Good day to you all. I hope you are having a wonderful time during this festive period. On this occasion, we are looking at the upcoming episode of WWE’s Monday Night Raw, titled: “Raw Legends Night”
Do you think it is a ploy to get ratings back to a reasonable level? Is it a cheap trick? This is what we shall look in to, as I delve through the reactions of our users and what happened in last year’s Raw Reunion show. Let’s begin with what I can take from the comments.
Same Old Faces
Here is the list of the legends scheduled to appear on January 4th, 2021:
Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle, Torrie Wilson, Beth Phoenix, Mark Henry, Hillbilly Jim, Jimmy Hart, The Big Show, Jacquelyn, Booker T, Sgt. Slaughter, Tatanka, Jeff Jarrett, Mickie James, Carlito, Candice Michelle, The Boogeyman, IRS, Melina, and Alicia Fox.
From the list, we have seen almost every single name in the past year or two; or on previous “Old School” & “Reunion” type shows. Carlito is the only exception. After years of reports that he would return to WWE, he is doing so as a guest on a “Legends” show? Think about that for a moment. Aside from attending Carlos Colon’s Hall of Fame ceremony in 2014, Carlito hasn’t been seen on WWE programming for over a decade. And this is how they bring him in? As part of the crowd? That’s not cool! If you’re going to bring him back, at least make it a surprise. Ironically, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets no lines at all.
Carlito has been wrestling since departing the company, so it’s not like he announce his retirement. Why has WWE only just brought him back? And how come he isn’t wrestling? Well, it seems I have gone a little off track here. The main thing to take from this is that WWE always uses the same old faces. Super rarely does it ever go outside of its own bubble, and it’s detrimental to these shows. We could easily relive last year’s Reunion to get a good idea of how it will play out. I’m really not expecting WWE to go outside of its comfort zone and bring in anybody that would shock the world with their appearance. They always keep it within the family.
They Do Nothing
Much like museum pieces or parades, you stand there, look at it… and think “That’s cool”. But once it has passed, or you have moved on from it, there is no substance. No significant memory. Just the fact you can say… “I saw that”. And this is what legends are for. They wheel out these people like the oldest animals in the zoo and say:
(Steve Irwin voice) Look what we have here folks! Some of the oldest, most endangered species known to mankind! Crikey. Isn’t that thrilling? You may have seen all these superstars on the WWE Network in their primes, but now you get to see how old they are in the present. Let’s name them all as we pan the camera across, and then you can say you have seen a wild Brooklyn Brawler! Or a Tatanka! If you’re lucky, you may even see a Hulk Hogan! Wow, isn’t that rare kids?! See how they stand and wave? That’s about as much as they can do. That’s how they survive.
Seriously though, I get that they are human beings and they need to pay their way, but shoehorning ’em all in to the same show with literally no plans for the majority is lazy and wasteful. It’s also kind of sad, because it could be the last time we see some of these people we grew up watching.
Loose With The Term
Has the term “Legend” lost all meaning? It has basically become a word you use about anything you enjoyed from back in the day, no matter how bad it was. I can tell you about some terrible video games I loved as a kid, but they are definitely not legendary. Oh my god! That wrestler sucked so hard… but he’s still a legend, wow. And that’s what WWE has to do because it has made hardly any legitimate crossover stars in the past two decades. It’s like when they started using Kelly Kelly as a “legend”. She was Divas Champion for what… three months? And was the worst to hold the title, but she gets a free pass because she looks good.
At least with girls like Torrie Wilson & Stacy Keibler, they became popular figures (they were glorified eye candy and worked as such) for what they are known for. It’s a similar thing for Candice Michelle and Alicia Fox. These girls held titles in WWE, but did nothing noteworthy before, during, or after their reigns. Most of the guys have done memorable things, but I draw the line at jobbers. In WWE, anyone who is remotely remembered are classed as legends. Am I the only one annoyed by that? A legend is meant to be someone who was at the top of their game. Since the Attitude Era, there are only a handful of guys & girls who I can safely say are classed as legends in the true sense of the word.
Short Term Band-Aid
Leave a band-aid on for long enough and it will fall off to reveal the underlying wound. And that is exactly what Legends & Reunion shows appear to be. WWE responds to low ratings by playing off of nostalgia to entice casual viewers who stopped watching a long time ago. And it will work for the one show, but when the novelty wears off a week later, so many will tune out again because they aren’t connected to the product. WWE hasn’t given them enough reason to care about the present day superstars, so they aren’t addressing the actual issues here.
Now, I’m not saying WWE shouldn’t use legends. Bringing in the right people at the right time, for storylines which make sense to include them, will undoubtedly enhance the experience. There is a limit though. Bringing in 21 legends to stand around and waste time is not smart. It is contributing nothing to the long-term health of WWE. There will be some fun to be had. Older fans will revel in the callbacks, the catchphrases, finishers like the Stone Cold Stunner, and other things reminding them of when wrestling was great… but will it do anything for the product past January 4th? No, not in the slightest. All it does is make the current superstars look inferior, as they can only dream of drawing in the fans like those they admired as kids.