@shiftygism: I agree with you about protecting monsters, and I think had WWE done that with Lesnar or Goldberg it'd of made sense. But this is like the umpteenth time they've done the passing the torch angle with these guys, and while Drew is a fresh face, Roman is hardly the first time they've attempted this.
It's probably a big part of where our opinion differs here. I don't see Lesnar as being protected especially at all. When he first returned, years and years ago before he broke Takers streak and then they botched and wasted that, I guess? He was doing his MMA shtick more and they had him own Cena fast which was a big deal at the time. But back when he was debating on going to MMA they jobbed him out to Rollins like he was nothing. That was a botched push that did nothing for Seth. They also jobbed him to Goldberg in minutes too. At a certain point you can't keep saying "this person will slay The Beast" as if "The Beast" means anything. Lesnar draw is about the same as it always is, he's no longer a big name even for MMA just "one of the names" and to make matters worse WWE keeps pretending he's this dominant force just because they give him a belt. They then hype it up that he's had these long championship runs, but he only wrestles like what a handful of defenses in that time? A year long title reign means less when you only defend it a few times in that year.
Again, I don't think my issue is that he's winning, or Goldberg for that matter. It's that they don't use them in an effort to get their talent over. At some point there will be no legends for WWE to go to the well with, and at that point what is their business model? Hope they can elevate the stars they never made? I don't disagree with you on Ricochet, or Kofi or other talent WWE has squashed in regards to how big their starpower is. I don't think they will ever be huge main draws in the way Lesnar was or the other big names. But WWE doesn't understand the landscape of modern wrestling and hasn't for so long now. You can't "make" those stars. The stars that are that big happen organically in almost every situation. You also have very little control over what the audience connects with. The purpose of making sure your roster guys like Riocochet and Kofi can continue to look strong is so even if they aren't elevated to that super star status, they don't look out of place facing those super stars. So in a pinch, a Riochcet vs Lesnar match can draw properly, leveraging the starpower of a name like Lesnar. Their approach is absolutely counter to that, and isn't even about business. It's very evident Vince books to make himself happy and to piss people off. The "business" angle of having big names at Mania draw is just a convenient excuse to justify literally making the talent you hype and sign look like shit.
The booking of the Lesnar section of the Rumble is just further evidence of that. They could of used any number of names to have Lesnar squash but they used not only names the crowd likes, but names the company themselves spent time in trying to make look like a big deal, like Morrison for example. It's a big reason why other than the older big star names everyone on WWE's roster is "just another guy" to them. That carries to the casual audiences too. They need to tell the casual audiences that even if these guys aren't The Rock, they aren't that far off. Otherwise even if the crowd does connect with them there is no way organically speaking, they will ever think that they'll get pushed. Ultimately though, I just don't see how anyone can argue WWE's strategy has the long term success. At some point just relying on the brand name WWE won't be enough. We'll see though.
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