How New Stars Aren’t Being Made Even With NXT Call-Ups: ‘The Stars Are The McMahons’

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Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer gave his thoughts on the McMahons’ appearance on last night’s RAW and he talks about how new stars aren’t being created and that the recent NXT call-ups could be a sign as “more of the same” to come from WWE and their booking ideals. Quotes from Meltzer on The Wrestling Observer Radio with Bryan Alvarez (subscription required) are below (transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone.)

“They’re losing popularity and you never want to have a business that’s losing popularity. They’re losing popularity and the way to regain popularity you make stars and tonight, just as an example, the whole show is: ‘the stars are the McMahons.’ You need to keep making new stars.

“In many ways, this is reminiscent of the end of WCW other than the fact that they’re not going to go out of business in the sense that ‘okay, there’s problems but what are we gonna do? More Hulk Hogan!’ Because Hulk Hogan’s a star. But the point is, you have to prepare for the future and Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon are not the future. God knows that Vince isn’t.

“Drew McIntyre, who they want to be a star, was a 50/50 guy tonight. He was just a guy on the show. He didn’t stand out, nothing like that. The whole women’s division was like Stephanie dominating and it was just a bunch of worker bees, spending an hour, boring the people to death in something that went way too long, they didn’t have anything that didn’t set up any matches in a good way.”

“The key point in all this, is that nothing’s gonna change. ‘We’re gonna listen to the fans.’ So let’s look at the bullshit – look who is being brought up from NXT.

“But if I look at who the guys are that got over the most in NXT in the last year and I look at these guys that are being brought up, these are two different universes. It’s like ‘you want to shake things up with people who, because they’re good looking, we’re going to bring them up because they can be stars?’ It’s the same problem that we’ve had all along. It’s like we’re narrow-casting, ‘we’re doing TV for the masses so they have to be like a certain way even though every one that we’ve hand-picked for the most part hasn’t really worked and guys who we thought couldn’t get over with the masses whether it would be CM Punk or Daniel Bryan or whatever, did get over. It’s like can you learn that lesson? These guys are tearing it up in NXT and we’re gonna bring up guys like and again – I think Heavy Machinery has a lot of charisma and I’m not sure that they’re exactly what needs to be brought up, but I actually like watching those guys.”

“Who got over more? The Undisputed Era or these guys [Heavy Machinery]? Now I know it’s probably the thing ‘well we don’t want to move The Undisputed Era up because they’re carrying NXT,’ but shouldn’t you be bringing up your most over guys when you wanna shake things up?”

“Do we need new faces? Absolutely. We need new faces that are going to push the quality up. I mean, you wanna shake things up? Bring up Ricochet and shoot the rocket behind him. I mean that guy’s one of the most talented guys I’ve ever seen.”

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Author’s Note: Meltzer is very much on point here and it’s not just the pattern of the call-ups. It’s the framework of the whole WWE “main roster” brand that hinders (not helps) the talent that gets called up. While I’m excited to see what talent like Cross, Heavy Machinery and EC3 bring to the table, there’s a high likelihood that their intrigue will level out because of inconsistent booking and that McMahon glass ceiling. 

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