Opinion: how nostalgia is holding WWE back and damaging its future
Nostalgia is one of the most powerful feelings a person can experience. A certain sight, sound, or smell can transport someone back to a time in their lives and can make people yearn for "the better days".
Everybody loves to feel nostalgic; after all, it makes you feel good. WWE have developed a habit of relying on nostalgia to sell shows and attract audiences.
The WWE has not yet managed to become as popular as they were during the Attitude Era, where the creativity and explosive smash-mouth style made wrestling "cool". The roster was packed with mega stars like Steve Austin, The Rock, Mankind and Chris Jericho.
Even on WCW Nitro you had Ric Flair, Sting, Goldberg, Hulk Hogan and the NWO. They were all so big that they are often considered pop-culture icons of the 90's.
The only mega-star WWE have manged to create in the last 16 years is John Cena. For some reason they have not been able to push people like Rollins, Balor, Strowman or any one else on the roster to level of cross media stardom.
If you ask a group of people who don't watch wrestling to name a wrestler they have heard of, they will most likely say Hogan, Austin, Rock or Cena. I doubt many will come out and say Roman Reigns or Dean Ambrose. Some people who are fans of MMA may say Brock Lesnar and CM Punk because of their fights in the UFC.
I believe that the problem lies with nostalgia and WWE hanging too much onto the past. They regularly wheel out legends to make appearances and wrestle. I love the odd appearance but In my opinion they have been over-using older wrestlers recently.
Perhaps the Prince behind the whole Saudi Arabia deal is a big fan of older wrestling and wants guys like Triple H and Undertaker on these shows, but the constant use of these older wrestlers is damaging the current ones.
Look at the recent WWE Super Show-Down event. Triple H and Undertaker were in the main event while guys like Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura were nowhere to be seen. John Cena competed in a makeshift tag team match while teams like The Revival and AOP were left of the card.
There are ways to use these older guys to get current wrestlers over. For example, they could have The Undertaker face Finn Balor. The sight of "The Deadman" facing off against "The Demon King" would be an incredible sight.
If they want Shawn Michaels to have one more match then have him face Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan or AJ Styles. Put him in the ring with someone who can make him look good and build a new star in the process.
Its such a shame because they have the most talented roster they have ever had. Many people on the roster could rise to become huge stars if they were given the opportunity and booked properly. WWE could really achieve this if they wanted to; the only thing holding them back is themselves.
This year we had RAW's 25th anniversary show and it was full of appearances and call backs to the Attitude Era. The opening segment featured one of the best rivalries ever with Stone Cold giving Vince the stunner one last time.
Fast forward 25 years from now. Who opens RAW's 50th anniversary? Who do we get excited about seeing? Do we freak out for a Shield reunion or do we still get a D-X reunion with both guys in their 70's?
It's an interesting question to ask because if WWE want to continue using these older stars for nostalgia purposes they need to create stars for the next generation. They need to focus on the future and not the past.