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WWEs problem with the midcard ranks
By: Rypcord

As it stands currently, the WWE has a great roster. And with this great roster comes a great mid-card section. But the problem is, this section has no purpose, gets no real attention, and has nowhere to go and to grow. So in my first column {of many more to come}, I am sitting down and taking a dissected look at the WWEs midcard, and I will go into how to make it better.
First off, I will explain how Im going to break down this article and everything involved. First, Im going to split the column into two groups, RAW and SMACKDOWN for the two respective shows and their midcard ranks. Secondly, I am going to exclude the Womens Division, and the Cruiserweight Division; however I will keep the wrestlers currently holding the Tag Titles on both shows, and those aiming for those titles as well.
So, with this article eliminating the Womens Division, that gets rid of Trish, Molly, Ivory, Victoria, Jazz, Stacy, and Jackie from the RAW roster, and Sable, Torrie, Nidia, and Dawn Marie from the SmackDown roster.
Without the Cruiserweight division, that means no Jamie Noble, Tajiri, Brian Spanky Kendrick, Shannon Moore, Matt Hardy, Billy Kidman, and Crash Holly, all from the SmackDown {SDown} roster.
The first place I am going to look at is RAW and its midcard ranks.
Those who are caught up in the tag team ranks are:

Rico {as a manager to 3MW}
Lance Storm
Chief Morley
William Regal
Bubba Ray Dudley
D-Von Dudley

Out of the above, Id honestly say, that only RVD, Chief Morley, and Kane ever will actually have a shot at becoming the World Heavyweight Champion. Also of the above, the Dudleyz and 3 Minute Warning {Rosey/Jamal} will probably forever stay in the Tag Team ranks. Also, from the above list, Rico is barely even a wrestler, and is barely even a pimple on the face of wrestling. He will forever be either a Manager, or a Lackey, or a combination there of.
Next, I will list those who are pretty much stuck to HEAT:

Spike Dudley
Chris Nowinski
Tommy Dreamer
Al Snow
Rodney Mack

Every now and again of course these men wrestle on RAW, but its never more than to just take up space, or as a warm-up match, or in a squash match. Rodney Mack with Theodore Long is a failing gimmick, the white man holding down Mack is really not getting over, I believe if it were to get over, it would have had to be with DLo {Down with the Brown is a lot better than Backing the Mack}, and if it didnt get over with DLo, it wont get over with anyone else on the RAW roster in the midcard ranks. [And when hes talking a bout being held-down by the White Man who else is thinking hes talking about Triple H?]
Going along with the above, lets see what other gimmicks arent going over: Tommy Dreamer. How can he be the maniacal hardcore extremist when theres no gimmick matches for him, or when he doesnt even get air time on RAW on a regular basis? If they want to do anything with Dreamer, they need to bill him as the next Mankind. Put him in a Hell in a Cell match with someone like Al Snow {I know this seems utterly ridiculous idea as their both jobbers, but bare with me}, and let him take the insane bumps that Mick took. And let him comeback, and let him win. Show that he can take more damage than anyone ever has, and keep coming back, and show that he can dish it out as well. I guarantee it would get him over; hes still already over with the dwindling ECW fans who still watch the WWE.
As for Al Snow, Id honestly scrap him as a wrestler. No offense to Al, as he was a great wrestler. But due to being the lead Teacher/Trainer on Tough Enough, his head gimmick will never work again. And without a hardcore title, he really cant showcase his extreme side. The only possible thing I can see for him as a wrestler, is in a tag team with either Maven [Face] or with Nowinski [Heel].
Speaking of Maven/Nowinski, is it just me, or are they overly worthless? Nowinski has the mic skills, but has nothing to back them up with in the ring. Maven is pretty much the middle man. As he is pretty much square off in the middle as far as it goes for mic skills and in-ring work {his selling and timing still needs some work however, and he doesnt seem as fluid, and you can tell when hes setting up for a spot}. These two constantly feud almost week in and week out on HEAT, but for what? Nothing. They never have a title match, {as theres no title for them currently}, they never have any gimmick matches to signify an ending to their feud, they never wrestle on a PPV, hell they never even wrestle against each other on a RAW. I honestly see no point in keeping these two around, so they modest well be dropped.
The Hurricane is a lost soul on RAW as well. At least on SDown he had the Cruiserweight title to attempt to go after, and he could be included in smaller Cruiserweight feuds, where at least he could showcase most of his skills in proportion to others. He has great mic skills, and can work the comedy quite well, especially with the Rock as the RAWs leading up to Mania showcased. Only problem is, he really has no solid person to feud with. Maybe if he turned heel and became a Super Villain instead of a Super Hero, he could feud with people like Goldust, Kane, and Test {although Test is pretty much a tweener at this point}. As a face, the only possible person I can honestly see him feud with is Christian, but Christian is ranked higher than him, and Christian is Jerichos lackey, and he is more drawn into the HBK-Jericho feud rather than having his own feud right now. So in my opinion, it would be best for Hurricane to fly back to SDown where he can either pursue the Cruiserweight title again, or attempt to become a real midcarder over there where he has better talent to attempt this with.
Spike Dudley really also has no point other than being the perpetual squashie and forever playing the underdog type in every match. His best feud/storyline to date has been his deal with Molly Holly vs. the Hollies [Crash/Hardcore] and his half-brothers [Bubba/D-Von]. Now hes just stuck as being the lackey for the Dudleyz and the man who the heels torture to get sympathy for the face Dudleyz.
And now moving onto the actual RAW roster of those who participate on RAW, I will examine the midcard here, the roster is:

