-to with him. Cena has become a great measuring stick, to see if someone is ready to be propelled into the main event scene. When CM Punk pinned him, it put Punk on a different level. When Daniel Bryan beat him clean in the middle of the ring, it made people recognize that Bryan was a big deal. And when Lesnar to threw him around as if he was a rag doll and completely dominated him, it made people realize that Lesnar is one dangerous barbarian.

Cena needs to be established as a top gun for it to mean something when he loses. All of those matches where he overcomes the “massive odds” that we laugh at by saying “LOL CENA WINS” sometimes pay off down the road, just like it did last night. His resilience and heroisms are his two strong characteristics – as he can absorb an enormous beating and then make a gallant comeback effort. Which means, Lesnar did something no one has done before: he completely took away Cena’s fortes away from him.

In sum, Lesnar conquered the invincible mythical god and then kryptonited Superman with his bare hands. If booked correctly, they can manufacture a pristine hero from taking down this indestructible bully. 

Some Thoughts On Raw:

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have rejuvenated their feud. Because of the bait-and-switch and the announcement of a Lumberjack match, the feud lost some of its edge. Over the last two nights, though, the feud has become can’t-miss content. In a backstage segment, Ambrose dumped a bucket of ice on Rollins. Rollins sold it well and then Ambrose nonchalantly said, “It is for charity”, then threw the bucket at him, and then proceeded to beat him up. This segment could have easily came off hokey if it was not for the participants being so good in their roles. Ambrose is so cool and natural at everything he does. The segment set up a fabulous main event match that was even better than their Summerslam one. It was a wild, brutal, and vicious brawl – and Ambrose ran around like a train wreck on legs. It was also an effective way to write Ambrose off TV to make his movie, as well as to make his pursuit of giving Rollins his comeuppance even more intrigue. The pay-off has to be at HITC PPV, where Ambrose viciously rips Rollins apart in the barbaric cage.

The WWE needs to come up with something more creative than distraction finishes. They have been overused, and they make those who fall for them look like idiots. Plus, they make no realistic sense. When someone does a run-in, they are supposed to do it without anyone noticing backstage. Why would anyone allow someone to ruin a match by playing his or her entrance music? Also, they need to develop better feuds for the secondary titles. They keep jobbing out their champions on free TV to set up a PPV match. It is clich├ęd and makes the champions look weak. They need to start getting creative in that sense. They have 5 hours of TV a week to come up with some intriguing stories for the midcarders.  There are no excuses of why they are booking it so lazily. 

Rusev feuding with Mark Henry makes perfect sense. To help promote their match, Henry cut one of his best babyface promos of his career. Rusev has a promising career, but he should cut down on the selling. He is doing it a bit too much for a monster heel. That is just a nit-pick, though.

Heyman continues to bring the goods. Due to his timing and delivery on the microphone, he makes everyone hang on every word he says. Now, people are going to have to take his words more seriously. After all, he did not just spew hyperbole by saying Lesnar would beat Taker or that he would give Cena the beating of his lifetime. His character precisely forecasted both of those things. Tonight, he did a fine job putting it in perspective just how momentous The Beast’s walloping on Cena was. He managed to put Cena over by giving him praise for hanging in against Brock and not quitting, and yet was still getting Lesnar over at the same time. He emphasized that Lesnar's beatdown on Cena was no easy task.

Heyman is such a unique heel: He does not exaggerate the facts; he just shoves the facts down the entire audience’s throat. And he brings it to another level from accentuating them in a flamboyant and passionate manner.

Even though Raw was far from perfect, the WWE built momentum heading towards the very important Night of Champions show. They created some new storylines and moved the continuing ones in the right direction. Hopefully, they can keep this momentum going all the way to Wrestlemania 31.  

Comments

  1. "Even though it was far from the greatest Summerslam event ever, it was still a big success from a business standpoint."

    How you possibly know that? Do you have any business data related to Summerslam, a little over 24 hours after it happened? I assumed that you would have shared such information if you did.

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  2. Should have kept reading -

    More importantly from a long-term business perspective, the show diligently built up three wrestlers for the future. Dean Ambrose came out looking like a crazy phene on a mission; Rusev came out looking like a repulsive and despicable heel; and Lesnar came out looking like an immortal juggernaut.

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  3. So it's your opinion of the booking, not a factual statement of "success from a business standpoint"


    Despite the fact that most fans rave about the booking of NWA in 1989 and 1992, business actually tanked in those years.


    Your opinions of storylines are not a statement of business fact.

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  4. How did Rusev come across as "repulsive" and "despicable?"

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  5. So building up three people is not good from business standpoint? Saying a show is a success from a business standpoint doesn't immediately link to buyrates. I think those indy shows are driving you over the cuckoo's nest

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  6. Ya, really. He went over Swagger clean, waved the flag. So REPULSIVE!

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  7. He kicked an old man in the face....

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  8. To be the devil's advocate here, building up new people isn't ALWAYS good from a business perspective because it could turn out that fans aren't willing to pay to see these new people you've built up, no matter how well you do it.

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  9. You're right that Ambrose's popularity shouldn't and couldn't be ignored, but I doubt it will be since their booking of him is a large part of that popularity.

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  10. I cannot disagree with what you're saying. However, I'm not sure if you're confusing it with what I'm saying. For reasons I pointed out in the column, I believe Lesnar, Rusev and Ambrose are good for business.

