Filtering the Roster II
January 14, 2003 by Mathew Santilli
I was reading The High Spot: Filtering The Roster and find it interesting on how everyone has an opinion on how wrestlers and storylines should be booked. Bored one day at work, I decided to write my own angles. While I'm not saying they are the best, they are certainly something that I would be excited to watch. I didn't write too much detail about the storylines and decided that I would not touch on every single wrestler in the company - although I was damn near close. This is just a rough draft of my thoughts but I think they're pretty straightforward and are enjoyable.
Randy Orton - They call him the legend killer. Why don't we continue on with that namesake? Bring in a legend who can still wrestle pretty well to feud with him for about a month. What about Jimmy Snuka. That would get the audience to pop big. Imagine seeing them end the feud in a cage match just to see Snuka go for the big splash off the top? Only Orton moves out of the way and kills yet another legend as well as the move that made that legend even more famous. Furthermore, the only other active legend on the roster is Ric Flair. How about a feud for respect when Ric Flair declares that he wants to see his protégé try to defeat a real legend, himself! That would lead up to a great match, with Flair juicing like a pig and Orton bruised and battered. Who would win? Not sure.
Mark Henry - Have him lose some matches and have Teddy Long give up on him. Mark Henry's furious and wants respect. Bischoff goes to Henry the next week and declares no one wants to see Henry wrestling. He's a disgrace to wrestling and couldn't beat Stacy Kiebler with both hands tied behind her back. Bischoff gives Henry a month to get back on the right track and win some matches, or else he's fired! Now for the fans, we're hoping to actually see if Henry can do anything worthwhile to watch but also secretly hoping that he gets fired at the end of the month. At the end of the month, whether he's done good or bad, have Bischoff fire him anyway. Henry says she wants one more match, his retirement match to say goodbye to the fans. Bischoff grants him a match against anyone he wishes. Henry chooses Kane. We'll give them a couple weeks to develop a storyline and have them fight at the next pay-per-view. They fight in a bloodbath, a pretty good hardcore match. Henry wins. He makes a speech about how he was doing it for the fans. We put him over, and send him on his way. The only reason I wouldn't bury him is because he has been loyal to the WWE and has been around for awhile.
Goldberg - Have him lose to in a world title match the day after Wrestlemania but due to interference or disqualification. Goldberg wants a rematch. Bischoff comes out and says that he doesn't think that he deserves a rematch. The only way that he can get a rematch is if he can repeat his legendary winning streak from wCw - but in a different way. He doesn't need as many wins, but he has to beat every single male on the roster, by pin or submission, without losing in any way. Have him start with Steven Richards, Tommy Dreamer, etc on Heat. Goldberg on Heat should be good for ratings, how often do we get a main eventer on Heat? And we'll want to see the streak happen again too. He'll work his way up to the mid-card at the same time, while fighting on Raw. He'll make his way to the upper mid-carders which will be a little harder and could turn into some storyline development. Eventually, he finally makes it to the World Title match and wins it. In my opinion, that is the best way to make everyone happy. You've got Goldberg dominating. You've got plenty of heels to work with Goldberg for future storylines. WWE rakes in the ratings with the "streak". The most exciting this is once it gets close to the title, there will be storylines involving Goldberg and heels where it'll be just working up to one match, win or lose, reminding me of the days of the Taz/Sabu feud where they didn't even touch each other for over a year.
Mark Jindrak & Garrison Cade - First of all, they seriously need a gimmick. Keep them as heels but really, really cocky heels. Have them win the Tag Titles. Put them in sunglasses and leather jackets and 5 o'clock shadow and just have them act like assholes. The tag division is really lacking on competition - watchable competition. They can gloat about how their young, just started teaming together and are unbeatable. Have them cheat as much as they can. I haven't really seen them do any promos so I don't know how they would be.
Big Show - Have Big Show lose the US title - please. Have Big Show lose a couple of matches against some guys who need to get over, like Mysterio and A-Train and such. On the next pay-per-view, bring in James Vandenberg and have him talk so much smack to the Big Show, Cena would be impressed. He can tell Big Show that he will make him what he once was - a dominating monster. Big Show agrees. Vendenberg declares that in one month (or two months, depending on when their next pay-per-view is), the WWE will get what they've had coming to them for a long time. Over the next month show vignettes of Vandenberg, keeping Big Show locked up in a cage, and just terrorizing him. This storyline is very similar to the storyline when Piper locked himself in a jail cell until he had to face Hogan. One month from that pay-per-view that Vandenberg took Big Show, have them both come in and just obliterate whoever was in the main event. Big Show will be bearded scraggily hair, and just a mess, kind of like how he was when he was the Giant. Don't let him wrestle in any matches; just have him be Vandenberg's right hand monster to destroy anyone who needs destroying. The main point in his gimmick is to destroy and not to lose a match. That is how you build a monster.
