A rash of personnel issues left WWE in a precarious position heading into TLC and the road to Survivor Series. A reported walkout, what amounted to two leaves of absence being granted and a viral infection left Vince McMahon and the Raw and SmackDown creative teams with a lot of holes in their plans for the next month. A month that includes a ‘Big 4’ pay-per-view (PPV).
Faced with needing to quickly book from a back-up plan, we got the return or Kurt Angle and a match that turned the big Shield reunion angle into a one-off car crash, followed by Team SmackDown putting their differences aside to put Raw #UnderSiege.
It made for a couple night worth of shows that had the internet buzzing. The conversation and coverage changed from “where are Neville and Nia Jax?” and “when will Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt and Kevin Owens be back?” to “HOLY $#!+!” and “THAT WAS AWESOME!”
Which is cool. And well played by The ‘E.
But now it’s time to start turning those moments into stories.
There are a lot of very interesting angles which could spin out of the Oct. 23 don’t-call-it-an-invasion. Will General Manager Daniel Bryan be on board with commissioner Shane McMahon’s declaration of war? What motivated that group of Superstars to don blue shirts and make like vikings? Why were some men and women not a part of Shane O’Mac’s raiding party?
If WWE takes a few minutes to answer those kinds of questions, and let their performers show they’re individuals who will respond in different ways to the situations these moments have created, this could be fun AND satisfying.
There are already signs that both the “I want something a little deeper” and the “stop complaining and enjoy some craziness” crowds can both get something out of Survivor Series, and all of WWE’s scrambling.
But it will take more of this:
I fight for what's right, I don't fight for tyrants. #UnderSiege— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) October 24, 2017
And less of this:
Can WWE pull it off? We’re about to find out.