How the wild card is hurting wwe

To me this wild card rule shows that WWE has one problem. They have a difficult time building talent into viable stars. In the past 10 or so years WWE has shown whatever formula they had to either create or help cultivate stars has fizzled out or has been changed for the worse.

Many of the biggest stars in the company got their following from the indies, and the only WWE built star that I can see in their pipeline is Velveteen Dream, and I can only imagine how they plan on chopping his legs out from under him when the time comes.

Granted the stock of many of the indie guys rose thanks to WWE but often their appeal is squandered or damaged by WWE creative because they do not understand what got these guys over to begin with, or they do and choose to ignore it.

WWE has an issue with capitalizing on a stars popularity at the time. I only speculate as to why be it ego or ignorance or a combination of both (or neither)

This means that WWE has to keep going back to the well over and over again with talent they approve of. This will make the Upper-Mid card stale as we keep seeing 50/50 booking of their top talent just because they feel its all the star power they have.

The deep talent pool of the main roster shows the potential for how good main roster weekly television could be.

Rusev, Nakamura, Andrade, Cedric Alexander, EC3, Buddy Murphy, to name a few

Why are some of these solid performers in comedy skits chasing after R-Truth for the oogly 24/7 title?

I’d love to see these boys mix it up with Joe or Balor or each other to show why they deserve a shot at either the US or IC title.

Keep the mid-card titles strong by highlighting them on TV week after week as a goal worth pursuing and use them as they are intended to heat up potential stars.

I have wondered if NXT actually hurts the main roster. Guys get built up there and have expectations coming onto the main roster, established gimmicks etc. Then they come onto the main roster and aren’t highlighted, get name or gimmick changes etc and it leaves their fans disappointed. I think it hurts when say a guy like Ricochet comes up after a successful NXT run and a lot of hype, only to trade wins with Bobby Roode, and Cesaro. Guys that have been defined down in WWE, and there is a story of a top guy from the developmental brand being no big deal on the main roster, which could work if then the story is about those guys working their way up to the top, and if guys like Cesaro and Roode won a decent amount of the time, but they don’t

The problem in a heartbeat is that all the indy guys they hired should either stay in NXT for the duration of their contract or not go at all and you make a big deal out of signing them to raw or smackdown. The more time the indy stars stays in NXT the lazier the booking for that wrestlers will become on the main roster because of the exposure they are getting in the minor league. Somebody like ricochet should have sign with wwe and start right away on the main roster. Make a big deal about his accomplishments on the indy, which a good portion of the wwe audience isn’t aware off, and build him up as a big deal right off the bat. Put him in a upper midcard feud which would lead to a ic or u.s title feud and see how fans react to the guy.

The more, a wrestlers stays in NXT the worst it will get for him on the main rosters especially top talents because they will just think that everybody knows who that guy is and when fans aren’t reacting big like they did during their NXT run, they will just give up, because NXT isn’t grooming guys to become megastars, they are grooming them to be just another mid to lower mid card guys on the main roster and that’s a problem in itself.

I agree the main card is not for everyone. You need charisma and something special to make it. Too many guys not reaching for brass ring.

Guys would do better to stay in NXT. Ricochet and Black and Rose and Gable should all be down there

With all that we know currently about how things work backstage, how do you think someone would “reach for that brass ring”?

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In baseball, when a guy hits .350 with a bunch of home runs in the minor leagues, he’s not expected (by management or fans) to immediately be that good in the major leagues. Unfortunately, WWE isn’t baseball. Once a guy is portrayed as a star or a main eventer in NXT, that’s how he is seen by the fans. So for a guy like Ricochet, the fans who follow NXT want to see him continue to be one of the best when he’s on the main roster. And the fans who don’t follow NXT don’t understand why the announcers are hyping up a guy they’ve never seen who’s pretty much trading wins and losses like any other midcarder.

WWE is trying to have it both ways: portraying NXT as the “major leagues” but then treating most of the guys as “minor league” call-ups when they are moved to the main roster. NXT either has to adopt the WWE style of wrestling and booking (which I personally don’t want to see as a fan) to ease the transition to the main roster OR the main roster booking needs to stop having major NXT call-ups “pay their dues” by taking unnecessary losses before their push… and unless you’re looking to call-up career midcarders (i.e. Heavy Machinery, No Way Jose, etc.) to fill out your roster, don’t call up major guys you aren’t ready to push.

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Part of the problem is you have that guy hitting .400 in the minors, then they bring him up and struggle against guys who have been shown as pitching 75 mph fast balls in the majors. If Roode and Cesaro we’re booked as solid guys who beat down the “jobbers” regularly and putting on good matches with top guys but being a step down, then when a guy comes up he beats the jobbers too, and works his way up to a feud with the gate keeper style guy and having 50-50 matches with that guy establishes them as a guy on the way up. When Roode and Cesaro spend all their time losing to top guys, and not being shown winning or dominating lesser guys, losses to hem hurts the new guys because the guy who the lost to is a nobody.

NXT has somewhat of a similar problem with using Kassius Ohno as a “gate keeper” guy when he loses all the time, so when Kushiro came in and had a tough match with him, I was like “and so this guy is a big deal because he beats a guy who always loses?”

