WWE: A Major Problem Creative is Facing


WWE  has an overwhelming number of heels that are over with the crowd and faces that  have been quickly losing momentum.

Right now, WWE has a huge issue. This problem became glaringly apparent during Extreme Rules and Raw the following night. And with upcoming feuds and matchups, it may even continue into the foreseeable future.

The problem is that creative does not how to properly book faces anymore.

You need not look any further than upcoming Raw exclusive PPV Great Balls of Fire, where we can expect the main event to be Samoa Joe vs. Brock Lesnar. And Alexa Bliss’s next challenger to her WWE Raw Women’s Championship? It looks like it could be Nia Jax.

In fact, 8 of the 9 current WWE championship titles are held by heels. If you include the NXT titles, it becomes 13-out-14.

Now, before I go any further, I’m not saying that WWE doesn’t have any over faces. There are quite a few of them on the roster, including Sami Zayn, Tye Dillinger, Dean Ambrose. But for every AJ Styles, there is a Kevin Owens, somehow outsmarting or outwitting him at every turn.

Let’s take a deeper look, and find out the “why” and “how” of this problem.

The Daniel Bryan Dilemma

Exploring Daniel Bryan’s rise as champion is key to understanding why WWE creative has such a hard time getting babyfaces over. He is, at least partially, responsible for the current slump that has plagued many of the faces in the WWE.

His run leading up to Wrestlemania XXX, where he eventually became the WWE Champion, was probably the greatest Wrestlemania moment in the last 10 years. But let’s not forget how he got there.

Despite constantly proving his incredible technical wrestling skill and uncanny ability to connect with fans, Bryan was constantly forced into positions of weakness. Whether it was team Hell-No as the scrappy underdog wanting to prove his value to the team, or putting over already established main-eventers like Randy Orton and Sheamus, it was evident that the powers-that-be were not entirely sold on Bryan as a bonafide star.

WWE’s hand was forced by the overwhelming support of the WWE Universe. Eventually, he’d go on to beat Randy Orton and Batista for the WWE World Championship. Confetti dropped and Wrestlemania XXX went off the air with deafening “Yes!” chants.

So what’s the problem?

With the success of Daniel Bryan, WWE now believes that booking their faces as underdogs is the only way to create a fan-favorite superstar. This, unfortunately, is not the case. Bryan was lightening in a bottle. His charisma and in-ring wrestling skill allowed him to overcome WWE creative and capture the hearts of many fans. Making his incredible run the bar for faces to reach or surpass is unrealistic.

Wins and Losses Don’t Matter

Part of the reason faces have such a hard time getting over is because WWE creative doesn’t believe that wins and losses count. If fact, it’s been said almost verbatim by Road Dogg Jesse James, Producer and Head Writer for SmackDown Live.

This attitude comes straight from the top of the company.

Jinder Mahal, the newest WWE World Champion, was on Chris Jericho’s podcast, Talk is Jericho, shortly after winning his number one contendership.

On the subject of him winning the six-pack challenge for the shot at the championship, Jinder told Jericho,“it’s crazy how things can change like that and, like, I would always hear Vince say, ‘ our fans have a short memory span.’”

If WWE believes fans only digest the product week-to-week, without looking at the long term booking implications of each superstar, then, of course, they don’t think wins and loses matter. Jinder’s unlikely rise from jobber to top star, over the course of 3 weeks, is testament to that.

But they absolutely do.

How Shinsuke Nakamura Can Change Creative’s Thinking

WWE creative has a unique opportunity to fundamentally change the way they book their faces.  Since his call up from NXT, Shinsuke Nakamura has remained undefeated.  Nakamura beat Dolph Ziggler at Backlash, as well as reigning United States Champion Kevin Owen’s, on last week’s episode of Smackdown Live. These wins allowed him to maintain his credibility as a top-level superstar.

If Nakamura is able to find a foothold with the fans, as he climbs the ladder, WWE may finally decide that faces don’t always have to be underdogs. Finn Balor also rose quickly, but was undone by injury. Roman Reigns have also had a similar style of booking after the Shield broke up, and it backfired horribly.

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But WWE has shown that they are willing to make split-second decisions that can change the course of a superstar’s career. You only need to look at Jinder Mahal. Maybe they are satisfied with current landscape in the WWE. After all, they have what could be considered the most technically proficient roster of wrestlers of all time.