There has been a lot of talk in the last few weeks that WWE has decided to do away with the youth movement they’d been undertaking since Summer and are again going to using the “old names that people know”. They noticed that the pops for Triple H and The Undertaker’s return, along with The Rock were bigger than anything Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz or anyone else was getting.
The line of thinking here is one of the stupidest things I’ve seen in a LONG time. Of course those guys got big reactions for their returns. Triple H had been gone almost a year, Undertaker has been gone a while, and Rock was gone SEVEN years! You know what they say about “absence makes the heart grow fonder”? That applies here! When you have huge stars that have been gone a while, they’ll get a big pop for their return, absolutely. And guys already at that level will likely get a good pop most times they come out.
You know why they’ve reached that level? Because when they were young guys, some veteran put them over. For Undertaker it was guys like Jake Roberts, Jimmy Snuka, The Ultimate Warrior, hell Hulk Hogan himself. Triple H got big when he got aligned with Shawn Michaels. The Rock made the jump to the top of the pack when he worked with Mick Foley. It takes the veterans truly putting over the young guys for them to come along.
Let’s look at the young guys that WWE has tried to push lately. (You know me, I like my lists…so, here’s another one!)
Wade Barrett – Came in as the winner of Season One of NXT, and led the Nexus in one of the most well done debuts in recent memory. The Nexus could have been red hot, but what happened? Super Cena had to eliminate every single one of them before killing Barrett off too, and then they shipped him off to Smackdown where he’ll now get beat down by The Big Show and Kane.
The rest of the Nexus – With the exception of Daniel Bryan (who of course got fired and then re-hired so was only a one night member), every member has been destroyed or is on their way to being destroyed by either Cena or Orton. Gabriel and Slater have a slight chance of having staying power since they have the titles…but seriously, how much attention does Vince pay to those titles anyways?
Dolph Ziggler – Ziggler had some really good matches with Daniel Bryan when they did the IC champ vs. US champ storyline. And it wasn’t just Bryan leading him through them either, Ziggler more than held his own. Then he had a series of really strong matches with Edge for the World Heavyweight Title, and the only way he was ever champion was when Vickie Guerrero handed it to him after “firing” Edge, only to have Edge re-hired that same night and beat him fairly quickly to “win it back”. Now, where is he in the build to ‘Mania? Nowhere to be found.
John Morrison – Not really a new or young guy necessarily, but would be a new face in the main event picture. Some amazing performances over the last six months or more…and where is he as they put together the Wrestlemania card?
Kofi Kingston – See Morrison, John
They’ve done a good job with Alberto Del Rio, that I’ll give them credit for. And Daniel Bryan seems to have settled into the mid-card for now. Hopefully in the next few years, he’ll slowly make his way up the card, but I don’t have a lot of hope for that either.
I’m just really frustrated that they say the new guys aren’t getting over, and they are the ones who can help control that by how they book the guys…and they refuse to book them strong enough to get over.