So the WWE has brought back Kevin Nash and Booker T back to the WWE and as surprise entrants in the 2011 Royal Rumble. Many people believe this is the WWE’s way of firing shots at TNA wrestling and sweeping Nash & Booker T right out from under them as the company had a storyline that was supposed to feature them. They are now out of the picture and TNA has to go in a different direction.
But if you really look at it, is it really a shot at TNA wrestling? TNA isn’t even on the WWE’s radar, they are competing with them in the ratings game and they are incredibly far behind in PPV buyrates. This isn’t 1998, this is 2011 and TNA is not competition.
[adinserter block=”2″]The first thing that came to my mind when I heard about this signing is that the WWE appears to be desperate as the “Road to Wrestlemania” begins at the Rumble. When you look at the signings you have to wonder, would the WWE have signed Nash & Booker T if Lesnar was locked up for Wrestlemania 27?
It’s like the New York Yankees losing out on Cliff Lee & Carl Crawford this offseason only to go out and sign Rafael Soriano & Andruw Jones. Plan A and Plan B didn’t work out for New York so they had to fire the desperation alarms & spend some money on players they originally didn’t have plans for this offseason. Could this be the same case for the WWE?
Plan A for the WWE for Wrestlemania 27 was Brock Lesnar. They planted those seeds back in October and Lesnar was interested. It never materialized due to the UFC not allowing Lesnar to appear at the WWE show and the company was left looking for a Plan B to their Plan A.
Could Plan B have been maybe signing Sting? Sting is the biggest talent ever in Wrestling never to wrestle for the WWE. Here the WWE is entering his old home of Atlanta, Georgia, in the Georgia Dome where Sting made his living for his time in WCW. The Georgia Dome was WCW’s version of the WWE’s Madison Square Garden. You knew it was a big deal when either company rolled into MSG (WWE) or the Georgia Dome (WCW).
They could have featured Sting as the headliner for this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class and pay homage to the WCW, something the WWE has truly failed to do since purchasing it back in 2001. Whether you liked WCW or not, the company still showcased some of the best wrestling in America that we have ever seen and deserve some sort of recognition in the WWE spotlight.
But when Shawn Michaels came through the curtain and was revealed to the world as the headliner for this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class it appeared that the rumor of Sting possibly coming to the WWE was all but dead. As TNA approach another edition of the “they” storyline which would reveal the return of The Main Event Mafia (which Sting) was apart of. It appears, that for now at least, Sting won’t be in the WWE.
There was talk that behind the scenes the WWE creative team was scrambling for reasons that the WWE fans should purchase Wrestlemania 27 this year. It appeared that for the first time in some many years, the WWE was scrambling leading up to Wrestlemania.
Then more rumors came out that Chris Jericho would not be at Wrestlemania this year and may not be returning to the company for some time. It was believed by many that Jericho would return towards Wrestlemania 27.
Even the rumors of Batista returning to the company are all but dead now as though it appears he will return to the company this year, it won’t happen anywhere before Wrestlemania 27. So there is another established name the WWE couldn’t turn to.
Even look back to shortly after Wrestlemania 26 where the early indications were pointing towards Goldberg having a “retirement match” at Wrestlemania 27 in the Georgia Dome where his career took off that fateful July Monday Night in 1998. But that also appears to be dead now as the two sides can not be reach an agreement to appear and for Goldberg to lace up the boots one more time.
There was even talk of maybe The Rock appearing at this year’s Wrestlemania and that now won’t happen as he is out shooting a move during that time. The WWE was running out of options very quickly as Wrestlemania was slowly approaching.
You then have to throw in the WWE crossing their fingers that The Undertaker would be healthy enough to wrestle at this year’s show and if Triple H would be good to go for this year’s show as well. It appears that The Undertaker is healthy and Triple H is ready to return so the WWE has those two established stars ready to go for Atlanta.
Chris Jericho, Batista, Bill Goldberg & The Rock were all unavailable to return to the company for Wrestlemania 27 and give it that “Wrestlemania feel.” The WWE was in a “youth movement” where they were building new stars and preparing the company for the future. While they were helping them become established stars, they just weren’t established yet.
Now look at the signings of Kevin Nash and Booker T to return to the WWE at the Royal Rumble. Could this be a case of Vince McMahon scrambling a bit and spending money under “desperation” because the company had no where else to turn to? Was Kevin Nash & Booker T the WWE’s version of the Yankees signing Rafael Soriano & Andruw Jones just because they had no other choices?
Kevin Nash and Booker T back in the WWE will help some buyrates and help raise the ratings a bit. They are well established names in the wrestling business and could help grab the longtime fan for a small amount of time. During that small amount of time the longtime fan, who may now just be a casual one at best, may tune & find themselves enjoying the WWE product and the new wrestlers they have helped establish the last year or so.
The Nash & Booker T signing isn’t to take a shot at TNA wrestling or their creative team in Florida. While TNA may feel it is, it was not, the WWE is in desperate times to add “star power” to the Wrestlemania 27 as we approach the “grand daddy of them all” in April.
The last time we saw something like this was before Wrestlemania 18 when the WWE was coming out of one of their better Wrestlemania’s of All-Time, Wrestlemania 17 and also one of their worst/botched storylines of All-Time, “The Invasion” angle. The company was lacking star power leading up to Wrestlemania 18 (Triple H, The Undertaker, Austin, The Rock) and building new stars (Edge, Jericho, Angle etc.) as they entered yet another era (Ruthless aggression era a.k.a the Batista/Cena/Orton era) & exited the “attitude era” of the late-90s and early 2000s.
It wasn’t until around the Royal Rumble time that word got out that Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash would be returning to the company as the nWo. Wrestling fans were jacked up that they were returning to the company after exits that were as memorable as their WWE careers and working in a company (WCW) for seven years that was trying to put the WWE out of business.
The last incarnation of the nWo would return at the February PPV, “No Way Out” and the company would benefit greatly from their returns as Wrestlemania 18 is still one of the most memorable Wrestlemania’s of our time. Wrestlemania 18 had star power and gave us matches that we dreamed of seeing (Hogan vs. Rock, Hall vs. Austin, Flair vs. Undertaker). Those three signings were under desperate times and they helped the company deliver.
[adinserter block=”1″]Obviously that was probably Plan A for the WWE at that time as the “Free Agent market” for Wrestling at that time was basically wide open as there were no companies competing with the WWE at that time. It wasn’t until June of that year (2002) that TNA was born and ROH only had a couple of shows under it’s belt around Wrestlemania 18 time in 2002. There was literally no competition in Wrestling.
The times have changed and the market is extremely thin in the “star power” department. It appears it was a last ditch effort for the WWE to do whatever it needed to do to bring Booker T and Kevin Nash back to the company.
The WWE is coming off of a week where their stock has dropped immensely and the company is scrambling. They need to show that this year is going to be at least some sort of profit by making Wrestlemania 27 profitable. Signing Kevin Nash & Booker T will help convince more people to spend that money on Wrestlemania Sunday.
The Road to Wrestlemania 27 begins now and the stars on that road weren’t bright enough for the WWE’s eyes. Can veterans like Kevin Nash & Booker T help raise the level of the “road” and make Wrestlemania 27 more appealing to a fan willing to possibly reach into his pockets to spend close to $60 for a 4 hour Wrestling event? Time will most certainly tell.
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