Vince McMahon was critical of roster on the Steve Austin podcast for not grabbing the brass ring like Austin’s peers in the Attitude Era did. Maybe it is time for Vince to take a hard look at himself for failing to give his roster the opportunity to grab those brass rings?
“Well, don’t piss anybody off. … You have… this is a different group of guys and gals — it’s millennials. They’re not as ambitious, quite frankly. And they’re not trepidatious at all. I just don’t think they necessarily want to reach for that brass ring. The last person to really reach for that brass ring, in all likelihood was John Cena. There are others coming up now who definitely want to reach for it: (Dean) Ambrose is one of them, Seth Rollins is another one, Roman Reigns is another one, Bray (Wyatt) is another one. So I think you’ve got some people here chomping at the bit to make a difference but when you’re walking around backstage you don’t hear as much camaraderie perhaps and laughter as in your era. But then again there are some other things they do. … I would suggest (this locker room is not as ambitious as the one you were in), correct. It’s a different… Again, I said it’s millennials. It’s a different point of view. If you reach for that brass ring and you fall on your butt… no one wants to fail and there’s this feeling, this insecurity, that if you fail you’re exposed. I think that’s largely pretty much what it is. Because you give everybody the opportunities, you give everyone resources, which you never had. The things that we do now from a television production standpoint, social media. Oh my god, social media is huge. It helps talent in so many different ways. It gives them the tools that you did not have, and other people like you didn’t have. It’s the utilization of those tools that’s very important for talent to use. And they do use them but not in the way you did.”
The ironic part about this statement is that it is Vince who is the one stifling his locker room and failing to provide an environment in which talent can take chances and go for that proverbial brass ring. The fact is that no such brass ring exists today and nobody on today’s roster would be able to take advantage of it even if it did.
Let’s start with scripted promos. Austin 3:16 would never happen today because Stone Cold would be reading a script. Think about that one for a second. The biggest boom period in company history would have never happened if Austin was cutting that promo today. Not Austin 3:16, not any of The Rock’s clever promos, not any of Austin’s money promos, all of that magic would be contained in a bottle today. How in the world can anyone take risks and cut heartfelt promos in today’s WWE world? Maybe if the scripting was good it could work but even the scripting is terrible. The wrestlers aren’t believing it, fans aren’t buying it, and it just isn’t working. The legs are being cut off immediately with the lack of creativity.
What about these ridiculous names guys are getting out of developmental? Is it just a sheer coincidence that the guy who came the closest to grabbing that brass ring in recent years was CM Punk? Punk didn’t have to endure a name change and he was also given more freedom on promos than most are today. Steve Austin, The Rock, CM Punk, are names you’d never hear or see under today’s system.
It’s easy for Vince to blame his roster for not getting over but there is only so much that his talent can go. Vince has created such a restricted environment that anyone with the hunger or desire to think out of the box generally winds up frustrated and exhausted by the restricted process. If Vince wants his guys to go for the brass ring, he needs to give them one that is within reach. Unfortunately you have a better chance of seeing the PG-13 rating come back.