WWE is starting to make progress with their youth movement.

by

If you were to tell me a year ago this time that the WWE would be going with a youth movement rather than have the veterans be the center of the main event, I would have told you that you are nuts and WWE would never do something like that.

What a difference a year makes.

Last year at this time, I had three young wrestlers in Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and Evan Bourne as being the young nucleus to take WWE into the next decade. Now, Ziggler is going to get a World Title shot at the Royal Rumble, Swagger was champion shortly after Wrestlemania but  it might have been too early and Bourne is currently on the injured list with a return coming up in the next couple months. Along with these three guys, you can add another five wrestlers to that list.

In just one year, WWE has given us Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater along with The Miz being thrown in that mix. That is potentially seven main eventers who are under the age of 33. I doubt any fan wouldn’t be encouraged by that. The good thing about this also is Barrett and Del Rio have already main evented and both are good heels which WWE has lacked. Del Rio and Barrett are the perfect bad guys and the thing that makes this even better is that both can WRESTLE which is another thing WWE has lacked the last few years. With Gabriel and Slater, they are also heels but can be faces if needed. They can also add depth to the tag-team division which has lacked since the Attitude Era.

So with these seven guys in the young nucleus of WWE, you can see the arrow is pointing up at a time where the ratings haven’t been all that great. Wrestlezone reported that since 2006, the average RAW rating dropped nearly a full point from 3.9 to 3.1. So it’s nice to see that Vince McMahon is realizing that and maybe finally taking some advice from the paying customers like us. There is no guarantee that this youth movement will work but at least McMahon and the writers are trying something new rather than throwing Randy Orton and Sheamus out there to stink up the arena with their horrible wrestling. An example you can put out there is The Miz. I know we have one reader here who can’t stand him and I am sure a lot of people can’t but once again, at least they are doing something differently. It may not or has not worked, but it’s better than what we have seen in the last couple years.

Another reason why this could not have come at a better time is due to some of the veterans who might be calling it quits in the next year or two. Shawn Michaels has been retired for almost a year. Triple H doesn’t seem to have any motivation to return anytime soon. The Undertaker has broken down so many times and if he doesn’t come back in time for Wrestlemania, he will for sure be done by next year’s. Chris Jericho while saving his body by taking months off at certain times, is in his 40’s with a wife and two kids so he might be done soon. John Cena will be around but he can’t do it himself. Lastly, Kane and Edge have a lot of miles on them as well so you can’t count on them to give WWE a full schedule down the road.

So as we wrestling fans are settling into 2011, we can know that the arrow is pointing up for this company as long as the writers do not stall the young guys’ development which we have seen in the past. In conclusion, this is all occurring in the PG era. I have mentioned before that I don’t think it matters if it’s PG or TV-14 but how the talent can wrestle and develop character. We don’t need swearing, sexual innuendo, blood or chair shots to show how great these young guys can be. They can simply show it by how they come out to the ring and show their talents by displaying athleticism and character. That is something to look for.

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5 Responses to “WWE is starting to make progress with their youth movement.”

  1. chucky Says:

    Good article Fro. I may not like Miz, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say his in-ring work has improved. I may not like his character, or buy into him as champion, but I’ll give him his due. And Michael Cole is not doing him any favors either. One more thing about him: I think his finisher is a bit weak. It’s basically the same as Jeff Jarretts “stroke”, which I always thought sucked.

    The “King Sheamus” gimmick really blows. He was far better as a monster heel. Hopefully he returns to that soon.

    Ziggler is getting really, really good. Glad he’s not a cheerleader anymore! I think they may be trying to turn Swagger into the next Kurt Angle. Big mistake. Let Angle be Angle, and let Jack Swagger be Jack Swagger.

    Evan Bourne should be returning soon from injury. Del Rio is going to be World Champion before long, and THAT will be fun as hell. I’m looking forward to that day.

    But there are some I don’t think will amount to much. I’m looking at you Nexus. C.M. Punk will be an awesome addition to that group, but it may not be enough. Time will tell.

    Don’t ask me why, but I really like Santino Marella. He’s damn good at the comedy stuff. To me, he’s very entertaining.

    Last night Jerry Lawler announced Shawn Michaels as the first guy to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Well deserved. Next week I think it will be one of the next three: Ron Simmons, Lex Luger, or Arn Anderson. With Wrestlemania in Atlanta this year, McMahon wanted a WCW themed HoF for 2011. My money is on Arn. He deserves it the most. And I’m still holding out hope for my choice: Bruiser Brody. God I’d love that!

  2. Fro Dog Says:

    Chucky,

    I was going to put Santino on the list of future stars. Unfortunately, I doubt WWE is high on him. I am not sure why either. I rooted for him when he had his debut to win the Intercontinental Title and when he later was a bad guy three years ago. I will agree that he is hilarious and that I am happy he is a tag-team champion now. Him and Kozlov actually wrestle well too.

    As to what you were saying on Alberto Del Rio, I want him to be champion soon but I don’t want the writers to rush him in his development. I don’t want to compare this situation to Brock Lesnar but when he was basicaly given the title five months after his debut, it seemed like WWE did it out of desperation.

    Even though Lesnar has an amateur background, he sucked professionally. All power and steroid-freakish with no character or athleticism. If you remember, he usually did what the Nexus is doing and that’s just coming out and beating people up with Paul Heyman doing all the talking for him. Bad. Bad. Bad.

  3. fallscountanywhere Says:

    Really great post, Fro.

    The last paragraph makes me want to hug you. People bitch about the PG rating SO much, but I actually like it. It’s sports entertainment, and there are a million ways to make it fun and interesting while still being “appropriate.”

    I’m really happy with a lot of the young guys. Barrett and Del Rio are brilliant. I see both being believable champs in the near future (I agree that I hope they don’t rush Del Rio, though). Miz has impressed me a lot with the improvement in his ring work (look, even Chucky admits it!).

    Ziggler isn’t super new, but you know I think he’s great. Also Punk isn’t quite a veteran yet, and he is one of the best. He got hit by a fan at a house show the other day because he’s so good at what he does!

    If they keep training and pushing the new guys, the future of the company is more or less secure. I can’t wait for Bourne to get back. I, too, would like Santino to get a real push. I remember really liking his style when he was IC champ not too long ago.

  4. Fro Dog Says:

    FallsCountAnywhere,

    I appreciate the feedback. I cannot believe how I forgot one more name to add to the nucleus. Someone should punch me for forgetting this name: Bryan Danielson. By far living proof that it doesn’t matter how short you are, you can still run with the pack. I don’t always compare wrestlers to ones of the past, but Chris Benoit is someone I can relate Danielson to. Bryan’s skills in the ring is about as good as Benoit’s in terms of the technical style. I think Bryan is just as quick. I would love to see him in the main event too someday.

  5. fallscountanywhere Says:

    Ah yes! If they can stop this Bella weirdness I think Bryan can be great…since he already is.

SHOW DA FIRE AND PASSION, MY FRENDT!

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