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Missing generation of wrestlers?


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Again it points to something RVD said in his interview that there is no "options" for anyone anymore, you are either in the indies probably scrapping by, in TNA where you are always going to be much lower down the card than the big money signing or in the WWE where the chances of making it a finite at best. The old ways of bidding your time, putting guys over until you get your turn simply doesn't exist, that concept of really "working" your way to the top doesn't exist it's all about if a random person spots you and signs you up to a developmental deal.

 

Plus because there's no territories it's not like there are decent local promotions that can make something of someone before moving up a grade and there's no local network where guys can learn around where they already live etc. You have to travel and re-locate and gamble on not getting cut from your deal.

 

With UFC you can live, work and train around your home town, travel to camps when required and then have your chances to shine when you fight. It's not as all or nothing.

 

I'm not saying that's the only reason but I think it's a strong reason why we're missing a lot of talent.

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The other point RVD made was that all of his peers have also gone from wrestling. RVD is 42 and still actively wrestling (and in his own words health wise feeling great) but looking about where are the other guys in their 40's who could realistically still be performing at a top level?

 

Rock's (41) doing movies, Austin (48) retied, Triple H (43) semi-retired, Shawn (47) retired, Taker (48) limited performances, Foley (48) pretty much retired, JBL (46) ring retired, Road Dogg (44) retired...

 

There's a big gap from those guys to the new guys of the Cena generation who are all in their early to mid thirties. There's a distinct lack of guys from the last real big boom period who are about to be working with the new generation. Quality workers who know the business and how to work something on the scale of WWE and can bring along younger guys. I mean it comes to something when Cena (36) seems like a ring veteran and guys like Christian (39, Henry (41) and RVD are seen to be almost from another time.

 

TNA have a few more old guard in their ranks but TNA aren't really in the business of bringing through new talent and making the superstars so I'm choosing to exclude them at this point.

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Slightly on-topic, slightly off-, but I don't get why WWE don't send more veterans on the road. Why wasn't Ryback working with Finlay on the house show circuit? Back 'in the day', kids worked with veterans until the kids became the veterans and returned the favour to the new kids. Today, Heath Slater will work with Connor O'Brien for an age and they'll learn very little except how to work with each other and try a few new ideas. If Ryback was to work, say, 100 house shows a year, and 50 of them were spent wrestling William Regal, Fit Finlay, Dustin Rhodes, Christian and Chris Jericho, the guy would probably be killing it in the ring and fast becoming a big match worker. Now apply that to other guys - the Hennig kid, for example, and you'd have a great little roster of young guys making the transition into big time workers. Instead, they bring in some big footballer, throw him in with Drew McIntyre, and suddenly they don't believe he's ready and cut him immediately. Eventually, they're going to run out of guys to replace them with.

 

WWE may be the only game in town, but it doesn't even help its own. And that's not a good thing for anyone.

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The other point RVD made was that all of his peers have also gone from wrestling. RVD is 42 and still actively wrestling (and in his own words health wise feeling great) but looking about where are the other guys in their 40's who could realistically still be performing at a top level?

 

Rock's (41) doing movies, Austin (48) retied, Triple H (43) semi-retired, Shawn (47) retired, Taker (48) limited performances, Foley (48) pretty much retired, JBL (46) ring retired, Road Dogg (44) retired...

 

There's a big gap from those guys to the new guys of the Cena generation who are all in their early to mid thirties. There's a distinct lack of guys from the last real big boom period who are about to be working with the new generation. Quality workers who know the business and how to work something on the scale of WWE and can bring along younger guys. I mean it comes to something when Cena (36) seems like a ring veteran and guys like Christian (39, Henry (41) and RVD are seen to be almost from another time.

 

TNA have a few more old guard in their ranks but TNA aren't really in the business of bringing through new talent and making the superstars so I'm choosing to exclude them at this point.

Surely the TNA not building their own people ship has sailed? Bobby Roode was the longest reigning world champ and Austin Aries was heavily pushed in the last few years.
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Surely the TNA not building their own people ship has sailed? Bobby Roode was the longest reigning world champ and Austin Aries was heavily pushed in the last few years.

 

Errr, no? What does it matter if Roode held the TNA title for a long time? No one cares. Aries too. Hulk Hogan is the only guy in TNA that means anything, the only bone fide superstar. The example you need to look at is CM Punk, an indie darling who WWE has made into a guy who can make news headline.

 

It's not about just bringing guys up in your own promotion (where WWE still massively outshines TNA anyway) it's about making superstars.

