WWE recently sent out an email survey to their fans. Among the simpler questions asking how often you watch their programming or attend live events, there was a very interesting one that got many thinking about the current AEW product and what WWE is missing right now. WWE wanted to know what you thought of a wrestler ranking system.
A ranking system has been a big part of what sets AEW apart from WWE. It’s an easy way to keep track of how a wrestler is performing and how high up the card they move, giving meaning to their title scene. Would a ranking system help WWE, where so many problems stem from a confusing title scene where wins and losses don’t seem to matter?
A ranking system has been great for AEW
When AEW debuted in 2019, one of the first noticeable differences seen between their product and WWE’s was the introduction of a ranking system. It was a way of making decisions matter. Fans could watch their favorites climb the ladder of their respective division until they were given a title shot. Lose a match, and watch them fall and have to come back up.
We can argue about how it works. Some wrestlers receive title matches when they are not even ranked. Others are ranked and don’t get title matches at all. It’s still better than nothing, though, and it’s easy to keep up with weekly updates from the AEW website, while showing the rankings on TV each week under a wrestler’s name banner during their entry. . Despite his flaws, he brings some logic to the title scene, which is the exact opposite of what WWE does.
The WWE title scene is full of part-times and rematches
The WWE title scene is confusing to say the least. Every week we see champions losing in non-title matches. Do you remember how bad it was to watch Finn Balor and Ricochet lose every week while wearing the belt? If not, it’s constant rematches. After watching the same game three Mondays in a row, it doesn’t matter who wins. There’s no meaning in the game, so why should it mean anything to us? The worst part is that a wrestler like Brock Lesnar or Goldberg can disappear for a year and then come back and be immediately placed in a championship match. Collectively, none of this makes sense.
If WWE added wrestler rankings, it would add some legitimacy to the matches we see every week and give fans something to be invested in. It’s a great way for the company to rein in itself and control the chaos it has created.
Imagine the world championship scene, for example. We would no longer have part-time stars coming out of nowhere to land in a league game that leaves fans groaning in annoyance. Why can’t Brock Lesnar or Goldberg have a match that isn’t for a championship for once? It would be a way for them to build new stars. Why can’t fans watch someone like Drew McIntyre rise through the ranks, beating someone week after week, with anticipation building until he finally comes up against Roman Reigns?
A ranking system can help create new stars
Or we can watch someone new go on a winning streak and get into the title picture. What if someone like Mustafa Ali started reaping wins, garnering more cheers and more fans each week as he climbed the rankings? It would be the perfect way to create new superstars to support us. On a lesser but equally exciting level, how about building someone like Ezekiel, moving him up the ranks, on a collision course for United States Champion Theory? It would also add great drama to someone who is on a losing streak. No longer can a superstar get upset and just go out and cut a promo in which they challenge the current champion. Now we have to look at how they deal with disappointment and how they fight to lift their spirits. It creates great drama so easily.
WWE needs to do something new. AEW forwarded them to the innovation department. Fans need a reason to tune into Raw and SmackDown every week. For the casual fan, the long-discussed complaint is that if you miss multiple episodes, it doesn’t matter. When you log back in, it will still be the same matches you were watching a month ago. WWE needs to step up and give fans more reason to get involved. A filing system is the easiest way to do this.
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