I’m not going to discuss the recent rash of celebrity deaths. That’s been covered already by plenty of other websites. I’m here to discuss the current stack of WWE injuries and what on earth WWE might do in order to cover their asses so their product will still look functional until their A-listers return.
In the past six months, there have seemingly more injuries than there have been in any given year that I can remember. Just going off the top of my head, WWE has lost Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Batista, Matt Hardy, and now Edge, who just recently tore his Achilles tendon during a show in San Diego. Edge had been out for a good portion of last year, and it looks like he may very well miss the rest of the year. Which is a shame considering that he has been THE top heel on Smackdown for years. Add to this the temporary loss of Paul Burchill (death in the family), the possibly permanent loss of Jeff Hardy, and various lingering injuries to the likes of Cody Rhodes and others, and you’ve got a serious reason to worry if you’re WWE.
I know that Creative is trying to cover their losses by making the 15 superstar trade and moving a bunch of new talent from FCW up to ECW, but the truth of the matter is that it’s not going to cover the gaping holes in the lineup. True, Raw got a hell of a lot stronger, talent-wise with the addition of guys like Evan Bourne, but he’s not yet as big of a draw as a Shawn Michaels. Yet. Smackdown’s going to be missing three of its biggest names in Edge, Undertaker, and possibly Jeff Hardy, so who do they get to cover? Matt Hardy and Finlay. Sure, Finlay’s one of the best, but the way he’s been built, he’ll never be a main eventer. He would have been on ECW, but not on Smackdown. And Matt Hardy’s character has been ruined by the stupid heel turn and subsequent burial of his character since he broke his hand and was never allowed to sit on the shelf and let it heal. He’s turned into Bob Orton, only less entertaining (I’m guessing this is true since I’ve never honestly seen any Bob Orton matches). Smackdown is aching for replacement talent, and with the truly big names being gone for a very long time, a lot of the younger guys/mid-carders are going to have to step up their game and show us (and the people in back) why they’re a part of WWE. We all know that guys like Jericho can step up to the top at any time, but we need to make sure that Creative doesn’t blow it like they’ve done so many times in the past. Despite these losses to the Smackdown main event scene, it’s giving some mid-carders a golden opportunity to rise to the occasion and present their cases that they should be in the main event. Guys like John Morrison, Dolph Ziggler, and The Hart Dynasty could profit the most from these injuries, and I hope they take full advantage of the holes at the top of the Smackdown food chain.
The same could be said for Raw. With such huge holes in the main event scene, it’s going to give guys like Evan Bourne, MVP, and even Mark Henry (GASP!) a chance to show their stuff. Especially with Henry’s apparent face turn, which probably shocked just about everybody. I personally was overjoyed when he beat the high holy ever-loving crap out of Randy Orton at the end of Raw this week. It was about the most satisfying beatdown I’ve witnessed in quite some time. And once this whole Orton/HHH nonsense is over with, we can get guys like those mentioned worked into the top of the Raw roster. The only other people I’d like to see pushed, but I know won’t be because of their gimmicks, are Festus and Primo. Festus has been saddled with an extremely limited gimmick and, unless he is repackaged, will never go anywhere higher than comedy skits. And Primo’s got tons of talent, but because he’s been built very weakly as the younger brother of Carlito, he probably won’t get a chance as a singles wrestler ever. And taking the new open spots in the mid-card could be guys like Miz and The Brian Kendrick. Maybe.
ECW has been ravaged by the trade, but hopefully the new talents that were brought up will be able to showcase their talent and become the newest wave of future WWE superstars. Sheamus is your newest monster heel, Naofu…I mean Yoshi Tatsu is your new high flyer (I guess, since all we’ve seen him do is kick Shelton Benjamin in the back of the head), Tyler Reks is your silly surfer gimmick dude who got buried in his first match against the probably-doesn’t-deserve-his-spot Zack Ryder, and Abraham Washington…well, the jury’s still completely out on him. Here’s hoping he gets more and better chances to entertain the audience. And when you’ve got Regal as the gatekeeper for new talent and Christian and Dreamer as your top contenders, at least the new guys will have something to shoot for.
So what does this all mean? It means that the mid-card guys who have paid their dues and worked their asses off for months and years should (and hopefully will) get their shots at the main event. The two most important figures in this being MVP and John Morrison, with Evan Bourne coming in a very close third. These three could be the future of the company if Creative gives them a chance to shine. Morrison’s already proven his worth with a win over CM Punk. It’s only a matter of time before he’s in the World Title hunt. MVP’s been kind of left by the wayside, but with new tag champs very likely to be crowned soon, he may be able to move back into the spotlight on Raw. He was the one man who stood up to Randy Orton the day after Backlash. We need that MVP back, and soon. Otherwise, he may disappear entirely, and that would be a travesty. And Bourne is the most entertaining high-flyer on Raw now, and definitely in the top 3 in the entire company, so a US Title should be in his reach very soon. I’d bet on having a few Bourne/Swagger matches, maybe a couple of Bourne/Kofi matches, and maybe even a Swagger/Henry match or two (which for some reason I would love to see).
The pieces are in place for Creative to fix the fairly broken rosters of the three brands. All they need to do is listen to me and everything will be fine.
What do you think the chances are that someone from WWE Creative is actually reading this? I’d like to think there’s even the tiniest of possibilities that it’s happened at least once, since I know that the comparisons between Dolph Ziggler and Mr. Perfect haven’t shown up anywhere else but here, and no one in any of the wrestling columns I’ve seen has been more adamant about a push for John Morrison, and we know his main event push is right on the horizon. Well, I heard that WWE is looking for new creative writers. Why not consider a small-time wanna-be from California to help them get a fan’s perspective on things? I think it would help the product as a whole.
What do you think, ye of the internet? Do you think it would help WWE to have a fan’s perspective when booking their feuds and programs?