Why was the Attitude Era so successful?
One primary reason is because everyone and everything on those programmes mattered. Whether you were Stone Cold Steve Austin or Scotty 2 Hotty, you had a role to play.
The creative mindset of the WWE from 1997-2001 was completely different to the mindset of the past several years.
As the years have gone by, WWE programming has seemingly struggled more and more to create consistently compelling television.
Anything outside of the top-tier has been attributed little importance.
A mid-card storyline is a rarity these days and instead of grooming new stars like they did 10-15 years ago, the likes of Kingston, Swagger and Bryan find their pushes withdrawn as quickly as they were given. Furthermore, guys on the cusp of superstardom, like CM Punk and Sheamus, have not been given the opportunity to cement themselves in the top-tier with that big win.
2011's WWE could be as good as 1999's. Whilst it does not have stars on the level of The Rock or Stone Cold (let alone two of them) on a consistent basis, they have as much talent as they did in the Attitude Era.
CM Punk, Sheamus, Wade Barrett, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan, John Morrison and Jack Swagger. All of these guys and many more, have the potential to be main-event players.
Yet creative or more precisely, Vince McMahon, has not committed to develop them over a sustained period of time.
When Rocky Maivia was smiling like an idiot with a haircut that would make Eazy E turn in his grave, did we think he would become The Great One? No.
When Edge was attacking strangers in ill-fitting shirts, did we all think he would win 11 world titles? No.
The young guys need that chance to show what they can do and not an Evan Bourne two-week push before heading back to the Job Squad (or APPLE I think they're called now).
The main-event should not be the only priority. Raw is a two-hour programme, the 70 minutes not attributed to main event story lines should be meaningful and not just filler.
WWE are struggling at the moment with star power and not because the talent is not out there. The problem they have had is that they have not pulled the trigger on Superstars when they should have done.
In 2005 Christian was pure gold, yet the WWE did not commit and he left.
In 2007 Mr. Kennedy and MVP were highlights of the show. Again, the ball was dropped.
In 2009 Kofi Kingston was on his way to becoming the new face that the WWE needed. Randy Orton stopped that (That was uncharacteristic of Randy...sorry...Mr. who?... Kennedy?... Oh).
The current direction of WWE suggests things may not be changing any time soon, with the focus on anything but wrestling.
For the sake of the future WWE product, I hope the current attitude towards new stars and programme content is changed–sooner rather than later.
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