Watry’s 2017 Wrestling Wishlist
Hi, I’m Justin Watry. You may remember me from such classic columns as March 2012’s “WWE WrestleMania 28: Sheamus Should Defeat Daniel Bryan in Less Than a Minute” and October 2015’s “WWE NXT: Bobby Roode, You’re Next.”
Hope everybody is enjoying all the year in review content! Pretty basic stuff today from me. I will be writing a little wishlist for the world of wrestling in 2017. Then at the end is my mini-announcement I had been teasing for the past week. For a blast from the past, here is my 2016 wishlist…
Not too shabby.
2017 Wrestling Wishlist
– I wish for WWE RAW to move back to two hours. There, I said it. For the millionth time, I will repeat myself. The company did just fine for nearly twenty years without three hours on Monday. They didn’t need it then and still don’t. Despite what JBL and Paul Heyman tried to say last week, it is NOT helping anything but adding a few extra bucks to the bottom line. Again, something that is cool and all to the stock holders but not necessarily needed. Under those terms, why not make Raw four hours? Heck, add another hour to Smackdown too then! More money, right? No problem with that logic, right? There is more enough ‘bonus’ content throughout the week for WWE. Taking away that dreaded third hour (which Triple H says is more difficult to produce than people realize) would go a long way. Not likely to happen though.
– I wish for a successful jam packed AlamoDome in San Antonio for the Royal Rumble. When the venue was first announced, I didn’t think it would be filled. I felt it was stretching things a bit too much. Even for an event as fun as the Rumble in a big Texas market. To this day, I don’t think 60,000 tickets will be sold. Truthfully though, I would love to see it. Same with WrestleMania 32 last year in Texas. Whether it is through free tickets, giveaways, or a lot of smoke and mirrors, it is just awesome to see a huge stadium filled for a wrestling show. Make it happen WWE.
– I wish for another sizable increase in WWE Network subscribers. As wrestling fans, we should ALL want this. Each and every one of us should be rooting for the WWE Network to keep growing. Raise your hand if you want to go back to the days of paying $50 for a pay-per-view. Raise your hand if you still regularly buy DVDs for $20 a pop. Raise your hand if you don’t enjoy The Edge and Christian Show, Breaking Ground, NXT live specials, Crusierweight Classic, and the many awesome features on the WWE Network. Get it? My belief is 2017 will indeed see another boost in numbers, and at $9.99 per month, isn’t that a win-win for the company and fans? I think so.
– I wish health across the board. Injuries suck. Whether it is to Seth Rollins as WWE Champion who was nearing the end of his run with the title or Finn Balor just winning the Universal Title and beginning his main event run on RAW, it does not matter. It sucks. The year 2016 hit us all hard with guys/gals being on the shelf. Some say it is the new reckless style and high spots. Others (still) blame the schedule. A few were just freak accidents. Well, my wish is to just go a full year without any injuries to anybody. Long shot I know, but this is my list…
– I wish for other wrestling companies to step up and give me something to care about. I watched about three or four episodes of TNA Impact Wrestling in 2016. Mostly because I do not have POP TV. Otherwise, it was due to not caring. I tuned in for the Hardy Boyz nonsense and then tuned out the following week without a care in the world. Same with Ring of Honor. I would watch for an episode or two and then either forgot or move on moments later. Nothing captured my attention. Little known fact: I watched nearly ALL of Lucha Underground season one. Just about every episode. Guess what though? I lost interest and haven’t been back since, what season two or three or whatever they are on now? They had me…and lost me. Somebody on Twitter just told me to watch the New Japan Pro Wrestling show. My response was…I just didn’t care. Sorry if that offends anybody, but I don’t know a single match on the card nor any of the competitors. Couldn’t tell you a thing. MAKE ME INTERESTED! GRAB MY ATTENTION! I will happily seek out something and give it a shot, like the Deletion garbage. If I enjoy it, cool. If not, no sweat off my back.
– I wish for NXT to remain “prominence.” Personally, I still love the product and its weekly shows. Despite sometimes being clear filler, it is always entertaining because I am a firm believer in the MISS Method. Yeah, some shows are just quick matches and highlight videos. Fine by me. That is what you need on occasion. Nothing wrong with the idea. The problem is I also agree with the sentiment that *something* has been missing throughout 2016. Even when being head and shoulders above RAW and Smackdown, it does not have that same spark as before. I wrote a column on the issues a few weeks back during my 12 Days of Wrestlemas. Whatever is going on down in Florida, my hope is it gets solved in 2017.
– I wish for WWE Draft in the middle of the year. This goes without saying. There are a few wrestlers that could use a reboot. I won’t name names because I already did that in back in July. It was clear from the beginning that some would shine on their brand, while others would falter. Well, six months later, you can figure out on your own who needs a switch. Also, it creates buzz and is pretty fun for us fans.
– I wish for less authority figures on television. Don’t care if it is the McMahons, Daniel Bryan, or Mick Foley. Get rid of them all just make William Regal ‘the man’ who appears once a month to make a quick match announcement, and that is it! NXT does it so perfectly it is ridiculous the main roster still refuses to budge on a story line that worked in the Attitude Era with two of the most iconic figures ever…and hasn’t since. Blatantly clear we no longer need authority figures as the focus.
– I wish for the Womens Revolutuon to stay the course. Do as is. I knew it would work from the beginning, and I am glad it has stuck and proved all the naysayers wrong.
– I wish for certain guys to get another chance at main event status in WWE. Ryback, Cody Rhodes, and Alex Riley all come to mind immediately. Work out a deal, put differences to the side, and see what you have. Don’t tell it is not possible either. Stars return all the time to WWE. It just takes time. They all return eventually…
– I wish for a great year in WWE. Not a stellar past 12 months for RAW to be nice. Smackdown started out slow but has rebounded since the WWE Draft. Good live specials. All in all though, I am going to expect major improvements. The company can do better. We know that. Let’s see it in 2017.
I am going to WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, Florida. Still not sure on all the details. Still undecided on how long I want to be in the city for all the events. Still working my way through all the junk. What is set is that I will be there for the Sunday extravaganza. This is a bucket list type of thing I had been wanting to do for a few years now, with the hope of Mania coming to Minneapolis (nearby). Once that appeared to be off the table (and next year rumored for New Orleans), the decision was made for me: WrestleMania 33 is it! No more waiting. It’s happening…
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