WWE's Youth Movement: The Future of Pro Wrestling

Christopher DunfeeContributor IINovember 15, 2010

UNCASVILLE, CT - AUGUST 3:  Actor Jeremy Piven guest hosts WWE's 'Monday Night Raw' at Mohegan Sun on August 3, 2009 in Uncasville, Connecticut.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Over the course of the past few months, there's been an influx of new, young talent on the World Wrestling Entertainment and whether it's because the company wants to bring fresh, new faces into the fold, or due to injuries to top WWE superstars, such as “The Game” Triple H and The Undertaker, everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter— positive and negative.

Personally, I will gear towards the positive angle and aspect of this, as this “new breed” of superstars, who have been integrally featured on WWE programming more and more every week, have become one of the most exciting things we have seen in professional wrestling recently.

When most people talk about the youth movement in the promotion, particularly in the media and banter between performers in rival companies (Kevin Nash and Chris Jericho), many obviously point to the big-name superstars who have crept into WWE Championship title contention on the Monday Night RAW roster. Those stars being Wade Barrett and “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus, as well as the impact made by the other members of The Nexus.

And not that I am unsatisfied with the work of these main event-caliber performers thus far, but I get the most excitement from viewing the guys working the mid-upper, mid-card portion of the show.

Whether it be the stars on the Monday Night RAW or Friday Night SmackDown roster, there is a plethora of talent from top to bottom with the fresh, young faces that grace our television screen every week, such as C.M. Punk, “The All-American American” Jack Swagger, and Ezekiel Jackson to name a few.

I am not sure if it is just me being ADD on the matter, or WWE creative having done a poor job of keeping me interested in feuds, but I am one who loves nothing more than fresh, original feuds and matchups—something I believe the WWE has sorely lacked for quite some time now, and let’s just say this influx of new talent has definitely sparked my interest.

I think the thing that has been overshadowed most by some of the critics of these young, up-and-coming competitors is that most of these guys aren’t hacks who have yet to prove themselves worthy, rather they are some of the most talented performers in the company who, at times, don't get an opportunity to showcase their talent.

Guys like Jack Swagger and John Morrison are perhaps some of the greatest athletes in professional wrestling history; Daniel Bryan is probably one of the best in-ring talents in the world; and guys like Kofi Kingston and Kaval are perhaps some of the most exciting competitors in the whole company with their unique style inside the squared circle.

Not to mention the fact that some of this young talent features some of the most unique, interesting characters on the entire roster—something that has drawn WWE criticism from most of their top talent, including current WWE Champion “The Viper” Randy Orton and John Cena.

While many might not agree, guys like The Miz, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, “The Fortunate Son” Ted DiBiase, Jr. and Zack Ryder have interesting personalities with the gimmicks they portray; not to mention the amount of heat newcomer, Alberto Del Rio, has already sustained on the Friday Night SmackDown! roster thus far.

Speaking of Alberto Del Rio‘s heat, one other thing that is so intriguing about some of these rising, upcoming heels in the promotion is the fact that the WWE Universe can’t wait to see these "true villains" get their ass kicked. With rare exceptions (like battling John Cena), guys like Sheamus, “The Chosen One” Drew McIntyre and Wade Barrett—as well as Del Rio—are almost sure to never draw a true “babyface” reaction if booked properly and correctly moving forward.

Some might say big deal, but to me that is another thing the company has lacked recently: A true heel who the fans will root against and hope and pray their favorite superstar will defeat. As good as guys like Edge and Chris Jericho do portraying their role, their just too damn likable with their persona and the respect they’ve earned throughout their tenure.

At the end of the day, the basics of professional wrestling is for the fans to see the hero come out victorious over the villain and make people care about who wins the matches.

While most of the audience loves to see the top superstars battling in the main event, I am one who receives most of my enjoyment on WWE programming from opening WWE Intercontinental Championship title matches on pay-per-view featuring Dolph Ziggler, an “awesome” promo from The Miz, a mid-card talent on SmackDown! such as Montel Vontavious Porter, or Daniel Bryan bringing back some much-needed prestige to the WWE United States Championship.

If utilized properly moving forward, the WWE definitely has some extraordinary young pieces with outstanding potential to groom and mold the company around moving into the next generation of sports entertainment.

Contributing author Christopher Dunfee is a feature writer for Force Of Wrestling.Com and covers professional wrestling organizations World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. To contact Christopher for radio appearances or any other media inquiries, be sure to contact him at cdunfee1289@yahoo.com.

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