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The WWE Cannot Be a One Trick Pony in 2014

If impersonation is the best form of flattery, then the WWE must be gushing all over itself for a year that has been more recreation of older, adaptable programs that generated tremendous success in the past, only to flop or lose its steam in the honeymoon phase of production.

While I get the idea behind much of what the WWE did this year with the “Year of Heyman” and the return to gold for John Cena and the attention paid to the growing depth of Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton, the idea that was is old is new again is not the basis for which Vince McMahon built the WWE in the first place. There is reason to like an older program or spot or series that worked “back in the day.”

But now, the WWE being such an assortment of mixed candy, the company must come out and “wow” the fans with new and exciting feuds, make new faces and heels the focal point of programming and respect the veterans in the locker room and the mid-card that has to grow.

While Cena winning the WWE Title again and Randy Orton finally turning heel was a highlight for the company this season, the emergence of Daniel Bryan has stolen this year’s show and the brilliance of Paul Heyman has shown that you need not be in a ring all the time to make everyone stand at attention wanting more.

I often joke or make it known that I am an NWA apologist and love the old school feel of ring competition – the need for loser leave town matches and the mystique of the Midnight Rider. Those images and matches with Ric Flair and Harley Race and the Funks and Jack Brisco were “real” and when I see Ricky Steamboat and Flair go at it for an hour and never lose a beat, I know something special just happened. Dave Meltzer has stated on many occasions how he felt Steamboat vs. Flair was the quintessential series and that the moves of the 1970s and late 1980s were pure magic.

The WWE needs to find that again. Everything we see to day with a cross-face, a Thesz Press a Cloverleaf – it can all be traced back to the golden age of the NWA and the WWWF.

Jim Crockett, Sr. and Vince McMahon Sr. must be smiling down on us. But they also must be saddened by the idea that the ways of mat wrestling is pitiful and downright embarrassing.
The one-trick pony that the WWE has become in some cases has been magnified by the fact Bryan did not get the run he deserved and the power both John Cena and Randy Orton command with management. Is that fair? No, but it happens and it continues to be a sticking point with wrestlers in the main event picture and with the mid card wrestlers, teetering on the brink of extinction or superstar status.

The Shield can still move mountains and should be more of a factor as solo acts in 2014. The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler and Curtis Axel had better pray there is a changing of the guard where more emphasis is placed on mid range belts and more opportunity for other championships (TV Title, Hardcore, Divas Tag Titles).

If the WWE continues on the path it is now, and the Authority continues to take command of the company, then it shall run its course until WrestleMania XXX where I suspect a CM Punk/Triple H match would be part of the program. And the company cannot continue to preach the gospel of a possible John Cena/Undertaker match with the streak coming to an end.

And most of all, it cannot rely on the past with the hope of making the future better. It just won’t work.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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