Weak champ = weak product

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Weak champ = weak product

Post by Prometheus on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 11:31 am

As we all know, there are two classic stories in wrestling that are different sides of the same coin; "how can he lose the title" and "how can he retain the title".

WWE played its hand very well in the last year with the former. Lesnar was made a beast, it didn't seem possible that another wrestler could come to the ring and best him. But, at Mania WWE found a way to take the belt from him in a believable way that also culminated a story that had been running since MitB. I think WWE should be commended on how they handled Lesnar's reign, with the exception of him maybe appearing a bit more, it was done very well.

Now, WWE has moved the belt to Rollins. As Lesnar is only a part-timer, I think there is a very good argument that Rollins was WWE's MVP in 2014. I'm completely prepared to accept that Rollins' story since splitting The Shield was that he joined the Authority for his chance, and also he has his two "protectors" in J&J Security. But he is starting to look weak as a champion, as someone that can be easily beaten and needs a lot of interference to retain. When done well, I think this is a good story. But, I don't think it is being done well. I think that one of Rollins' great strengths is that he's IMO in the top 5 wrestlers in WWE. So, I want him to get in the ring and wrestle 4* matches, because that's what I know he can do.

And my argument is that if WWE is building to put the title on Reigns. Then that will mean a lot more if Rollins is a stronger champion than he is currently being made out to be. At the moment, I can totally believe that Reigns, Orton, and most of the upper card could beat Rollins. Even with interference, I think they could beat him. So, when he loses, it's not going to have a big impact. This current approach is harming Rollins, harming the title and will harm the next holder of the Championship.

I think the Cage match was a great chance for WWE to play by the rules. To have no interference and to have Rollins defend and look strong against Orton. I thought their match at Mania was over-rated, but there's no doubt that these 2 can go. And they should have done. As it was, the most interesting aspect of their match (when will Orton do an RKO out of nowhere) was even taken out.

Rant over, but IMO WWE is booking their Champion and their Championship at a mid-card level. And for me that is not adding intrigue and excitement to what will happen next. What it is doing is making the whole product look weaker. And I feel I'm just waiting for Lesnar to come back.
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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by kingraf on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 11:44 am

On the other hand, Rollins was lucky to win the MITB. Orton beat him clean a month ago, and they were in a match stipulation in which Orton was vastly more experienced. Was there a believable way of having Rollins improve so much in a month that he could beat Orton clean?
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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Prometheus on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 11:51 am

kingraf wrote:On the other hand, Rollins was lucky to win the MITB. Orton beat him clean a month ago, and they were in a match stipulation in which Orton was vastly more experienced. Was there a believable way of having Rollins improve so much in a month that he could beat Orton clean?

If the Curb Stomp is being banned no longer used. Then I'd have worked in that it was the Curb Stomp that cost Rollins and the RKO that handed Orton the victory. The stipulation that (Orton) could not use the RKO and working in that Rollins doesn't use the Curb Stomp. Sure, I think he could have got a win in a believable way. I think also that could have set Rollins up as a thinking champ, and I think that is something he can pull off, one who changes his game plan and changes the rules to his advantage, not just one who relies on whether Kane is with or against him this week to win.
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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Adam D on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 12:01 pm

I think he is fine at the moment and being booked okay. If you want to see a weakly booked champ, have a look at Magnus' TNA reign.

That was awful.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Hero on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 12:19 pm

Adam D wrote:I think he is fine at the moment and being booked okay. If you want to see a weakly booked champ, have a look at TNA.

That is awful.

Fixed for ya

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Crimey on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 12:22 pm

WWE have continuously shown that they do not know how to book heel champions, bar Lesnar who they managed to book pretty much perfectly. Every time a heel wins the championship they are booked as incredibly weak, cowardly and need to either break the rules or have interference to win the match. Now this can work, Ric Flair made a career of it, but the problem is that I'm not sure Rollins has been built up enough for that to make sense. He has lost with the interference and cheating, that hasn't even been enough for him. He lost against Cena and Lesnar at Royal Rumble, lost against Orton at Wrestlemania and has lost on Raw and Smackdowns since winning the championship. He's not even booked strongly as a cowardly champion because we've been shown multiple times that it doesn't work for him.

