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Thread: The WWE Blueprint: How to fix a broken system

  1. #1

    The WWE Blueprint: How to fix a broken system

    The WWE Blueprint: How to fix a broken system


    I've been wanting to write about WWE for a while. To be honest though I've not had much to say until now. We all know that WWE is broken, so for my first ever column i'm going to detail how we fix it and how to bring the Sports back into Sports Entertainment without losing the Entertainment. It sounds tough, and there are a lot of changes to make but honestly WWE needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.

    1: Rosters

    The brand extension period with 'superstar shakeups' is gone. Instead there is a simple plan for how we move forward with rosters.

    NxT becomes the 'college football' roster where talent is recruited and moulded into what WWE needs them to be. Promo training, touring in smaller venues, everything that has made it great up until now.

    Smackdown contains the Men, Women and Mixed Tag Teams, Cruiserweight, Hardcore and US Titles.
    Raw contains the Women's Division, Men's Heavyweight, Hardcore and Intercontinental Titles.

    Every year after Wrestlemania there is a draft from NXT to either Smackdown or Raw.

    2. Titles

    The main titles should only be defened on PPV and there shouldn't be 2 WWE titles, 2 Tag titles, 2 Women's Titles. This simplified system brings the Hardcore Title back and seperates the big guys from everyone else. You might see guys who are under 250lbs bulking up to go after the Heavyweight Titles.

    The Hardcore Title is open to all - men, women, tag etc and can be defended anytime, anywhere. This brings back the unpredictable element to either show and gives lower/midcard guys the change to shine. No rules, just last man standing.

    WWE Heavyweight Title - 250lbs + - defended on PPV only
    WWE Cruiserwright Title - up to 250lbs - defended on PPV only
    WWE Tag Team Titles - defended on PPV only
    WWE Hardcore Title - defended on anytime, anywhere basis
    WWE US Title - defended every week
    WWE Intercontinental Title - defended every week

    3. Ranking system to determine #1 contenders.

    This is a big one. This will bring the Sports back into Sports Entertainment. On each show there will be matches between the top contenders for each title. They collect points for a win, draw and points deducted for losses. There would be viewer input too - there will be a weekly vote to give points to your favourites to help them climb the rankings. The #1 contender faces the champ at the next PPV. The other way would be winning The Royal Rumble or Money In The Bank. More on PPVs later.

    4. Good old fashioned feuds, but not for titles.

    There would still be your good feuds like before, but if it involves a title holder then the title is not up for grabs. Matches would usually be a gimmick of some kind like street fight or unsanctioned match etc etc.

    5. PPVs

    All titles would be defended at PPVs. In addition, each year there would be the following:

    1. Wrestlemania. Of course.
    2. Royal Rumble. The big one.
    3. Survivor Series. Smackdown v Raw
    4. Hardcore x 2. Every match is a hardcore match where there are no rules, just absolute carnage.
    5. Money In The Bank. Rumble-style matches to win the briefcase for each title.
    6. TLC. Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches for each title.
    8-12. Your standard PPV matches, maybe some new gimmicks.

    6. Creative and Booking

    Vince - hand over the keys to HHH.
    HHH - get guys like Paul Heyman and some retired wrestlers (Big Show, Mark Henry, Undertaker etc) involved in talent scouting and booking. Have one or two writers around but don't depend on a team of them to write the show for you. Allow the system above to handle the heavy work.

    So there you have it guys, my 6-point blueprint on how to fix the broken WWE system. Would love to know your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Junior SirSam's Avatar
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    Hi man, welcome to the CF, good to have you here.

    This is an interesting concept, as anything that discards everything and looks at how you would structure things form the ground up is to me. Personally I wish you had expanded more on each of your points because you have some interesting ones. The biggest thing I'm interested in is why you think the sport needs to be put back into sports entertainment. What makes you think it is gone? Is it an attempt to be more NJPW like? Don't we already have professional sport for that?

    Another thing that really stood out to me was dividing the roster up into Heavyweights & Cruisterweights becuase I think if you are going down the 'sports' road weight classes become an important element. For me 250lbs may be a tad on the larger side to be drawing the line, John Cena & Randy Orton are only billed at 250 & 251 and they are hardly close to cruiserweights. Maybe 220lbs would be a better spot for that.

    You also didn't really give any kind of rationale for your PPV changes. I'm particularly interested as to why you have kept the gimmick specific PPVs as they tend to be on the nose for most fans (at least the ones I talk to).

    More big picture though, my opinion is not that the WWE should be trying to be a 'sport' and that the WWE is at its best when it is embracing the characters and stories it tells. Be it a plucky underdog who rises up, fighting the powers that would try to hold him back and ultimately triumphing, a guy who is sick of his boss constantly screwing him over and wants to put an end to it or a band of brothers that is stabbed in the back by another, only for the betrayer to learn his lesson and try to seek forgiveness. These times when you have three dimensional characters clashing in stories that make sense and escalate in tension are when the product feels most alive and people seem to be most engaged and excited in pro wrestling.

    Anyway, that is my own personal philosophy on pro wrestling and you will find many very intelligent wrestling fans who will not agree with me completely here as well.

