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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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WWE 2018: The Year in Review and the Potential of 2019

(Disclaimer: Everything I say is merely my own opinion. I shouldn't need a disclaimer, but if you use direct language like "X sucks," some people like to treat that as you somehow conveying it's a universal opinion rather than a personal one. These are just my own thoughts. Feel free to disagree.)

INTRODUCTION

2018 was a weak year in terms of quality, and that's across the board: feuds, wrestling matches, promos. But there have been diamonds in the rough. There's plenty of good to be had with today's product; everything is just marred by the overall writing. But I'm not here to nitpick and dissect everything. I want to focus on the positives and the potential this Wrestlemania season and beyond has.

With WWE entering yet another "new era" and perhaps actually listening to fans, they've put themselves in a position to actually change the foundation of the product. Pushing over talents (whether or not you personally enjoy the specific wrestlers) is ultimately good for everyone. It will, at the very least, breathe life into the shows so they're not so humdrum. If the fans are engaged in a positive manner, the atmosphere itself will be positive, which will ignite feuds. If people care, it will fundamentally change the product. Of course, matches still have to deliver. Talents shouldn't rest on their laurels. But I think that goes without saying.

I want to profile a list of wrestlers that should be the primary focus of WWE in 2019.

THE TOP TEN

Spoiler for #1:


Becky Lynch is the personification of striking while the iron is hot, and being straight fire just means it's a match made in heaven. After a disappointing year, fed up with constant betrayal, she turned heel (to face) in anomalous fashion by setting the wrestling world on fire. Yes, fire puns. It should be obvious to everyone that she should be the focal point of her division, whether you personally like her or not. I would write more, but she's been the subject of many articles at this point. You know the story.



Spoiler for #2:




Seth Rollins had his best year in the WWE in terms of personal success: a lengthy Intercontinental Championship reign, clean victories over Roman Reigns and John Cena in the longest singular performance during a Gauntlet match, and being placed as a constant fixture in the upper card of the Raw, even main eventing a PPV as Intercontinental Champion in an Iron Man match against Dolph Ziggler.

How he was handled this year was generally great, which is something to commend considering the state of the product. Sure, there were hiccups here and there, and it's caused his star to wane slightly, but he remains incredibly over and is currently a contender to face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania.

I think it's clear Seth Rollins should be at the forefront in 2019. As an overall wrestler, he is the best Raw has to offer.


Spoiler for #3:




Daniel Bryan turning heel is something that a lot of people, including myself, thought would never happen again. He was too beloved. Well, he sure proved everyone wrong. With a three-dimensional heel character that actually makes consistently good points, he's someone you can not only hate, but he's someone you can understand, and that's the mark of a good villain.

I don't think he should be dethroned any time soon. Being the heel focus of Smackdown, especially after a year-long babyface AJ Styles title reign, is sort of needed right now.


Spoiler for #4:




Finn Bálor... yeah, you heard me right. Bálor had a rather uneventful year all things considered, but if you isolate certain things, he's been protected. He's been booked strongly against Braun Strowman each time they've faced off, even (seemingly) having the big man down for a three count after a Coup de Grace before interference. He doesn't really lose cleanly all that often, or if he does, he's protected in some fashion.

He has superstar written all over him. He has, quite honestly, one of my absolute favorite themes and entrances ever. He exudes confidence, and he's a great role model, which is fitting for a plucky underdog character. He deserves much more than he's gotten, and I hope an Intercontinental Championship reign is on the horizon for him. He absolutely should be pushed. He has remained very over all year despite not being given anything tangible.


Spoiler for #5:




Asuka's year was downright unforgivable. From tapping out unceremoniously to Charlotte Flair, to losing match after match to Carmella, to being in pointless tag purgatory with Naomi, her road to becoming champion was an insult to her talent. Make no mistake, she deserves to be at the top. She deserves a lengthy title run. She deserves to regain the credibility that was seeped out from awful booking. She needs to be a focus in 2019, because nobody is ready for Asuka.


Spoiler for #6:




Drew McIntyre debuted in an unheralded way, because a lot of people thought him needlessly attached to Dolph Ziggler, but they became an entertaining and formidable tag team, and it helped propel McIntyre as an upper card wrestler. This might also be unpopular, but his current storyline with Ziggler and Bálor I find quite entertaining. It's another good launching point for his career as a top wrestler on Raw.

Unfortunately for Drew, he doesn't seem to be very over currently, so his position on my list may seem a little contradictory to everything I've said, but I am confident that the booking will right his ship, so to speak, because he has all the talent in the world.


Spoiler for #7:




Rusev has been underutilized for so long because he was originally thought to be a monster of the week. It took WWE so long to actually realize that he is supremely talented, and he deserves a heck of a whole lot more than that.