Hardcore Holly - First of all, get rid of "Holly" - Hardcore sounds cool alone. Second of all, get him a manager and turn him heel. Heyman might actually be a great manager for him. With a name like Hardcore, make him exactly that. Have him fight for the US title, and have him win it. I personally hate listening to his southern accent and his bad ass gimmick just isn't working yet. A heel manager would be the ideal thing for him. For years I've been waiting for the next Ringmaster, so that is pretty much the gimmick that I'm looking at for him.
The Undertaker -Of course, he has to come back as the Dead Man. Have him beat Kane at Wrestlemania like everyone wants. After that, have him go through some schizophrenic storyline about he shouldn't have turned back to the dark side because it's taking over him. Have him not wrestle for a while, just have vignettes about how he's losing his mind and the dark side is taking over his body. Have him return as the dark side Undertaker. We need another big heel and with his kind of gimmick he doesn't need to wrestle to often as he get others to do the dirty work for him, like when he led the Ministry.
Brock Lesnar - There isn't much that he can do anymore as a heel. He's feuded with everyone on the roster, particularly because storylines never last more than a month anymore. Turn him face and have him team up with Angle again. I loved the short vignettes with them knocking each other and the great matches that they had when they were both friends. This can lead to a feud with The World's Greatest Tag Team, who really needs to get some high profile matches and can lead to them getting a lot of TV time. A feud is already built in as to their past, in the WWE and before in amateur wrestling.
Sean O'Haire -Many heels will try to enlist his services but O'Haire will refuse to work for anybody. He'll be the one knowing what's going to happen before it happens, knowing all the dirt dealings in the WWE, but will only give out information and his services for a price. There will definitely be a dark side to him but he'll also help out the faces if he feels he's being threatened by anyone else. That will lead a lot of questionability about what he is going to do next and who he will side with at certain times. He won't wrestle much but when he will wrestle it'll be interesting to watch because he'll only get involved in high profile matches and you'll never know which side he's going to be on. This may lead to title changes and feuds between others, which are caused by him. They can so do this with the psychological gimmick that they were giving him already.
Rikishi - Turn him heel and have him tag team with Rosey. Neither of these two is doing anything worthwhile right now. Trade Rosey to Raw and have him start a heel Samoan tag team. I could see a good feud with the APA here.
Billy Kidman - Turn him heel. Have Torrie Wilson dump Billy Gunn and decide to manage Kidman. Whether Kidman can work the mic or not, he'll still have the hot chick on his side. I've noticed he's built a little mass to his physique as of late. I could see him developing a Shane Douglas-like character.
Billy Gunn - Give him a run for the World Title. He deserves it and there really isn't anyone left to go for the title that already hasn't. I'd say instead of trading John Cena to Raw (which was rumored), send Gunn to feud with Triple H. They have some history, which can be worked on and possibly a tag team with Shawn Michaels there.
Chavo Guerrero - I really think he's gone beyond the point of staying at cruiserweight level. He should definitely have a few matches for the US title. I'd love to see him win it and compete for the cruiserweight title against Ultimo Dragon in Title vs Title Matches. After a short (?) US title run switch him to Raw to keep us from seeing anymore Eddie vs Chavo matches as I have gotten pretty tired of it since they competed against each other all the time in wCw.
Ultimo Dragon - Have the Dragon win both the US and Cruiserweight belts, have him defend both belts, cruiserweight on Velocity in main events and US title on Smackdown. Keep the US title run short, as he can give it to a heel that needs to build heat (ie: Billy Kidman). He and Mysterio and could really bring the house down in tag matches against Akio and Sakoda if given the chance. After that feud it can always end with a final match where the winners get a shot at the tag titles. And after THAT, how about getting Yamaguchi-san back to manage Ultimo Dragon to get some heel heat to feud with Mysterio?
Hurricane - He needs to get some more air-time. He adds some wacky comic relief that is nowhere to be found on the program. I might not like it but there's always something good for the kids. I mean, that's the whole premise of a superhero right? Give Triple H a side-feud with Hurricane in which Hurricane dubs Triple H as a super villain using the World Title for evil. While Hurricane won't win the title, it can definitely give Hurricane some validity as a good wrestler and will give us some sure to be interesting promos and vignettes.
Rob Van Dam - Get Bill Alphonso! I say RVD convinces Bischoff to hire a new ref: Alphonso. Every match RVD is in he can lose by some unfair count or ruling by Alphonso. RVD confronts him about it and Alphonso swears that he was just doing his job. RVD asks for an IC title match which Bischoff doesn't want to give him. RVD says that he'd love to have Alphonso referee the match. Bischoff realizes that Alphonso will just find some unfair way to make RVD lose so he agrees. In the IC title match, Alphonso and RVD swerves us all by having Alphonso help RVD win the IC title. This would be a good heel turn for RVD with the magical chemistry Alphonso and RVD have in future promos.
