If I Were In Charge – NoDQ Episode 1
by: James Bones
Here we are, only a week away from one of the big 4 PLEs, Survivor Series. This year, we get ourselves a little twist called “War Games”. Definitely not a new concept, but a new concept for the WWE main roster. Here in the new Triple H era, it seems old is new again. We’ve got old PPV names and concepts making a return. We’re heading back into the type of booking where it’s ok to tell long term stories. The best thing about it? Everyone from the bottom of the card to the top of the card is getting time to make an impact and entertain us. Example? How awesome was Tozawa on RAW? Playing poker with JBL and Baron Corbin was absolutely hilarious. Playing stupid then running away with the loot at the end was a great moment and showed that it’s ok if someone isn’t in a main event feud, they can still feel important to the show and be entertaining.
What was getting very boring to me in the last few years of the Vince Era was the 50/50 pointless booking. The focus was only on the top feuds or wherever the titles were at the time. Hell, you even had Sasha Banks and Naomi walk out as Women’s Tag Team Champs because they were being treated so poorly when it came to storylines & booking. I get it, it was unprofessional, blah blah blah, contracts etc…but imagine feeling so hopeless even though you’re a champion that you need to walk away? Yikes. Heartbreaking. Since Triple H took over, I’ve slowly seen this 50/50 booking disappear and a more “involved” show begin to happen. We aren’t just waiting for the big moments, the wrestlers are able to make big moments regardless of their spot on the card, sometimes on the fly. Very promising.
Running into Survivor Series War Games, we have an insane group of talent in the men’s War Games match. We have this enormously talented group, The Bloodline, who are legit family (minus Sami “Honorary Uce” Zayn”) taking on the Brawling Brutes, Sheamus, Butch & Ridge Holland, joined by Drew McIntyre & Kevin Owens. We’ve all seen how Roman Reigns has been running on a whole new level and being in “God Mode”, but we definitely need to give props to Drew McIntyre. Yeah, the claymore sword was super corny and over played, but he’s been working his ass off and showing up, performing over expectation and truly proving he’s top tier. Kevin Owens? I truly don’t think Owens has even hit the prime of his career yet. I always get a big superstar vibe from Owens no matter how much damage was done from Vince’s booking. I know a lot of you don’t feel the same, but it’s still there, like a pot of water that’s 2 seconds away from turning into a roaring boil. I’ll get back to the men in a bit.
For the women’s War Games match, we have Damage CTRL, who have been somewhat controversial if you ask around about the quality of entertainment they bring to the show, joined by a new (and much better version IMO) Nikki Cross as well as Rhea Ripley. This heel group is taking on the odd bunch of faces who have joined forces since Triple H took over; Bianca Belair, Asuka, Alexa Bliss, Mia Yim (who recently returned to join The O.C.) and the ever so exciting mystery teammate!!
Who should this mystery teammate be? Well, if I were in charge (get it!?!), I’d have someone I know who’d be around for while make a surprise return. Someone who can actually go in the ring. Someone who’s super skilled, has trained around the world and doesn’t fit the mold. Alright, alright…I’ll spill the beans, already! If I were in charge, Doudrop….err sorry, I mean Piper Niven would make her way out as the 5th member. Why you ask? Under Vince’s regime, Piper was never given the fair chance to really show how well she truly is in the ring. She took the Doudrop character and made the best of it, even being a side piece to first Eva Marie, then Nikki A.S.H., which by the way, was super cringe (both mash ups).
Now that Nikki Cross is back to being the heel nut job character she plays so well, I believe it’s the right time to have Piper return as a face and do some truly incredible shit in that amazing War Games cage. You want some insane footage for the reel next year? Now’s your chance. Just think of how crazy that would be to see Piper splash Nikki from the top of the cage. Knowing that Piper is still on the young side, generally healthy, and extremely skilled, it’s time to bring her back and let her be who she truly is. Champ material as a face or heel.
Will that happen? Well…I’m thinking not. Why? I have a really weird vibe that the focus might be on Rhea, and more importantly, her next feud. I know what you’re thinking and yes, The O.C. w/ Mia Yim and The Judgement Day are currently feuding. But did you happen to notice on last weeks RAW that they played the video package of the Edge vs. Finn Balor I Quit match from Extreme Rules? And how the focus was specifically on the ending, when Rhea hit Beth Phoenix with the Con-Chair-To? Bingo. Edge is on his way back…why not Beth? Beth did look like she was in good shape and ready for the ring. She has years of valuable knowledge that she could pass along to some of the newer female talent on RAW. Personally I don’t want it to be Beth, and if I were in charge I’d prefer to have Doudrop make her return as Piper Niven, but something tells me Triple H might just give Rhea and Beth the spotlight heading into Royal Rumble. I’d still be fine with that, simply for the fact Beth & Rhea could really beat the hell out of each other.
