Posted July 23rd, 2011 by Bill Apter

Blurring The Lines

WWE needed a big angle on Raw Monday night to follow up one of the greatest angles ever with CM Punk. I think the ending segment on Raw accomplished that task pretty well. Did Vince really get fired? Is HHH really now in charge of WWE? It does not matter and that is what is so great about the current storytelling in WWE. It blurs the lines between work and shoot. There is realism with this angle because HHH is second in command of WWE and has moved into a top executive position in the company in real life. One day HHH may very well take over full time for Vince, so even though this is all a work, it is a believable situation that will have some fans wondering if it is real or not. That is how to book a successful angle, when the fans do not know for sure what is real or not and need to watch the shows to find out.

Regardless of work or shoot, WWE needs to take advantage of this angle to implement some real change of direction for the company. Vince can use HHH as a scapegoat either way and that plays in Vince’s favor. If the new direction goes poorly then Vince can blame HHH. Vince can also fend off any criticism from advertisers who may not like the new direction because Vince will state that for the angle to work, a drastic change in direction was a must. Vince can take full credit if all goes well stating that this is all his idea. It is a win-win situation for Vince and the WWE needs to run with this ball and make the most of what the WWE now has. This angle is smart business and Vince needs to make sure that no money is left on the table ala the Invasion angle, ECW, and the list goes on.

HHH can make real change and do things that fans have been wanting for years now. Yes I understand that it is a work but still HHH will need to make change to what Vince was doing or Vince would not have been relieved of his duties. If WWE really wants to impact ratings then WWE needs to make the show “must see” each week for the next few weeks. HHH needs to come out at the top of Raw and talk about what changes the WWE will be going through over the course of the next few weeks. If HHH can lend intrigue into the storylines whereas some major happenings will occur, then fans will hopefully jump back on the wrestling bandwagon. Fans that left the product are interested again. They may not have fully returned but the interest has been piqued and WWE needs to hook these fans back full time.

The first thing that may and should happen is the influx of names returning to the company. HHH can install JR back to the booth even on a part time or PPV show basis. Not sure of JR’s health right now but regular appearances should be an absolute right now. HHH needs to reinstall the best play by play man ever in wrestling. Now that Cole is reverting back to his normal self, his normal self is a pretty awful play by play man. Cole had a great character going but if it is truly ended, then Cole is worth very little again for the company and should be moved back to Smackdown full time. Cole has some value but the flagship show should once again have the best on commentary. That alone will get fans interested in the product again.

HHH should not only prevent that championship match from happening but eliminate the WWE title altogether. Stop with the idiotic concept that Smackdown and Raw are separate entities and have one champion for the company again. Get rid of the worst angle in recent history, the anonymous Raw GM and just have one GM for the company that oversees both programs. Whether that is Teddy Long or someone new, HHH needs to make the company whole again and thus create many new matches. Yes I know Vince loves the “Draft episode” of Raw but the ratings do not spike for the show so what is it that the show does for the company if it does not generate ratings? Less titles and more talents vying for the titles will make the championships worth something again and make champions that hold them be looked upon with greater interest from fans.WWE will be telling fans that these wrestlers are who you should pay attention to and take a vested interest in.

HHH needs to make radical change and capture the attention of the fan of yesterday. CM Punk has brought wrestling to the forefront again and now WWE cannot drop the ball. Wrestling is relevant right now because an angle done to perfection has captured the attention of fans and even mainstream media alike. Vince getting fired will also take the Punk angle a step further and it should make people want to tune in and see what the heck is going on in the WWE. HHH needs to take advantage of what might be added viewer interest and draw them back into the product. Maybe having someone return to the company like Brock, Batista, Nash, HBK, Bret, Foley, someone that returns to have a position in the company again, whether that be wrestler or executive. Just give fans a reason to watch each week and fans will do that very thing.

Bottom Line:

The possibilities are endless as to what WWE could do with this angle. It gives the WWE the ability to change everything about the product right now. Major wholesale changes being made under new management is a great way to do it without ever admitting that things are not working. Yes this is all storyline driven and a work but not all fans will know this and most will always take angles at face value. The smart fan knows but the majority fan base will look upon it all as it was meant and that will create a major buzz going forward. CM Punk has created major interest in WWE again and hopefully Punk will be back in short time to reap the benefits of what Punk has created.