Chris Jericho - Keep the Highlight Reel going. Everyone loves it and it helps develops storylines. A feud could be build with Jericho and Christian. "You're having the Highlight Reel tonight? Well, my Peep Show next week is going to be ten times better!"
Booker T - There's not too much that I could think of for Booker. Whatever he does is golden. He needs to change his slogans a bit. Perhaps going to Smackdown would be a good change for him where he could feud with Big Show and try to become the first 5 time, 5 time, 5 time, 5 time, 5 time US heavyweight champion. Of course he won't say that because he doesn't actually want to lose it. Oh!
La Resistance - WWE are definitely not reaching the potential of promos and vignettes that they could give to La Resistance. I know they can't go too over the edge but it's not like they haven't before. They could show that they aren't that bad guys by performing a "search" for Osama Bin Laden. The concept in itself is hilarious. It'd be kind of like when Leslie Nielsen was looking for Undertaker. Give Conway the mic and him just degrade the crowd to no end. They already have the anti-American angle; they just need to step it up a notch instead of saying the same stuff every week.
Kane - they really had a thing going when they had the police escorting him to the ring. I'd like to see that again. Have him attack a "fan" in the crowd. Bischoff will realize that no one can contain him so he has police escort him to the ring so that he won't hurt anyone. Make him a homicidal maniac who just doesn't care about anyone or anything. Show him burning houses on fire for Christ's sake. Exaggerate it so bad that he's actually "torturing" people in vignettes.
The Bashams - They have great gimmick on their hands. We just don't know what it is. They seriously need to get some mic time. They have the tag titles but we don't know if they want them or if they're looking for more competition or if they're in a feud with anyone. If they didn't pull the ol' switcheroo to win matches we wouldn't even know if they were heels. They've got a manager and SHE doesn't even do any talking. I say have them come up with the gimmick that they get disqualified in all of their matches. They don't even care about the titles; they just want to hurt people. Have a face team like London and Spanky challenge them, giving the audience the chance for people who "deserve" the titles.
Give the Bashams mic time to just say the weirdest most offensive shit out there to freak their opponents out giving them the psychological edge and then just have them go out there to hurt the other teams by repeated double tag team moves and illegal weapon shots with chains and hot pokers.
The FBI - They need some comic relief. How about Nunzio kicking out Stamboli and Chuck because they aren't "Italian enough"? Afterwards, he hires Steven Richards and Matt Morgan to be the new FBI. Great promos with Nunzio and Richards abound while Morgan packs the muscle. They're not really Italian but it is fun to watch them try to be.
Lance Storm - He needs some respect so he tries to go the easy way: cheating and a hot manager - Dawn Marie. Here's a wild idea - it works! Give him a shot at the IC title and a feud with RVD.
Test and Stacy Kiebler - Test continues to treat Stacy like shit. Steiner and Test have one last match. The winner gets Stacy and the loser leaves Raw. Steiner wins. Test is relegated to sitting at ringside while Steiner gets his turns with Stacy. I know this angle has been happening for awhile but it really isn't going anywhere but at least with my idea it could lead to a good finish. So Test tries getting back with Stacy, which lasts awhile. He says that he's changed and that he wants Stacy back. He sends flowers, chocolate and all that good stuff. While Steiner degrades Stacy in the ring, Test tries to hop over the barrier, but since he was in the I Quit match he's no longer a wrestler so Bischoff sends out police to prevent Test from getting involved. Naturally, the whole time, Test is turning face. So finally, Steiner gets a shot at the IC title at the next pay-per-view in which he loses and beats the hell out of Stacy and puts her in the Recliner. So Test beats his way through the cops and beats the hell out of Steiner with a chair and sends him over the top rope. Test lays out his hands for Stacy. Stacy hesitates but eventually hugs him and they reunite. Until... Bischoff comes down and has him arrested. Stacy threatens that she will quit if Test doesn't get reinstated and Bischoff sends her packing. Until... The Sheriff declares one more match at the next Raw main event: Test vs Steiner. It's a good match (saying a lot for Steiner) with Test winning. Test then proposes to Stacy and we get all the cheesey wedding stuff and a feud with Kane when he tries to ruin it.
Triple H - There is no way that anyone should say anything bad about Triple H in terms of him deserving the title. Sure, he should put some guys over every once and awhile but come on. He's the World Heavyweight champion. He needs to make it believable that he can't be stopped so that when he finally loses it, it'll be a big thing. If it wasn't for Goldberg beating Triple H, do you think Goldberg would be as big as he is now. Since Triple H has beaten up every body on Raw, I'd say to bring up some guys who deserve the title shot. Have Trips make open challenges to guys like Hurricane and Booker T and RVD. He'll win all of them of course. Then have him make an open challenge in which the Rock comes out to and accepts! That'll be a good feud for a couple months until The Rock has to leave again for his next movie. Hopefully, by then we'll be fresh enough to start a new feud with someone traded from Smackdown (ie: Billy Gunn).