WWE has such a great opportunity right now in their hands that I'm just worried they will fumble it when the story writes itself. The former anti-USA monster gimmick turned loved babyface winning the United States Championship once again. It can mean something entirely different, and it can be used to give him the spotlight he rightly deserves heading into 2019.



Spoiler for #8:




The New Day has done everything they could possibly do as a tag team and as a stable besides being pushed individually as singles competitors. I'm not saying they should break up, but it's time to let them loose. Big E and Xavier Woods deserve substantial pushes. It could be at different levels, even. Big E is the type of talent that could quickly become a feasible threat to become WWE Champion while Woods could very easily be ready for a United States Championship reign. Woods can talk, he can wrestle, he has personality, and he's over. So...? I don't mean to leave Kofi by the wayside here, but he's already had a lauded singles career. Next year, this needs to finally happen. Inject some new life into this stable by giving them something different to do individually. They deserve it.


Spoiler for #9:




Braun Strowman has had a frustratingly booked up-and-down year. From multiple turns, to destroying the entire upper card of Raw during an Elimination Chamber match, to being literally squashed by Brock Lesnar (why?), his booking has done so much harm to the product, but it's clear he should be pushed as a focal point of the show. I don't think he is someone you should really build around, but he's a unique and great character to have around the top of the card, and if I had my way, he would defeat Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble.


Spoiler for #10:




Charlotte Flair is in a weird position. She is someone that is outstanding, she is someone that deserves every accolade she has received, but she's also stuck in this unfair perception that she has benefited from nepotism, and I don't think it's something she will ever shake, especially when her opportunities come at the cost of talents like Becky Lynch or Asuka.

My proposal for 2019 is for her to take somewhat of a backseat. She should still be pushed. She should still be given ample time. But I think her role could be that of Shawn Michaels in his later years, at least for a while. I think the time away from the title will get her back in everyone's good graces as she tears the house down in feuds with newer talent.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

AJ Styles wasn't included for the simple fact that he's coming off a year-long title reign. It should be obvious that he will be and deserves to be a focus of the product, but it doesn't necessarily have to revolve around a championship.

Ronda Rousey wasn't included because it is obvious that she is the superstar on Raw. I just felt it was redundant.

OTHERS DESERVING OF A PUSH OR CHANCE

Sasha Banks, Bayley, Elias, Ruby Riott, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Andrade "Cien" Almas, Mustafa Ali, Ember Moon, Cesaro, Sonya Deville.

CLOSING STATEMENTS

I think this would make for a better product not just for myself, but for everyone because of the reasons I stated earlier. Over wrestlers in over feuds. It will breathe life into the product.

Also, I would like to suggest a New Year's Resolution for everyone. This forum is extremely negative. Segments that are okay are turned to awful in an instant because of the need to disparage the show and ceaselessly nitpick. The product is not very good, but I firmly believe the members of this forum complain about a lot of things just to complain. It's like everyone wants the product to be bad at times. Negativity begets negativity, and this toxicity festers in each thread, because people need to complain, need to argue, and need to ruin others' enjoyment. So don't forget to be awesome. Complain when it is necessary. Let other things go. Let people enjoy the things they enjoy. This won't make the product better, but it will ease some of your frustrations.

Happy New Year.


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Last edited by Vox Machina; 12-30-2018 at 07:24 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 02:54 AM
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Re: WWE 2018: The Year in Review and the Potential of 2019

That's a good list.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 03:14 AM
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Re: WWE 2018: The Year in Review and the Potential of 2019

Great list, and I'm with pushing and making focal points out of everybody you mentioned there, although I would add guys currently out with injuries like Zayn and Owens.

Also, surprised to see Elias even mentioned here, I always assumed you just detested him and his gimmick.

But yeah, I wish everybody could be a bit more positive sometimes. I mean, I can see why there is so much negativity given the state of the product as a whole and all, but I feel like there still enough potential to be at least somewhat cautiously optimistic about things.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: WWE 2018: The Year in Review and the Potential of 2019

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Originally Posted by Dr. Bexmas View Post
Great list, and I'm with pushing and making focal points out of everybody you mentioned there, although I would add guys currently out with injuries like Zayn and Owens.

Also, surprised to see Elias even mentioned here, I always assumed you just detested him and his gimmick.

But yeah, I wish everybody could be a bit more positive sometimes. I mean, I can see why there is so much negativity given the state of the product as a whole and all, but I feel like there still enough potential to be at least somewhat cautiously optimistic about things.
I forgot them. Out of sight, out of mind.

And yeah, I'm not a fan of Elias, but he's over. So he should be pushed.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 03:43 AM
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Re: WWE 2018: The Year in Review and the Potential of 2019

It's refreshing to see some positivity amongst the incessant whining and bitching that tends to take place here. The negativity here is sometimes as miserable and insufferable as the WWE main roster product can be at its worst. You're right in saying there is a lot of bad with the product, but that there also still manages to be some things that are quite good and enjoyable. I think some here will never be satisfied, and will always be more interested in delighting in WWE's failures, rather than acknowledging their successes.