Essentially you need to establish tiers of your talent for guys to rise up.

So you have your NXT jobbers at the bottom, then your NXT mid card and main roster jobbers, then your NXT championship card and bottom of your main roster midcard, then your upper midcard, and your championship contenders.

Occasionally you can book an NXT person (like Asuka for instance) like they are Lebron, where they immediately and quickly rise to the top, but it should be rare.

The wild card makes it so they only show the matches with the top guys, which means if you continually face those guys and lose, it makes you look weak, or at least like you cannot get the job done.

The issue isn’t the brand split, the wild card, the lack of focus on certain performers, or performers wasting away in catering. The problem is the overall view and direction of the WWE product. It’s stale, they keep recycling old ideas, they can’t get anybody new over and make new stars. It’s the entire presentation as a whole. Obviously not everything is going to be a home run, but with the declining interest in WWE, I wonder if people are watching the show out of habit and in hopes something good will happen, or if they actually enjoy it…

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100% this.

They have made the brand split work before.
They have made “free agents” or “trades” or “wildcards” work before.
They have always had a large roster.
They have always had “legends” or older talent on their shows.
They have always had writers and producers.
They have had 4+ hours on tv a week since 2000.

None of these are the reason Raw and Smackdown are terrible right now. Not even combined. With the right system in place they could make it work.

It’s that WWE has shown that their weekly tv shows don’t matter. That what happens one week has no consequences or follow up the next because a senile old man rewrites everything at the last minute. The lack of planning and foresight is at an all time low. You would get more continuity watching random episodes of 205 Live out of order than you do for most of Raw and Smackdown.

If it doesn’t seem like anything in the show matters there’s no point in watching.

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and the fact Vince does not want any one person to be a bigger star then the brand.

I’ve said this many times. Nothing in the “WWE Universe” (for lack of a better term), has any consequences, stakes, or meaning.

They compare themselves to other scripted drama - but fail so miserably to understand the basic concepts that make episodic television work any more. The last 10-15 years of Cable Streaming television has been called a golden era of the medium - all the while WWE has moved further and further from sensible storytelling.

It’s why WWE is obsessed with Wrestlemania “moments” - because having complete and logical great show is nearly impossible for them to achieve anymore. The only Mania of the last 10+ years that manages to stand along the best ever is 30, and that’s because they caught onto something that had a story that people connected to, and built a strong show around it.

I loved when KO came out and said hes the wild card, whatever that means. The brand split is basically over in my opinion. I get why its happening with pressure from FOX and NBC but im pretty sure weve all forgot who’s on what brand at this point.

The one rumors that i feel become true is that Fox doesn’t want wrestlers from raw to show up on smackdown because they don’t want character from a show that’s airs on a competitor’s network to be on their show.

That forced them to make this brand split work without having to use a crutch like the wildcard to gets ratings and maybe make a effort to create stars,.

The problem with WWE is that no matter how bad or how well creative is, it still will be stale because everything as been done multiple time in wwe. We have to remember that the company in this current incarnation as been going on since 1984. Heck, NXT booking is pretty much a rehash of how vince was booking WWF in the 80’s and how they booked WWECW. So even a product as fresh as NXT is pretty much a idea that’s been done in wwe multiple time before.

In my opinion, the problem with the product isn’t vince, it’s not the creative team and it’s not even the performers. It’s the pressure that vince has to please the shareholders, sponsors and network executives that all want differents thing which lead to vince having a lot less control on what’s going on within is company and he transfers this pressure to the creative team. He has to react even more quickly to see who over and who’s not so that he can push the right people.

Nah it’s Vince. Beyond wanting to feature only the top drawing stars being due to wanting to do well for investors by drawing ratings I don’t see how the stories they choose to tell would be impacted. Also it doesn’t matter if the general story has been seen before, it is that they aren’t working into those simple good stories with strong characters and rivalries. Further (and perhaps this could be due to ratings chasing) they don’t develop future rivalries. One only needs to look at how Becky has been handled to see the problem. As to the first part of your statement I don’t buy it the whole reason for the wildcard seems to be that both networks want the biggest stars.

But will they want to work with each other just to have big stars on their shows, that’s the question that will be answered in October. In the end, the tv business is even more cut throat then the wrestling business and especially network tv.

So if Fox goes to wwe and tell them to not plug raw on smackdown and not feature raw superstars on their show, wwe will do it just like when usa told them they wanted a third hour for raw. They didn’t want to do it and would love to go back to 2 hours but they can’t because they are control by the network and what they want.

I’m hoping that the networks view it the same as they do other sports. Where players/teams can be on different networks on different days. It depends on the contracts, I guess…

Except that they are basically eliminating the brand split. It seems like they were going the way you suggest but USA said “Hey we want Roman, and Kofi is a big deal, we want the big stars on our show.” I think it is far more like say an NBA contract where both networks benefit want the big stars. I just don’t see fox cracking down if it means they don’t get the big names. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but to me it seems more likely both networks will want the top guys every week making things worse not better.

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Agreed. This is not about what makes the product more intriguing. It’s like having interleague play in MLB. Designed to help ratings and attendance.