I can't believe that nobody in WWE understands how harmful that is. Like you said, if Reigns now beats Rollins, does Reigns look good? No. He's beaten somebody you would expect him to beat, sure he might have overcame Rollins' illegal tactics, but that has also been done before. 

Obviously not everybody can be booked like Brock Lesnar and the product would be really poor if it wasn't saved for the unique talents and circumstances of Lesnar. However, you can book Rollins in a way that makes him look strong and makes you believe him as a world champion who will always find a way to win. Don't have him lose on Raw and Smackdown and make sure in title matches his cheating actually works. It's stupid to essentially play the cheaters never prosper card in every Rollins' match because it completely devalues the supposed advantage he has. If J&J are not supposed to be effective, use somebody that is, have Rusev has his protector now. Make it so that you take it seriously, that people don't know how to beat Rollins.

It should be three-fold when facing Rollins, the problems of a challenger you face:

1. Rollins is a good wrestler, we've seen this with The Shield and in feuds with Ambrose, he should hold up as a main event talent.
2. He is happy to cheat and to use interference. This means even if you best him legally, Rollins will just use illegal tactics. If you can overcome this...
3. He has moves up his sleeve, like the Phoenix Splash or perhaps now the Curb Stomp. Moves which he pulls out on special occasions to win big matches. 

That way you present the champion as nearly impossible to beat, you'd have to overcome three obstacles to beat him. We'd take him seriously as a champion because he'd be presented as equal to other main eventers in terms of wrestling talent. We'd believe that he won't lose the championship because he'll cheat if he has to. Then we'd enjoy his matches and again take him seriously as a world champion because he has special moves. It's really simple booking and yet WWE continuously get it wrong.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Prometheus on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 12:32 pm

Thanks Crimey, as often happens on these boards, your post has said what I wanted to write.

Here's a question. Because I think we are both saying he's a great in-ring talent and WWE is not showcasing this. Do you think that if he put his full wrestling talent on show then WWE would be afraid it would be too hard to keep him face? E.g. if he is pulling off a Phoenix Splash or the top rope elbow through table move he did at the Rumble, then the crowd will start cheering him.
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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Crimey on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 12:39 pm

Prometheus wrote:Thanks Crimey, as often happens on these boards, your post has said what I wanted to write.  

Here's a question.  Because I think we are both saying he's a great in-ring talent and WWE is not showcasing this.  Do you think that if he put his full wrestling talent on show then WWE would be afraid it would be too hard to keep him face?  E.g. if he is pulling off a Phoenix Splash or the top rope elbow through table move he did at the Rumble, then the crowd will start cheering him.  

I think that's obviously a possibility, but I think that's why it's saved. I hate this idea that you should limit your heels from doing what is good because it might get them cheered. Cesaro was told to stop swinging because it was getting cheered, Barrett has been told to stop giving Bad News because it was getting cheered. You don't make good heels doing that, you make boring heels doing that. I wouldn't have Rollins pull out these moves even once a month, I think you pull them out maybe once every three PPVs. When he's got a real tough opponent and he's tried everything else. It will get a big reaction and it will bring respect to Rollins, but I don't think it would harm his place as a heel.

There should be no correlation between exciting and face, boring and heel. That just makes a very silly product.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Adam D on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 12:42 pm

I think it is a problem as at the moment, there arent any credible top heels. After Rollins, you have Kane and Show, followed by Rusev and Sheamus - none of them worthy to be main eventing at the moment.

So turning him face at the moment is a huge problem.

