Opinion: A few things WWE can learn from NJPW
Ever since the PG-era has dawned upon the WWE, hardcore fans have been given both the good and the bad. Lately, though NJPW has not only gained more of a global following, some fans consider them superior to WWE in terms of storylines and the creative freedom they give to their talents.
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On the other hand, WWE has been over-highlighting certain superstars and wasting others. So, what pointers can they get from NJPW to appease their loyal fan-base?
Bring Back the Faction Wars
Three man teams like The New Day and Sanity are cool but they don't have the same effect when it comes to faction wars. When fans got a hint of British Strong Style versus The Undisputed Era, they absolutely loved it.
The Attitude Era was littered with factions such as DX, The Nation of Domination, and The Ministry of Darkness. Unfortunately, these factions are pretty much extinct and the closest thing to one is the Undisputed Era, but they are still in NXT.
Unfortunately, they could not bring this to the main roster. On the other hand, NJPW contains a lot of factions. Their recent Bullet Club civil war storyline is reminiscent of the old WCW days.
On top of that, they have other great factions like CHAOS and Los Ingobernables de Japon that bring great individual storylines as well as team battles that are relevant and memorable.
Get a Relevant Champion
So far, Smackdown has gotten this right. Styles has been the face of the blue brand and has been a great fighting champion.
Raw, on the other hand, has been marred with criticism for putting the Universal Championship on a part-timer for this long. Brock Lesnar is great but the championship loses its lustre when its always out of the picture.
To make things worse, the same people keep getting a shot a Brock. It would be best to put the belt on someone who can match Styles.
NJPW's Kazuchika Okada's 720-day reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion has not only established his dominance but has kept things exciting for the brand and the title. Make that a reference of how to do a long reign the right way.
The current problem with WWE right now is probably the sheer number of talent they have. With so much big names on the roster and probable impending call-ups from NXT, there is only so much airtime they can give to people.
The brand split so far has been good at giving talent more time to develop but there are still superstars like Finn Balor, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, The Revival, and The Authors of Pain, that have been stuck in a limbo with no real direction.
These are huge names and have been super successful in NXT and other wrestling promotions but somehow lost steam in the main roster due to various reasons. Time to make meaningful stories for everyone.
NJPW does this almost perfectly with more championships to highlight more superstars and engaging storylines without having to fight over a belt. WWE needs to step up now.