The time is now: Why WWE must balance the scales on its key storylines prior to Night of Champions

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We only have one RAW left until the big she-bang in Detroit.

Okay, you have my attention.

Now what?

That was my prevailing thought last night during Monday Night RAW. As I'm sure most fans would agree, the key to success in professional wrestling, like most forms of entertainment, is timing. Specifically, knowing just how far you can bend the audience.

Without breaking them.

I think last night may be as far as I can go in a couple of key storylines. First and foremost is the Daniel Bryan saga. He won the title at SummerSlam back on Aug. 18, only to cough it up to Randy Orton via corporate pedigree. Since then, we've had three episodes of RAW and Bryan has been destroyed in each of them.

He even went over clean for a can of Krylon.

But I think they've pretty much exhausted that angle. The time is now to let the "YES!" man get a little revenge, or the program becomes unbalanced. I'm not suggesting the beatings stop, or that The Corporate Shield ends their "best for business" campaign.

We just need to know it's not a squash match.

To that end, I think I've also seen enough of The Big Baby Show, who is chewing up scenery like he's in a high school musical production of The Notebook. Less is more, big man, and let's not pretend that you and Bryan were bestest of buddies over the years.

Why so sad?

Bray Wyatt cuts some pretty good promos and the psychology behind them is pretty neat. Buzzards? Check. Abigail? Check, check. Cheap five-and-dime sheep mask? Backordered. As refreshing as this gimmick is, I can't shake the memory of his mediocre fireball match against Kane a few weeks ago. The time is now for him to stop all the jibber-jabber and start putting some of the master plans in place.

When you spell out WWE, wrestling comes before entertainment.

Cody Rhodes has been able to give us both. He started to get some buzz when he was paired off with Damien Sandow, took control of the crowd when he grew a porn 'stache, then had them cheering for him at Money in the Bank (MITB). If last night's edge-of-your-seat match against Randy Orton was any indication, coupled with his passionate, gritty promo, the time is now to elevate this guy into a top program.

As has been the past few years, CM Punk is already in a top program.

The General pointed out in his RAW reactions post (read it here) that last night's promo from Punk felt underwhelming. You can argue that he's set the bar too high and we always expect greatness, but I believe it's the limitations of his program. In short, he's kind of painted himself into a corner with Curtis Axel, who is so devoid of emotion, it's like he was just hatched backstage in a giant green pod.

Myles! Where do they come from?

I suppose the smark in me just wants it to be over since I don't believe in a million years that Axel beats Punk. He's not "Perfect" and he's certainly no Brock Lesnar. Without someone as equally captivating in the background, this feud, at its core, is just a bad break up between client and manager, one that is usually settled by litigation and not kendo sticks.

The good news is, each of the aforementioned programs have been entertaining and well packaged.

It also helps that Night of Champions (NOC) is less than two weeks away, so we only have one more RAW to get through before the devil gets his (or her) due. I think a lot of people would argue that hey, that's the time to pull the trigger on all these storylines, not before.

Absolutely.

However, I would also argue that most of the build-up has been too one-sided to convince me that NOC is worth ordering. Why would I believe a payoff is coming if all I've seen over the past five RAW/Smackdown broadcasts is a bearded beatdown, a 500-pound crybaby, a lunatic in a rocking chair and a less-entertaining version of Master Blaster?

I just want a little taste...

The time is now to give us that glimmer of hope, that ray of light that we'll mindlessly follow like the little buzzards moths that we are. And who knows, with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in D-Bry's ear, perhaps we can get a moment like this on next week's go-home show.

We (and they) may need it.

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