Orton as a heel isnt good enough to carry the company - the only ones I think could be replacements are:

Reigns - but they wont give up on him being the next Cena
Cena - never going to happen
Bray - wouldnt fit in with authority story

Thats it!

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Prometheus on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 1:05 pm

WWE had a great chance to turn Bray heel.  They could have had him demolish Undertaker.  To bury anything that was left of him.  Have him standing over 'Taker, holding 'Taker by the hair, with the mic in the other hand asking the crowd if this was their hero and just beating him mercilessly.

Now, I get why WWE would not want to do that.  Why end 'Taker like that to Wyatt?  What about the next Mania?  Etc.  But it could have been done and it would have put a rocket under Bray.

I think they can shoot Rusev up the ladder too.  I know you've been watching Lucha Underground, and so I'll take the case of Pentagon Jr.  A heel that the crowd just wanted to cheer.  Until they had him beat up the announcer and then you see in his next match with Sexy Star it goes from 50:50 chants to turning him full heel.  Rusev is already heel, but if they use the end of that I Quit match that Rusev has the Accolade locked in on Lana and he won't let her go until Cena "quits" then he'll get great heat.

I'm really surprised (though I shouldn't be) to learn that BNB had to stop saying Bad News as that was getting him over.  He's limited in the ring, but I think can work the mic so well that he can be a really good heel and he's dependable as long as he can stay fit for a couple of weeks.

EDIT: I also think WWE could bring in Samoa Joe as a heel.
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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Samo on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 5:34 pm

I disagree to an extent. You can have a heel champion be an awesome wrestler, like Rollins is, but the best heels are the ones who lie, cheat and steal their way to a win. Thats how heels get heat. Some of the best heel champions in the past 15 years have cheated to win/defend titles, like Edge, JBL and Triple H. Im not saying EVERY heel champion should be like this, but if you get a guy like Rollins, who the fans feel is undeserving then you need to book a sympathetic babyface for the fans to get behind.

WrestleMania should have been the making of Reigns as a face, but people werent interested, and some still arent. It should have been the beginning of Reigns always getting close only to be cheated at the last hurdle to build him up as a sympathetic face.

Cheating, 'weak' champions draw because people will pay to see them get their comeuppance. And for that reason I dont think they make the product weaker, the lack of build behind the title chasing face makes the product weak.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Crimey on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 5:36 pm

Samo wrote:I disagree to an extent.  You can have a heel champion be an awesome wrestler, like Rollins is, but the best heels are the ones who lie, cheat and steal their way to a win.  Thats how heels get heat.  Some of the best heel champions in the past 15 years have cheated to win/defend titles, like Edge, JBL and Triple H.  Im not saying EVERY heel champion should be like this, but if you get a guy like Rollins, who the fans feel is undeserving then you need to book a sympathetic babyface for the fans to get behind.

WrestleMania should have been the making of Reigns as a face, but people werent interested, and some still arent.  It should have been the beginning of Reigns always getting close only to be cheated at the last hurdle to build him up as a sympathetic face.  

Cheating, 'weak' champions draw because people will pay to see them get their comeuppance.  And for that reason I dont think they make the product weaker, the lack of build behind the title chasing face makes the product weak.

I think you should read my post. I am fully accepting that a cheating heel is effective as a heel champion but Rollins is a terrible example of a good cheating heel champion. He has just looked pathetic and his cheating doesn't even work. That's why the booking is so poor.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 5:53 pm

Crimey wrote:
Prometheus wrote:Thanks Crimey, as often happens on these boards, your post has said what I wanted to write.  

Here's a question.  Because I think we are both saying he's a great in-ring talent and WWE is not showcasing this.  Do you think that if he put his full wrestling talent on show then WWE would be afraid it would be too hard to keep him face?  E.g. if he is pulling off a Phoenix Splash or the top rope elbow through table move he did at the Rumble, then the crowd will start cheering him.  

