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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Future of the WWE?
August 28, 2003 by Mark Rose



WWE's "Top Dog"

With the WWE's biggest draws of the last 10 years not being involved in the business in the same capacity or in non-wrestling roles it has now become critical for them to start building new stars. The main thing killing all that is the backstage politics of the current folks *cough-HHH-cough* on top of the business. The Undertaker is getting old, Steve Austin can't wrestle full time,Shawn Michaels same thing, and the Rock seems to be happy and destined for a career in movies. Triple H and Kurt Angle of course are the top dogs in the WWE right now. Triple H has been plagued with injuries and how long can Kurt Angle last with his neck injuries? What happens when Taker retires and Triple H and Angle can't continue due to injury? Who carries the ball then? Where are the next breakout stars and why aren't they building on them NOW? If the WWE waits too long will business get even worse than it is now? It is my belief and I think it's pretty obvious that the next generation of superstars needs to be strong in ring performers. The goofy promos and angles aren't really doing much for the business these days. Fans seem to be dying for the great matches of the past. And why not? Sports Entertainment needs to be toned down and WRESTLING needs to take over. Here are my thoughts on the workers who can and should carry this business for the next decade.

The Smackdown roster

1) Brock Lesnar- Yeah I know he's a star of today but let's face it he has yet to crack the level of a true wrestling superstar. Brock is huge in size and in talent. As far as in ring ability the guy is a former NCAA wrestling champion. Brock has all the physical tools and the look to be a huge star. His only problem is that he has the personality of a tree stump. The guy sounds like a little kid on the mic and this needs to be worked on. The temporary solution to this of course is bring back Paul Heyman as his manager for his current heel run. Heyman is a great mouthpiece, everyone knows that and is a HUGE reason for why Brock is where he is in the first place. Having Heyman at his side for now will borrow time to work on his mic skills to set him up for another face run maybe in a year or so. If he can improve his mic skills he'll be a huge star.

2) John Cena- Cena is my personal pick for who will be the next HUGE star in the wrestling business. Cena looks great, wrestles great and is fantastic on the microphone. I think his gimmick will lead to big money for the WWE in the near future and maybe for years to come. How can you NOT laugh at some of the things this guy raps on the microphone? Rap and Hip Hop music and it's culture are massive in the entertainment industry right now and this is the guy to bring that element to the WWE in a big way. He's working his way up to the top slowly but surely as a heel but once he gets set up for a run as a face he's going to break out and become a massive star. If his rap gimmick is used to "diss" heel workers the sheep will pop like mad for it. Next year this time we will be talking about John Cena as a main event star. Mark my words.

3) Matt Hardy- After splitting from his longtime tag team with his brother Jeff, Matt has proved who the true talent of the Hardy Boyz was. Marty Jannetty, oops i'm sorry Jeff Hardy is now going nowhere despite all his previous hype and Matt Hardy has taken the ball and rolled with it in a big way since his move to the Smackdown roster. A great gimmick and a vastly improved personality has put Matt Hardy at the top of his game. Matt is being prepared right now for a face turn and it might be a true test to how far he can go. Matt's main obstacle is his size. Although I think it's stupid to hold a wrestler back because of his size, the WWE tends to see things a lot differently. If Matt Hardy was 4-6 inches taller and had another 40-50 lbs of weight he'd be a huge star. He might be able to get there anyway.

4) Sean O'Haire- I've been a fan of Sean O'Haire since I first saw him in WCW. I couldn't believe a guy with his size could be so smooth jumping off the top rope. He's got the size, he's got the ability, does he have the personality? He's clearly been working on it and is very much improved since his run in WCW. With the right gimmick I really thing Sean O'Haire could work his way to the top. So far he's been much better as a heel but I would definitely be interested to see what he could do as a face.

For the time being on Smackdown Eddie Guerrero has been the second best performer in the company behind Kurt Angle is cheered like crazy despite being a heel and is ready for a run at the top. Chris Benoit might not have the world's best personality but fans love and respect him for his in ring efforts. These two should be working at or near the top for time being. Not for the US title, put them higher.

