Summertime has arrived, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The weather is beautiful, The NBA Finals are set to begin in a week, and when I’m not working crazy hours on set, I can kick back, unwind and enjoy the season. Summer is a very important time for the WWE if you ask me. Most TV shows are in their off-season until the fall, The NBA and NHL will soon be finished their seasons, and the NFL doesn’t get started for real until September. I haven’t even mentioned that kids are on their summer vacations from school. The summer is the time of the year where the WWE’s biggest competition is Hollywood Blockbusters and baseball, and it is during this time, when their potential audience is at its peak, that the WWE absolutely NEEDS to bring it’s A-game to their weekly programming. Hook them now when there’s nothing else to watch, so that you can keep them once competition ramps up again.
There have been many ideas floated around as it pertains to what the WWE wants to do heading into their summer extravaganza known as Summerslam. Some ideas are pretty good; others aren’t very good at all. The WWE needs compelling stories to carry us through the summer and beyond, and I thought I’d share a few thoughts I had for WWE’s Summer Programming. So without any further adieu, here are four programs that I think would compel the WWE Universe and garner plenty of interest for WWE. Let’s Rock n’ Roll.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Sheamus
It’s rumored that the WWE wants to book Sheamus in a program against Randy Orton this summer that would culminate at Summerslam. While it would be nice to see Randy Orton finally turn heel again, this prospective feud really doesn’t intrigue me. I touched upon it in a piece I wrote a few weeks ago, but the idea of Sheamus going toe to toe with Antonio Cesaro in a hard-hitting series of matches is incredibly exciting. The fact is that Randy Orton is hit or miss when it comes to his in-ring performances, and it really depends on the chemistry he has with the opponent. I think that both Antonio Cesaro and Sheamus have great matches more often than not, and would really compliment each other in the ring.
It would be simple to book, have Cesaro target Sheamus, in the dirtiest most despicable way possible, his reasoning being that he is going to break Sheamus’ fighting spirit. The key is making Cesaro look like a truly heinous villain, by having him cross the line of basic human decency on multiple occasions. The worse that Cesaro looks, the more inclined people will be to root for Sheamus, who let’s face it, is hard to root for when he’s being an instigating douche. Having someone pick the fight with him in a way that crosses the line would go a long way in building sympathy and support for the character. The matches have to be brutal slugfests, highlighted by each man’s signature strikes, The Brogue Kick and the Swiss Death European Uppercut. This feud would feel fresh and has a shot to deliver some truly memorable and physical matches. This is definitely a program I’d pull the trigger on.
Bray Wyatt w/ The Wyatt Family vs. Kane
The Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family vignette that was shown this past Monday on Raw has me very excited. It was very creepy, as I hoped it would be, and the trio has a chance to garner attention upon their arrival this summer. The question is, whom should they target when they arrive? What would be the best program for Bray and his “Sons” to enter the WWE’s landscape and establish themselves? At first I was thinking The Miz, because The Miz is very much everything that the Wyatt Family is not, but then it became clear to me that there is really only one option, the WWE’s old reliable, Kane.
Bray Wyatt is a monster that has recruited two monstrous men as his heavies, who goes around speaking passionately about stuff that quite frankly sounds crazy to most. He should enter the WWE and target the rehabilitated monster, Kane. The equivalent of getting sent to prison and knocking the biggest guy out in the yard to show you’re not a chump, this would be one monster attempting to break another, because in Bray Wyatt’s mind, he should be the only one. Now, would you involve Daniel Bryan? You could, but it’s debatable. On the one hand, giving Kane some backup would be ideal, but on the other hand, I’m excited by the prospect of a clean break for Hell No in the near future. Regardless of how you play it, Bray Wyatt antagonizing a rehabilitated Kane would be entertainingly uncomfortable to watch, and Kane is a dependable worker who I trust would make Wyatt and his Family look very good upon their arrival. This is a no brainer and could be thrilling TV.
The Shield vs. The Money In The Bank
The Shield has been on a roll since day one in the WWE, and are quite frankly the best things going in the WWE today. They have taken out main event caliber stars, they have captured championship gold, and take out everyone in their path. TJR Writer Heather Hickey wrote a piece this week about 21 Things She Loves About The Shield. Everything she loves about them is absolutely spot on, but one thing I dig about them is they write their own destiny. They are the authors of their own fate, as active characters that don’t wait for purpose to find them, but instead create their own purpose by setting goals and targets for themselves. The question has become, what should they target next? The answer is simple to me, The Money In The Bank. The institution of Money In The Bank is everything that The Shield claim to be against. It offers the opportunity for a superstar to prey on a weak and vulnerable champion, and that’s an injustice.