You have a pretty solid list overall. I think I would agree for the most part. Not going to comment on the whole list, but I'll throw in a few thoughts for some.

Drew seems to have the total package, but something I can't point my finger at just seems to be preventing him from clicking, for whatever reason. IDK what it is. He seems to have all the right tools. Maybe it's really just as simple as a booking or presentation issue. It seems like he's just that one moment or feud away from really being able to run with the proverbial ball. It's odd that WWE seems to be struggling with finding a way for him to breakout.

I'd really like to see Finn bring back his Demon gimmick. I know there are those who found it lame and cheesy. And I can understand how that might be hard to deal with creatively (as well as practically, with regard to the time and effort it takes to apply the bodypaint). But I always enjoyed that gimmick and what he did with it down in NXT, and I find his character without it to be rather bland, though the cookie-cutter babyface booking he tends to get probably doesn't help matters much either.

I agree that there is also probably some additional hidden (or perhaps not so hidden) potential within New Day. And I'd also agree that we're most likely to be able to find that potential in the likes of Xavier and Big-E. It would be interesting to see what one or both of them might do on a solo trajectory IN ADDITION to their tried and true New Day team. I find myself growing tired of some of their comedy antics at times, but it can't be denied that they are very reliable and talented. I struggle to see them ever breaking up while they're all still active. I just hope their success with New Day isn't typecasting them unnecessarily--there could be something under the hood that we didn't even know was there.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 08:07 PM
 
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Re: WWE 2018: The Year in Review and the Potential of 2019

My list would look a little different. I’d push Becky to the moon too (obviously), but my next priority would be Drew, who I think is the future face of the company. After that, I’d focus on Dean instead of Seth, who I think is a better overall talent, and Elias, who has potential to be a big draw and future WM headliner. I’d also focus more on AJ who is still a top draw and merch seller but only a couple years left before he’s said he’d retire. Personally I’d like to see him win the Rumble and rematch Brock at Wrestlemania.

I like Seth and Finn fine enough, but personally I see them more as workrate guys who lack the it factor.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 05:51 AM
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Re: WWE 2018: The Year in Review and the Potential of 2019

This is a solid lists that you came up with in the 2018 review and the potential in new year 2019. Great choices of stars that broke out this year. All of them certainly earned their spots. Each one of them had the pieces together to make a good year for the WWE. I'm proud of them and honored that you let us posts our opinions.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 12:12 PM
 
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Re: WWE 2018: The Year in Review and the Potential of 2019

Good review. Very well written.

I would argue that Bray Wyatt should be added to the "OTHERS DESERVING OF A PUSH OR CHANCE" section though. He's shown he is a tremendous character performer in the past.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 07:45 PM
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Re: WWE 2018: The Year in Review and the Potential of 2019

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vox Machina View Post
Also, I would like to suggest a New Year's Resolution for everyone. This forum is extremely negative. Segments that are okay are turned to awful in an instant because of the need to disparage the show and ceaselessly nitpick. The product is not very good, but I firmly believe the members of this forum complain about a lot of things just to complain. It's like everyone wants the product to be bad at times. Negativity begets negativity, and this toxicity festers in each thread, because people need to complain, need to argue, and need to ruin others' enjoyment. So don't forget to be awesome. Complain when it is necessary. Let other things go. Let people enjoy the things they enjoy. This won't make the product better, but it will ease some of your frustrations.
Amen. This is such great advice. Positivity is generally how I try to spend my time on WF, but it's just such a struggle sometimes. I'm in the Raw thread, trying to enjoy a segment and there's just people there shitting all over it and sucking all the fun of everything. I even told people a few weeks ago that they should stop watching if all they're ever going to do is moan and whine about how bad they think it is. All all I got told was "we're allowed to complain". Yeah, you are, but if that's ALL you're doing, maybe it's time to give it up. Why continue to punish yourself watching something you're clearly not enjoying at all and are forcing yourself to sit through?!

It's like that meme that says "shhhh, let people enjoy things" - I feel like a lot of people on WF need to do that. And it doesn't help that sometimes people seem to act insulted that somebody enjoyed a part of WWE that they didn't I'm enjoying the Dean vs Seth feud despite literally everybody else not liking it, and some people seem annoyed that I like it. Lol.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 08:19 AM
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Re: WWE 2018: The Year in Review and the Potential of 2019

2018 was the year that made me lose interest in WWE. The only wrestling-related stuff I'm still excited for is Lucha Underground.

I haven't watched an entire WWE show in a year. I spent 2018 fast-forwarding through the shows, even NXT. But it's been almost two months since I have even done that. I only keep up with what happens because of their Facebook videos.

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