WWE has certainly changed in the last several years. It all began with CM Punk in 2011 when he proved that WWE wasn’t the land of the giants and only the strong survive. No more did WWE fans have only Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Andre the Giant to root for. No more did WWE fans have to watch excellent wrestlers who lacked in size get buried at the bottom of the card. Punk began the Reality Era, and the size of wrestler began not to matter.
Punk became the WWE champion around the same time Daniel Bryan was World Heavyweight champion. It was truly a revolution in the WWE. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long for the tandem, as Bryan lost it a short time after. However, it was nice to not see a bodybuilder as a champion on both brands. That’s why WWE NXT and Lucha Underground are so successful.
A champion doesn’t need to win bodybuilder competitions or be a powerful lifter in the gym. WWE champions need to have the “it” factor, as well as charisma and drive. Above all else, they need to be world-class wrestlers. Seth Rollins was another great example of a fantastic champion. He never put on a bad match. On top of that, he had everything else to back him up.
Now, WWE is making strides to be a universal wrestling company. Triple H met with Gabe Sapolsky at their Evolve show a few weeks ago. HHH even tried to contact Lucha Underground, but those talks went nowhere. He’s trying to make WWE a different place. It obviously needs a change. That being said, the WWE is trying to do something that truly would change the place, but in a small capacity. According to SEScoops.com, WWE is working on a tournament for lightweight wrestlers.
“The 10-episode show will revolve around a tournament featuring indie wrestlers under 205 pounds. Of course, the door would be open for WWE to sign the winner or anybody else that stood out. Production is scheduled to commence this summer.”
“One idea is for the show to feature all unknown indie wrestlers. Another idea is to mix indie standouts with some NXT developmental talent not yet featured on television. The show is already being seen as a vehicle to get over NXT newcomer Manny Andrade (La Sombre).
What WWE is on the verge of doing would bring in a lot of interest from outside the WWE bubble. It’s just like how WCW introduced the Cruiserweight division. Ratings skyrocketed, and they became an integral part of the Monday Night Wars. Men like Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, and Eddie Guerrero were a big part of that. Not only were the rivalries good, but the match quality was exceptional.
Hopefully, this continues the WWE’s use of smaller wrestlers in big capacities. For example, Shinsuke Nakamura is headed to WWE, and as Bleacher Report puts it, he’s the key to NXT Takeover: Dallas. It will be a marquee event for sure, but Nakamura’s inclusion is just the beginning of a historic night for WWE NXT. They will undoubtedly outperform the main roster’s WreslteMania.
For this big tournament they are planning, how will it affect their plans moving forward? The WWE wants to attract different audiences, and using smaller wrestlers like that is a brilliant idea. As far as the big tournament goes, don’t believe it until it’s seen. Then again, Triple H is changing the business one day at a time.
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