When you have a product that never takes a week off from television, you’re going to have some peaks and you’re going to have some valleys just from the sheer amount of content the creative team for the WWE has to write on any given week between Raw, Smackdown, pay per views, and more. While we are critical of their job at times, it is definitely a tough job to make a passionate fan base happy.
2015 was mostly a disappointment for WWE fans as the year started off with a disappointing ending in the first pay per view of the year at the Royal Rumble. This would reflect in the ratings for Monday Night Raw as by the fall of 2015, the viewership would hit an all-time low ever since the show went to three hours long.
When you have as much content on a weekly basis as the WWE does, you are bound to have peaks and valleys throughout the year. While there were a lot of great moments in 2015, it was a down year overall, but with the recent events of the last pay per view and Raw at the time of this publication, there is some mild hope that the product is finally turning around.
This article covers 10 things that the WWE did completely wrong in 2015. It includes an array of subjects such as creative booking and writing to a major debut to crappy special effects to conflicting reports of a superstar’s health.
10. Scripting Roman Reigns’ Promos
It is to nobody’s surprise that Roman Reigns is Vince McMahon‘s golden boy to succeed John Cena when he retires from full-time competition. Reigns had an uphill climb after the WWE Universe’s disapproval of his Royal Rumble win.
Ever since the days of The Shield, it was no secret that cutting promos was not Reigns’ strong suit, especially if it is a long and scripted promo. It makes Reigns come off as unbelievably fake, but it was early in the year when he was in the ring with Seth Rollins and used the line “sufferin’ succotash” that made the WWE Universe collectively do a face palm.
Many sources stated that Vince McMahon was specifically writing Reigns’ promos and that just further went to show how out of touch Vince is with the fan base of the WWE.
9. Eliminations Of Bryan & Wyatt At The Rumble
It’s hard to fathom that after Batista won the match last year to a chorus of boos that the WWE would get it wrong again this year.
Bray Wyatt was the 5th entrant into the Royal Rumble, and immediately made an impact with five straight eliminations. He would quickly become the favorite to win the Rumble with as many people as he was taking out, but after being in the match the longest at over 47 minutes, he was taken out of the match with no drama by Big Show and Kane.
Daniel Bryan had made his entrance in the Rumble after being out of action for about 9 months. Many expected he made his return to win the Rumble, but no. He was tossed over the top rope and knocked off the apron with no struggle as well. The pay per view went downhill from there.
8. While Cena Elevated The US Title, The IC Belt Was Meaningless
At WrestleMania 31 this year, the secondary titles got the shot in the arm that they needed when two former world champions in Daniel Bryan and John Cena would win the titles. Until this point, the importance of these titles had been on a constant decline for years.
John Cena would start doing U.S. Open Challenges on Raw where anyone in the back would come out to challenge John for the belt. This led to some great matches and some memorable NXT call-ups with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
Unfortunately for the Intercontinental Championship, Daniel Bryan got hurt and it was an afterthought for almost all of the year with meaningless reigns by the likes of Wade Barrett and Ryback. Hopefully with Dean Ambrose recently winning the belt, it can regain it’s prestige.
7. Giving Bray Wyatt Supernatural Powers
One of the great moments of 2015 was the reuniting of The Brothers Of Destruction as the Undertaker and Kane would feud with The Wyatt Family in the fall of 2015. Throughout the Undertaker’s career, he was known to have supernatural powers that would actually be fitting of his character and make sense.
When the Wyatts “abducted” Undertaker and Kane over two separate nights, Bray Wyatt claimed he had taken the souls of the Brothers Of Destruction and now possessed their powers. What we would get within this promo was some terrible special effects both visually and audibly. It looked like the WWE stole the thunder and lightning effects from the 1980’s cartoon Masters Of The Universe.