    All in all, this was a solid first column, as I said I would have liked to see some more meat on the bones but otherwise thanks for posting and I'm looking forward to seeing more from you.

  3. #3
    Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    From one Scot to another, good evening to you, sir! Good to see a fellow countryman come in and try their hand at the wrestling column game!

    Firstly, your succinct column title immediately grabbed my attention. While I don't agree that absolutely everything in WWE is broken, I accept that some fundamental changes are required to right the numerous wrongs that have wormed their way into the current product. So, with your title, I was interested in reading more.

    I'm not sure how well your reintroduction of the 24/7 Hardcore Title will go down with the rest of the posters in here, but I have to admit, from a pure entertainment aspect, I would be happy with this. In its first incarnation, the 24/7 stipulation allowed for some hilarious and memorable moments that I still look back on fondly. More importantly though, is that it would make decent use of wrestlers who don't get a lot of TV time. Even if it's 90 seconds of airtime, it could leave a lasting impression, especially in the today's era of viral social media. Today, there can be weeks before you see your favourite low-mid carders again, so I would be all for this.

    Wait a minute, I've just spent a large chunk of this feedback championing the idea of bringing back the Hardcore Title! How did that happen?

    With regards to the weight requirements, and the gimmick PPVs, Sir Sam has already touched on this above, and I agree with his points made.

    I would welcome some form of ranking system, however maybe not as whole-scale as your suggestion. Perhaps I would implement something similar to the G1 Climax, where points are accumulated depending on match outcome. From there, those with the most points could challenge for the World Titles on their respective brands, and those with less points could challenge the IC/US Champs. Something along those lines would be interesting, but you have the gist down, and I appreciate the thought you have put into it.

    Overall, apart from the odd typo here and there (which I am a stickler for personally), this was a good outing. The intent of your piece was clear from the outset, you laid it out in an easy to read list form, and although it was shorter than most columns on here, you were straight to the point.

    Looking forward to your next offering. Perhaps you could keep this Blueprint series going, and delve deep into particular aspects of the business that you wish to see improved?

  4. #4
    The Brain
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    Welcome to the CF, Scotty! You packed a lot of fairly radical ideas into a small space here, not sure how I feel about that. I think the issues of WWE are less structural and more about execution, and I do think some of these changes cause more issues than they solve, such as attempting to split wrestlers by a more extreme weight class divider and bringing back titles that were once a novelty but likely would have little value now such as the hardcore title (and bringing it back two times over just seems nuts to me!). The fact is WWE has problems, but are they really broken? If anything, business and fan interest seems to be rising as the company goes through a gradual change. Something as extreme as this would probably turn people off, though it is interesting to think about.

    The first column can be rough but I think you did well insofar as you came in with some well defined thoughts and laid them out succinctly in an interesting way, even if I disagree with many of them. I hope you hang around, I'd be interested to read more from you.

  5. #5
    Hi guys

    Thanks for the feedback everyone, I appreciate it. Clive gave me a great idea of a mini-series expanding the Blueprint thoughts into more detail so think I'll go with that for my next couple of columns.

  6. #6
    Senior Junior SirSam's Avatar
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    Dude, that is a great way to kick things off.

  7. #7
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    I really enjoyed reading your column, especially as I've been wondering about the same problem in the last few months. I agree that separating Raw and Smackdown by division would make for a better experience (especially as the more popular divisions can be put with those that don't always get consistent interest, and the latter can be boosted by the former). I also agree that bringing back a third midcard title could make for an interesting change. Lastly, I definitely agree that the 'shake-up' should end (I much prefer the draft, and I like the idea that the GMs for each show will, at a couple of times each year, compete with each other).

    A couple of things I'd want to ask you about is whether it might be better to have more divisions on Raw (assuming it's going to remain as the longer show) than on Smackdown, and whether WWE would ever be likely to bring back the Hardcore Championship in the PG-era. For my part, I think that the women should be entirely on Raw, as there's a whole extra hour to dedicate to them (women's tag teams could be included), while the men's tag-teams could easily fit on Smackdown, as they don't need more than two or three matches each week, and never for more than about 10 minutes each (at most). As for the third midcard title, I've wondered for a while whether WWE could create an Ironman Championship (assuming they're permitted to use the name) as a PG-era version of the Hardcore Championship. It could be defended two or three times a year, with one PPV being dedicated to it. It would be a great way to boost stars whose in-ring ability makes them deserving of a push, but who - for whatever reason - don't currently fit in with the other title picture plans.

    I definitely agree that there shouldn't be so many titles. It baffles me that the majority of matches on any PPV are title matches (at WM34, 9 out of 14 matches - including pre-show - were for titles, which is over 50% of the entire card), and I can only assume that WWE have looked at NJPW and decided to try and ape them (though I seem to remember WCW, back in their heyday, having quite a few different titles). I would like to see more feuds that aren't for a championship of some kind, and for these feuds to have a place on the PPVs.

    Thanks for your column. I look forward to the next one!

  8. #8
    I actually think that RAW should either fill the show with longer matches or move back to 2 hours.

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