Vince McMahon is reportedly worried that the WWE is suffering a superstar drought, with exits from some of the biggest draws in recent years without quality replacements coming up behind them.
Over his decades at the helm of the WWE, McMahon gained a reputation as a strict evaluator of talent, only rarely accepting new wrestlers as main players. He has also had an astute eye for potential, grooming the likes of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and John Cena into stars that have transcended the WWE itself.
But the streamline of talent is running dry lately, with Vince McMahon moving once-promising stars Adam Rose and Paige to the back burner after solid debuts.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter has taken notice of the trend, reporting that McMahon isn't happy with the level of incoming talent to the WWE.
What Culture also noted:
"McMahon and [WWE lead producer Kevin Dunn]'s apathy to new characters is also the reason why Paige has had little character development. Right now it almost seems as if she has got the Divas title by default, with no perceived real contenders other than the absent AJ Lee. However, Dunn is said to be a huge fan of Alicia Fox's new gimmick, so she will continue to be featured. Perhaps she might even be considered for the divas belt if reactions continue to grow."
The task of finding new superstars has grown more dire for Vince McMahon after the surprise retirement of CM Punk earlier this year. Though there were initially rumors that the retirement was just a planned sabbatical from the WWE or that CM Punk would soon make a dramatic return, insiders said he left due to mounting injuries and a general burnout after spending so much time in the ring and would never be coming back.
With Daniel Bryan also out for several weeks after undergoing surgery, Vince McMahon has given more time to other players, including rising star Roman Reigns.
But after a difficult stretch that included a shaky debut for the WWE Network and a big drop in the company's stock price, Vince McMahon may need a new superstar with a stature of Dwayne Johnson or John Cena to turn the WWE back around, insiders say.