If there’s a redeeming quality about the WWE at the moment, it’s that they finally returned to an old formula for the top two championships in the company. Instead of having top stars face off every week and month, they’ve built up new rivals and it’s been refreshing. In short, WWE title reigns are the poster child for what’s old is new again.
They’re having fun
With the normal names either out or working the upper mid-card, the WWE has been forced to reinvent how their champions defend their titles. Instead of going with the hot hand like they’ve done in recent memory, they’re taking their time with Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman. They’re letting them have some fun.
Seriously, when was the last time we saw a champion not pouting or brooding at the thought of facing someone? When was the last time we had champions that honestly looked like they’re having a good time? The one that stands out is Kofi Kingston, but beyond him the brooding, serious Batman wannabes seemed to be the thing.
It has its place, but as fans, we want someone that makes it fun. Someone that tells a cool story. It’s why Kingston was so popular. It’s why the Fiend is so popular. The same with Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre.
Their whole demeanor is different. We can tell they’re honored and take it seriously, but they’ve found a way to enjoy their run and it’s made it easier to find opponents to make it interesting.
We have McIntyre and Bobby Lashley coming up (frankly, it’s nice to see Lashley finally gets his chance to shine post his TNA Impact era), and Lashley’s been built up perfectly. We’re going to see two bulls fighting in the ring, and as long as they’re allowed to put on a good match, they could easily steal the show.
Strowman’s feud with Miz and Morrison is simply hilarious. Those are fun segments that lighten the mood before “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt reenters the picture. The interactions between the three of them have made their segments the must watch part of Smackdown and they should put on a pretty good match. While different, it has the potential to be one of the best matches, though Strowman should maul both of them. It’s reminiscent of Andre the Giant’s handicap matches, but even Strowman can’t fill those shoes so hopefully that’s not the WWE’s intent. It looks like a simple way to further build Strowman up as the Monster Among Men.
And this is where it feels like we’ve been transported back to the 1980s.
Rivals are plentiful
Like during Hulk Hogan’s reigns, he faced anybody that challenged him. The thing is, they aren’t the established upper echelon stars every week as was the case with Brock Lesnar and even Seth Rollins.
Instead of facing AJ Styles, and Baron Corbin, McIntyre’s been facing those relegated to the mid-card for various reasons. After beating Lesnar, McIntyre faced the Big Show in what honestly a far better match.
Like Kingston before him, McIntyre’s been facing largely forgotten wrestlers and giving us fun matches and moments.
This is so similar to Hogan’s WWE title reigns when he faced Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy, and others from the Heenan Family in main events. He face Ted DiBiase, Roddy Piper, and Paul Orndorff. All main eventers at some point, but weren’t considered top stars by fans. And each had memorable matches with Hogan.
It drew us in as fans because they were all a threat to Hogan. Many of us didn’t know if he’d win or not as they all found a way to push him to the limit in every match.
The similarities between then and now are extraordinarily close, and it’s great to see. So many fans and wrestlers defend the video game style of wrestling and lack of story telling in matches as what works today, and the old style doesn’t work.
Yet, when we see matches (MJF vs Jungle Boy on AEW Dynamite) and current WWE title reigns shows that it works and gets the fans behind them.
This is the type of rebirth the sport and fans could use.
SUBSCRIBE NOW: Get TheOvertimer’s Hottest Stories, Breaking News and Special Features in your email, CLICK HERE! (https://theovertimer.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=4571ebcd73b61c43d3f9fefe2&id=aa06e9276b