As talked about on the HTCPulsecast this past Thursday, the Scratch Era Logo in the WWE has come to an end. It lasted a lot longer than it seemed like, even if you only count the time it was under the WWE banner instead of the WWF one as well. A new logo is upon us, as well as a new Champion to usher in this new logo.
But could it also be the beginning of a new era in the WWE? Almost all of the WWE Scratch logo era was dominated by John Cena. And whether you love John Cena or you hate him, that’s a pretty long time for Cena to be on top. If you read my stuff you know that I think Cena (along with Randy Orton) get a lot of unwarranted criticism from fans. I’m not saying they’ve been perfect during this time frame, but I think fans can be too harsh sometimes.
This column, however, is not to talk about Cena or Orton. We don’t need another debate about that. I’m here to talk about a new logo that could possibly bring in a new era in the WWE, lead by Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. John Cena and Randy Orton have been on top so long that it is almost necessary for a new era to come sooner rather than later. Steve Austin and The Rock weren’t on top as long as those two. Other stars were sprinkled in between bust the last ten years have pretty much been centered around those two stars.
But I really think that starting in 2015, those two will be slowly phased out of the WWE Title picture. The reason I say 2015 is because I can honestly see Randy Orton getting a shot at Brock Lesnar. And I’m okay with that. But after John Cena is done with Brock Lesnar, he shouldn’t be in the WWE Title picture for a very long time. Cena needs to become a gate keeper for the main event. He seemed to be going that route already this year when he faced Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania. Remember, Cena was never going to win the WWE Title back. Daniel Bryan’s injury forced the WWE to put the Title on Cena. So you have to wonder if Cena was already going to transition to the gatekeeper role this year.
John Cena has become a big enough star that his match at Wrestlemania will already carry enough weight on its own. It doesn’t need a Title involved. Cena’s role going forward should involve programs with guys like Cesaro, Rusev and others similar. Cena is in a spot where he can make these guys better and get them ready for the main event scene.
And while Cena transitions to the role of gate keeper for the main event, the three former members of The Shield can take the reigns (no pun intended) of the WWE. All three of them bring their own uniqueness to the WWE. My colleague Matt is much higher on Roman Reigns currently than I am. That’s not saying I’m down on him, I just think he has some room for improvement before he takes over the top spot. What the WWE can’t do is turn Reigns into John Cena. One of my main problems with John Cena is that his top offensive moves look so weak. So far the WWE has gotten that part of Reigns right. The Spear and Superman Punch are delivered very well. They also can’t turn Reigns into a terrible joke teller with his promos. Keep it short and to the point with him. Reigns should get over more because he comes off as a bad ass in the ring rather than because of his promos.
Then there is Dean Ambrose. You can compare Ambrose to Brian Pillman, Roddy Piper or Steve Austin. They are all accurate in their similarities. Ambrose is the type of character that the WWE has been lacking for quite some time. Outside of CM Punk, the WWE really hasn’t had someone who seemed like a true anti-authority figure during the WWE era. And Punk and Ambrose seem like two different characters. Punk rebelled through his words and calculated actions. Ambrose rebelled through causing chaos and doing whatever it takes to get what he wants. The WWE might have a real breakout star in Ambrose if they continue to play their cards right. Again, if the WWE keeps booking Ambrose like they have been he will get over huge.
I made this comparison on the HTCPulsecast this week, and I really think Reigns and Ambrose could be this generation’s Rock and Steve Austin. Will they make as much money or draw huge ratings like those two? No. There isn’t another boom period coming in wrestling any time soon. That’s what helped Austin and Rock during that time period. But there is no reason Reigns and Ambrose can’t carry the WWE like Austin and Rock did during their time on top. I think they could easily be better than Cena and Orton. They have a lot of intangibles you want to see in your top stars and they are over. And they have plenty of years left in the tank.
And I have gone this far and not even brought up Seth Rollins. He is the complete wild card in this situation. When he turned heel and broke up The Shield, a lot of people had questions about whether he could pull off the turn successfully. Well I think Rollins has done a pretty good job so far. He’s playing the right mix of full of himself while also playing the coward role and backing away from fights as well. When we talked about the break-up from The Shield, Matt and I talked about Rollins being a better version of Jeff Hardy going forward. He could still be that, but right now his heel turn is showing he doesn’t need to be that to have a successful career.
Whatever you want to call this new era, I think come 2015 it will be evident that it will be the Shield Era. They debuted strong and really never lost any of their heat despite some weak booking in 2013. All three former members of The Shield will be WWE World Heavyweight Champions some day. All three can also carry the company out of the John Cena Era and into an era of their own. One they can make their own. And if what they have done so far is any indication, this new era should be quite fun to watch.
Until Next Time,
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