As a kid the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series were my favorite PPV’s. They were unique and different. WrestleMania and Summer Slam were always built on the Superstars at the time. That isn’t a complaint. That is how it should have been. I watched WrestleMania to see the best of the best go head to head. Same with Summer Slam, but on a smaller level.
Royal Rumble and Survivor Series were great for different reasons. They were the two PPV’s that allowed fans to see the entire roster in action. It introduced fans to new characters. It gave the wrestlers a platform to go out and try to get over. It allowed the writers and bookers a chance to see how the fans responded to each talent.
This was done especially well with Survivor Series. They would take top stars and align them with mid-card talent which gave them credibility. The idea of each star having a team of friends to battle their enemies was fun. It provided a platform for surprise heel or face turns. It also put wrestlers on the map. If you were on Hogan’s team, you were going to be remembered. The Survivor Series platform is what allowed the Undertaker to make an impact. I am not sure if his gimmick would have taken off had he not been a surprise Survivor Series entrant.
Royal Rumble worked in similar fashion. If you were not on TV or headlining PPV’s, Rumble was your shot to show what you got. Sure the focus is on the rumble winners but guys like Kofi Kinston make names for themselves. I don’t think Kofi is going to win but he is fun to watch and it makes me want to see more of him. Watching the creative ways that wrestlers use to stay in the match always leaves an impression. It gives the powerful wrestlers a place to show they are force to be reckoned with. Even if they don’t win, they get to shine. It is the only time we get to see friend against friend. It’s a time for heel and face changes and all sorts of surprises.
Sometime in the last couple of years a lot of that excitement has dissipated. Survivor Series is now just another PPV. The original Survivor Series match is now done out of novelty. It is no longer unique. The Royal Rumble on the other hand has become only about the main story line players. We all knew it was going to come down to Roman and HHH on some level. Maybe Brock or Ambrose. Outside of those four wrestlers the rest of the match was pointless. Well I shouldn’t say that, it did give us AJ Styles who did phenomenal, no pun intended.
I am not sure if I have the solution. However I do know that John Cena is NOT the problem. I read all the time about how the WWE needs to create new stars. To be honest I tend to agree with that sentiment. However, creating new stars to replace John Cena or Randy Orton isn’t the answer.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that the WWE has a log jam with their talent. The roster is just too big these days to be effective. It would probably be a good time for a brand split, but that is a blog for another time. Watching the Royal Rumble I noticed something that the internet isn’t talking about.
The top of card is pretty full but there is plenty of room in the mid-card ranks. I know it sounds crazy because conventional wisdom tells us the 50/50 booking has marginalized the mid-card. There is so much truth to that statement, but isn’t what we are talking about. Watching the Royal Rumble I realize that there are lot guys on the roster who are just taking up space and it’s time to move on.
You want to see new blood in the WWE? It’s time to get rid of some the old mid card dead weight that only exist for nostalgia. When I say dead weight I mean the guys who have been around so long that they no longer matter. The superstars who are now just famous jobbers for already established stars.
I will go out and say it right now that next year’s Hall of Fame ballot should include the Big Show, Kane, and Mark Henry. It’s time for them to give up their spots so that younger talent will have an opportunity to get noticed. What would have happened in that arena had Samoa Joe and Finn Balor debuted in Kane or Big Shows spot? We all know that those three guys are not going to win the Rumble. They are literally just filler. They have been through the wash too many times and are just old and worn. How can Kane be a dangerous demon when he has repeatedly lost for most of his career? Does anyone buy the Big Show or Mark Henry anymore? R-Truth, Goldust, and Titus O’Neil have all hit their peak and it’s time for them to go away. We need to say good bye to Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler. I know that isn’t a popular view point but it’s the truth.
Let Wyatt, Reigns, Orton, Cena, Ambrose, Lesnar, and Owens handle the top for now. Use them and the Undertaker to showcase new talent. Utilize the tag division so the new guys get air time. Most importantly get rid of the guys who don’t matter. Let them go to TNA and help build some competition.
It isn’t impressive to see someone beat the Big Show. Everyone and their mom has beaten the Big Show. Kane loses way too much to be scary. Mark Henry is just big and strong, but beating him means nothing. Undertaker is still relevant because he can’t be beat. When he is beat it is only by guys like Brock Lesnar. Same with Cena, Orton, Rollins and so on. They only lose to each other. Swagger and Ziggler are amazing talents but they are at the back of the line.
Instead of blaming Cena and other top stars for holding young talent back, push for the WWE to cut the dead weight.