WWE Superstar Shake-Up REcreative: A Successful APOLLO Mission

So we are less than 24 hours from Night 1 of the Superstar Shake-up. The “red brand” made out very well on this deal receiving a cornucopia of talent ranging from pre-show darlings, women on a path to success, some established heels and a midcard champion. I wanted to take this time to focus on one acquisition in particular.


The first “shake-up” of the night came before RAW even started. It was announced on WWE.com that RAW had acquired Apollo Crews from Smackdown. This trade surprised me because up to this point WWE hasn’t known what to do with Mr. Crews. So this move can mean 1 of 2 things; either they will be shuffling this gentleman back and fourth without purpose until his contract runs out or he will actually be given a spot on the flagship show. I am honestly hoping for the latter. Apollo Crews is a very talented wrestler with amazing skills in the ring but he doesn’t possess the skills to get the casual fans to follow and invest in him.

So some people would suggest he needs a manager but in this current climate of WWE good ones are hard to find. I have seen the suggestion around the web that Paul Heyman would work. This is the thing wtih Heyman. He IS WITHOUT A DOUBT one of the best managers in the business but he does have a rocky track record when you look at his recent clients. Heyman has had five clients in the last several years (Brock Lesner, CM Punk, Cesaro, Ryback and Curtis Axel). 2 out of those 5 would be deem a success, those would be Lesner and Punk. What they have in common is a history with Heyman behind the curtain as much as they did in the ring. Heyman was the one that believed in these men and the stars they could be and eventually developed into. He had a vested interest in their success. Axel and Ryback were merely stepping stones in the eventual Brock Lesner vs CM Punk marquee match-up at Summerslam 2013. And when you look at Cesaro he was in a very similar spot that Apollo Crews sits now; a physical dynamo that could not get the crowd to pop if he set their seats on fire. So Heyman is not going to solve this problem unless he is the one with the matches.

This is where my creative plans comes in. On the April 3rd, 2017 we saw the debut of The Revival when they came in and decimated The New Day. They made a statement by “injuring” Kofi Kingston and putting him on the shelf. The next week they took on Big E and Xavier Woods. Again they made a statement. So what I purpose is Dash& Dawson come out next week on RAW saying they are not done with the NEW DAY. They go on to say that they are not looking for pin falls they are here to put people on the shelf. Xavier and Big E come out and tell Dash & Dawson they aren’t hard to find. We get a heated match. In the middle of the match they have Big E down and handcuff him to the ropes. They knock Xavier Woods out and lock his legs up to deliver the stomp from the top rope, exactly how they took Kofi Kingston out. The refs come out they get Xavier Woods and Big E to the back. Woods is screaming in pain getting wheeled into an ambulance and as Big E is climbing in with him Apollo Crews is scene looking on in concern.

The next week Big E comes out he says he is fine representing the POWER OF POSITIVITY alone and there is nothing The Revival can do. He continues by saying at  Payback they are going to see that. He says that he already talked to our New GM and got his match, a 2-on-1 handicap match. Out comes Dash with Dawson and we have a singles match. Big E would control the match forcing Dash outside of the ring multiple times to regroup. Finally through frustration Dash & Dawson jump Big E causing a disqualification. Big E would rally back forcing the Revival to flee leading us into Payback with Big E looking strong.

Payback arrives and we have Big E vs The Revival in a 2-on-1 Tag Handicap match. This one goes exactly how one would imagine with Big E holding his own at the beginning but due to underhanded tactics The Revival would take the upper hand. After finishing Big E with the Shatter Machine for the 1-2-3. The attack doesn’t end there. As Dawson locks the legs up and Dash goes to climb to the top to take out the last member of the New Day Apollo Crews comes out and clears the ring. As Dash & Dawson stand outside the ring yelling back Apollo would then drop them with a diving attack to the outside taking them both out causing a retreat by The Revival as he [Apollo Crews] helps Big E to his feet.

This would lead to the teaming of Big E and Apollo Crews. With Big E’s charisma the WWE Universe would slowly see a charisma rub on Crews’ character. This is exactly what Apollo needs. Big E is more than a manager Big E is a crowd favourite. By having Apollo save and befriend Big E he absorbs the popularity of the New Day that was seen to be lost when Kingston and Woods were hurt. Now the best thing at this point is to have The Revival continue the feud with Big E & Crews. They could run in on their matches against other teams or even address each other through promos. Eventually when they do face-off I would have Woods outside the ring with crutches. Somehow have him assist with a win over The Revival. This causes a rift. Apollo doesn’t want to win in this way and you see a divide starting.

