While 2017 hasn’t been a great year for WWE, the good news is that it is coming to an end and the company can once again begin thinking about their favourite part of the year, WrestleMania season, which starts again at The Royal Rumble in January.
There are just three months left of 2017 and to look back on the year, it would seem that there was a lot of disappointment at this year’s Royal Rumble, followed by a less than adequate Fastlane event. Even WrestleMania 33 didn’t have a real big show feel to it this year. The one positive that has come out of this year is the fact that NXT has lost many of its biggest stars to the main roster and has still been able to upstage WWE every time it has been asked.
This could be something for the company to focus on moving forward. Maybe WWE can become more about the wrestling than the entertainment aspect and see if this makes a difference?
Either way, over the next three months, there are likely to be a number of changes to WWE before 2018 begins. If the company is thinking of making big changes, then here are just 15 that could potentially make a huge difference.
15. Shinsuke Nakamura Needs To Become WWE Champion
Jinder Mahal shocked the world when he won the WWE Championship at Backlash a few months ago and has since successfully defended his title against Randy Orton on numerous occasions, but more recently he has set his sights on Shinsuke Nakamura.
There was backstage talk that Vince McMahon didn’t feel Nakamura was ready to be WWE Champion, which is why Mahal defeated him at SummerSlam, but with their rematch coming up at Hell in a Cell in a matter of weeks, there should be no reason why The Era of The Artist can’t begin. Nakamura has been toned down a lot on the main roster; the WWE Universe saw much better things from him in NXT and if the company want their fans to get behind him again, then they should allow him to be fighting at the best of his ability, and give him the championship he so richly deserves.
14. Carmella Needs To Unsuccessfully Cash In Her Briefcase
The Princess of Staten Island has made quite the impression in her first year on the main roster and managed to make history back at Money in the Bank when she became the first woman to win the Money in the Bank contract, but what has she done since then?
It seems that WWE is so preoccupied with telling a story between James Ellsworth and Carmella, that they are losing the opportunity to build Carmella up as a credible threat against someone like Natalya or Charlotte. The truth is that Carmella stands no chance against either woman in a one-on-one match, and since the current Cruiserweight Champion won the title in controversial fashion, it would be a bad idea for Carmella to do the same thing. The best thing she can do is unsuccessfully cash in her case and then continue to climb the ranks the hard way like every other woman on the SmackDown Live roster.
13. Bray Wyatt Needs To Gain Some Credibility
The former leader of The Wyatt Family has been on a downward spiral ever since he lost his WWE Championship to Randy Orton back at WrestleMania. His switch over to Raw hasn’t worked out the way he hoped it would with a number of stop-start rivalries and two straight pay-per-view losses to Finn Balor.
It seems that WWE has opted to continue this feud heading into TLC in a few weeks time, but with Finn being primed to face Brock Lesnar, it is unknown how Wyatt could come out of this looking strong. Wyatt needs to begin a feud against someone like Dean Ambrose from back in 2014 when he was able to look strong throughout. He needs to be given the push he deserves. Bray has a lot of untapped potential, and it seems that WWE is allowing this to be wasted in needless and sometimes uninteresting feuds.
12. Breezango Should Be Given A Chance On SmackDown Live
It could be argued that over the past few months, Tyler Breeze and Fandango have been one of the most entertaining things about SmackDown Live. It seems that WWE has decided to focus on how entertaining the duo actually are, rather than their talents inside the ring.
Tyler Breeze was in NXT for a number of years before he was finally given his push towards the main roster, and he was a popular star with the WWE Universe, while Fandango was once a complete phenomenon. Just because the duo has fallen down the ranks over the past year doesn’t mean that they are no longer seen as the wrestlers that they once were by the WWE Universe. The company needs to equalize on their current popularity and allow them to be a credible part of the Tag Team Championship picture again.
11. John Cena Should Be Kept Off WWE TV
It is highly likely that this was WWE’s plan going into No Mercy anyway, since John Cena has now left the company for an undisclosed amount of time so that he can begin filming his parts in the new Transformers movie.
