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WRESTLING COLUMNS

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 jobbers.

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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