Connect with us

Other Sports

WWE Could Take Lessons From WCW 2001 During John Cena’s Absence…I’m Serious

One of the major stories going into this week’s Monday Night Raw was how the WWE would compensate for the absence of John Cena for the next 6-8 weeks. The company has leaned on Cena for over the last decade so when he is away for an extended period of time, the WWE either builds new stars for his return or totally drop the ball and sit in a holding pattern until he comes back. With Raw ratings at their lowest levels in years, everyone assumed that a holding pattern strategy would be instituted but on Monday, fans saw what many are calling the best Raw in years.

This week featured no Cena, no Randy Orton, no Undertaker and no Brock Lesnar but not only was the crowd up for the whole show, there were extended matches and just an amazing effort from the underutilized roster. This week’s show showed that the WWE can survive without its stars and that it may be time to begin the transition from the decade-old stars to the new names that are starting to make a dent with fans. This week’s Monday Night Raw reminded me of something that many do not think about…the last six months of World Championship Wrestling.

The end of WCW is always discussed with disgust but mostly humor as the product was panned by everyone involved in wrestling. After looking deep into it however, the product was turning a corner inadvertently and making a dent with some fans. During the last six months of the promotion, the company through storylines was systematically taking out all the high-priced talent like Sting, Kevin Nash and others. At the time WCW was building around Scott Steiner and Booker T going for the World Heavyweight Championship.

During that time in addition to Steiner and Booker WCW reinvented their Cruiserweight division, even creating a Cruiserweight tag team division to the promotion. You still had veterans like Lex Luger and Diamond Dallas Page but for the most part, the company was focusing on tag teams like Mark Jindrak and Sean O’Haire and singles wrestlers like Shane Helms, Kanyon and other young wrestlers. WCW even had a young AJ Styles appearing on their syndicated programming showing that future talent had a forum to develop.

Everyone in WCW knew that the company was on its way out and that new owners would come in. No one knew how the owners would approach the company and by this point, the older talent like Goldberg and others were content on just sitting home and collecting an AOL/Time Warner paycheck. While it wasn’t a pre-planned idea, everything kind of just happened where most of the roster was young wrestlers with veterans around to help mold and build up that young, hungry talent. While everyone thought that WCW was in its dying days and they were, they were putting on some of the best television and matches that they had done in the previous two years.

Think about that for a second. A company that featured Hulk Hogan, Sting, Goldberg, Bret Hart, Scott Hall, Nash and others was at its best when those names were home doing nothing to contribute to the product. Besides Ric Flair and others vets being used in mid-card angles, the show belonged to guys who either never received a shot to work or guys who were with the company for a long time but who still were interested in working hard…maybe not Scott Steiner but they can’t all be winners.

This is going to sound weird but the WWE could take some lessons from late WCW…seriously. With Cena out for about two months and many part-timers nowhere to be found, this is the time for the WWE to have a youth movement. It’s time to give fans the new talent that they want to see and the talent that flourished in NXT to step up to their rightfully place in the company. Start looking to bring up names like Baron Corbin and Bayley but also begin the process of building Tyler Breeze and Sasha Banks into superstars on the main roster. Stop leaning on guys who have had their moments and who don’t work consistently and give the ball to others.

For some reason the WWE always has their hand on the lever to reset the company with new names and eras but for some reason, Vince McMahon is afraid to pull that lever. Triple H is ready to do it. Stephanie McMahon is ready even though she single-handedly destroyed the debuts of Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch in a span of five minutes. It’s time to being turning the page to the next generation of superstars and allow them to sink or swim, similar to how the WWF allowed their shows to revolve around a young Shawn Michaels and others in the mid-90’s. It started slow but it became a juggernaut because they let the wrestlers do their jobs.

Pull the lever Vince, just pull it.

The following two tabs change content below.

Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow writer Jason Cordner.
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Other Sports