The RAW roster

1) Randy Orton- He's been shoved down our throats the last few months and it's a shame. Too much too soon might hurt him in the long run but I really think he can work his away around it. Being associated with Triple H who doesn't only have heel heat but he has true heat with the fans is also hurting him. The program with Shawn Michaels is a great idea as long as Orton goes over. The smart thing would be to turn him face and have him become Shawn's "protege" sometime after the feud is over but Triple H seems to be dying for the face run so that idea might be out of the question. If not completely buried by the Triple H effect (sponsored by Stephanie's fake boobs) Randy Orton could make his way to the top. Here's hoping. It would be a shame to see him wasted.

2) Rene Dupree- A great look and HUGE potential in the ring this might be the guy for the WWE to build around. He's only 19 years old, they have tons of time to work on him. Rene grew up in the wrestling business with his father running indy promotions in Atlantic Canada. He has an understanding for the business that not many young workers have. The La Resistance gimmick is horrible and Sylvain Grenier is awful. The faster Rene is moved away from him the better. The jury is still out on how much personality he can show on the mic but if he's half decent the potential is there.

3) Rob Van Dam- No matter how hard they try to bury this guy the fans still pop for him. Yes he's a spot wrestler but he's exciting and is fun to watch. He sells moves and takes bumps better than almost anyone in the company but has made it quite public that he is unhappy in the WWE and that he is leaving as soon as his contract is up. He's already started preparing for life after the WWE with his comic book shop and once he's gone he'll make good money with that and working on the indies and Japan. The WWE should try to make Van Dam happy and let him work 15 min + matches. He's great at it, fans love him and if booked properly and built up he could have a good run at the top. Too bad it's not likely to happen.

4) Test- Test is a tremendous athlete and has the personality to be bigger than Stone Cold Austin and Hulk Hogan combined. His in ring work is fantastic and in a year or so he could be better than Kurt Angle. He has a great personality and is great on the mic. Test should be the WWE champion right now he could draw record buyrates and bring in record numbers for the RAW ratings. GOTCHA! Of course I'm joking. I bet I had you stringing along with this thinking I was going crazy at least for a few seconds. SUCKERS! Test is a career midcarder don't be such a dumbass....hehehehe

I would add more about what they could do in the meantime but really there is nothing to talk about. The only thing worth building on right now is Kane. Chris Jericho is a great heel and is definitely one of their best but they always seem to be content setting him up to fail and use him to get others over. The best hope for RAW superstars to get bumped up to the top is if Triple H gets hit by a bus. It's mean to say but it's true.

Looking outside the current roster

There are workers in NWA TNA, MLW, Ring of Honor, CZW and other indies that have enormous potential and could be stars in the WWE. I don't see any potential over the top superstars but here is a list of some that I could see in the WWE someday:

CM Punk
AJ Styles
Amazing Red
Trent Acid and Johnny Kashmere (the Backseat Boyz)
Sonjay Dutt
Chris Harris and James Storm (America's Most Wanted)
Christopher Daniels
Chris Sabin
Jimmy Rave
B-Boy
Michael Shane
Colt Cabana

In those guys I think they perhaps fit the WWE look and style better than most on the indy circuit. I know there are others that I will think of later but that's what comes off the top of my head right now. I wouldn't be shocked to see any of these guys on this list signed to a WWE contract over the next couple of years. There are just as good if not better workers in Japan but history shows us that WWE could never get a Japanese worker over. Most of the time they don't even try. I really hope that WWE starts looking beyond the size factor when looking at who to push in the business. Most of the best talent in the world are not huge heavyweights and hopefully this lead to a movement of smaller, guys who in my opinion are much more exciting to watch, taking top spots and working main events.

That's all I have to say for now besides

Down with Triple H and his Kurt Angle bashing ass! This loser is killing the business! Nevermind a main event on a PPV let's just put him and Goldberg on an island somewhere where we'll never have to see them again. Don't put Stephanie with them though he could use her fake boobs as a flotation device to escape. I couldn't resist that one.

by Mark Rose..


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