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Friday, October 09, 2015

WWE Hell in a Cell 2015: WWE Creative Direction Needs Reboot Following Event

By on Friday, October 09, 2015

When the lights go down on WWE Hell in a Cell 2015 on Sunday, October 25, the real work will begin for WWE Creative.
That’s because in the months to follow, WWE Creative will be faced with the prospect of booking the remainder of 2015 without four of the company’s biggest draws: Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, Sting and John Cena.
WWE Creative has already billed Lesnar vs. Undertaker as the final battle in their feud, and it’s probable that WWE fans won’t see either man until 2016. Sting’s status remains uncertain following his neck injury at Night of Champions.
WWE understands it has Lesnar, Undertaker and Sting for limited engagements. However, with WWE confirming that Cena will be taking time off following Hell in a Cell, as noted by the Washington Post, it's apparent that WWE Creative needs to use November and December to reboot not only storylines but the entire product heading into WrestleMania season.
It’s a risky bet for WWE, given how ratings for Raw have plummeted. WWE hasn’t garnered more than 4 million viewers for its flagship program since mid-June, while setting new lows throughout the months of September, according to Wrestling News World.
That’s what makes November and December so important for the company. WWE Creative will need to prove it can actually tell compelling stories and give a better variety of wrestlers more chances.

Absence of Cena will be most difficult hurdle

Lesnar’s a part-timer; his expiration date on 2015 is probably up after Hell in a Cell. The Undertaker won’t resurface until WrestleMania season, in all likelihood. Sting, even if healthy, would’ve done the same.
Cena, however, was the stalwart. That’s why his absence will be most troubling for WWE Creative. 
From a creative perspective, there have been few things more entertaining on Raw in 2015 than Cena’s open challenges for the U.S. title. One could argue that Cena’s done more to showcase the company’s depth while helping to advance storylines from event to event than WWE Creative itself.
Cena’s U.S. open challenges have featured the most logical builds and sustainable feuds, whether or not fans agreed with the booking decisions that came out of those matches.
Since capturing the title at WrestleMania 31, the regular feature on Raw has introduced casual WWE fans to midcard talent, featured NXT Superstars like Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens and pushed bigger stories with Rusev and Seth Rollins. The open challenge has fueled feuds like Stardust vs. Neville and Cesaro vs. Owens, which WWE Creative has used to carry WWE programming both on television and at pay-per-views.
While the length of Cena’s hiatus is still conjecture—Nick Paglino of Wrestle Zone wrote that Cena is “off all live TV and live events through December,” while other reports suggested that Cena would return sometime in December—going an entire pay-per-view cycle without the most polarizing Superstar in the company is risky.
Going two entire cycles, should Paglino be correct, is borderline unfathomable.
Without Cena, there’s a big chunk of programming WWE Creative will have to fill.

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