The Great American Wrestle Day has come and gone. The star-studded RAW which accompanied it well encapsulated the state of pro wrestling.
The show opened with the legendary Hulk Hogan, Babe Ruth of wrestling, cutting a classic Hulkamania promo. He got the big reaction that everyone expected but his skills left a lot to be desired. In fact, I’m quite sure his former employer, Dixie Carter, nodded an ‘I could’ve told you that’. Just prior to the televised show, WWE introduced a new preshow, headlined by arguably the greatest living wrestler, Ric Flair. His performance, too, was nostalgic but lackluster.
Over the course of the show we were also treated to the Undertaker, HHH, Brock Lesnar, Batista, Booker T, JBL, Jerry Lawler, Zeb Colter and all the current stars. By all accounts, this show should have been epic. It should have been one of those ‘all-time’ great RAWs. It was good. Just good. It was somehow less than the sum of its parts.
I’m of the mind that the WWE’s reliance on part timers (no matter how famous) has come back to bite them. We’re desensitized to them. They are all overexposed. We’ve seen the act. We know their lines before they say them. It’s no longer special. More importantly, they don’t need the legends anymore. The WWE Universe no longer wants or needs a steady diet of legends who can no longer ‘bring it’ the way they once did.
We love Taker, not because of his past, but because he’s still on top of his game. We loved Rock. He still looked like the Rock. Austin’s promos never failed to deliver. He’s still got it. Brock is welcome because he’s still ‘the Beast’ and not just pretending to be.
Here’s hoping that the WWE braintrust catches up with its fanbase and realizes that we don’t respond to a name alone. If you can still work like Goldust, Billy Gunn, Undertaker, Lesnar, and in-ring HHH, you’ll get massive support. Otherwise, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, the Shield and the Wyatts are more than capable of holding our attention. Believe that.