Re: Is this the worst ever period in the WWE
All this "rebuilding mode" stuff is garbage. Its a TV show, they shouldn't have a rebuilding phase. You don't hear other TV shows saying "oh guys, just excuse us for a bit while the show sucks, we're rebuilding it". WWE is specifically set up with a midcard/mid event structure to build new guys quietly while the top guys are pulling the product. Plus there is a whole indy scene building new guys that are perfectly capable that WWE could pick from.
WWE had plenty of opportunities to build the next generation of stars while all the 90s guys were still around, but they didn't. For a whole variety of reasons. The next crop of guys to be the main event should have been the midcard from the late 90s/early 2000s. Wrestlers like Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Christian, the Hardys, Lance Storm, Tazz. To go with this there was a bunch of brawlers who bring edge to the product, like Raven, Steve Corino, Rhyno Tommy Dreamer, JBL. Both categories of guys bring the physicality, not gimmicks.
Through the midcard of the late 90s, wrestling was naturally evolving into a more competition based, athletically focused show with less emphasis on physiques and more on athleticism, competition and personalities. WWE was naturally moving in a more reality based UFC inspired fight club style product with smaller wrestlers who worked faster. But Vince doesn't like things that way. He likes body builders and stupid gimmicks.
Through the mid 2000s he pushed the product in the absolute opposite direction to where it was naturally evolving, and that's how it turned into the terrible product it is today. So much time was wasted on pushing Batista, Randy Orton, Lashley, Umaga, Koslov etc etc, along with a countless range of generic bodies from the developmental territories. All the Garrison Cades, Mark Jindraks, Renee Dupree's, Tomko's etc. All the guys that the product should have been built around got a small run, but it was all in an effort to build them up to be fed to the body builders instead.
WWE had Rey Mysterio in 2002 who was massively popular, and a whole crop of crusierweights who were just dying for exposure. Instead of using Mysterio to build the whole crusierweight division around and make the other guys stars too, they yanked Mysterio out and let the division die. There was Tajiri, Kidman, Yang, London, Kendrick, Kash, Super Crazy, Ultimo Dragon and heaps more floating around, and they never got used.
WWE's top set of guys should be the ROH card from 2005/2006. CM Punk was too good for them to ignore and Bryan Danielson is heading up, but the rest of the place should be the top of the WWE card now too. Nigel McGuiness, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, Homicide, Christopher Daniels, The Briscoes, Kings of Wrestling. They should have poached AJ Styles from TNA and let him run loose in WWE.
WWE's cards from 2005-2010 should have been Chris Jericho vs Austin Aries, Homicide vs Eddie Guerrero, RVD vs AJ Styles, Chris Benoit vs Samoa Joe, Christian vs Edge, Christopher Daniels vs Lance Storm. Imagine the rivalries between a crop of wrestlers like that. Prop it up with a midcard of the crusierweight guys and support from the established guys like Triple H, HBK and Undertaker, and you'd have an epic WWE. Even somebody like John Cena could thrive in that environment because the rest of the card could cover his weaknesses and carry him to a great match in their sleep. Paul Heyman was onto it in 2002, and his booking all the way up to the "big fight" feel with Brock vs Angle at Wrestlemania XIX was awesome and perfectly fitting, but Vince killed it because Heyman was continuing to evolve the product.
This is what Vince always does. He tries to dictate the product into what he wants it to be, rather than what it is naturally evolving into. All those guys from the midcard were over with kids and adults, and that is what the audience wanted to see. Instead of running with that, and raiding the indy talent to get a batch of new guys to supplement this direction, he killed it off because it doesn't fit with his personal view of what wrestling is. Its ridiculous that a publicly traded corporate company can be detrimentally dictated by an old man whose vision for the product has been dated since the late 1980s, but thats where we are.
Wrestling is creatively ruined now. Its natural evolution got sabotaged and it sits in a weird status quo trying to fulfil a style of product that has been dated for at least 25 years.