Professional wrestling hasn’t been the same since “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sting and Goldberg ruled the world in the 90s. Why, you may ask? It's because how the WWE has been booking wrestlers such as former World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, who's out with an ACL, MCL and meniscus injury after fighting Kane in a no holds barred match at a Nov. 4 house show in Dublin, Ireland.
After Rollins’ injury, the WWE vacated the title and announced they will hold a tournament to crown a new champion at "Survivor Series" 8 p.m. Eastern Nov. 22 at Atlanta, Georgia on the WWE Network.
The good news, it ended one of the worst world title reigns in recent memory. The bad news, Rollins' injury is an excellent reminder why the WWE is hurting right now:
1.“And His Name Is John Cena”
“The Future Is Now?” More like the future is being held back because of the way the WWE has made John Cena look unstoppable. He lacks match psychology, he can’t bump, his matches are overrated and hardcore wrestling fans are glad he’s taking time off. Cena’s time is up and other wrestler's time is now.
2. The "popular" wrestlers are absent
Nobody can truly carry the ball with Rollins gone and you should blame the WWE for only giving Cena the brass ring. Cena isn’t universally over and turned people away from wrestling. Don’t expect the tournament to build a solid main eventer because when Cena comes back, expect another open challenge at a WWE show near you. In the meantime, here’s a list of notable wrestlers who aren’t competing at Survivor Series.
- Brock Lesnar (part-time wrestler)
- Daniel Bryan (concussion, last competed in April)
- John Cena (taking time off, last competed at Hell in a Cell)
- Randy Orton (dislocated shoulder, last competed in October)
- Sting (neck injury, last competed at Night of Champions in September)
3. Roman Reigns isn't quite ready
The issue with the WWE today is the amount of predictability. Look no further than this year’s Royal Rumble where Roman Reigns reigned supreme. Reigns was supposed to face Rollins for the title. But with the match scrapped, Reigns is probably the guy who will win the tournament and earn his first world title. I don’t mind Reigns as a competitor, he’s tolerable in the ring. But his worst enemy are his kiddy mic skills.
4. Besides Roman Reigns, who will be a legit contender for world title?
Seriously, who’s left? With Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper busy feuding with the Undertaker and Kane and guys like Neville, Cesaro, and Kevin Owens won’t be taken seriously. Dean Ambrose is the only man who can stop Reigns. People already think it’ll be Ambrose vs. Reigns in the final round with Reigns winning. If the WWE aren’t predictable, Ambrose winning the title will make people happy and a more creditable wrestler than Reigns.
5. Wrestling is a dirty word to Vince
Vince McMahon calls it “sports entertainment” not “pro wrestling.” If your show evolves around wrestling, make it about wrestling. Yes you want to build the match up, but make it like a fighting sport. This is why the UFC is murdering the wrestling business, they build their matches on who’s the better fighter, not on “you cheated on my girlfriend behind my back.”
6. The WWE World Heavyweight Championship has been devalued
I’ve already mentioned how Rollins’ title reign was the worst in recent memory. It ruined the prestige of the belt after jobbing to Kane and submitting quicker than Summer Rae multiple times on "Raw." Rollins would only win on special events which is fine, but make him a credible champion like Bret Hart in the ‘90s. Otherwise, the WWE should’ve got rid of the belt from Rollins if they weren't going to make him a creditable champion. He's one of their best wrestlers in the company and his title reign didn't show his capability of being among the greats.
7. Garbage storylines
Horrible soap opera like the atrocious rivalry of the Bella Twins (Brie and Nikki) from 2014 is a prime example why wrestling isn't popular anymore. The stories are overly done and makes the WWE look like a knock-off version of "Days of Our Lives." You want an interesting girl-on-girl feud, go watch "Orange is the New Black" or to a lower extent, "Rock of Love with Bret Michaels."
8. This isn't 1995, stop with the corny gimmicks
The WWE is infamously notorious for creating horrible characters like Doink the Clown, Adam Rose, and the Gobbledy Gooker. The New Day are no exceptions with their corny booty dancing and their infatuation with unicorns. You’re better off playing Hong Kong ’97 than watching three grown men acting like goofs.
9. WCW and ECW booked wrestlers like “wrestlers"
Rollins’ injury wouldn't be an issue if they actually used their wrestlers properly. In WCW (no, not Women’s Crush Wednesday) and ECW, the wrestlers were booked like wrestlers. You didn’t see Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio, Jr. be in a redundant love story or Rob Van Dam lick a lollipop and prance around the ring. Their wrestling skills were showcased and given time to put on a great match. The WWE on the other hand, focuses on a 25-minute Authority promo to kick off "Raw."
10. The WWE isn't mainstream as ratings are plummeting
It doesn't matter if Jon Stewart made a WWE appearance or ESPN covering wrestling on a weekly basis, the company isn't mainstream. ESPN should’ve regularly covered the WWE in the 1990s when the company reached its zenith. Instead, ESPN are covering the worst era in WWE history. "Raw"’s ratingshaven’t been this bad in almost 20 years with an average of only two million people watching the show. Just look at the ratings during the Monday Night War (1995-2001) and look at the yearly "Raw" ratings since 1998.
The WWE isn't cooler talk anymore besides a couple vines about John Cena and Randy Orton.
11. The Cesaro Section aren't being rewarded
Isn’t the WWE supposed to be the crème dela crème of wrestling? You’re sadly mistaken because it’s not the best wrestlers who get pushed, it’s those who have the bodybuilder look or your name is John Cena. In my eye, Cesaro should carry the company because he’s one of the best all-around wrestler on the main roster. He's fluent in five different languages, something desirable in any business to employ and would be a fantastic ambassador for the WWE. But with Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn on the helm, don’t expect a Cesaro Swing on Reigns anytime soon because he doesn’t “have it.” Oh by the way, most people wanted him to be the next champion over Roman Reigns.
12. CM Punk was right about Vince McMahon
Who would have thought a year later, CM Punk’s interview on "The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana" is still accurate. Guys who work real hard don’t get pushed. Only John Cena and to some degree Randy Orton get what they want while Vince McMahon was and still is an ‘out of touch’ person. When Punk competes in the UFC octagon for the first time, people will watch and see how he does. For now, McMahon “owes us one” for sure, a great quality product like it once was.