Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Perfect Storm Creating WWE's Lack of Depth in 2014

 Everyone would readily admit the WWE is lacking depth at the time. This is in direct contrast to this belief that the WWE has perhaps their best crop of talent for the future in years. The WWE to their credit is not pressing the panic button and rushing people to the main stage. In reality, the WWE is kind of paying for their lack of protecting their mid-card talent. Guys like Dolph Ziggler, Csearo and others have been mismanaged to the point we can’t take them seriously as top talent. Which when all is going well is not a huge issue. When injures as those to Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns happen it becomes an issue.

Dean Ambrose as we noted on this past Raw has taken it as his opportunity. He is afforded that opportunity because all of the former members of The Shield have been protected fairly well since arriving in the WWE. They are likely at the top of that list of the future of the WWE. The recent special they did on the WWE Network leading into Summerslam based on Ambrose, Rollins and Roman Reigns. It outlined them as the future of this company that they very much have become and earned. In essence, they are the first products of Paul Lévesque guys out of developmental.

They have not been subject to the normal typical WWE booking of trading wins and becoming irrelevant to some extent. You can always tell what the WWE thinks of certain talents if they are exempted from the typical booking style. It is that booking style that leaves them looking very short handed in terms of top stars.

Injuries have really been the story of 2014, having had a huge impact on the WWE product, and influenced the direction of the company. It is easy to blame the WWE and they do deserve a lot of blame for some of the awful content they have produced. You have to wonder what things would be like if Daniel Bryan had not been injured. So much would likely be different.

Would Brock Lesnar be the WWE World Heavyweight Champion? How much more compelling would a Daniel Bryan loss to Lesnar have been followed by rematch had been? That was the assumed direction had Bryan remained healthy. Would we have such a microscope on Roman Reigns and rush to push him to be the next face of this company? Is Dean Ambrose even in the main event scene at all had both not been injured? This is probably not the case at all. In fact would we have even seen The Shield break-up happening at all by this point.

We still likely would have pointless Total Divas driven stories but likely, not with the major emphasis they have had as we do with this whole Bella vs. Bella feud. It all makes you wonder what might have been.

That is the thing though wrestling doesn’t always follow the intended path and we have many famous examples of it. One not based on injuries but a famous change of direction happened in the build-up to Wrestlemania 4. Randy Savage was going to regain the Intercontinental Championship and defeat the Honky Tonk Man. He was not willing to lose the belt to Savage. This would see Savage become the WWF Champion instead and defeat Ted DiBiase who was originally planned to win the title. No Mega Powers exploding the following year and perhaps the greatest year-long build to a match in wrestling history.

As much as we can be critical of the WWE’s lack of long-term vision these days, you can see why they might have a more liquid formula. Injuries can happen and things can be turned upside down in an instant. This is what has happened a lot in the WWE in 2014.

Still the WWE is growing a massive stable of talent it is just about making sure they use it all correctly. It is our lack of faith in them to do so that makes these times and situations times to feel a sense of panic. After all, we have a man in a bunny suit as now an excepted member of the main roster. What on earth kind of a WWE has this become.

Likely one searching for answers and in a desperate situation with their network, failing and their top talent depleted.

Here is another what if situation for you that led to the most successful wrestler in the company’s history emerging. If not for the MSG Curtain Call, it would have been Triple H and not Stone Cold Steve Austin winning the King of the Ring. Stone Cold never wins maybe never says Austin 3:16 and goes on from there to be the biggest star in the company.

This is not to say Dean Ambrose or anyone else could take this time to reach such levels. It is however a time where opportunity is clearly knocking and some guys like Ambrose, Ziggler and Cesaro are clearly aware of that and it is showing in their work going to an even higher level. Ambrose has the biggest canvas of the three to paint on given his position at this point.  It also makes you wonder if Bray Wyatt had been more successful in his runs with Cena and Jericho where he could have been positioned in this time period. Instead, he is kind of going back to square one to some degree.

These are interesting times despite the WWE struggling to come up with solutions for a lack of depth. This is the result of their poor booking and injuries coming together in this perfect storm. You have a Champion that only makes limited appearances in Lesnar. While John Cena by most reports is pretty banged up himself is now deemed as vital to keeping this ship a float even if he is over exposed and the crowd is tired of him.

These dark times for the WWE in the past have always been times we have seen new stars emerge and perhaps the same will be true of this time period when history looks back on it. Time will tell as we head down the road.