A honeymoon period is a period of time when everything looks good, but with some flaws that can be ignored for the sake of being fair and because of the short time a promotion or new booker has been established. Every wrestling promotion and booker has had a honeymoon period; Paul Levesque was in the middle of his honeymoon period since he took control of the main roster but that is coming to an end.
We are finally starting to understand the patterns of Paul Levesque as main roster booker of WWE. Some obvious aspects have been carried away from his time in NXT, like matches being longer; a change most fans do like, while there are other aspects are very similar to those of Vince McMahon’s booking. With the honeymoon period over for Paul Levesque, we can finally see the positives and negatives of his reign.
NXT for the most part focused a lot in the actual wrestling aspect of things, something that didn’t always happen in the main roster with Vince McMahon in charge, and while matches are longer in the main roster; we still see that RAW and SmackDown focus a lot on backstage segments and other segments like Miz TV are staples of McMahon’s booking. While these segments are somewhat necessary to move stories, there are other ways to do so without feeling repetitive and like things haven’t changed.
One of the major staples of Paul Levesque’s reign have been returns, some better than others. The only noteworthy stuff for most episodes of RAW and SmackDown is when some makes their return to WWE, to only then be back to catering after a month. While all these returns make for a shocking moment on TV, the lack of long-term planning shows they are only signing names for the sake of it, just like when Vince McMahon did it to prevent wrestlers to wrestle with other companies.
Finishes seem to be a problem as well. Most matches on TV end on interference or distraction most weeks. This is pretty much a staple of Vince McMahon booking, and Paul Levesque is making that same mistake too. Very few wrestlers are actually winning matches clean on the main roster and that is a major mistake that will bite Levesque down the line.
Another major problem is women’s matches; Since Paul Levesque took charge of the main roster in WWE, most RAW and SmackDown episodes just have one women’s match per show, and for a promotion that brags about their women’s division this is damaging. It feels like the women’s division of both SmackDown and RAW are only allowed one program at the time.
There are several other problems the main roster has under Levesque’s booking, and all of those mirror Vince McMahon’s booking. When Levesque took control, fans expected major changes to the main roster, and expecting for WWE mirror NXT during their peak but in reality, we’ve only seen something in the middle of that, and with things like Vince McMahon humor segments and odd booking decision still making it to TV. What the point of having a director of long-term booking if you’re not going to use him.
People expected to see actual wrestling in main roster TV, but instead, they are watching sport entertainment once more in their screens. Levesque has the advantage of still having time to fix this, but with the honeymoon period over, people will start to see that RAW and SmackDown are not as good as they thought. Only time will tell if Levesque wants to implement actual changes to the programming or still play it safe.