Here at The Nerd Hub we wear our nerddom as a badge of honor on our sleeves. It’s our brand. It’s our name. Laugh at us if you want, but nerds solve problems. They innovate. They create. With that in mind, we’ve come up with an idea to solve what we believe ails WWE. We want to take what people enjoy about pro and college sports and “Just Bring It” to the squared circle. We give you WWE All-Star Aggression: a merger of what we love about sports and wrestling. WWE All-Star Aggression just reflects the name of our fictitious wrestling tournament.
TRULY MAKE THE FANS THE AUTHORITY
Remember the above promo when The McMahons and Triple H said you would become The Authority? It happened. It’s tough to believe that’s little more than five months ago. That aired on Monday Night RAW in December 2018. Vince, Shane, Stephanie and Triple H promised they would do better. They blamed Baron Corbin and bad writing for bad shows and sagging ratings.
Fast forward a half year. All Elite Wrestling just debuted as a smashing success at Double Or Nothing. Meanwhile, ratings for WWE RAW and SmackDown Live hover around all time lows. As a result, fan complaints on social media mount to all-time highs.
“Genius” Vince brought us the Wild Card rule to fix the problems the company created with The Superstar Shake-Up. However, it seems like all WWE will do now is overexpose the few Superstars attracting attention these days. Do they really think the answer to bigger ratings revolves around Roman Reigns and Shane McMahon fighting twice a week?
However, we don’t want to turn this column into Complain-Apalooza 2019. Even smart people can panic, make poor decisions and rely on what’s worked on the past. That’s where our idea comes in.
Some of us here at Nerd Hub represent unicorn nerds. We don’t refer to athletic competitions as “sports ball.” In fact, some of us nerds here follow WWE and sports with all the fire and passion of a Becky Lynch promo. So, our idea is simple. Take what we love most about sports and use it to fix what’s broken with WWE creative
SELECTION PLAN A – LET’S MAKE ALL-STAR SUPERSTARS GO VIRAL
Let’s start with common ground between sports and wrestling. Fans of both love to state their case why their favorites reign supreme. So, let’s take advantage of that. Besides, what do we love more than voting for our favorite sluggers, touchdown throwers and dunk machines to make the all-star game? So, let fans vote on a field of contenders to enter a tournament for title shots.
In addition to making fans The Authority, WWE can weaponize its massive hold on social media. The above video thanks WWE fans for helping the company surpass a billion followers on social media platforms. The mechanism to make this work already exists without having to launch costly new measures.
Therefore, we set up a system where the superstars make “campaign” promos, lobbying fans to vote for them. You can set up a points system. Each like, retweet or share racks up points for that Superstar. During the voting window, Superstars can campaign as little or as much as they like.
Furthermore, let’s make this campaign season inclusive. We open up the voting to all brands – RAW, SmackDown Live, 205 Live, NXT and NXT UK. Obviously, main roster Superstars will hold an advantage in followers. However, WWE can weight the number of entrants from each brand later. Meanwhile, this gives fresh talent opportunities to build more of a fan base online.
RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch turned Twitter into must-see theater for months during her rise. Current 24/7 Champion R-Truth delivers incredibly entertaining content on his plight to constantly defend his belt. So, can you imagine what creative gold the Superstars can explore on their Twitter, Instagram, YouTube channels and more?
SELECTION PLAN B – “THE BEST IN THE WORLD” CUP STANDINGS
WWE may reject our voting idea. We get it. They don’t mean business about making fans “The Authority.” Vince wants to hold things closer to the chest. In that case, we can take a page from NASCAR, the PGA or soccer and create a “Best in the World” Cup ranking system. Naturally, WWE could sell the naming rights to such a thing and make a killing.
With this model, we make everything count. WWE defines a period of competition where wins and losses matter, elevating or cratering the Superstars they choose. They could weight the points however they’d choose to do so. A victory in a main event or pay per view means “x times” the amount of a run-of-the-mill win.
Furthermore, this sort of system plays right into the model Fox reportedly wants to see when they take over broadcasting of SmackDown in October. They will have a studio show on Tuesdays to breakdown the WWE world. What better way to try to compete with AEW’s show on TNT than reviewing the latest rankings?