Jeff Hardy
Scott Steiner [Id say he has been demoted down to midcard since his push February]
Randy Orton [Injured]
Batista [Injured]
Steven Richards

Thats all I could list currently {counting in those from my other lists}, if I remember any, I will add them at the bottom of my column before I submit it.
Of the above list, Test is a tweener, Jeff Hardy, Goldust, and Steiner are faces, and Christian, Orton, and Batista are heels, but Batista and Orton are injured.
Scott Steiner needs to be released once his contract comes up, as he is too old, too slow, and is not worth the price tag on his head. He brings in no viewership, and his piss-poor matches are only hindrances to the overall product of a show.
Tests position is somewhat interesting currently. With him being a womanizer and looking at the playboy with Torrie a couple times and talking to her, etc. With Stacy only catching him once. Yet, in the ring hes very protective of her and still cares about her slightly. This kind of reminds me of the Torrie-Tajiri angle they ran when she was Tajiris manager and he was becoming a heel. They might be having this as a set-up to having him jump back over to SDown and then have Torrie has his manager/partner.
Jeff Hardy honestly has no gimmick. In my opinion, he needs to be sacked as well. His lack of care for the show, his lack of a good look, and his body painting is nothing but worthless. All it does is color up the ring and makes the ring look bad and makes his opponents get colored and making them look like trash. His current storyline with Trish will go nowhere, as it did last time {just prior to InVasion 2001}.
Goldusts current gimmick is entertaining, but leads him nowhere. Its a good gimmick to set-up matches on the fly {he angers a person by his Turrets and then they have a match for the night, nothing more, etc.}. Itll be hard to find long-term feuds for him. With his current gimmick, {and without any midcard title belts other than the Tag Titles}, I think it would be best to use him as Bookers manager, but let him wrestle every now and again {similar to Rico}. I believe he could benefit Booker better by being his manager, and he would get more exposure than he probably ordinarily would get otherwise, and would be able to show off his comedic side as well.
Orton and Batista are injured currently, so I wont go into to much details with them. Once they comeback, I guess they could jump start Evolution again with them, but I feel theyd be better off on their own. Although neither one has yet to impress me. I feel that Batista is borderline downright horrible. He is Brock Lesnar/Goldberg, but less athletic, and doesnt have the amateur background that Brock has.
Steven Richards is very good as Victorias bitch err I mean manager. His fruity-ness/quirkiness/weirdness/strange behavior is a perfect side-kick to Victorias psycho type. He should just stay as her manager instead of as a wrestler, as a wrestler he frankly just sucks. Plus, hes stole Cactus Jacks Double Arm DDT and is calling it the Stevie T. sigh.
As far as a midcard title, I feel it would benefit the RAW roster to have one. Id bring back the IC title. Itd be best for RVD, Steiner, Goldust {unless they use him as Bookers manager}, Test {unless he jumps to SDown}, Orton {upon his return}, Batista {upon his return}, and Christian. All of these wrestlers currently are just floaters and have no real purpose, and only get an established push every 3 months after the other midcarders got theirs. It seems the pushes goes in orders, like for 3 months, random midcarder will feud with random midcarder. Then after those 3 months, they move onto another {different} midcarder to feud with another random midcarder.
First, I will list those stuck to Velocity:

Funaki [Can also be placed in the Cruiserweight Division or in the Tag section with Tajiri]
FBI [Nunzio, Stamboli, and Palumbo]

Using the above list, my only problems are Rikishi and FBI. They need to start giving the FBI actual wrestling time on SDown instead of just vignettes on it {though the vignettes are great of course}. My problem with Rikishi is that hes just too old, too gimmicky, and isnt over enough anymore for that gimmick to work, and isnt really needed, plus, no one cares for the Stinkface anymore, and thats pretty much all he has.
Those currently caught up in the Tag division are:

Eddie Guerrero
Chavo Guerrero
Chris Benoit [borderline Main Eventer]
Shelton Benjamin
Charlie Hass

Rhyno and Benoit need to break away from the tag division and feud against each other {would be a great feud, I can just see Benoit reversing the Gore into the Crippler}. Hass/Benjamin {Team Angle} are a great tag team currently, should continue to feud with Los Guerreros. As both currently have no one to feud with, unless they drop Chavo down to the Cruiserweight division again.
The rest of the midcarders are:

