Is WWE Repeating the Mistakes of the Hulk Hogan Era? | Smark Out Moment

Is WWE Repeating the Mistakes of the Hulk Hogan Era?

Posted by JRG Friday, February 20, 2015
I may be the only one, but I feel that history is repeating itself in the WWE. The old saying happens to be true, "Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it." There are two situations in particular that remind me of situations in the past. The WWE does seem to repeat some of its mistakes over and over again, without ever learning from them. The two situations that I am speaking of are the crowd reactions to John Cena, and the WrestleMania title picture. John Cena is without a doubt, the biggest superstar in WWE, and he has been for many years now. He was created in the mold of WWE's biggest stars ever. He is a face who is meant to appeal to everyone. He has been created to be loved. For the most part, he has accomplished this. He has legions of loyal fans. However, he also has legions of fans who do not like him. He hears boos and negative chants nearly everywhere that he goes. The WWE may try to pass this off as a usual thing that happens with all faces, but I just don't buy that. I can't recall anyone booing Steve Austin or the Rock when they were at their peak. The WWE may say that it is Cena's personality that rubs people the wrong way, but I don't really believe that either. I think that there is more to it than that.

WCW Hulk Hogan pictures transparent John Cena png

To start off with, I have no strong feelings towards Cena either way. I am not a huge fan of his, but I don't hate him as a lot of fans similar to me do. For me, the main issue that I have with John Cena is the fact that he has been in main event after main event, year after year. This isn't necessarily a bad thing in itself, but the way that it is done is a bad thing. Basically, Cena in my opinion, has been doing the same thing, more or less, for a decade now. His whole routine does not change. He is becoming stale. People are just bored with him. I believe that he needs to adapt, at least a little bit, in order to keep things fresh. There has been suggestions of a possible heel turn for him in the future. That could be a possibility, but I would say that he does not need to take it that far. He just needs to do something different, something interesting. He does not need to risk losing all the fans that he has, but he does need to do something. I fully understand that he is draw and the WWE would not want to lose him in that role. The situation with him at the moment, reminds me a lot of the situation that Hulk Hogan was in twenty years ago. He was the biggest star the business had ever seen, by far. He was universally beloved. He could do no wrong, no matter what his actions were. Then in 1993, 1994 and 1995, he began to hear boos. Contrary to what many believe, I don't think that fans were saying that he didn't deserve to be in the main event or that they didn't like his actions. I believe that people were simply bored with his act. He had been champion for about a decade. He had been, basically, doing the same thing the whole time. After a while, it just got stale. People got bored with seeing the same old thing week after week, month after month.

WrestleMania 31 Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Hogan responded and joined the WCW. Then, he took what I consider to be a very brave step and joined the NWO, turning heel. I, for one, would have considered this a major risk at the time. Most of the people watching WCW at the time were only watching it to see Hogan. Turning him against the fans could have made everyone so angry that they could have chosen to stop watching completely. As a heel, Hogan had a new lease on life in WCW. He won more championships and remained at the top for years after that. I see a lot of similarities between Hogan and Cena at these moments in their career. Cena could be better than he is, in my opinion. No one is doubting that he is one of the top guys in the business, and probably will remain so for many years to come, but more can be done with him. It may not even be his fault, it may be the writers being lazy and uncreative. They may be trying to play things safe. What Cena does is repetitive. It has gotten stale and boring. He has been on top for a decade now, it is time for a change. Another situation that reminds me strongly of a situation in the past is the main event situation for WrestleMania. It reminds me of WrestleMania VIII. The WWE has a readymade main event for WrestleMania; Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar. They are the two top stars in the company on many different levels. It is the match everyone would want to see. Daniel Bryan never lost the title, it was taken from him due to injury. He has returned and, you would think, would be facing Lesnar at WrestleMania. It is a perfect fairy tale ending and what everyone wants to see happen. The WWE, however, has other ideas. They have chosen to put Roman Reigns in the main event instead. Reigns is not in the position to headline WrestleMania. Plus, Brock Lesnar beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania last year. After that, Roman Reigns is not much of a challenge. For someone to beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania then lose the following year to Roman Reigns is not plausible. The WWE, obviously has its own reasons for giving Reigns the match.

This situation reminds me a lot of WrestleMania VIII. Ric Flair had come over from WCW. He had been the face of the NWA for the entire decade of the eighties. He had won multiple world titles. He then joined the WWE and started a bit of a feud with Hulk Hogan over who was the real world champion. Flair went on to win the Royal Rumble and the world title. This, you would have thought, would have set up the match up that everyone wanted to see, the match that fans had waited a decade to see. Flair vs. Hogan at WrestleMania. Arguably, the two greatest superstars ever facing off at WrestleMania with the title on the line. It seemed like it was all set up perfectly. However, that is not what the WWE chose to give us. Instead it was Flair vs. Randy Savage and Hogan against Sid Justice. Yes, Flair and Savage had a great match and worked together in the ring many times afterwards, producing great matches, but that is not what people wanted to see. The Hogan vs. Sid match was something of a disaster. When Papa Shango is involved in your main event, you know there are problems. To me there is a clear parallel here. Lesnar is Hogan, Bryan is Flair, and Reigns is Sid. It is ok for Reigns or Sid to be in main events, but not at WrestleMania, not when there is a virtual dream match to be had. Maybe the WWE are overthinking things. Maybe they have their own reasons. Vince McMahon is still obsessed with muscle bound big men after all of these years. He does not seem to have learned anything from the past. It is unbelievable that a company would intentionally not create the best possible matches that they can. At the time of WrestleMania VIII, the WWE did not seem to realize what they had in Ric Flair and they seem to be making the same mistake again with Daniel Bryan. It is hard to believe that they can not see what is right in front of their noses. It seems that they make these decisions not based on talent or on who is over or who deserves it the most, but on their own reasons. That is another topic, that I will get into at another time.

Sid Justice vs Hulk Hogan WrestleMania Randy Savage vs Ric Flair

For everyone's sake, I hope they learn their lesson soon, otherwise, we will all have to suffer as a result. They will be creating a main event that no one wants to see. It will hurt their ticket sales. It will alienate people and cost them financially, ultimately. It will also alienate the locker room. Daniel Bryan deserves to have this match, because it is what makes the most sense. Forget everything else, it would draw the most interest and the most money as well. Hopefully, they will not be stubborn and insist on doing things their own way, because we will all suffer as a result. They need to learn from the past, otherwise everything is in vain.

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