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WWE, much like the moon, is a harsh mistress. Quite often the product we are presented with makes it seem like WWE is actively trying to drive viewers to other channels. Despite the doldrums in quality we have seen in the past few years, I am extremely optimistic about the future of the WWE product, however.
My optimism is derived from two main factors: the talent on the roster and the continued transfer of power to HHH.
In the next few years, as the current main event mainstays (Cena, Punk, Big Show, etcetera) begin to head towards retirement, or limited dates, WWE is going to be in an excellent place talent wise. Let's just take a quick look at some of the top talent who will be taking WWE forward over the next ten years:
Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Damien Sandow, Antonio Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Steamboat Jr., Cody Rhodes, Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero), Johnny Curtis, Roman Reigns, Big E Langston, Roberto Rodriguez, Bray Wyatt, Perfect Jr., Luke Harper, Adrian Neville (Pac), Bo Dallas, Connor O'Brian, Corey Graves, Xavier Woods (Consequnces Creed), Randy Orton, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Kofi Kingston
Obviously, the list isn't complete -- it is the group whom I consider to be the top tier of the talent, which will be leading WWE going forward. I left out the female talent (NXT has some great female talent, but that is for another post).
The majority of this group is under 30-years of age, with none of them being over 32. I think it is quite easy to make the argument that going forward, WWE will have the most talented roster from top-to-bottom in its entire history.
Even the talent who didn't make the list here (lower level and NXT unprovens) are better than the equivalent talent of the past. The indy system and even WWE's developmental system (Ziggler, Kingston, Rhodes, Orton) are churning out some amazing talent. WWE's current young talent is reason enough for optimism, without even considering the talent it might bring in or develop over the next few years.
If WWE's product is not great going into the future, it will not be due to a lack of talent. The talent is there for WWE's product to be outstanding going forward, but will it be properly utilized?
With the power transition from Vince McMahon to HHH I believe it will be. Even HHH's most ardent critics cannot deny that he has an excellent nose for the wrestling business. Despite a high profile failure with the acquisition of Sin Cara, HHH"s eye for talent is undeniable. A lot of the talent I mentioned earlier are under WWE contracts due to HHH.
HHH has been successful so far with the power and influence over the product that he has already gained. To see the abilities that HHH has in his backstage role, you just have to take a look at WWE's non-Raw programs. Over the course of 2012, SmackDown was absolutely the best programming in the WWE stable (Main Event didn't have enough time in service, but looks like it might take that title in 2013).
When Vince completely turns the reigns over to HHH, a lot of Raw's problems will disappear. HHH, unlike Vince, will not micromanage the product and demand rewrites up until the last minute, which will allow the three-hour time frame of Raw to be better utilized. We can also thank HHH for two major improvements to the product recently -- the tag team division and well crafted debuts. It is under his auspices that we have seen the revitalized tag team division and the new guidelines on debuting new talent (character and storyline fully formed).
I am excited for the future of the WWE product and if you aren't, I don't know what to tell you. The pieces are in place for another great era of wrestling to be brought to us, the fans.
Editor's Note: This FanPost has been mildly edited for promotion in order to be featured on the Front Page and other sections of Cageside Seats for your enjoyment, Cagesiders! Another well thought out piece by our own Buckeye Brawler. Enjoy!