With the Thunderdome Era in our rear view mirror, could the WWE have missed some opportunities with this unusual set up? It was obvious that the WWE was simply on cruise control until the fans could return in person. Let’s take a look at five opportunities that the WWE missed out on with the Thunderdome.
King of the Ring
We will not count Shinsuke Nakamura’s defeat of Baron Corbin to become the King of the WWE as the actual 2020/2021 tournament. Bringing back the KOTR tournament would have provided about a month or so of potentially compelling qualifying matchups on both Raw and Smackdown. The King Corbin gimmick was way over on its miles and was badly in need of a change, although, his current character trajectory isn’t holding out much promise right now. The finals could have been held on whichever PPV was on that particular month. It would have given some superstars some exposure that they have been missing and could have drawn a following depending on how they did in the tournament.
Queen of the Ring
If the men’s division could have King of the Ring, why not do a Queen of the Ring for the Women’s Division? Yes, Charlotte Flair would have likely won it because, you know, she’s a Flair but the WWE could have thrown a curveball and let somebody else win. The tournament would have provided desperately needed exposure for some of the women in meaningful matches in the ring that should get more than three minutes. The women’s division has some talented individuals in it. Let them show how good they can be if given the chance to succeed. I think this tournament would have helped patching some holes currently plaguing the Women’s Division.
Night of Champions/Clash of Champions: Elimination Chamber
While we did get Clash of Champions in September and Elimination Chamber in February as separate PPV events, this is the era of two night taped shows. Why not try something different? We were already having the cinematic matches. Why not test run having every single main roster title defended inside the Elimination Chamber? Again, we would be treated to a couple of weeks of qualifying matches. You could even have made the PPVs brand exclusive to make it easier to promote. The tagline could have been, “Six will enter, but only one will survive when every single WWE Championship is defended inside the Elimination Chamber”. Would it have worked? Maybe and maybe not. I would not have expected it to become a yearly thing, but more of a one off kinda thing. I think it would have been nice to see the midcarders go in the chamber for the US and IC titles. What kind of craziness would the cruiserweights have pulled off in the chamber, too? It could have been a unique opportunity for a unique time.
During much of the Thunderdome Era, the midcard was largely forgotten about. This was very noticeable on Raw. Instead of featuring the midcard in one or two matches per week, we got the same people and matches over and over again ad nauseum. Some of the midcarders could have gained a following during this time and brought fans back into the arenas once the touring started back up. (Yes, I know, they are selling out the arenas anyway) Maybe one or two guys could have broken out and become players for the main event titles.
Banishment of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles to NXT
Hear me on this one. Clash of Champions had the Riott Squad set up perfectly to defeat Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler to capture the tag team titles. Jax and Baszler wound up not being medically cleared to compete and the match is postponed for a couple of weeks killing off what the Riott Squad had going and they were defeated. Had the Riott Squad actually won, they could have gone off and had a really great run before dropping the titles to a NXT team (perhaps Raquel Gonzales and Dakota Kai). The titles then go by way of the Cruiserweight Championship and become NXT exclusive. Why would we want to do that? The main roster does not have enough women on the roster to maintain separate singles and tag divisions unlike NXT, which has sufficient talent to maintain both rosters. I think the only reason why the tag titles are still on the main roster is because they are holding out the hope of hopes that The Bellas can get cleared to compete and would win a WWE title instead of a NXT title.
I think these were five opportunities that could have made watching the Thunderdome Era a little bit better. What do you think? Like it? Hate it? Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter and discuss.