I think that's obviously a possibility, but I think that's why it's saved. I hate this idea that you should limit your heels from doing what is good because it might get them cheered. Cesaro was told to stop swinging because it was getting cheered, Barrett has been told to stop giving Bad News because it was getting cheered. You don't make good heels doing that, you make boring heels doing that. I wouldn't have Rollins pull out these moves even once a month, I think you pull them out maybe once every three PPVs. When he's got a real tough opponent and he's tried everything else. It will get a big reaction and it will bring respect to Rollins, but I don't think it would harm his place as a heel.

There should be no correlation between exciting and face, boring and heel. That just makes a very silly product.

I knew you weren't the new Gav. Rollins heel should not be pulling out the Pheonix. Not once.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Fri 01 May 2015, 2:06 am



As true today as it was, oh, back in 1997

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by JoshSansom on Fri 01 May 2015, 4:28 pm

Crimey wrote:
Samo wrote:I disagree to an extent.  You can have a heel champion be an awesome wrestler, like Rollins is, but the best heels are the ones who lie, cheat and steal their way to a win.  Thats how heels get heat.  Some of the best heel champions in the past 15 years have cheated to win/defend titles, like Edge, JBL and Triple H.  Im not saying EVERY heel champion should be like this, but if you get a guy like Rollins, who the fans feel is undeserving then you need to book a sympathetic babyface for the fans to get behind.

WrestleMania should have been the making of Reigns as a face, but people werent interested, and some still arent.  It should have been the beginning of Reigns always getting close only to be cheated at the last hurdle to build him up as a sympathetic face.  

Cheating, 'weak' champions draw because people will pay to see them get their comeuppance.  And for that reason I dont think they make the product weaker, the lack of build behind the title chasing face makes the product weak.

I think you should read my post. I am fully accepting that a cheating heel is effective as a heel champion but Rollins is a terrible example of a good cheating heel champion. He has just looked pathetic and his cheating doesn't even work. That's why the booking is so poor.

For me a part of this is WWE's booking style towards heels generally. Heels seemingly can't succeed through cheating in the way that they did 15-20 years ago and it feels as though the company think it would reflect badly on them if their representatives (i.e. referees and faces) were not cracking down on this, or not able to overcome it.

Years ago tag matches would have had long drawn out middle phases involving phoney heel tags, face characters not being allowed into the ring, face tags being unseen by the ref etc.. these tactics don't happen anymore. In the singles realm it seems that the things that Triple H got away with at times during the McMahon Helmsley era is not a scope afforded to the talent at the moment.

The other point of issue for Rollins is that there aren't a plethora of top level, established talent that he could strongly go over. They need Orton to be strong so Seth can't decisively defeat him. HHH had someone like Mick Foley as an established main eventer that he could beat decisively in major matches to legitimise his reign. Rollins doesn't have this. Ideally this role would be with Bryan/Cena but one if injured and both are preoccupied in the mid card... Is there anyone they could bring back? Face Batista sucks, Jericho has no value anymore, Edge is retired, Punk not going to happen, same with ADR, Sheamus/Miz are mid carders, won't use the Rock to make Seth look good, nor Lesnar, nor Taker, Triple H is a heel..... That's about all the champions in the last 10 years.

If they were fit, available and healthy and the WWE were interested then think that Jeff Hardy and / or Kurt Angle would have made great programmes in this role. I can't see another option that is a) big enough to make a main event and b) WWE can allow to lose without some kind of impact on the rest of their short/medium term planning... Am I missing something obvious?

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Samo on Fri 01 May 2015, 5:27 pm

I dont think you're missing something, and I think you highlighted one of the major problems really well.

Guys like Ziggler, Sheamus, Rhodes, BNB, Miz and even Kofi should be legit main eventers by now. The problem is that after an initial push the writers got lazy and left them in the mid card. Nowadays, wins and loses dont mean anything any more, because they try to keep everyone equal and that prohibits anyone from becoming a star.