Scott Taylor - He obviously needs to get rid of his gimmick and he really needs to turn heel. Switch his name back to Scott Taylor and get him managed by Paul Heyman. Then give him a credible run for the cruiserweight belt.
Val Venis - I'd like to see vignettes in which Val Venis tries to make Rico "a real man". He could do stints on the Man Show and the John Henson Project and get the word out about WWE while also getting it all to further the angle with Rico. I think he's developed over the porn star gimmick but he can now be a player or a kind of like "Da Man" of WWE. Match that up with the extreme gimmick of Rico's and it could be entertaining tv as well as matches, teaming together.
Rico - After the gimmick previously said, tying in with Val, I'd like to see him actually "graduate" from Val's Man School and show Miss Jackie a thing or two. Rico is too good of a performer to be doing the floating around, all fairy-like thing. Eventually, I'd like to see Rico dive into Val's gimmick and be real men, hanging around back drinking beers, kind of like APA used to do. Having Miss Jackie around them playing the ditzy blonde would add some comic relief as well. I think they would make a really good tag team as well.
Chris Benoit - Give him the world title at Wrestlemania. He deserves it more than anyone in the business. I'd also like to see him feud with Eddie for it afterwards. Eddie has earned a few shots at the title and going against Benoit for it would be all too fitting. I see Benoit holding it for awhile, really being the perfect world champion and overcoming all odds to stay the champ. He's the kind of guy where you can put a face in with him such as Lesnar and Angle and still have a great feud. Gimmicks certainly make good TV. Those three, however, as faces, with no gimmicks, can face each other every week and wouldn't get boring. That's very rare and should be capitalized on while they're hot.
John Cena - Cena is one of the few who doesn't need to change anything right now. I was skeptical about turning him face but WWE actually pulled it off - but that might have been more of Cena's talent than WWE. I'll still side with Michael Hayes about the FU to Benoit.
Eddie Guerrero - While Eddie is hot right now as a face, I don't really see him going against anyone in particular. That's why I think he should get jealous of Benoit winning the World title (see above) and have some classic matches for it. I can also see a really good feud with Cena as well. Regardless, Eddie should continue to Lie, Cheat and Steal!
Ernest Miller - needs to start talking trash. He's great on the mic, giving promos, etc. In fact, I think he and Cena would make a great feud if Miller decided to be a heel. Jesus, who wouldn't Cena be good in a feud with. On the other hand, I think he would be a good face against the FBI (see above) too. No matter what, Miller just needs to get into some action with someone instead of just dancing. It was nice the first time, as a debut, but the Vince thing was a little over the top. Another would be a travesty. Another way that Miller could go is having his own version of the Highlight Reel. If anyone is going to do it on Smackdown, he's the one to do it.
Edge - should go to Raw and feud with Triple H. That is a fresh feud that would certainly revive the World Title. It's also a good way to give Edge a fresh start and possibly feud with Christian in the distant future. In the long run, I'd love to see a TLC match between Edge, Christian, Matt and Jeff, to see who the REAL king of TLC is. Thinking about it, that would be an awesome Fatal 4-Way TLC match. Of course the Dudley's would have to be involved in some way, possibly in matches leading up the match and/or afterwards.
Dudley Boyz - make them heel. Bubba is a diamond on the mic as we've seen from ECW. I'd love to see D-von Testify one more time about sending some face tag team through stacked tables. They could tease the What's Up and Get the Tables to get the crowd hoping for them and then take it away and not do them. They are a great face team but I think it's run out and it's time to give the fans the Dudley Boyz of old. The REAL Dudley Boyz.
The announcers - need to start focusing on matches. Sure make a few comments about the feuds they are in and who they'll be fighting at the next pay-per-view, but seriously if the wrestler is not involved in the match, don't talk about them. Save other wrestlers' plugs for when the match is over. Also, know the names of the moves that they are doing. I'm tired of hearing "Hey, what's that called" "I'm not sure". Come on. Do you hear Madden asking what kind of a penalty is being called on the field? If you don't know the name at least say that it's a version of something else. As much as I like Al Snow on Heat, I'd really like to see a female announcer to combat Coach's asshole comments. I'd love to see a female who can actually call the action too, but I wouldn't replace any of the current wrestlers (ie: Molly Holly) to be an announcer. That'd be a more fitting contest than finding the new diva actually. How about finding the first full-time female WWE announcer? Now that is good promotion.
by Mathew Santilli ..
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