“WWE is going down the tubes.” Read that one, haven’t you? Okay, how about “WWE has become a disaster zone.” How’s that one working for you? The fact is that right now, every headline concerning Vince McMahon’s company is negative and every prognosis on WWE’s condition is not good. Basically, it’s all over but the crying.
But call me naïve, call me foolish, the truth is I for one am trying to keep a positive outlook on this one. Why? Because that company is full of talent. When I say full, I mean full.
52. Think about that. 52 guys to promote, to spotlight, to work with and to evolve. 52 opportunities to elevate some new blood, to change up the main event scene and to shake up TV like fans haven’t seen since the influx of new faces during The Attitude Era.
But nearly every opinion out there is negative. “WWE doesn’t have anyone.” Correction; WWE has them, they’re just not over. Whose fault is that? Do fans blame Vince for that? Maybe the finger should be pointed at Stephanie. Maybe Triple H and his mythical shovel are to blame again. I haven’t heard that one yet, after all.
The fact is WWE is in a tough spot, there’s no question about it. The problem lies with how the roster is booked and has been booked from the day John Cena assumed the office of top guy. I’m not suggesting this is John’s fault of course; he’s the backbone of that company. To believe he doesn’t want WWE to succeed is to suggest he doesn’t want a job.
But WWE has been John Cena and the funky bunch for a very long time now. It’s him at the top and then everyone below him. That’s how it is and how it’s been since he rose to prominence. What’s baffling about this is not that it’s true; it’s that everyone seems surprised the company has hit a snag because of it.
Fans knew this was coming; it was just a matter of time. WWE is not built to withstand one loss after another on the main roster. It can’t happen and it can never happen, not as long as the booking exists the way it does. This is not to suggest Cena shouldn’t be the guy and it’s not to suggest WWE should eliminate the top guy system.
The top guy scenario works. The NWA did it back in the day with Ric Flair and they did it with great success. But on any given night, Flair did not necessarily have to be the main event. Jim Crockett could pack a house with Dusty Rhodes versus Tully Blanchard in the main, with The Road Warriors vs The Midnight Express in the semi-main. Flair was the standard bearer but there were guys under him that were strong and could get the job done.
WWE has that as well and on paper it should work. There seems to be no reason why it can’t work. However right now, it’s very apparent it’s not working at all; being over on one episode of Raw doesn’t make you over to wear the belt.
No one has been built to the level that Cena’s on. For that matter, no one has really been built to the level that Randy Orton is on, either. How many guys can you name right now, without thinking about it, that could believably win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series and be profitable when they do? Take your time, I’ll wait.
The fact is, there are none. This is why all the rumors point to WWE going to veterans, to guys that don’t work all that often, to solve its dilemma. Veteran main event talents usually equal money and ratings, two things the company would love to maintain while everyone’s injured, so that will likely be the plan.
But it’s not a long term cure and it never will be. The only long term cure is to build guys and build them right now. It’s time to shake things up, to go for the fresh and new; to do something that fans either haven’t seen before or have been begging to see for a long time. Give the belt to Dolph Ziggler. Tell him it’s his, run with it, and then pair him up in a rivalry with Cesaro or a newly heeled Roman Reigns.
If none of that is feasible, then why not work with the other 48 guys that would love the chance to have the run of lifetime? The easy answer to all of this is bite the bullet and work with what you have, because the talent is there. Getting them over won’t be easy because little to no effort has been made to do that in the first place.
But WWE has to start somewhere. The notion that guys have to show up and do the work, to prove they want it, sounds great and makes a lot of sense. However if the support is not there, what difference will it make?
WWE has the guys. Whether or not they will be used the right way is anyone’s guess.