THE FUN PART – ANNOUNCING & SETTING THE FIELD
Every March, CBS keeps us enthralled by reading off names of colleges. Wait a minute. That came out wrong. Yet, it’s spot on. That’s essentially all the NCAA men’s basketball tournament selection show provides us. It’s a graphic of a list of college names interspersed with talking heads and video clips of college guys partying. Yet, this gets ratings. That’s why it’s close to a primetime thing on network TV.
WWE should tap into that magic by setting up its own men’s and women’s WWE All-Star Aggression tournament selection show. They could make a big deal of it on USA or the WWE Network. Triple H could provide us with impassioned promos alongside Hall of Famers. We can even cast Corey Graves as our irreverent Charles Barkley figure to make fun of everyone else.
As for the field itself, we feel a few ground rules should sort it properly. First, let’s keep the big four champions – men’s Universal and WWE and women’s RAW and SmackDown – out of it entirely. They should exist as the prize at the end for the tournament winner. As a result, this allows organic rivalries to develop between Superstars not currently holding belts.
Second, let’s make this an inclusive tournament. Let’s represent RAW, SmackDown, 205 Live, NXT and NXT UK. You can weight the field accordingly. For instance, let’s say you want a 32-man field. So, you invite 10 each from RAW and SmackDown while adding 12 entrants from 205 Live, NXT and NXT UK. On the women’s side, you could cut that down to a 16-woman field if necessary. So, that would invite five entrants from RAW and SmackDown and leave six spots for NXT and NXT UK Superstars.
Third, the seeding of Superstars relies on which selection method used. Under Plan A, the highest vote getters receive the highest seeds. On the other hand, the “Best in the World” Cup rankings would sort the seeds out for us.
Finally, we believe the Final Four standing should all win something. Therefore, the winner gets first choice of the champion they choose to challenge. The other finalist gets the next choice. Therefore, we could set up a match between the semifinal match losers to establish who picks third and fourth.
MAKE EVERY EVENT COUNT
So, we have our tournament field. What if WWE doesn’t want to spend a lot of time on RAW and SmackDown working its way through all those matches? That’s an easy fix. Put some matches with stakes on them at WWE Live events. Remember the fun of AJ Styles winning the United States Championship at a WWE Live show at Madison Square Garden in 2017? I’m sure everybody at the show does.
WWE could book a select number of matches for the tournament at live events. In addition, they could make these matches available for WWE Network subscribers if they chose. WWE already pulled off something similar with televising The Shield’s final match from a live show recently.
It’s one of a number of things WWE could do to liven up some of its house shows. On a side note, we here at Nerd Hub always thought it would be fun if WWE sold sections of shows as fan sections for some of its top Superstars. Can you imagine one whole section of nothing but Seth Rollins, Charlotte Flair, Roman Reigns or Becky Lynch fans going nuts together? WWE might even explore selling individual event merchandise for fans in those sections.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE IN THE FORM OF STIPULATIONS
We feel higher seeds should get an advantage, just like in sports. So, the higher-seeded Superstar gets to name the match stipulation of their choice. As a result, Superstars get the freedom to shine in their element. A babyface can choose to win straight up. On the other hand, a baddie like Baron Corbin could set up a no-disqualification contest and get Bobby Lashley to help him win. Therefore, each match in the tournament can take on a life of its own. We know nothing in WWE exists as a straightforward path. So, we feel our tournament should reflect that winding road.
MAKE TITLE SHOTS A CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
It hardly seems sporting to make a Superstar go through an entire tournament just to get one match. So, let’s take what we love most about Major League Baseball, the NBA or NHL and make title shots a championship series. WWE can choose whether to make these a Best of 5 or Best of 7 format.
We see you out there rolling your eyes. However, this already worked once. One of the greatest accomplishments Mick Foley achieved as RAW General Manager was pitting Cesaro and Sheamus against each other in a Best of 7 for a title chance. Ultimately, this gave us incredible singles matches between these two and years of a great tag team afterward.
The drama of claiming a championship resides in the chase. So, let’s build up a chase that puts hurdles for both the champion and challenger to climb.