Light At The End Of The Tunnel
June 2, 2005 by Rob Hitchmough
21st century wrestling has been controversial in the eye of the observer
to say the least. It seems as though the world of professional wrestling
has been missing something since the millennium and whilst people have
shaken sticks at various sources (the aftermath of the invasion angle,
the brand split, Brock Lesnar etc) it appears that to a casual viewer,
wrestling, specifically the world of the WWE has lost something. As the
words 'wasted talent' echo through the internet and as fans strive to
pick apart their supposed "favourite" wrestlers, the business continues
to give the more pedantic among us an excuse to pick apart the companies
"downfall". So, are we to believe that we will never regain the attitude
of the late 90's, the glamour of the 80's or the sheer entertainment of
the early 90's" One may be led to say yes. But it is my honest opinion
that the WWE is reaching a turning point in its path, for the better
none the less, here is why.
First of all I want to establish my reasoning for supporting the ever
present ideology that the WWE has been in decline. Whilst I can
acknowledge, understand and in some cases empathise with many of the
reasons given, it is in my eyes the usage of talent that have led to the
state the company is in today.
It seems that since the explosion of Brock Lesnar the mentality adopted
by the WWE has been "the bigger they are, the more we push them." The
introduction of wrestlers like Nathan Jones, Matt Morgan, John
Heidenreich, Gene Snitsky, Dave Batista, Luther Reigns, Chris Masters,
Tyson Tomko and Mr Lesnar can be noted as proof of this. The WWE was
making relatively big pushes for relatively unknown faces. With the
exception of Batista and Lesnar the success of these stars is
questionable, more and more casual wrestling fans, disheartened at the
mould of wrestler, masked in transparent gimmicks have turned to
independent promoters like ROH and most notably NWA-TNA and their ever
thriving X-Division to see wrestlers like AJ Styles, Chris Daniels, CM
Punk and Ron Killings given the opportunity to explode into the business
with fresh and innovative wrestling. Whilst this exposure to the
mainstream of smaller promotions is anything but a bad thing one is led
to ponder "How did the WWE get to the point where fans were no longer
satisfied with the product"" Particularly when a cruiserweight division
stuffed with talent was being paid no attention and quality, hard
working wrestlers in the 200-250 pound range were stuck as mid card
It seems however; today that WWE has turned a corner. Embodied by
current SmackDown champion John Cena, it looks like McMahon has turned
on FSN and noticed that you do not have to weight 300 plus pounds to be
at the top of the business. There seems, as noted in my title, to be
light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Whilst RAW champion Batista
still fits the mould endorsed over the past few years, he has proved the
success story of McMahon's venture and is well deserving of a title
reign. Hopefully, he is not just a transitional champion and will defend
against more people than just HHH.
Then look at the RAW card, Jericho, Christian, Edge, Benoit, Orton and
Benjamin all look like they can step up to the plate and run with the
ball (to ironically mix up my American sporting colloquialisms like the
British fool I am). Then take a look at SmackDown, Booker T, RVD, Angle
and Guerrero all ready for another substantial push.
Now please don't misunderstand my intentions, I am not saying that we
need to get rid of every single big wrestler in the business, but with
the talent on the WWE roster at the moment, if used correctly, they
could reach the balance that made WWE so accessible in the early 90's.
It is fact that they would not have had so much success if the top of
the card consisted of 10 Bret Harts, nor would they have with 10
Yokozunas, but by incorporating different styles of wrestling together
along with people like Shawn Michaels, Diesel and Davey Boy Smith the
WWE peaked. So take the aforementioned stars, add to the mix on RAW
Batista, Kane and HHH, on SmackDown JBL, Big Show and Undertaker and if
used effectively the WWE could reach the glory days of old.
Effectively the point of this column is put across the personal opinion
that the WWE has a chance, a chance to entertain the fans and bring some
prestige back to the company and titles that have dominated TV screens
for 20 years.
Providing the WWE realise what they have, and what they could do with
it, we could be looking at an era of wrestling to make one drool at the
mouth, so come on Vince mix things up!
by Rob Hitchmough..
Alex Molina wrote:
You want Vince to shake things up then wouldnt it make sense to combine both brands like the old WWE. I have been dreading this forever. When the brands first split up it was interesting and caught my attention amongst many other fans but now it just gets boring sometimes watching the same feuds on both brands. Make the WWE today like the WWF it was. Bring back the friggin Attitude Era. More tables match, TLC, HARDCORE DIVISION AND BELT etc. To do this combine both brands like it used to be. ALL superstars on the same show every Monday and Thursday.
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