He’s back. Finally. And it was great. Like him. That being said and not wanting to sound negative, it’s sad one Rock going at best 70% electricity is so much better than the current WWE roster combined.
That really is the worrying thing and shows just how bad the product is. Rock is ‘The Great One’ and one of the best ever. He made his name on the mic and whilst not really considered the greatest technician his matches always lived up to the hype and fit the character he created. So I admit it seems unfair to compare the current crop of young guys to someone of his standard. But lets look at it like this. He has been away for a while. Ok but that cuts two ways. Firstly his absence and return was always going to lead to a phenomenal comeback. But at the same time that is seven years not being ‘ The Rock ‘ and not being in front of an arena full of fans. There was something lacking and I imagine most of it was due to being away. And yet he still brought it.
The biggest thing the Rock’s return showed is that promos need to be less scripted. Much less. Like Brady and a thousand other people have complained about for years is that guys nowadays aren’t really performers or wrestlers like they used to be. They are just characters but not ones of their own making which is the crucial difference. Guys just get given a character and script and expected to make something happen and it often dosen’t. Far too many guys aren’t getting over soley because their character or mic skills suck and they can’t do anything about it. Guys like Morrison or Kofi are top guys the fans want to see move to the next level but cant because as soon as they hit the mic they turn into ‘faces’ or ‘good guys’. Im not trying to be a smarky know it all but that is who they are. They have no individuality or personality. They simply go through the motions of what a good guy is meant to be. The same can be said of guys in Nexus/Corre. In the year they have been here only one has really shown anything of a personality and the others have been left to either stand in the background or play the character of ‘evil lacky’ often badly.
The solution to that problem is right in front of everyones eyes. If they don’t want to stop scripting then have more guest commentator spots. They can be awful but they show what a guy/girl is made of. Putting wrestlers next to Cole and forcing them to interact live and think on their feet brings out who they really are and can give people a much better idea of their potential. Punk, Alex Riley, Miz, Maryse and Natalya have all had guest spots and proven themselves to be more than just a characiture. Conversely the likes of Ted DiBiase, Dolph Ziggler, The Bellas and many more have fallen flat. Without a script OR much natural charisma they try and be a character they have no control over and seem forced or worst still just agree with Cole and say literally just what is in front of them.
The thing that kind of makes me sad the most about the Rocks return is the state of waiting we seem stuck in. For what seems like an age all the fans have done is hope and pray someone comes back to try and brighten things up whether it be HHH, Undertaker, Jericho, Rock or even Christian. I understand why. Those guys are huge, massively popular and all legends (I’ll leave you to decide on Christian’s status) But at the same time they are old and aren’t going to be around much longer. Two of them are near retirement, one is so near he has an office out back waiting, one hasn’t been around for seven years and isn’t technically a wrestler and one is almost literally a dead man walking. Not going to wrestle anymore, doesn’t want to anymore and shouldn’t anymore respectively. What does it say about all the young guys that they can’t hold a torch to any one of those guys. Not only that but that we are so desperate for the good old times, we go crazy for people that either don’t want to perform anymore or can’t.
The problem comes from WWE getting lazy. Up untill recently WWE have always quite clearly been looking for ‘the next big thing’. If they couldn’t find one they tried to make one even if we didn’t want it. Now though the search seems unfocused and laboured like they can’t really be bothered. It seems that having Cena, Orton, Taker and Rey to rely on they don’t have to do anything anymore. Bret, HBK, Austin, Rock, HHH, Cena, Lesnar, Batista, Orton were all replacements for the big names before them. The WWE was constantly evolving, always moving forward rarely looking back. Now they just seem to plod forward at their own pace and stop and look back when it suits. Don’t get me wrong I love all those guys as much as anyone and wish they never have to leave (maybe not Cena) but there comes a time when one great has to leave and another take his place. That attitude (no pun) has gone. And yet WWE continue to get their panties in a bunch when PPV buys are low. If they made an effort to help mold new guys to Rock and Austin’s level instead of just handing guys Rock and Austin style script sheets more people would be interested and buy more stuff. It looks terrible when at your second biggest PPV of the year, which is meant to get people excited for the biggest two months down the line, the biggest pop is for an old guy that has spent most of his recent years chilling in TNA. You can chalk it up to nostalgia all you want but a lot of fans who saw that either knew who he was and where he had been (TNA) or were too young to know/care who he was. And yet they went nuts all the same.
I can’t think of another situation where so much excitement has come from old names returning to a company unless you want to start bringing up WCW/TNA and no one wants to do that. Regardless I hope they use Rock wisely and look forward to him interacting with Cena, Miz and Punk or Orton too. I’m still not buying Mania though unless some good matches get announced soon.