Their siege on Money In The Bank can go two ways. The first option would be that they enter the Money in the Bank matches with the intention of winning both briefcases to safeguard the WWE from the injustice that they represent, and succeeding with both Rollins and Ambrose grabbing the briefcases with assists from Reigns. Then have them come out the night after the PPV when WWE Champion John Cena is cutting a promo, beat him down, then grab mics and tell Cena you're welcome as they solemnly swear that they have no intention of ever cashing in their briefcases, that they are safeguarding the WWE's Champions from injustice, and putting their money where their mouth is, so to speak. The second option would be that whomever wins the MITB Briefcases becomes the new targets of The Shield, who thwart any and all attempts to cash in.
I like the first option better because it would be a great twist on MITB and has fantastic future implications. The Shield can dispose of the briefcases in a public fashion as a segment on Raw. The Shield would then continue to be a force to be reckoned until Wrestlemania season next year, when Ambrose proves to be a snake and tries to cash the supposedly disposed of briefcase in. Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns would then implode when it is discovered that Rollins also saved his briefcase, angering Reigns. Since the Briefcases are property of The Shield, they will need to find a way to decide who gets the briefcases when they break-up. This will lead to Two Fall Triple Threat match at Wrestlemania, where the winner of the first fall wins the World Heavyweight Championship MITB Briefcase, and the second fall wins the WWE Championship MITB Briefcase. I’d have Rollins pin Ambrose to win the first fall, and Ambrose pin Rollins to win the second, both set-up by Reigns who walks away with nothing despite not being pinned, and becomes the sympathetic and hungry babyface post-Shield.
CM Punk vs. Triple H and The McMahon Family
It seems that the WWE is going in an odd direction with CM Punk’s return, by having Heyman accept a seemingly out of the blue match with Jericho at the next pay-per-view on his behalf. Triple H on the other hand is doing this whole concussion storyline which is compelling in the sense that other than a few of the obvious major beats it’ll have, I’m not very sure how it will play out. As far as I’m concerned, these two have a lot of unfinished business with one another, and watching the two of them trading barbs and fisticuffs would be one of the best ways to spend the summer, not to mention a better, more compelling program for each of the two.
Punk should have been kept off TV until Triple H one night on Raw, post his concussion, demanding that Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar, and Curtis Axel come down to the ring so he can kick their asses. Instead Punk appears, for the first time in months. He would make his way to the ring and proclaim that he has a bone to pick with Hunter. Punk would go on to say that two years ago, when Hunter was begging Punk to come back to the WWE with the WWE title, that he promised Punk things would be different. Punk would say that instead of change, instead of a fair shot, the WWE used him. He held the title for a historically long reign, one that Vince McMahon stuck his nose in countless times to stack the deck against him, eventually having Dwayne come in and steal the championship, embarrassing Punk in front of the entire world. Punk will accuse Triple H and the McMahon family letting him taste success, so that they could yank it out from under him, and that he should have known that they couldn’t be trusted. He should never have come back when they begged him to, and he would have enjoyed watching the company crumble without him or the WWE Championship. He’d say that he sat at home the last few months lamenting the decision to re-sign, and that he’s out there now to give Triple H the courtesy of a fair warning, that he will break him. He will break Hunter, Hunter’s family, and he will cripple this company out of spite and hatred of the entire McMahon family. “Forget Brock, Axel, and Paul, I’m the man that will tear this place, and your life, apart.”
This would be the feud of the summer, and unfortunately it won’t happen based on the direction that they seem to be going in, but again, it would be entertaining as anything the WWE has ever done. Coming up with creative ways for Punk to attempt to ruin the WWE, and target Triple H, for months, culminating in the rematch the two never had, at Summerslam in August. It would have been compelling theatre, but alas, it’s not meant to be I guess.
There you have it, but as always I want to know what you think? Would any of these programs make for a fun WWE summer? Which ones? What are some fresh matchups/stories you’d like to see?
Until next time folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas saying Fast and Furious 6 might have been the most fun I’ve had watching anything this year. Also, Go Spurs Go! Have a great week everybody!