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Surely the TNA not building their own people ship has sailed? Bobby Roode was the longest reigning world champ and Austin Aries was heavily pushed in the last few years.
And the main storyline has Sting & Hogan as the biggest threat to the dominant heel faction. Sting is the top active wrestler in the promotion by a wide margin, while Bully Ray is the top heel on the roster by a wide margin. No-one who could be considered a TNA-built wrestler (which would exclude Austin Aries and Samoa Joe, for example, as they were built mainly in RoH) is even close to that level.
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Errr, no? What does it matter if Roode held the TNA title for a long time? No one cares. Aries too. Hulk Hogan is the only guy in TNA that means anything, the only bone fide superstar. The example you need to look at is CM Punk, an indie darling who WWE has made into a guy who can make news headline.

 

It's not about just bringing guys up in your own promotion (where WWE still massively outshines TNA anyway) it's about making superstars.

 

Is expecting TNA to make a homegrown "superstar" with any kind of mainstream potential (assuming that is what you mean, comparing him to CM Punk) all that realistic though?

 

People ask actual names like Angle and Hogan why they don't wrestle anymore. TNA does not exist in the mainstream. You can't make a transcendent superstar in that context.

 

I don't think that is what people want TNA to do either. Just make some genuine, TNA-level main eventers out of their homegrown guys. That is all, and something they have always failed to do.

 

Roode and Aries were good, and I don't think they can be completely discounted on TNA's part, but I don't think it really kills the argument either, because guys like Roode and Aries always drop back down to make room for the Hogans and Stings to save the day, which is what has happened again this year; Roode and Aries having tag team clusterf*cks while Hogan and Sting save the company from Aces and Eights.

 

TNA is still a company that at it's heart is designed to get old washed up guys over. Not Roode nor Aries have changed that.

 

So I mean, I agree with you. I just think mainstream recognition is a pretty strange and harsh measure to judge TNA by, since they will never get any no matter how well they book or put the right guys over.

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Hogan and Sting being the physical saving grace of the company would fit that bill, not Hogan and Sting themselves. I mean, I Hogan and / or Sting, for example, came out and gave someone younger on the roster an endorsement that this is the guy to lead the fight against Aces & 8s, then it would give that a wrestler a rub from genuine legends.

 

Instead, the younger guys are no match for the heel faction, even when all of them are out there together, so it takes the 54yr-old Sting and 59yr-old Hogan to eventually battle them.

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TNA isn't going anywhere, that's kind of the point and why saying that Roode and Aries are TNA "stars" makes no sense because no one in TNA is a star outside of Hogan and maybe Sting hence why TNA keep pushing them over the other talent.

 

Jimmy may think it's some arbitrary thing to use to determine who has "made" someone but the superstar analogy is the only one that really applies even if TNA couldn't make a star no matter what. Every promotion has to book someone for the belt so even tinpot companies could "make" someone but it's meaningless. Making someone should mean that the person becomes a proper star, someone who matters outside of the promotion. someone who if they went to another company would bring something with them.

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There is some light in the NXT generation though. Big E (27), Ambrose (26), Rollins (27), Reigns (28), Wyatt (26), Bo Dallas (23). You can see most of them sticking to the top of the card over the next decade.

 

Cody is still only 27 too and fits in that cycle. Just that he has been around for years.

 

If we go to a 5 year cycle after that we got the likes of Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Wade Barrett, Miz, Kofi, Dolph, Fandango, Ryback, Swagger. Ok, only Daniel Bryan and possibly Dolph are at the top from this group.

 

No doubt there was more talent back in the day, but the NXT system has been a huge leap in the right direction for WWE. It is not all bad.

Edited by Gomi
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But Hogan effectively did that for Bully Ray before his heel turn.
This would be the same 41yr-old Bully Ray who made his name in ECW before becoming a huge deal in WWE?

 

Granted, he is younger than Hogan and Sting, but that's really papering over cracks.

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There is some light in the NXT generation though. Big E (27), Ambrose (26), Rollins (27), Reigns (28), Wyatt (26), Bo Dallas (23). You can see most of them sticking to the top of the card over the next decade.

 

Cody is still only 27 too and fits in that cycle. Just that he has been around for years.

 

If we go to a 5 year cycle after that we got the likes of Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Wade Barrett, Miz, Kofi, Dolph, Fandango, Ryback, Swagger. Ok, only Daniel Bryan and possibly Dolph are at the top from this group.

 

No doubt there was more talent back in the day, but the NXT system has been a huge leap in the right direction for WWE. It is not all bad.

 

I think you've missed the direction of the thread since Jayfunk derailed it into a discussion about TNA, the missing generation is not those coming through it's the generation before the current generation who seem to have vanished from wrestling and aren't about to help the current generation learn and so there's an appreciable loss of knowledge from the business.

 

It's quite scary that Cena is possibly the guy people are taking their cues from in terms of how to present yourself to an audience.

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