Thursday, October 16, 2014

No Austin For Mania 31....Past Stars Can't Continue To Be The Answer.

Shocking the wrestling media took something said by someone, made some assumptions, and got it wrong. Stone Cold Steve Austin says he is not training for any kind of return to the ring as you may have read on a zillion wrestling websites this one included. This is not some post about our lack of skill in reporting as wrestling journalists. Maybe someday we should write one of those as I often see things that make my skin crawl done by a lot of various sites. This is more about the WWE and their still counting on former stars to be headliners but that well is starting to run dry.

Look around at all the guys the WWE tends to count on and they are getting to old or have other interests that are a bigger priority for them than the WWE. Austin and Shawn Michaels have been the two guys that have not gone back on their wrestling retirements. Michaels has done some guest ref appearances as has Austin but that is a bout it. Michaels has made it clear to anyone that will listen he has zero desire or intention to get back in the ring for a match. Austin has been vaguer about it, in suggesting at times if he was not opposed to it, he could do a match for the right thing. WWE even went as far as planting the seeds for a CM Punk against Austin match.

Punk is not talking to the WWE and is barely talking at all these days. He was on Colt Cabana’s podcast for the first time in along time in the intro. He had little to say on himself, other than to lash out at the person that took his picture at an apple store when purchasing an I-Phone 6.

As far as Austin goes, the only other opponent that has been kicked around is Brock Lesnar. Something that Paul Heyman in two separate appearances on Austin’s podcast seemed to be trying to pitch to the rattlesnake. Austin does not seem sold on the idea but doesn’t dismiss it entirely.

Lesnar of course ended the vaunted streak of the Undertaker. We have seen a much more mortal Undertaker since taking photos with people and ending up on his wife’s instagram. He has not officially decided on if he is retired but based on his life these days he looks like someone who is. At this point, retired or not he is without question a shadow of what he once was. While people clamor for a match with him and Sting it is something that would not be all that good the time it got around to having a match. Taker had great performers like HBK, Triple H and C.M Punk hide the fact he was aging over the years. The Lesnar match exposed things and Taker got concussion early into the match. Still Taker was not the same and time has ultimately taken its toll along with decades in the ring.

Lesnar now the WWE Champion seems like he may want to return to the UFC with his health issues behind him. His contract comes due after this upcoming Wrestlemania. Many feel he might opt for a return to the UFC. Clearly, the door to that avenue for Lesnar is closing faster than a career in wrestling.

The Rock recently teased a match with Triple H at a Wrestlemania in the future with no real determination to which number it will be.

In any case, the point to all of this is that WWE is running out of stars they can count on to help carry the load. The time has come to build new stars and have them as the focus of Wrestlemania; it is past due in many ways. Still with Cowboys Stadium, the rumored home for Wrestlemania 32 it is unlikely the youth movement is going to be able to pull off that show on their own. The fact that aging stars are still considered viable options in 2014 is just insane.

At least everyone not named Hulk Hogan is on board about not wanting to see him wrestle again. Truth is that list should be growing as the years go on. WWE can’t keep turning back the clock and hoping that will help their future. It does not help build stars it just pushes them further down the card.

Believe in Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt and the other stars you have and allow them to take the spots they have earned. At some point you are going to have to do it and better you do it by choice than be forced too because you can’t convince past stars to return for a big payday that likely isn’t as big as it use to be with the transition to the network. Wrestlemania did make a Forbes Magazine list of top sporting events but to keep that going it is going to need new stars to help it reach 40, 50 and beyond.