If HHH truly ever had concepts of what HHH would like to see within the WWE now is the time to try it because fans are expecting change and will be willing to embrace such change if the storytelling remains strong. WWE is in a very enviable position and need to take full advantage of what WWE now has, I cannot stress that point enough. The storylines do not have to be real, that just need to be presented as such and when WWE blurs that line, WWE has done their job to perfection. You have just read another chapter of the Forzese Files and as always feedback is greatly appreciated.

Jim Forzese

Category: Wrestling.

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  1. By Referee Jimmy Dylan, posted

    Great read, Bill! I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s been a while since wrestling has has one of those “high cycles”, and I felt it the night Punk cut the promo on Raw. After recording Bell To Bell on Youtube, I saw the explosion online & I knew the “cycle” may be upon us.

    With TNA putting on a strong showing this month, the debut of the UWF, and WWE’s newly found popularity…wrestling fans may indeed to ready for another wild ride.

  2. By eggie, posted

    i concur with making the titles mean something again, the intercontinental title was a stepping stone to the WWE title. The U.S. title was a stepping stone to the world heavyweight title, these titles mean nothing now. The tag team title(s) mean nothing, these titles are not even challenged at pay-per-views any longer. There are many WWE stars that can bring these titles to the fore-front again. ex; Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat, these 2 were big stars that could have easily fought for the WWE title but they gave us the match of the century for a title that only makes special appearences now, like THE UNDERTAKER. EX-champions dont even go after these titles anylonger WHY, how about CENA-vs-Randy Orton for the U.S. title and the winner is the #1 contender for the WWE/World Heavy Weight title

  3. By fred, posted

    hey bill i love the articale hears an idea that could help wat do you think… hhh comes out and does watu say does away with the wwe championship and announces that there only the need for 1 champ and 1 belt and from the rafters come the belt that will be the new wwe unified championship it is the world heavyweight title of the former wcw then he can go into s spill about how punk is not the recognized champ and christian is since he holds the world heavy weight chmpionship so christian defends then punk comes back at wm to say there can only be 1 champ then christian beats punk and that lends credence to the world heavy weight championship also if neccassry hhh can say that theres more honor and history in the old wcw belt which i think there is so wat do you think

  4. By anthony rivieccio, posted

    GOod Day Jim hope all is well

    I agree with everything you said:except 1

    While I did not like (and still do not) the brand angle-now that wwe has heavily invested in this concept-now is not the time to eliminate it-but enhance it-by getting rid of the spinner belt and bring in a brand new RAW belt

  5. By Rob M, posted

    The draft episode isn’t the point of having split brands its just the McGuffin that drives that plot. The purpose of seperate rosters is half the travel and wear and tear for superstars. Look how much overlap there is on SD now from them rehashing Raws plots. If Raw wrestlers were on there too you’d have a lot more talent languishing off tv and not getting pushed. You’d also have to expect more injuries and less consistancy with what wrestlers are at the house shows.

    Also, recycling old stars like JR or the wrestlers you mentioned is bad business. You’re never going to get 100 percent of old fans back. Its bad business to cater to them. Even JR said you risk becoming a nostalgia act. How about creating new stars and new announcers like Regal?

    WWE needs fresh talent, you need to stick to Classics on Demand

  6. By Phil Hook, posted


    Another interesting article from you. Whilst agreeing that interest in WWE is rising due the “CM Punk situation” and that they have to run with the story-line, I disagree about bringing wrestlers back from the past, no matter what their status. This is a chance for a new WWE, with new wrestlers vying for the top and gaining real exposure. Bringing back a former wrestler will only detract from that as TV time will invariably be given to him. This really is a chance for the likes of John Morrison, Zack Ryder, Kofi Kingston Jack Swagger and R-Truth to shine and truly star alongside The Miz, Rey Mysterio, Cena, Orton, Christian and, hopefully, CM Punk. Couple this with other established stars available (Kane, Undertaker, Triple H and occasional visits by The Rock, Steve Austin and Bret Hart) the WWE does not need further household names. If I want to watch the old names being rehashed, I’ll watch Impact Wrestling. As it currently stands, I’d rather watch WWE develop a new crop of main event talent, which this angle could and should capitalise on.

  7. By DMasters, posted

    LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!! Maybe the time has come for a new generation to start as Vince took the wwe to the promise land however as of late it has stalled maybe if you came a few things bring back a few long gone like goldberg, brock , steve austin & the rock the wwe can return to the glory days in the mean tima TNA is in the rearview mirror and as its said things are closer then you think stay tuned as this one could be one for the ages…Always..David M

  8. By pienman, posted

    tru, indeed! a good read to kno about the influx of WWE business & a much need direction to the frontfore of wrestling again… let the new ERA begin

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