Nathan Jones [borderline Main Eventer]
John Cena [borderline Main Eventer]
Rey Mysterio [borderline Main Eventer]
Edge [borderline Main Eventer]
Big Show [demoted from Main Event]
A-Train [nearing the Main Event]
Sean OHaire [never gets wrestling time]
Chris Kanyon
Billy Gunn [whenever he overcomes his injury]
Bill DeMott

Again, if I think of anymore midcarders for SDown, I will post them at the bottom of my column before it gets submitted.
Nathan Jones is UnderTakers pet project, and he is basically a main eventer {although hes never even had a WWE match yet}. John Cena will be feuding with Brock Lesnar into Backlash {hopefully}. And A-Train and Big Show have just recently eclipsed the main event, but are basically more of midcarders than they are main eventers.
Chris Kanyon is supposedly back from his injury, and he did that one cameo where he got wrecked by Undertaker during the Taker/Big Show feud leading into No Way Out. He probably was sent back to OVW to retune himself and get the ring rust out of his system; once he comes back he will be a great asset to SDown.
Sean OHaire is pretty much as over as hes going to get without actually being on television. His Satan gimmick works with his look, but he needs better control of the live mic, plus they need him to act more as a manipulator than as a prankster {telling Brian Kendrick to streak and Dawn Marie to flash}. I think he is more of an after-thought by the WWE writing team than he is meant to be as a real wrestler. With how their booking him currently, he is more of a tweener than a heel or a face.
Billy Gunn for all of my knowledge is pretty much done with wrestling, as its very unlikely that he will comeback from this injury.
Most of SmackDowns midcard population is currently being tied down in the Cruiserweight division [see the list at the top of the column]. This hurts SDown a lot. As Vince doesnt like to push multiple Cruiserweights at the same time, with usually the only feud going on {for Cruiserweights} the feud surrounding the Cruiserweight Title. Otherwise the Cruiserweights might get a match every other SDown, but the match never means anything, unless it involves a run-in or some other random ending for another feud {because usually its a Cruiserweight vs. regular midcarder}.
Now that they brought up the worthiness of the SmackDown Tag Titles {for some reason known as the WWE Tag Titles even though the real WWE Tag Titles switched over to RAW when Lance Storm/Christian were the tag champions}, they can easily move Rhyno/Benoit out of the tag ranks, and throw in the FBI to take their place. A Los Guerreros vs. FBI feud is gold, as well as a FBI-Team Angle feud.
They need to have Sean OHaire comeback as a full fledge heel {with his Satan gimmick ie. manipulator}, and then have him feud with a face returning Chris Kanyon. Would make for a good, entertaining feud and a good wrestling feud as both can easily handle themselves inside the ropes.
I currently dont think a midcard title is needed for SmackDown, but maybe with the split PPVs coming up, it might be needed. As I honestly see the buyrates go down for both shows separate PPVs unless they bring back the midcard titles for both shows. As otherwise each show could have {at most} 3 title matches out of 8 {8 is usually the amount of matches they have} at each PPV. That means 5 matches are going to be either just thrown together, or personal feuds.
With the upcoming split PPVs, both sides will be scrambling just to make up 8 matches per show. Most of these matches will be coming from the borderline main event/midcarder region. As for each show currently there are 3 titles. For RAW you have the World Heavyweight Championship [HHH vs. Booker T], the World Tag Team Titles [RVD/Kane vs. Morley/Storm], and the Womens Title [Trish vs. Victoria]. If they want to do the usual 8 matches, then 5 matches will have to come from somewhere. One main event being the World Heavyweight title, another could be something like HBK vs. Jericho match, or Diesel vs. Flair, etc. As for SmackDown, their 3 titles are the WWE Title [Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena], the WWE Tag Titles [Team Angle vs. Los Guerreros], and the Cruiserweight Championship [Matt Hardy vs. Brian Kendrick]. With the split PPVs, Vince will have to put a cruiserweight [midcard] match in every PPV. Luckily for SDown, they have many borderline main eventers to keep fan interest. Unfortunately for RAW, there is a small limited supply of womens wrestlers, so the feuds arent endless for the Womens Division. [Trish vs. Molly, Trish vs. Victoria, Trish vs. Jazz, Jazz vs. Victoria, Jazz vs. Molly, Victoria vs. Molly.]
Well, those were my opinions, if anyone has any questions, comments, opinions of their own, you can find me on the WZForums, as Rypcord, or on WNW Forums as Rypcord. The sites addresses are
http://www.wzforums.com/ and http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/forums/. I moderate the Backyard forum in both forums, and the Retro forum at WZ. So you can just PM me there to discuss wrestling and I will get back to you, OR, you could e-mail me at: Rypsocversion2@yahoo.com and I will try and get back on a decently regular basis.
This was my first column; hopefully I will be able to add more columns on a regular basis. And hopefully this wont be my last column. I have re-posted this column in the WZ Forums {WWE Forum} and at WNW Forum {WWE Forum}, and at IOWrestling Forums {WWE Forum} for everyone to enjoy.

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