All I Want For Christmas From WWE by Ron Pasceri

It’s the holiday season and I just so happen to celebrate Christmas. When I was a kid I would have a laundry list of things I’d want, whether it was from Santa Claus, my parents or my sisters. As an adult who still exchanges gifts with my family, this is the first year I can’t actually think of a single thing when asked what I want for Christmas. I don’t know if I’ve just finally gotten too old or if I’m completely lacking imagination, but I haven’t been able to come up with a single hint or idea for anyone. There ARE two things I do want from a party that hasn’t, and unfortunately won’t ask me: World Wrestling Entertainment.

One of my requests is more of a luxury, something that would be nice but not necessarily make or break my Christmas morning. The other is my WWE equivalent of the Daisy Red Rider BB Gun of “A Christmas Story” fame. If you haven’t seen it, I’m not sure how that’s possible, but you’ll have ample chance on every Christmas day for as long as TV exists. Anyway, back to my Christmas wish list for WWE.

Let’s start with my luxury item. I will be the first to admit I completely marked out for Roman Reigns for the first time during TLC and even more so during Raw the next night. I was excited for the drama that was created, the care that was given to his character’s story and the rarity of getting to see a title change live. It was also cool to be part of the crowd that booed Reigns at the Royal Rumble as well as part of the crowd that was cheering his crowning achievement. After basking in that glow for a few days I started to get annoyed at the fact that a feud with Triple H is on the horizon for Roman and it will most likely involve the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I like Triple H more than most and I respect him, but I just think at this point he needs to stay away from the main event and especially the the WWE title. So I’m asking for Roman Reigns to ultimately end The Authority’s time as the company’s top heels. It’s time for actual in ring talent to be the biggest and most dangerous people in the champion’s path.

It may not be likely to happen but I think the deck is stacked in a way that it could make sense. Vince McMahon doesn’t want to be featured prominently on the air anymore, but he’s got himself right in the middle of Reigns’ story now. Roman was as over as he’s ever been throughout Raw last week with the exception of his time on the mic opposite Vince. Fans seem on the verge of fully accepting him but this change is far too new to accept as fact. With Brock Lesnar looming, Roman will continue to be in jeopardy of negative crowd responses in the future. Perhaps the most significant thing WWE can do with Roman to get him over for good is to completely decimate The Authority. It was evident how grateful fans were to Reigns for beating Triple H to a pulp, imagine if he was responsible for severely limiting their role on Raw.

I’ve been a bit more tolerant of Triple H and Stephanie than most fans, which may be due to the hiatus I took a few years ago. That being said, I thought The Authority were well suited to be the major villains in Daniel Bryan’s story in 2013 and 2014. Their presence on-screen fit with fan perception that Vince and company were actually holding Bryan back and preventing him from reaching the top. It was a fictional story that represented what we believed as fact. It was fitting that he would need to overcome The Authority and more specifically Triple H because we felt that’s who was truly standing in his way. It also made the conclusion to his story that much more satisfying, because the reality had us emotionally invested in his success.

With Roman Reigns, that story doesn’t fit the same way. We’ve known for a while that Roman was destined for the top spot, that he was the golden boy in waiting. It just feels false in a way to see him going toe to toe with Mr. McMahon because we know Vince is one of his biggest supporters. While the presence of Vince may have helped elevate Roman’s character a bit, it’s hard to really buy into the idea of Reigns vs. the company. It made huge money with Stone Cold Steve Austin but Roman isn’t Austin and Vince, as entertaining as he is, isn’t exactly the same Vince anymore either. I really think for Reigns to get where WWE wants him to go, his title reign needs to include a complete and total victory over The Authority.

My must-have item from WWE is that it’s time to let Sasha Banks be The Boss again. I’m not naive enough to think every detail from NXT should transfer over exactly to the main roster and I’m also aware that she isn’t losing matches. Aside from that something about her main roster career is feeling disjointed so far. Part of it can be chalked up to creative making an amazingly convoluted mess out of the “Divas” division. It’s impossible to tell week to week and sometimes within a match who is supposed to be a babyface and who is supposed to be a heel. But there is more to it than that. Of the three women from NXT that came up and the rest of the women on the main roster, Sasha had the most developed and established character. It was clear who she was, what she stood for and why she was there. Despite that she’s been relegated to the background and the kickoff show.

It was unfortunate for pretty much every woman that got saddled with the three “teams” that started the so called revolution, but two of the three teams are pretty much dismantled. It seems as if Sasha, Naomi and Tamina are enjoying themselves in Team B.A.D. but it’s really not doing anything for any of them. The crowd is thirsty for more Sasha Banks, but they aren’t getting her. All they are getting lately are long promos, wigs while watching the monitor backstage and holding up signs in the first row of someone else’s match. It feels like creative is saying, “Hey they’re black girls, let’s make them the female New Day.” I’m aware Tamina isn’t black, but who knows what the writers think. Ultimately, they aren’t The New Day. The New Day was born out of three guys who were going nowhere who found a way to get somewhere. Team B.A.D. is not that, and Sasha didn’t need this gimmick to get somewhere. She was already there and it feels like, if anything, it’s holding her back.

In the spirit of complete honesty, I do believe WWE is starting some type of story for Sasha that will culminate in a title match at WrestleMania in Dallas. I believe that, but who knows. Creative has done some weird and nonsensical things in the past when it comes to great talent being misused and squandered. One of my worries is that due to her exposure in NXT, in a way it feels like a lot of her story has already been told. She had high profile matches with Charlotte this time last year, a higher profile match with Becky Lynch in the spring and two of the biggest matches in the history of women’s wrestling with Bayley in the summer and fall. It could be that the writers just aren’t sure exactly what to do with her. No matter the reason for her stagnation in WWE, it’s a problem that needs to be corrected soon. Sasha Banks is among the most popular talents in the industry. She is a unique person with a unique character and a unique look. She has what it takes to be the biggest star in women’s wrestling and WWE isn’t getting that job done.

I know what I’m asking for can’t be opened on Christmas morning and none of us will know if these things will happen for at least a few months. They say that the best things in life are worth waiting for. I don’t much like waiting, but I’m willing to wait if these stories go in the right direction. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for. While I doubt the end of The Authority is anywhere in sight, I have to think Sasha Banks will play a bigger part going forward.

Let me know in the comments what you’d like from WWE or the world of wrestling, I look forward to reading them.