Eventually Woods returns first from his injury. He is visably bothered by Apollo Crews but Big E is doing a good job patching all visable problems. This would move into Apollo & Big E building a winning streak (sometimes with the unknown help of Xavier on the outside) and lead them to a Tag Team Title program. They ultimatley win the titles and during a celebration we see the return of Kofi Kingston. 

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are on the mics. They congratualte Big E for holding it down while they were gone. Totally ignoring Apollo Crews you can see Big E getting awkward. He jumps on the mic and says its good to have his borthers back in the ring but he couldnt have down this without Apollo. Woods starts laughing. He makes the claim that they wouldn’t be holding the titles with out his help. Apollo gets rattled and gets in Woods’ face. As Big E pulls him back Kofi and Xavier land a double kick over Big E’s shoulder taking Apollo out. As Big E begs and plees with them they turn shrug at each other like “why not” and take out Big E. We witness the END OF THE NEW DAY as a trio.

“The Aftermatch”

This can lead in to multiple stories; the obvious Tag Team Title feud of The “New” New Day vs Big Apollo. This could go for at least 2 pay-per-views. And then when it is played out you have the eventual heel turn of Apollo Crews on Big E. Big E has the potential for a great singles run but first will need to shed his associates. Through this Apollo gets a new look with a heel New Day or goes off on his own as the man who is sick of helping people and getting no further for it. 

All in all this makes sense. The New Day is becoming stale but still has enough crowd power that they can help a star that needs it. You create branches of the storyline that can build within each other which WWE wouldn’t accomplish by just adding a fourth member. Big E and Apollo have enough of a similarity in style that they compliment each as a Tag Team and because Xavier and Kofi act as the current mouthpieces they are already making Big E look like the odd man out.

With one storyline you can easily turn this into multiple organic stories giving the superstars so many creative ways to take it. 

Advertisements

Wrestlemania 33 Recreated: RAW Tag Title Match

 

So I think we can all agree that the current climate of Tag Team Wrestling in the WWE has hit a cloudy period. And this isn’t something that has recently happened but has been on a slow decline for many many years. The toughest part with the current scene is there is actually quite a lot of talent but most slip through the cracks unless they are in a title feud. 
For this post I will be focussing on the RAW title match. As many of you know at Roadblock: End of the Line The New Day lost their Tag Team Titles to Sheamus and Cesaro this ending their record setting reign. In my booking this will not take place. In fact The New Day will be the champions going in to Wrestlemania. So let’s start this out. 
Act One: Hit a Roadblock

So going into Roadblock: End of the Line New Day was becoming very desperate to keep their reign going. There was some shady finishes in their matches with Sheamus and Cesaro. So this will lead to the match at Roadblock. Before the match we discover that Sheamus and Cesaro have been attacked backstage making them unable to compete. On the floor we see 2 ski masks with skull designs on them. Cesaro is out and Sheamus is screaming in pain. Mick Foley doesn’t want to loose a Tag Title Match so he makes the match vs Anderson and Gallows. 

Match starts with a very physical New Day. Anderson and Gallows manage a comeback. During the match Michael Cole gives us an update that Cesaro was un esponsive and sent to the hospital while Sheamus is currently being monitored in the back. This match would end when Gallows is on the outside and Sheamus comes down using a crutch and hits Gallows in the back screaming accusations regarding the assault. Match is stopped. Anderson and Gallows win by DQ and New Day is still the champs. After the match Anderson attacks Sheamus followed by a Magic Killer as New Day make their way to the back. 
Act 2: Ready to Rumble

Anderson and Gallows meet with Mick Foley. Foley says he has a strong suspicion that it was them that attacked Sheamus and Cesaro butadiene of now he can’t prove it. He says they do have back stage tape they are looking into but nothing concrete yet. Anderson and Gallows remain aloof during this and firm on the fact they didn’t do anything. They continue saying they got screwed by Sheamus and want a rematch for the titles. Mick Foley says ok at the Royal Rumble they will face the New Day, but if the evidence comes back saying they had something to do with the attack they loose their shot. 

From that point you book it like you normally would. Involve the 2 teams in singles matches. Tie them into a match with Roman and KO. The week before the Rumble have Cesaro and Sheamus come out. They say they know it was Anderson and Gallows that attacked them and think that them loosing out on their shots is BULL!

