While many have their complaints about the sheer amount of wrestling content that the WWE airs on a weekly basis, we have to face the fact that neither RAW nor Smackdown are getting shorter any time soon. In fact, with Smackdown Live moving to FOX in October 2019, chances are high that World Wrestling Entertainment will likely be featuring more, not less programming within the next two years. Rather than look at it as a detriment, it’s an opportunity for many members of the WWE roster to showcase their talents on a more consistent basis. More so, it means that WWE needs to fill at least six hours worth of television with quality programming per week; while they may not always succeed in their endeavours, they’ve got a ready-made storyline on their hands that could result in a career-making WrestleMania moment similar to Zack Ryder’s triumph at ‘Mania 32.
Ironically, the story is built around a former partner of Ryder’s in Curt Hawkins, who teamed with Ryder in the Major Brothers upon the two’s debut in the WWE. Since then, the two have gone on to varying levels of success within the promotion, with the high point for either likely being Ryder’s Intercontinental Championship victory over two years ago. While Hawkins storyline unfortunately doesn’t end with a championship, it could result in a defining victory on the grandest stage of them all - and really, isn’t that almost better?
It’s a brand-new edition of RAW Thoughts, and I’m Spencer Love to tell you why a Curt Hawkins victory at WrestleMania is, well, best for business!
Excellent song, excellent starting point for this article.
Curt Hawkins can’t buy a win, guys.
Since returning to the WWE in 2016, he’s officially won four matches; two as part of dark matches at tapings of Main Event, a victory at a Smackdown live event, and one televised victory against Apollo Crews. Since then, the former Major Brother has lost 200 straight matches, including one on RAW last week to a jobber by the name of James Harden. It’s not as though Hawkins hasn’t tasted success before on the main roster; in fact, he was part of the youngest tag team champions in WWE history when he captured the WWE Tag Team Championships in 2008. However, he hasn’t tasted victory since November 8th, 2016, when he defeated the aforementioned Crews on an episode of Smackdown Live.
However, this isn’t a detriment, but an opportunity to build a storyline in the undercard that the WWE Universe can genuinely get invested in. It’s rare that either Smackdown or RAW do a great job with their lower-card stars; they’re featured sporadically, if at all on television, and usually as an enhancement talent rather than as part of a meaningful story. While that’s the case for Hawkins, he’s already becoming something special for WWE. He’s featured far more consistently on WWE programming than it’s other lower card stars, and regardless of his losses is becoming someone that wrestling fans can really get behind. It was apparent on RAW this week that fans were genuinely invested in the outcome of his match, and that’s been the case for a number of weeks now. Hawkins connects with the crowd naturally, and fans are starting to get invested already on the journey to his next victory. With a bit of direction from WWE Creative - and yes, I know that’s asking a lot - Hawkins could end up as one of the biggest success stories of 2018.
How Can WWE Do It?
I hate to say it, Curt, but for now it means a lot of losing. Not only that, but it means losing it means similar to those on Monday; Hawkins was matched up against an opponent he could feasibly beat, and was only defeated due to Baron Corbin’s interference. It was a match that I could feasibly see Hawkins winning, and one that I was thoroughly disappointed to see him lose. It hurts to say, but more missed opportunities are exactly how to get the fans on the former tag team champions’ side. Written correctly, this could be much like the Daniel Bryan story, but on a much smaller scale. Weeks of close calls and screwjobs will do a lot towards building Hawkins character as a loveable loser, as well as consistent television time; a story like this doesn’t require a lot of time per episode to tell, but consistency is key. Hell, it’s only been a week, and I’m already chomping at the bit for Hawkins to pin Baron Corbin; imagine what a few months of teased wins could do. He’s naturally likeable, a decent in-ring worker, and most importantly, someone in the lower card fans can genuinely get behind. He also fills a need for quality in WWE’s programming; let’s face it, RAW hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire over the last few weeks, and the fans could use a quality, long-term storyline with a massive payoff at ‘Mania.
Hawkins isn’t looking for a championship opportunity at WrestleMania; he just wants a win, man. Frankly, WWE, it’s about time you gave it to him - but not without benefiting from it yourselves.
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