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  11. Crikey Mate Down Under AussieAugust 18, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    you don't think kicking an old man in the face is a despicable thing to do?

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  12. If not, I need to move where he lives. I'd love to kick me some grandpas in the face!

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  13. I really wonder what happens with Lesnar if he retains against Cena at NOC, because at that point, there is literally nobody on his level that could feasibly main event against him and look credible.


    Hey, look what happens when you spend the past few years making your entire roster look like geeks!

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  14. You could post this in 2055 and still get at least 100 too soons.

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  15. You're opinion. You have no facts to back up your claim that it WAS good for business.

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  16. That's the punch line. They don't have one.

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  17. I see you've changed that statement now, and I'm fine with the new one.

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  18. If it had a finish, it'd be MOTY so far, without question.

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  19. So slight THREADJACK: What's the MOTY so far? Even without an actual finish, is it tonight's Ambrose/Rollins match?

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  20. Does your year start after Wrestlemania?

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  21. Calendar year. I can't think of anything better, except maybe Shield/Evolution from Extreme Rules.

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  22. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryAugust 19, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    That was a great fucking brawl....aside from Kane ruining everything of course. Rollins and Ambrose have crazy awesome chemistry.

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  23. Screwjob at Night of Champions.
    Then BROCK/CENA CELL.

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  24. Oh, please let this mean another title reign for Abeyance!

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  25. I never said it wasn't my opinion. You're starting to become quite ridiculous here.


    Have you ever read a professional review of something? Not particularly wrestling because there aren't really professional writers for it. But something like a movie review? If so, did they write in the review things like "I thought the movie was good, I thought the acting was good, I thought it was a great movie." No, they state their opinions like they're facts. It's something that you learn to do as a writer for your writing to come off more forceful.

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  26. Crazy thought: Have Cesaro beat Dolph for the IC belt at NOC, then Sheamus for the US belt at Hell in the Cell, then have him challenge Brock for big belt at Survivor Series.


    Hell, have him go down to NXT and win there belt, too. He can be on a streak of winning belt. Brock likes to end streaks.

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  27. Bryan/HHH or Bryan/Batista/Orton were both ****+ matches to me.

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  28. Do a DQ. Have Brock get intentionally DQed or something and have Heyman cut a promo about how he did it on purpose to FORCE JOHN CENA INTO THE CELL.

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  29. Wyatt/Bryan, Wyatt vs. Shield, Bryan/ Trips, both Evolution/Shield matches, Cesaro/Cena from pre-WM, and Brock/Cena are all matches I would put ahead of Ambrose/Rollins.

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  30. We can question WWE's philosophies on a number of things - and rightfully so. However, it is hard deny that the past two years have generated a lot of great matches.

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  31. "That's right Al -- you lost!




    And let me tell you what you didn't win: a twenty set volume of the Encyclopedia International, a case of Turtle Wax, and a years supply of Rice-A-Roni, the San Fransisco treat. But that's not all, you also made yourself look like a jerk in front of millions of people. You brought shame and disgrace to your family name for generations to come. You don't get to come back tomorrow. You don't even get a lousy copy of our home game. You're a complete loser!"


    RIP Don

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  32. I'd go with Shield/Evolution at Payback, myself. Mind you, I haven't actually seen the Ambrose/Rollins street fight, so as soon as I do we could have a new champion.

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  33. Star rating wise? Hmm, it's hard to put *that* match into star ratings. My usual benchmark is *** is good, ***1/2 very good **** great and ****1/2 is classic.

    I thought it was a great match. I'd have to watch it again to go higher but I'd consider it ****.

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  34. It's an extra shame about Cesaro now. He would have been perfect for a Lesnar main event had his momentum been kept up. That's the thing. Sure you can rededicate to "reheat" someone but what happens in a case like this where Lesnar needs a challenger and he's on the back burned waiting to be reheated.

    Is it harder to reheat someone or to keep their heat going?

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  35. Anyone think Nattie looked good in that outfit tonight? Dam

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  36. I remember in January... JANUARY!.. when I attended the Royal Rumble and CM Punk was eliminated by, you guess it.. KANE. Guess who was already eliminated from the match? KANE. So he ruined that aspect of the match. We're near September.. SEPTEMBER! and this fucking guy is still interrupting 95% of the important matches (and the majority of main events) since JANUARY! Just...just, FUCK!!

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  37. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryAugust 19, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    *raises hand while raising something else*

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  38. Correction, if it didn't have Kane.. MOTY.

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  39. I disagree that Reigns is more talented than Batista was. Batista was actually charismatic and had a good slow burn to develop his character, and his power moves were believable, looked good and he looked dangerous.

    Reigns... look, he's got plenty of time to develop, but his moves look poor and he just isn't a charismatic guy. I think the split-up of The Shield has hurt him and helped Ambrose and Rollins, which is the opposite of what I thought would happen.

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  40. While I agree Batista was better booked, I cannot agree that he was better than Reigns in the ring or on the microphone. Both were green, yes, but Batista didn't really have a great singles match until later on his title reign - and it's pretty hard to have a bad HITC match in the pre-no blood era.

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  41. Reigns isn't terrible, but he's severely underwhelming.

    But, we'll have to agree to disagree. I think they're going to abort his push to an extent.

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  42. He has shown no signs that he ready to carry the ball, that is for sure.

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