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USING TALENTS UP TOO QUICKLY, ANOTHER WAY TO BOOK RETRIBUTION, MY FAVORITE GIMMICK MATCH AND MORE

By Dave Scherer on 2020-10-12 10:00:00

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Why hasn't the WWE brought back the 2007-2011 draft format where part one of the draft took place on RAW where main eventers and upper mid-carders were drafted while part two of the draft took place on WWE's website the following day where mid-carders, jobbers, Divas and tag teams were drafted?

TV rights fees is your answer.  With FOX paying WWE $205M a year for Smackdown, they will get the other part of the draft. 

Back in the day, a new wrestler entering WWE would rarely get a title match - even for the IC Title - within his first year in the company. I thought this practice was good and I wish we can return to it. First, the new wrestler needed time to get over with the fan base for us to really care about them. Second, it gave an appearance of a wrestler working his way up the card - making wins and losses MATTER within the context of rivalries. Finally, when they earned a title match, it felt like a big deal, like he "arrived." Now, with Keith Lee immediately coming to Raw and being inserted to the Universal Title scene, is a big mistake. I believe he's not over, because many fans who don't watch NXT are like, "Who is this guy and why is he getting a world title shot?" Similarly, why did Andrade & Garza get a Raw Tag Team Title shot at freakin' Wrestlemania 36 - after being together for 2 weeks? It makes the Raw Tag Team Titles look cheap. Moreover, if a new wrestler wins a title too soon - like Ricochet did with his U.S Title victory last year, where do they go from there when he lost the strap in 2 months? Nowhere. Championship victories should represent rare successes for top-tier talent. Don't you think important character development is being lost by immediate championship chases - leaving former champions who never had fans buy into a long championship quest - with nowhere creatively to go and with fans not caring about a character who is pushed too fast? Worse of all, if a wrestler can come into WWE and win a title in 2 months, titles look easy to obtain and the rest of the roster looks weak - leaving apathy in its wake. Your thoughts? 

I couldn’t agree more.  As I said above, TV rights fees drive the car now for WWE, so they rush everything.  I don’t think that they need to do that and it would make a lot more sense to tell us stories and let us get to know a new talent so that we watch their ascension and organically want to see them get their shot.  Everything is so rushed now that a a lot (most maybe) doesn’t resonate with the viewer.

I realize there have been a lot of gimmick matches over the years (both good and bad!) and I realize the definition of gimmick in this context is flexible. What, in your opinion, were some of the best gimmick matches in years past? Also were there any that you thought would fail but ended up exceeding your expectations? Which matches did you think sounded great on paper but failed in execution?

To me it has to be Hell In A Cell. When it first debuted, it was totally awesome and it was the ultimate place to decide the winner of a feud.  It has been watered down since then but back in the day, it was THE match for me.  On the other side of the coin, the barbed wire match between Terry Funk and Sabu.  It seemed like a good idea but it didn’t end up being one.

Do you think a better Retribution angle would have been to take a bunch of the NXT talents that have not done well (because of creative) on the main roster and band them together to show how good they are. 

No, for a few reasons.  One, the NXT creative team does a fabulous job of getting the most out of their wrestlers so that wouldn’t make sense to anyone that watches NXT.  Two, WWE has done a really bad job of bringing up NXT wrestlers and improving them, so why would these talents want to go up to a show that will use them even worse?  And beyond that, I don’t see WWE wanting to do an angle where they admitted they used talents poorly.

I read a question you answered about both WWE and AEW booking a lot of heel vs heel matches.  I actually think more heel vs heel and face vs face is a good thing.  The traditional way of face vs heel makes matches predictable and we all know that's an issue in the business.  I agree with you that there needs to be a story, but wrestling is a competition (albeit a worked one) so the basic setup is already there.  I believe great stories can be told heel vs heel and face vs face.  It starts with good characters.  Do you agree or do you prefer promotions just stick to heel vs face?

First off, I don’t look at wrestling as a competition in most cases.  Title matches, sure.  If you book heel vs. heel there at least you can say that the Title is what they are fighting over. But in an ordinary match, there needs to be more for me.  Unless there is something on the line, like a shot at the title, it just comes across as a match for the sake of a match.  That’s why the formula of heel vs. face works.  The heel does something despicable to the face and they have a reason to fight when there is nothing on the line.  For people that watch matches just to see great work, that isn’t an issue.  But when the business is at its best, and drawing in people from the outside, it’s when the characters and storylines draw them in.  

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