Is the next wrestling boom in the making? Many would say no and I disagree. Currently WWE has the talent, the money, and the opportunity. Everyone remembers the booms of the 80’s and 90’s. Is there one more left? Wrestling is a never ending machine, the cogs keep going rain or shine, scandal or injury. You’d think a superstar committing horrible crimes against ones own family, or steroid scandals would stop that machine, but no. WWE keeps rolling on ever evolving. It’s that current state of perpetual motion and constant evolution in the business that’s paving the way for yet again, one more boom.
Earlier this year, as many of you know, The Rock returned. Obviously that helped buy rates and ratings to a level we haven’t seen in quite a long time. Our very own Richard Gray has asked many times “Are were in a wrestling boom?” Say what you want about The Rock holding the title (trust me I had my issues with it) it was good for business. While I was completely let down by the lack of talent willing to elevate themselves while he was currently there, we now get to see the amount of talent finding their characters and taking off in their role. I went to a Q and A with Jim Ross a few months back, as some of you may know. He was asked about this thoughts on the current roster. He said “No one wants it.” I completely agreed with him. The talent is there in WWE, but for the longest time no matter what, when talent came out from behind that curtain, they had that look of “Omg I can’t believe I’m doing this for a living!” that hurt their legitimacy terribly.
Fast forward to where we are now and we have so much talent, old and new. We have the return of the phenomenal and rejuvenated RVD, the comings and goings of Y2J, and seasoned veterans all hitting their prime at the right time. Hitting their prime is an important ingredient. We have the top talent right now of “1A” Cena, “1B” Punk, then there’s the likes of Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Antonio Cesaro and so on. While the main event scene can only have so many people at any certain time, it is important to also have a believably loaded upper mid card. It’s what the business needs. A handful of talent that sells collectively while they have the top of the card being the draw. With Cena and CM Punk drawing at the top, the rest follows suit. It’s rare that when even a RAW is booked terribly, there is such over the top characters and talent that really brings the show back. Screwy endings, boring angles, and ridiculous backstage segments only go so far as to bring the show down. When there is talent to at least catch your interested, Yahtzee.
Then there are the managers and the stables. Heyman being back has been amazing for any old school fan. Between the promos he cuts, the sense of presence he has, to the just little things outside the ring during a match are enough to get everyone excited. The fact he is forming a clientele of Curtis Axel, Brock Lesnar and formerly CM Punk, made fantastic television. Even the splitting with Punk, the fallout has been fantastic. It’s building to a great little feud for Summerslam. Then there is Uncle Zeb and his militia, and while Swagger seems to be on his way down, Cesaro is rising. All thanks to the mouthpiece needed, or not, that is Zeb. Dirty Dutch is doing fantastic work, and has lent a piece of advice I am going to write about in another article. I would like to see a stable with a Diva or two though.
Speaking of Divas, even they’re on the rise. I am not the biggest Kaitlyn fan, but her feud with A.J. has been money. AJ has the ability to elevate that Divas roster. In my opinion, not bad for a girl her size. She can portray a character better than half that roster – male or female. Her in ring work is fantastic too. Then there is Natalya, who is probably the second best female worker in the major leagues of wrestling today. Second only to Gail Kim. They have the Bellas for what they’re worth (not much) and tons of talent in NXT as well. While the Attitude Era didn’t have much for female wrestling outside of Trish and Lita, if we see a boom here the Divas would have a great opportunity to shine brighter than ever before. I didn’t think you could get much better than Trish vs Lita, but I think AJ, with the right push, can really do it. I hope to see that.
Then there is the issue of competition and the fact they don’t have it. I say that they do. That competition is TNA. Okay, okay, let’s get serious now. They have none. The only threat TNA poses to WWE is when top guys like Orton blow out of Wellness Policy violations. I don’t think competition really deems a boom necessarily. It’s the fact that WWE is raking in tons of money, and people know what is going on and ask about it. When sites like WNW, and the sister sites, have traffic booming and crash, as is the case after every Mania since I can remember. It’s when people care about the product. It’s when that product is putting out entertainment we all want to see. You can make the argument that WWE was still fantastic long after WCW was bought out. That’s because it still had programming people wanted to see. Yeah, it was on the decline, but it’s better than a stick in the eye. Another idea for some good competition is maybe bring back that brand separation. That way they can feud with themselves? That was some entertaining television, also while creating tons of top level talent. They just need to make us care about them.
Is it likely we will see a boom? I sure hope so! The time is now if we’re going to see it. I hope to see in the next few years it really take off, or all this slow burn building talented wrestlers is going to be for nothing. It is great for us as fans for WWE to finally elevate their game. HHH and Vince aren’t dumb guys. A boom is good for business too. If they’re pulling in some of the old fans to see people like The Rock, maybe Stone Cold one last time, they’re going to create the atmosphere to do it. It doesn’t seem likely it’ll happen, but what better time than now? The product needs something.