This brings us to Royal Rumble. During the pre-show Mick Foley is doing an interview in the back. He is being questioned about any evidence in the attack at Roadblock. Mick says nothing was shown and all we have is the ski masks. Just then you have a producer whisper something in Micks ear (his good one). Mick looks pissed says this interview is over and starts darting off. Cameraman follows Mick leading them to the scene of Anderson and Gallows laying on the ground next to the same ski masks found with Sheamus and Cesaro. Mick leaves them with medics saying he is getting to the bottom this. We cut to the pre-show match. Afterward we see Sheamus and Cesaro walking backstage Mick comes into the room. He flat out accuses them of attacking Gallows and Anderson. Mick goes on saying that there is no proof linking Gallows and Anderson to their [Sheamus/Cesaro] attack. Cesaro is quick to say bring up how Anderson and Gallows got the title shot at Roadblock so they want the shot tonight. Mick is reluctant but wants to do the fair thing so he makes New Day vs Sheamus/Cesaro. During the entrance of Sheamus/Cesaro they are jumped by Anderson and Gallows. While the four brawl New Day is seen just watching and laughing from the ring.
Act 3: Turning on to the Fastlane

Mick Foley comes out saying that he has had enough of Cesaro, Sheamus, Anderson and Gallows. All four men come out and instantly start arguing. He puts the teams in a match for the next RAW. The next week the match starts and quickly spills out on the floor. Referee counts 10 and calls it a draw. Even after the bell the brawling doesn’t stop. So Mick Foley comes out and says he is done with this and they can settle this at Fastlane in a Falls Count Anywhere Tornado Tag Match. Both teams agreed. 

Later on that night New Day comes out. They commend Mick Foley for his decision. And since that takes care of the competition they assume they get the next few weeks off. Then Enzo and Cass’ music hits. The crowd pops. Enzo comes out does a promo regarding all the great things to do on time off from work. Enzo then apologizes cause they are going to spoil their [The New Day] day off because they were just talking to Foley and New Day has a match with the badaboom realist guys in the room. Back from a break and they are in midst of the match. New Day is doing everything they can to keep Enzo in the ring. Their tactics are on the shady side but nothing drawing too much attention.

Some how Enzo gets the hot tag leading to Big Cass running through everyone. There is some sort of confusion with Nee Day leading to Enzo/Big Cass getting the win. After the match New Day is seen complaining to Mick Foley about loosing their time off they earned by being the “longest reigning W-W-E Tag Team Champions” (said in the New Day Way). Mick Foley says that he is sorry but Champions should be fighting champions so at Fastlane it will be New Day vs Enzo/Big Cass. New Day seems kind of out of sort. Xavier is about to go off but Kofi/Big E wrangle him in.

This brings us to Fastlane. We start out with the Falls Anywhere match. This would lead to the back. Eventually they get to the locker rooms. Have Anderson/Gallows beating up on Sheamus in the hall Cesaro running splash at everyone. They go slamming into a locker room and there are The New Day in all black holding the ski masks over an knocked out Enzo and Big Cass. There is a staredown that breaks into a huge brawl. Mick Foley and security get involved. Order is restored by taking some superstars out of the building. Foley is frustrated clearly and when approached by an interviewer he says he will address the issue on RAW.
Act 4: Next Stop Wrestlemania 

On RAW Foley calls out The New Day to explain themselves. New Day says they don’t need to. They have established themselves as the greatest Tag Team by beating all competitors on their way to DEMOLISHING the record. Foley says that’s right but now your legacy doesn’t reflect that. On top of that you have screwed 3 teams out of their chance at the titles. So at Wrestlemania it will be The New Day vs Enzo/Big Cass vs Sheamus/Cesaro vs Anderson/Gallows in a 4-way Elimination Match for the RAW Tag Team Titles.
The Aftermath:

So the reason why this is booked like this is currently there are two major problems with the RAW tag division;

1. It is way too shallow. Currently there are 5 teams.

2. Out of 5 teams 2 are heels and one of those is Shinning Stars.

With booking it this way you are giving the New Day a stronger heel run than their original one. You also have a huge feud in the making with New Day and Enzo/Big Cass. That’s why it’d be best to have Enzo/Cass go over and give them a strong Wrestlemania moment.

You’re also creating tension between two other teams (Sheamus/Cesaro and Anderson/Gallows) that has the fans attention and it doesn’t need the titles to further it. Without the titles driving the feud you can build these teams stronger based on character development. And it opens that door for them to work other programs after.