2011 the year of comebacks in the WWE?
Every fan of pro wrestling loves a good comeback. Not even two full months into 2011, the WWE has had one big comeback after another.
Shawn Michaels returned last month after being announced as an inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame Class 2011. The Royal Rumble saw the return of Diesel and Booker T. The Rock made his first appearance in seven years on Raw this past week. Rumor has it Undertaker will be on Raw this Monday as the man behind the 2.21.11 hype videos. Suffice to say, Taker will probably make 2 more comebacks before the end of 2011.
We have yet to see the return of Triple H who is rumored to be Undertaker’s opponent at Wrestlemania. We could also throw in the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin as he will host Tough Enough. This will be the first time in years Austin will be featured on a weekly WWE program.
So why all the comebacks? It could be Vince McMahon’s way of giving that Attitude Era generation of stars one more run in the sun. It’s also a way to draw fans who have not watched WWE programming in years. There’s no question McMahon is doing this to hype up the product right before Wrestlemania.
But let’s face it, the WWE roster is younger now than ever before. There are a plethora of stars who are ready to seize their opportunity. And I’m not even talking about Cena and Orton and Miz. Guys like Morrison, Albert del Rio, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, the whole Nexus stable, and Wade Barrett. These guys are ready to make the WWE their backyard. But that can’t happen until fans get one more solid run out of their old time favorites.
I’m not implying Undertaker and Triple H will be retired within a year. It’s certainly possible, but they still have enough gas in the tank to go two more years. Giving these stars of yesteryear one more run and sending them off on a good note will bring closure to that era and its fans.
I equate this to when the Yankees brought back Tino Martinez to the team in 2005. He was brought back to be a backup to Jason Giambi. Tino got hot and at one point carried the team with 10 home runs in 10 games. As the season went on he slid back into the role he was originally brought in to play, a backup. But the Steinbrenner’s are known for bringing back players who made a big impact on fans like Tino.
Vince does the same thing with stars who had a huge following. Much like Tino, older stars of the Attitude Era are not going to be the face the company and be the main eventers every single pay per view. But these stars can still get the fans on their feet via a match or a promo. This is why we love the comebacks so much in wrestling. We want a thrill and a chance to see these older stars get one more shot in the square circle.
Then, the WWE can comfortably transition to the next generation. Is my perception of all these comebacks off? Maybe, but they have certainly been a blast to watch and reminisce of many good wrestling moments of my childhood.