On the Era of Missed Opportunity

I contend that we may be witnessing an era of missed opportunity. In these post-Authority times, there is a chance for the WWE to turn a corner – start a new chapter, head down a new storyline. The Authority’s departure is an opportunity for the WWE to experience a true period of lawlessness. Oh, we’re told things are lawless right now by Seth Rollins because he for one has been a marked man. But they’re not really all that dire. There are still functional refs, and someone is calling the shots week after week. The clock is ticking on this ripe opportunity for a Wild West atmosphere, and not some cornball homage to western movies with horse imagery and cowboy characters. I’m talking a period of anarcho-capitalism and peril, in which factions develop and alliances shift as it’s every man for himself.

Paul Heyman could go rogue as a community leader, capitalizing on his position as the talent with the most political capital and current possession of the championship belt. But others could step up as rival leaders of varying influence, seeking to carve out their territory.

Sting is not much of a vigilante if he never comes around and everybody has mostly moved on. That story is being neglected. He should swoop in and fuck shit up periodically: render everyone so shocked they can’t even punch him, and alter the outcome of matches. As it stands right now he served as a deus ex machina for Survivor Series, and little else of interest has come of his debut. He should strike when we least expect it, not wait forever to strike. Let him be our Zorro, an effective babyface outlaw who for whatever reason nobody can ever get a handle on.

Right now J&J Security is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to Seth Rollins’ cranky Hamlet. But they should be a proper posse to a desperate heel on the run – those two can really get in there and kick a guy when he’s down, why not let them capitalize on their thuggery? Right now it seems like they mostly get in the way and embarrass Rollins, they’re more like personal assistants than bodyguards. Sure it’s funny, but they could be developed into something more interesting if they weren’t strictly a couple of chuckleheads.

Luke Harper is a wellspring of potential for any Wild West story line. Right now he’s become just another thug wrestler. He doesn’t really have much of a story at this time. Same goes for Randy Orton.

The refs could be controlled by whomever runs the town, like bought-off sheriffs. There could be intrigue with the refs if some of them become dirty. But then, there would also be ones like the sheriff on Deadwood who stood firmly for right and wrong, despite perhaps an anger management problem. The Authority forced all sorts of centrally planned stipulations and cruelty on the function of the wrestling matches; it would be interesting to watch the impact of a decentralized power vacuum play out.

This would be a time for every one of our wrestlers to show what he or she is made of, not just Dolph Ziggler. There would be wild opportunities and grave dangers. Everyone would learn the value of power and how to jockey for it. They would each be forced to stake their turf and utilize it. Plenty of elements are sitting ducks for hostile takeover: the English announce table, the Spanish announce table, the ring bell, the big screen, the pyro, the entrance music. Dean Ambrose could absolutely run amok, which is how he is at his best. He could even wear a cowboy hat if it didn’t come off as too heavy-handed. Bray Wyatt could find his freedom to prosthelytize to us and rebuild his following. The numerous stalled out characters would each have an opportunity to reinvent themselves and “take a spot”.

As time creeps by the possibility of a Wild West storyline is slipping through their fingers. Things will settle into a routine if we keep benignly switching GM’s, and then it will be too late. If what we have right now is the bland offering of “lawlessness”, who cares? There were a few heel & face turns, but mostly things are how they always have been. I contend, however, that this should be the time for an nWo caliber of storytelling revolution in the WWE. If it was written as well as NXT, it could be groundbreaking.



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