It almost seems like the old guard of the WWE can’t seem to get behind the new direction of the company. There has always been former starts complaining about the direction of the company, from Bruno Sammartino hating the Attitude Era to Superstar Billy Graham hating just about everything the WWE does. However, some more recent stars have started speaking up, including Road Warrior Animal insulting Sasha Banks and Nature Boy Ric Flair dismissing Finn Balor as a main event player.
Wrestle Zone reported that Ric Flair said he would rather watch Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler wrestle at SummerSlam than watch Seth Rollins fight Finn Balor, someone that Flair called a cruiserweight who could never main event WrestleMania. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Road Warrior Animal said that the WWE needed to stop pushing people like Sasha Banks down fan’s throats, claiming that she hadn’t gotten over on her own.
The sad thing is that those comments are really two older wrestlers lashing out at younger talents because of their personal feelings towards the WWE in general. For Flair, he would rather a big man like Roman Reigns be in the main event than a little guy like Finn Balor, who Flair compared to the Dynamite Kid as a great talent who shouldn’t be in the main event. Finn Balor is bigger than Rey Mysterio, who won multiple world titles. Daniel Bryan was hugely over, despite his smaller size. There is no reason that Finn Balor can’t get over just as well.
As for Sasha Banks, the fans have been chanting for Banks for the last year while the WWE focused on Charlotte, Nikki Bella, and Becky Lynch. The fans kept chanting “Sasha Banks,” and finally the WWE brought back Banks and the fans loved it. When Sasha won the title, the fans chanted “you deserve it.” It is unclear why Road Warrior Animal feels like Sasha didn’t get over with the fans on her own before winning the title, and getting the magazine cover that Animal was so frustrated about.
However, these aren’t the only former WWE superstars who dislike where the WWE is headed. Batista was brought back last year and was made a face, even though he knew he was better as a heel. Batista was right, and the fans turned on him very quickly. Since leaving, he takes every opportunity to bash his former company, saying he loves professional wrestling but the WWE PG era is not what he loves.
Stone Cold Steve Austin was the biggest name in the Attitude Era, and he might be the biggest star in professional wrestling history. Wrestling Inc reported that Austin, who is still associated with the WWE, said that the written WWE storylines of recent times are not interesting enough and they don’t carry through the length of WWE Monday Night Raw. He also said that the promo skills of current wrestlers are subpar.
Bret “The Hitman” Hart reconciled with Vince McMahon after more than a decade of hatred and has made appearances in recent months, including standing by the side of his niece, Natalya, when she wrestled Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship. Despite this, Hart still says what he thinks and said that the writers who currently work for the WWE don’t know anything about wrestling, and it shows.
Interestingly, there is one person who seems to not mind the current direction of the WWE, and that is former WWE talent Matt Morgan. Standing seven-foot tall, Morgan seems like someone who would choose to side with the big man wrestlers like Roman Reigns, much like Ric Flair did. However, Morgan sees something to like in Finn Balor, despite his shorter size. Wrestling Inc reported that Morgan believes that Finn Balor is believable in his role.
“I’ve always said as a [professional] wrestler, you’d better look like an a**kicker or you’d better look like some sort of topflight athlete, if not both. And I think Finn gives you that topflight athlete look. I definitely do. So I think he can get away with a little bit more. He’s innovative enough to know how to go against bigger guys because he worked in Japan, and working that strong style, he knows how to make his stuff look believable because he lays his stuff in when he needs to.”
This is a very important time for the WWE. With the first two shows of the new era of WWE Monday Night Raw, the company has proven that they are running with these new faces – both Sasha Banks and Finn Balor, as well as names like Enzo and Big Cass, a repackaged Braun Strowman, and more. These are the faces of the future and even guys like Cesaro, who delivered a great work-shoot promo insulting the WWE’s penchant for putting GMs over wrestlers in stories, is getting a new revived push.
What the WWE doesn’t need is former wrestlers like Ric Flair, Batista, Road Warrior Animal, Bret Hart, and more, slamming the new stars, trying to hurt their forward progress. It is time for the WWE to put their faith in the new stars like Finn Balor, Sasha Banks, and Cesaro, and the older stars just need to wait and see what the fans want and understand that times change.
[Image via WWE]