The Wrestling Backfire: How To Cure The WWE Roster’s Lack of Depth

An underrated component in WWE’s past success was Jim Ross. Not only did he make matches better with his outstanding announcing, he also had a great eye for talent. He used to be the head scout of the WWE when they were making great stars left and right. Ross’ biggest pickups were Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mick Foley, who both became two of the biggest stars in wrestling history.

After Jim Ross left in 2004, Mr. John Laurinaitis took over as the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations. Since then, the WWE hasn’t built a lot of homemade talent that became successful. In fact, for a while, they were hardly pushing their own stars and didn’t let any near the main event scene. Instead, they focused on only established stars that, aside from a few, were from either WCW or the Attitude Era. Recently, though, they’ve tried hard to push new home-grown stars to the next level, but, for the most part, it has been a trial and failure.

The reason the WWE are not making any new stars is because their developmental system is flawed. The thing that made Stone Cold Steve Austin so great was his uniqueness.  Fans weren’t used to his style of promos or the way he acted or the way he looked. He was also a veteran who was already in the business for 14 years so he had no signs of inexperience and no heavily noticeable flaws.

The homemade WWE talent are all taught the same way to do everything. They are taught how to cut a promo, how to act as a babyface and heel and what style to work, and all look practically the same. Therefore, nobody stands out as unique. Everybody essentially looks, acts and works the same.

WWE does this so nothing can go wrong. Their developmental talent all learn to work the same style so two green wrestlers can wrestle together and limit the chances of them being hurt. They all cut the same style of promos so nothing bombs badly. And their characters are all based on the same tried-and-tested formulae. Vince McMahon has become the coach of the Green Bay Packers: Mike McCarthy. He’s playing it safe because he knows that his company is in a good situation. Eventually, however, WWE is going blow its lead. In other words, it’s fine to play it safe for a while, but eventually you’ll have to roll the dice.

However, there is an alternative WWE could approach and they have started to do this already. What I am talking about is signing other talent from other places. So far, they’ve signed two ROH wrestlers who are already top stars of their company. Those two are – of course – Bryan Danielson and CM Punk. And we’ll have to wait and see how Tyler Black and Kings of Wrestling do in WWE.

There aren’t many all-around wrestlers left in ROH, but there are a few in TNA. Yeah I said it: WWE should go after TNA talent. I mean, there is no doubt in the world that the people who were major contributors to TNA being put on the map are frustrated with their product. Plus, I don’t believe that any wrestler whose career has just started, or who has just hit their prime, has ever said (or believed) that their life goal was to be in TNA. Every wrestler’s dream is to be a part of the biggest company in the world, WWE.

Here are a few wrestlers that would be, in my humble opinion, successful in the WWE:

AJ Styles – I hate comparing wrestlers from the present to the past, but Styles could be the next HBK circa 96 (minus the drugs). When you look at AJ Styles, the first thing that comes to mind is boyhood babyface. He’s undersized, flashy and is able to create sympathy. He’s the perfect for WWE if they’re looking for an underdog who can put on great matches.

Chris Daniels – Albeit being old, Daniels could really help out the midcard wrestlers by teaching them more about the business while their feuding and making them look better than they are. The WWE is lacking a veteran in the midcard who can work. Daniels would be a great fit.

The Motor City Machine Guns – Nothing is lacking more in the WWE than their tag-division. These two guys could bring some meaning back into the titles by themselves. They can work as faces or heels and their matches are easy to get into because they’re action packed.

Beer Money – Another really great tag team and with great chemistry together. They could really add some depth to the tag scene. Storm and Roode are better suited as an old-school heel type of tag team rather than babyfaces, though.

Austin Aries- Another great addition to the midcard who would be able to put some meaning back into the Intercontinental and United States titles.

Samoa Joe – The WWE lacks a dominant monster. Joe is the best monster in the business. He looks like a realistic bad ass but is fast and mobile like a cruiser weight. He’s the perfect blend. All he needs is a machine to back him up. And WWE is a heck of a machine.

I’m not saying WWE needs to sign everyone, but when the chance comes, they should jump on these certain wrestlers. The WWE roster is lacking and these wrestlers would be great additions to it. They all have honed their craft and have unique characters that can make them stand out. Every wrestler on that roster is someone you can relate to and all have something realistic about them that reminds you of someone you know in real life. With all due respect to Sheamus, he’s not half as cool to the fans as AJ Styles or MCMGS. With all due respect to Alberto Del Rio and Cody Rhodes, they aren’t half as charismatic or joyously arrogant as Beer Money and Austin Aries were/are.

If WWE keeps playing it safe, eventually they won’t have any stars left. If they keep up with this flawed developmental system, the chances of them creating the next Stone Cold Steve Austin or John Cena are very slim. And until McMahon and co. fix their developmental flaws, they would do well to sign these quality wrestlers that can add depth to their roster and quite possibly become the Next Big Thing.

If Vince McMahon’s ego is too big to pick up these wrestlers because he didn’t create them, it’s officially time for him to retire and give the company to Triple H, who’s already trying to bring in unique personas and wrestlers. That is unless Vince McMahon wants a cookie-cutter product.


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