Brock Lesnar’s victory in the 35th edition of the Royal Rumble sparked plenty of chatter amongst WWE fans on social media over the weekend.
Lesnar won the event for the second time in his career, having become the youngest ever Rumble winner aged just 25 in 2003.
His latest victory highlighted the current scarcity of talent in the WWE, with the roster lacking the big-name drawing power of yesteryear.
WWE legend ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan alluded to this point in the run-up to the Rumble, telling Betway Casino that things have been allowed to drift over the past couple of decades.
Duggan was the first-ever winner of the Rumble in 1988, outlasting a field that included top stars such as Bret Hart, Jake Roberts and The Ultimate Warrior.
“You had a unique group of guys back then,” Duggan told Betway.
“I think overall the talent nowadays is much better in terms of athletic ability, but my generation of guys were much more creative.
“We didn’t have a board of guys coming up with our character – I own Hacksaw Jim Duggan and trademarked it long before I went to WWE – so we were much more willing to try something new.”
Duggan’s point about ‘trying something new’ is a concept that has appeared to be an alien concept to WWE bosses in recent years.
With the glory days of The Rock, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and many others now just a distant memory, the WWE has floundered in recent times.
Lesnar’s success highlights this to perfection, with the ‘Beast Incarnate’ now set to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania for the third time in seven years, and it’s something you could have easily predicted happening again.
While Lesnar and Reigns are undoubtedly decent performers, you would be hard-pressed to put them in the same category as many of the WWE’s former stars.
Much of the blame for the WWE’s recent demise falls on Vince McMahon’s shoulders, who seems unable to develop top-class talents in the modern era.
A lack of viable competition since the WWE bought WCW has not helped matters, with the move effectively handing McMahon’s company a monopoly.
The launch of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in 2019 shook the industry up a little, but the WWE has not needed to react in the same way it had to fend off the WCW.
Without a genuine rival to force a new wave of innovation, the WWE is currently trapped in a malaise it is unwilling or incapable of escaping.
Whether the WWE would improve when McMahon eventually steps aside is also debatable, particularly as there are question marks hanging over his potential replacements.
Triple H and Shane McMahon are the two most likely candidates, but their close association with McMahon snr makes them risky propositions.
If the WWE is ever to recreate its glory years it needs someone in charge who understands how to develop a character within the wrestling business.
The ideal man would be The Rock, who has been widely tipped to buy the WWE when McMahon decides he has had enough.
While veteran promoter Jim Cornette recently dismissed that notion, The Rock has the necessary charisma to re-establish the WWE as a global phenomenon.