All indications are that WWE wants to keep its world title on Brock Lesnar through WrestleMania 31 for a main-event match with Roman Reigns.
Which is fine. Except that WM31 is in April. And it’s just now the end of August.
That’s seven months with a part-time guy as the champ. And as WWE is already seeing, it’s hard to build programs around a part-timer, which is why we’re seeing creative recycle the Lesnar-John Cena match from SummerSlam in the main event at Night of Champions.
Night of Champions is shaping up as the first of several pay-per-views that you can miss if you have something better to do, like watch the NBC NFL Sunday night game or Boardwalk Empire on HBO. Because after Lesnar squashes Cena again at Night of Champions, who’s next?
Seriously, I’m waiting. Big Show and Mark Henry are a tag team right now, and either one make sense as an opponent to help continue Lesnar’s push as a monster heel, if we can pry them away from the tag rope. After those two, then who?
WWE is lacking hot babyfaces right now. It’s pretty much Cena, Reigns, Show, Henry, U.S. Champ Sheamus, and then we’re dipping into the midcard.
Fans are already bored, and we’re not even to the boring part yet, with Lesnar taping backstage segments several at a time at his rare arena appearances, wrestling once a month against the jobber du jour.
Viewership for this week’s Raw dipped below 4 million, and there’s nothing on the horizon to make you think that WWE is going to do anything to shake things up to the point where the needle moves in a positive direction.
WWE might need to consider changing the creative direction for Lesnar and Reigns, maybe even sacrificing Reigns’ main-event spot at ‘Mania to get him over on Lesnar sooner, and use The Rock as the main-event foe for either Lesnar or Reigns at WM31.
The company is treading on dangerous turf right now, with WWE Network continuing to underperform expectations, and Raw threatening to go into the tank with the lack of interesting storylines.
A Lesnar undefeated streak through WrestleMania will not be good for business. Bottom line.
– Column by Chris Graham