No ones went on a win streak in quite some time so the mid card just becomes a blur. Add that with two titles that dont mean anything anymore, and meaningless 'achievements' like the Andre Battle Royal and now the King of the Ring, its no wonder Seth doesnt have any top tier people to go over.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Prometheus on Fri 12 Jun 2015, 4:11 pm

I've got to the stage where I'm hoping that Rollins loses the belt at MitB.

I think this is the stage that WWE wanted me at. But, I'm sure they wanted me there because I've become enraged at Rollins cheating victories and want to see him get his comeuppance. I've not. I've just become bored by the title reign of a weak champion that anyone can go over.

So, when Reigns wins MitB, cashes in and takes the title from Rollins (or possibly cashes in just as Ambrose has beaten Rollins so all 3 members of the Shield will be champions) I'll be happy. But not for the reasons that WWE wants me to be, that now the hero Reigns has defeated the villain Rollins, just to get over the ennui that became Rollin's title reign.
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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Fernando on Fri 12 Jun 2015, 4:15 pm

Id like to see Reigns cash in on Ambrose tbh would be major heat. Otherwise leave it with Seth and have Brock batter the Poopie out of him in the near future have The Authority bring him back to prove Seth "needs them"

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Prometheus on Fri 12 Jun 2015, 4:30 pm

I think Ambrose gets a pop when he wins and an immediate cash in by Reigns would have the crowd hot. I'd use an angle similar to when Zayn won the title in NXT and have Reigns celebrate with him until he turns on him.

If WWE were smart (and able to) I'd have the PPV end there, but have that match start immediately on the Network. And give the subscribers a good 20 minute match that Reigns eventually wins.
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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Fernando on Fri 12 Jun 2015, 4:47 pm

Do they still do the after show? Could include it in that if so....

Tbh that was pretty much my idea just spear him after he comes down off the turnbuckles with the belt.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Hero on Fri 12 Jun 2015, 5:20 pm

As people know I'm Ambrose's biggest mark and I'll probably do a little sex wee if he wins on Sunday night but I do hope that Reigns then cashes in as I think that'll do Ambrose more good in the long run and get a Daniel Bryan style backing from the fans, keep him in the chase so that he stays hot with the crowd.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Samo on Fri 12 Jun 2015, 5:29 pm

Reigns looks 100 times better when he's next to Ambrose. I dont know what it is but theres definitely a chemistry between the two that brings out the best in Reigns.

I would have Ambrose win, then have Reigns have his back in matches against the Authority. Have Ambrose win a few matches before Reigns cashes in on him afterwards one night. I think that would get more long term heat than an instant cash in on the night would.

That all said, Lesnar is due back soon. So unless they give him a big enough match for Summerslam he'll NEED to be in the Championship match.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Dr Gregory House MD on Fri 12 Jun 2015, 6:16 pm

I think you guys are giving too much thought to a scenario that won't happen #kofiformitb15 #kofivsbrock #jamacianmecrazy

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Fri 12 Jun 2015, 6:50 pm

I'm all on the New Day partay. I'm hoping thy invent the New Day rule where they are all world champ. Lead to a return for The Shield, 3 on 3 match for the title that then gives us our Shield triple threat at Mania.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Samo on Fri 12 Jun 2015, 8:07 pm

The worst thing is Kofi is facing Brock in Japan so it isnt completely out of the question.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Marky on Fri 12 Jun 2015, 8:26 pm

Brock's coming back as a face, and the Kofi match is so that the only way Brock looks beatable is in a 3 on 1 situation before he destroys all 3 of The New Day.

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

Post by Dr Gregory House MD on Fri 12 Jun 2015, 8:52 pm

Samo wrote:The worst thing is Kofi is facing Brock in Japan so it isnt completely out of the question.

Why is it the worst? #kofiforchamp

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Re: Weak champ = weak product

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