A long-held criticism of WWE is that for years they have pushed the so-called lesser performers to the top of the card while ignoring those the internet community/smart fans deem more deserving.
Wrestlers arriving with big reputations on the indies are held back in favour of the latest 6'10", 300-lb monster or the bodybuilder with amazing physique and not-so-amazing in-ring abilities.
Recently however, the minority has been having its voice heard—and spearheaded by CM Punk, a youth revolution of sorts is in full effect.
Right now Punk and Daniel Bryan reign as the WWE and World Heavyweight Champions respectively, while internet darling Zack Ryder is US Champ.
Reports also indicate that the next additions to the main roster from FCW won't be the new Great Khali or Boogeyman but rather former independent scene standouts Tyler Black (now dubbed Seth Rollins) and Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose).
WWE seemingly is giving the diehard fans what they want.
This raises a question in my mind...is this a long-term change of plans in the WWE creative mindset, or (not to sound too paranoid and conspiratorial here) is WWE attempting to silence the most vocal members of their universe?
Will we now see well-travaled and respected wrestlers as the focal point of Raw and SmackDown or will WWE subsequently point to declining ratings and PPV buys as evidence that their traditional way is the best way and always has been?
In the past few months the only significant upturns in business have been the returns of The Rock and Triple H, and the only momentum made by the new breed (Punk's summer) quickly ran out of steam after some poor booking decisions.
Instead of holding back the likes of Bryan and Ryder, are WWE attempting to kill them with kindness?
"We gave you a shot and things didn't work out, so we're putting the title back on Cena," so to speak.
If ratings and buys go up, WWE will be delighted. If not they can point out that they listened to the audience, but the audience unfortunately got it wrong and then return to having Cena as champion, kicking out of every tombstone and DDT on the floor he receives along the way.
Earnings go up or the proverbial thorn in their side (those members of live crowds who don't follow the trend) is removed for a while at least. It's a win-win situation.
It's an unusual question to ask given its strange nature, but is WWE far smarter than we give them credit for?
Not so long ago I recall word leaking out that Triple H was to be protected in reviews and demo shots of one the WWE video games; he wasn't to be shown in a perilous situation. It sounded ridiculous and irked many fans as it reeked of McMahon/Triple H egomania.
Was it, however, a carefully crafted plan designed to cement Triple H's status as a legitimate bad guy rather than a sports entertainer playing a role, harking back to the days of kayfabe where the fans were taken in by a clever piece of propaganda?