The way Cena put Roman Reigns over at both No Mercy and later on Raw Talk after the show makes it seem as though he will be gone for a while and Reigns will now go on to take the torch he has been given and set WWE alight. Cena has no reason to return, unless the long-awaited match with The Undertaker is finally put back on the cards and scheduled to happen at Survivor Series. There is no reason why Cena can’t stay away from WWE now until the build-up to WrestleMania, where he could once again have a standout match against another star who needs the rub of beating someone like Cena to kickstart their career.
10. Natalya And Charlotte Should Have A Lengthy Feud
Charlotte Flair made her return to WWE after a few weeks away and managed to easily pick up where she left off. WWE has done a great job of keeping her out of the title picture up until now, but it seems as though it is finally Charlotte’s time to take the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Of course, the WWE Universe has seen this feud before in reverse, when Charlotte was the heel Divas Champion back in 2016 and Natalya had the odds stacked against her, but now it seems that the playing field is finally level and the two best technical female wrestlers in WWE right now will be able to tear each other apart at Hell in a Cell. There is no doubt that these two women will steal the show, much like they have with every other match they have had against each other, so why not capitalize on their talent and stretch their feud out over a few pay-per-view events?
9. Enzo Amore’s Reign Should Spotlight Talent In 205 Live
Enzo Amore’s Cruiserweight Championship win at No Mercy on Sunday night was the biggest shock of the night, as he picked up his first piece of Championship gold in WWE in less than convincing circumstances.
The following night on Raw, it was the Cruiserweights of 205 Live who were all able to be part of the main event of WWE’s flagship show for the very first time, which proves that Enzo’s addition to the roster has done at least one decent thing for the show, even though he isn’t exactly popular with the WWE Universe right now. There has been a lot of talent overlooked on the show during Neville’s lengthy reign as Champion over the past few months, so WWE should use Enzo’s reign to spotlight some of these under-appreciated talents and allow them to step up to the much easier challenge against Enzo in the coming weeks.
8. UK Superstars Should Be Used More On WWE TV
WWE’s first-ever United Kingdom Championship Tournament took place back in January, and whilst the competitors all played their part in WrestleMania Axxess and a select few have recently been given the opportunity to perform on NXT, it doesn’t seem as though WWE has done anything with the stars they have signed following the event.
There was speculation that WWE was hoping to start a weekly UK Championship show on the WWE Network, but it seems that this idea has now been scrapped. Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne absolutely stole the show in Chicago a few months ago, managing to blow every other match out of the water. When WWE knows they have potential like this on their NXT roster and they are not using it, it does come as quite a shock. It would by just as easy to add these stars to the main roster as the NXT ones, but perhaps this is a plan for the next few months?
7. Dean Ambrose And Seth Rollins Should Have A Lengthy Championship Reign
The Raw Tag Team Championship picture has been pretty incredible over the past few months, with The Hardys returning at WrestleMania back in April to claim the titles from The Club before they then lost them to Cesaro and Sheamus, who have recently dropped them to the reunited former Shield teammates Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
Raw also has the likes of Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, and The Revival waiting in the wings for a shot at the new Champions, but given the fact that both Ambrose and Rollins are former World Champions and two of the most popular superstars in the company, there should be no reason why WWE would want them to drop the titles anytime soon. A lengthy title reign could be exactly what the duo need so that the WWE Universe can finally believe that they have managed to put the past behind them.
6. Roman Reigns Needs A Strong Push For The Last Few Months Of The Year
There have been quiet rumblings in the darkest corners of the internet over the past few months that have all pointed to the fact that Roman Reigns will finally be the man to defeat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34, three years after Seth Rollins interfered in their original match.