6. Reigns V Ambrose Tournament Finals Given Less Than 10 Minutes
One of the biggest blows to the WWE this year was the knee injury that was suffered by Seth Rollins in Ireland back in November. Roman Reigns was the number 1 contender and was scheduled to face Rollins at Survivor Series. Instead, there was a 16-man tournament to determine the next WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
The finals would be a dream match that pit former Shield members in Reigns v. Dean Ambrose. We expected an epic end to a massive tournament to crown who is the best in the WWE. Instead we got a mediocre and rushed 10-minute match that was not well booked, and then ended with Sheamus cashing in his Money In The Bank Briefcase; which leads to…
5. Sheamus Winning The Money In The Bank Briefcase
One of the most exciting matches that the WWE has is the Money In The Bank ladder match that debuted in 2005 at WrestleMania 21. Now it has evolved into its own pay per view and this year’s match featured Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Neville, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns.
You had your heavy hitters in Roman Reigns and Randy Orton that were favorites, but a lot of people wanted Kofi Kingston to win since The New Day was really gaining traction at this point as a great faction. Unfortunately the WWE chose Sheamus to win the briefcase even though he was booked poorly before.
He cashed in at Survivor Series during Roman Reigns’ celebration, but his title reign only lasted 22 days as Roman took it back at Tables Ladders & Chairs.
4. The Diva’s Revolution Was Anything But
The Divas on Monday Night Raw were treated as basically an afterthought, and it came to a head in February this year when there was a match that lasted a whopping 30 seconds. That got the #GiveDivasAChance hashtag trending.
In July, the Diva’s Champion at the time, Nikki Bella, would claim that there was no competition for her. That led to Stephanie McMahon introducing Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Sasha Banks to the main roster kicking off the Diva’s Revolution.
While there were longer matches and more of them, the term revolution really doesn’t fit as the match quality and stories compared to what is still going on in NXT pales in comparison. It all comes down to the writing, and even with the new ladies on the roster, it isn’t creative.
3. Sting Losing His Debut At WrestleMania
Ever since Vince McMahon bought the WWE in 2001, millions of fans had been clamoring for the debut of one of the greatest wrestlers in all time in Sting. He was the number 1 wrestler to never compete in a WWE ring for the longest time until he finally made his debut at Survivor Series in 2014 to help Team Cena beat The Authority.
Those actions led to a WrestleMania match this year which pit Sting against Triple H. The match itself was great, and obviously the atmosphere in Levi’s Stadium was electric for Sting’s debut. There was even a nostalgic run-in with Degeneration X and the nWo, but in the end Sting took the loss because Vince has to always have the upper hand even though that war ended 14 years ago.
2. Roman Reigns Winning The Royal Rumble
You would think that after the the displeasure of Batista winning the Rumble in 2014, which led to writing Daniel Bryan into the main event picture in the following WrestleMania, they would learn from their mistakes at the 2015 Royal Rumble.
As mentioned in the beginning of this list, the writing seemed to be on the wall with unceremonious eliminations of Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt. The final four in the match was Big Show, Kane, Roman Reigns, and Rusev.
As we know, Roman Reigns was the winner of the Rumble and even sending the Rock out to raise his hand couldn’t stop the chorus of boos. This wasn’t the right time for Reigns as he was shoved down our throats too fast, too soon.
1. Keeping Daniel Bryan From Wrestling
For Daniel Bryan and his fans, the past couple of years have been frustrating. Thankfully he had his WrestleMania moment in New Orleans in 2014 capturing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. There was another WrestleMania moment for Bryan as he captured the Intercontinental Championship this year as well.
Unfortunately after WrestleMania, we have barely seen Bryan. He has had some problems with concussions that have kept him out of the ring for the majority of the year. What is frustrating is the fact that Bryan has been cleared by an independent doctor, but the WWE doctors have not given him the green light.
Hopefully they are just saving Bryan for this upcoming WrestleMania season, but he has come out and said he’s not done wrestling, it’s just a matter of where. The WWE needs to wake up and get him in a roster that has been decimated with injuries lately.