Today’s WWE is vastly different from the wrestling in the Attitude Era or the era of Ruthless Aggression. Controversial and extreme storylines are gone, and so is the blood. WWE is now a worldwide entertainment, and it needs to be PG. What this means is that the current era has to tend to a wider variety of audience. The thing that changed the most unfortunately are the stars, as nobody reached the levels of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock or John Cena.
WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray, also known by his WWE stage name Bubba Ray Dudley, appeared on the Jim Ross Podcast where he discussed wrestling. He criticized the quality of Raw, saying how the storylines became worse. In addition, he revealed the cause behind the lack of stars and why there will never again be someone like that.
“Seth Rollins has done it all and can do it all. But how come Seth Rollins is not at Cena level? How come he’s not at Rock level? How come he’s not at Austin level? It’s because I don’t think they will ever allow anyone to get to that level again. If you take the three biggest stars over the last 20-some-odd years, would you say that Cena, Austin, and The Rock are the three biggest ones? Okay, so those three guys in their own way do what they wanted to do without Vince’s approval. Listen, Steve was able to walk out and still come back and have a job. [Ross] helped out a lot, but not a lot of people walk out and come back in the next day.”
“Rocky was able to walk away and become the biggest star in Hollywood. And John, my God! He just won the Muhammad Ali Award. He [has] granted more wishes than anybody on the planet. I mean, he walks on water when it comes to the WWE. And he was able to tell Vince, ‘I’m not [going to Saudi Arabia].’ I don’t think they’re ever going to let anybody get to that level again where they have control or say.”
WWE invested in Roman Reigns, and wanted him to take over the stardom. He took part in the main-event of WrestleMania four times in a row, but was sadly diagnosed with leukemia. He is now on an indefinite break from WWE in order to get better, which left WWE without its biggest star. Hopefully, the void will get filled, as many popular wrestlers remain with Seth Rollins, Elias, Finn Balor and Braun Strowman.
The question still remains. Can any of these guys become as widely recognizable and famous as the legends of old, who went on to become even bigger stars in other entertainment business? Only time will tell.