Back to the men! The men’s War Game match will no doubt end with The Bloodline winning, but how? Clean sweep? No, that’s not something Triple H would do (plz Papa H, don’t). He values the stock he’s put into Drew McIntyre, Sheamus and more specifically, Kevin Owens. Kevin Owens will be a big player going into WrestleMania if he can stay healthy. Could it be as a tag team partner? Say…maybe a partner to an ‘expelled from The Bloodline’ Sami Zayn? That has been one of the rumors floating around. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn tag up one more time for a huge run to dethrone The Uso’s at the Grandest Stage Of Them All. Is it my go to storyline? No. If I were in charge, Kevin Owens would play a much bigger role.
With Royal Rumble around the corner, and the potential return of Cody Rhodes, Triple H is going to want to book himself a banger of a main event…for EACH WrestleMania Night. Sure, he could dip into the “obvious fund” and do The Rock vs Roman Reigns for the Undisputed Title, but relying on part time guys to be the champ just seems so…I dunno, “Vince”.
One of my favorite wrestling moments as a kid? The 1994 Royal Rumble when both Bret Hart AND Lex Luger won the Royal Rumble. You see where I’m going? I hope so. I’d have Kevin Owens continue to kick ass and be the top guy on RAW with the fans fully behind him and loving him. He can play the true badass, no BS taking prize fighter. Owens would go into Royal Rumble looking very, very strong.
But we all know the Royal Rumble has its surprises. Cody Rhodes? Well that’s a perfect surprise. The only issue here, the crowd. The Royal Rumble crowd is one of the most finicky crowds there is. They don’t like “the obvious”, and they don’t like it when someone they aren’t behind wins (example: Blue-tista 2014). If I were in charge, I’d pull a 1994 all over again and have both Owens and Rhodes hit the ground at the exact same time. Wouldn’t that be great? Yes, it would, and here’s why…
Picture this – during the lead up to WrestleMania 39 we have both Cody Rhodes and Kevin Owens as crowd favorite faces. The crowd fully behind both. Both trying to be respectful of the others careers, but sliding into the darkness here and there with digs and roundabout insults. Roman Reigns would be sitting back laughing at how Cody and Kevin are so worried about who won the Royal Rumble, they don’t have enough focus to even be close to taking the title from him. Here’s a shock twist (in my brain – my world in these articles, remember?!), it’s noted that the draft will be taking place after WrestleMania, and that at WrestleMania, it’ll be decided that the Undisputed Title will be split back into the WWE Title and Universal Title. Night 1, The Universal Title, night 2, The WWE Title. Wow!
Kevin Owens and Cody Rhodes would have a match in between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania at the February or March PPV (to bring in some views) in which the winner would decide who gets to pick what night they want. Night 2 would be promoted as the “must have” night due to Roman Reigns being beat up and exhausted from the match on night 1. This doesn’t mean he has to lose on night 1, but just imagine the Paul Heyman promos about how unfair it is Roman not only has to split the Undisputed Title back into two titles, but how it’s so unfair he has to fight two nights in a row! Pure entertainment.
To me, Survivor Series War Games is just the beginning of the new regimes’ “Road To WrestleMania”. It’s a truly important night that’ll potentially start some “family” rifts, create new feuds, and fully cement the ones currently in place. My column, If I Were In Charge, might be fantasy booking but it’s what I think would create some truly entertaining and compelling storylines for everyone to enjoy. It would also give some pretty darn good matches along the way. Of course this doesn’t exactly mean my mind is made up and set on the current ideas I laid out. No, no, no….in my world, ideas can change on a whim. The best part of pretending I’m in charge? Anything goes and nothing is ever set in stone.
Thanks for the read, and I truly hope it was a fun one for you. We all love to fantasy book and probably give hate to the current happenings more than we should be, but we do anyway. That’s the joy of being a wrestling fan. In my lifetime I’ve been lucky enough to be able to watch WWF, WCW, ECW, NWA-TNA, Impact, WWE, NXT, NJPW and AEW (now only WWE, NXT & AEW), I’ve seen BOTH a lot of really, really great stuff and a lot of really, really bad stuff. In the end what’s good or bad to me and you is all subjective. That’s what makes us individuals and proves the wrestling world has some of the most passionate fans out of anything out there.
Until next time!