Many of the WWE Universe refused to believe that this was the route WWE would take, but since Lesnar has gone through every other credible threat to this title and Roman is currently the strongest star on the roster after retiring The Undertaker and forcing the respect out of Cena a few days ago, it seems likely that this is the way WWE is going to play it. Roman could become a Grand Slam Champion if he defeats Mix for his Intercontinental Championship in the coming months, which would be the perfect setup for him to then be thrown into a deeply personal and long overdue feud with The Beast.
5. Shane McMahon Should Be Fired As SmackDown Commissioner
Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens have been among the most interesting parts of SmackDown Live in the build-up to Hell in a Cell, as the duo look set to tear each other apart inside the deadly structure, but what happens when there is a winner at the end of the match?
It seems highly unlikely that Owens and McMahon will shake hands and move on like Styles and McMahon after their match at WrestleMania back in April, and since Owens has only recently moved from Raw to SmackDown Live, it makes more sense if Shane is the one to depart. It would add much more intrigue to the match if both men’s careers were on the line and then SmackDown could bring in a new commissioner and welcome a new era for the blue brand. WWE has been stuck in the same ways for the past year; it’s time for a change, and this could be the start of it.
4. NXT Matches Should Be Added To The Main Shows
It has been a hot topic for discussion in recent years that WWE should add a NXT ladder match to the Money in the Bank event so that they can showcase many talents who wouldn’t be seen by the WWE Universe until they were finally called up. NXT stars have shown time and time again that they can pick up the pace if needed, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t be made part of Survivor Series this year.
NXT is the night before the event once again in Houston, which means if WWE wanted to do an invasion angle of sorts, or even call up a few stars at the tail end of the year, then all of their talent would already be in the right city and fully prepared for it. WWE needs to use Triple H‘s brain much more. Perhaps then he can show them how to emulate what he has done with NXT over on the main roster.
3. The SmackDown Tag Team Scene Needs A Huge Boost
The Raw Tag Team Championships are now definitely in safe hands whilst SmackDown’s titles seem to have become the hot potato of the brand. The New Day and The Usos have been fighting over the titles for so long now that it is hard to think of a time when another team was actually in the title picture or held the Championships.
SmackDown once had such pedigree when it came to their Tag Team Division, but after losing the likes of The Vaudevillians, American Alpha, Heath Slater and Rhyno and The Wyatt Family, it seems that this is what it has become. Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable could step up and be the next contenders, but a fresh injection is what is really needed. If WWE is not ready to gamble on Breezango, then it seems that The Authors of Pain should be given their chance on the main roster.
2. Undertaker’s Future Needs To Be Confirmed
The Undertaker walked out of WrestleMania 33 following his defeat to Roman Reigns and left his attire in the ring behind him. It was thought that this was his sign that he wasn’t coming back. He literally left it all in the ring that day and hasn’t been seen on WWE TV since.
When superstars usually retire in WWE, they are given something of a farewell and because WWE hasn’t actually properly acknowledged the fact that Undertaker has retired, it means that many fans are still clutching onto the hope that he will return one day. Survivor Series would have made sense, since it would be 27 years since his debut and it would be a fairytale ending, but since Undertaker recently underwent hip surgery, his future is still up in the air. It would be nice for the WWE Universe to be told once and for all whether or not The Deadman had hung up his wrestling boots for good.
1. Brock Lesnar Needs To Return at Survivor Series
Brock Lesnar has gone through all the competition he has been handed since WrestleMania and it seems that Roman Reigns is the only real challenger he has left. That being said, it seems wrong to have no Universal Champion on the brand now for the next few months, after Brock seemingly walked away from WWE for a while, following his win over Braun Strowman on Sunday night.
If Balor finishes up his feud with Bray Wyatt at TLC, then there should be no reason why the duo can’t have a match at Survivor Series. Even if Balor loses, he would have finally had the one-on-one rematch for the title he never lost. Lesnar is a box office draw and WWE are aware of that, which is why they don’t use him all the time on every show. It just seems wrong to allow him to go missing for the rest of the year, whilst the rest of the Raw brand fight it out on a weekly basis, just to have a shot at the Championship that he rarely defends.
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