You can blame the storylines and booking all you want, but was Raw 1000 really booked well? No. It was all over the place, 3 hours, and it relied heavily on nostalgia, but despite this fact it delivered ratings even without Stone Cold being on the show.
The reason why people do not watch wrestling anymore is because all of the "larger than life" characters are gone. People got attached to the extravagant looks, iconic voices, and the way they carried themselves as superstars. Now these fools think that "breaking kayfabe" is what is going to get them over. No one wants to hear about you fighting "Dewayne" they want to hear about you fighting "The Rock". These wrestlers today have no style and do not understand the concept of showmanship. No one cares about supposed "superstars" that look like people you would run into on the street. This is not about height either. The big guys dress like crap, look like crap, and carry themselves as crap too.
They had an opportunity to turn this company around at Raw 1000 by starting an Attitude Era vs PG Era storyline. Especially, since you were going to have a game promoting the exact same idea coming out later in the year
. They should've had Triple H, The Rock, Stone Cold (later since he was having the surgery), The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, and Shawn Michaels form a Supreme Mega Heel stable bashing the PG Era "superstars" for killing ratings, destroying the wrestling industry, and bringing shame to their names by making comparisons between the two eras. You know, the same things that the majority of fans have been saying for the longest time. These stars know how to get "booed" and are the only people capable of putting this new era over since it is incapable of doing it on its own. They don't even need to wrestle often. They can just denounce the top 5 stars: Randy Orton, Cm Punk, Sheamus, John Cena, and Brock Lesnar(for being a baby and leaving the business), and all those who support those 5. Then they could sponsor guys from this era that they see potential in and take them under their wings to get rid of those they denounced. The other Attitude Era stars could be torn on who to support and ultimately be forced into taking sides. Team Attitude Era and Team PG Era shirts, anyone?
Fans would get used to the idea of seeing the stars interact with each other regularly via promos and matches. Eventually, people will be able to take these new wrestlers seriously and you wouldn't have alienated the older fans that tuned in to see the nostalgia because those older guys would be there in some form or fashion. You would have to tune in every week because you wouldn't know which of the Attitude Era guys would be showing up each week, who they were going to try to attack, and what method would they use to accomplish it. Would Vince side with his stars of the past or bank on these new guys to take the business to greater heights?
The level of the promo work would go up and practicing with these older stars on a regular basis could give these young guys the experience that is desperately needed. You would have clearly defined heels who aren't pushovers like these "Non-Charismatic Team Rocket Knockoffs" blasting off every week and certain wrestlers who thrive on venting their frustrations at people, would excel. There are so many directions you could go with this and the match possibilities would be interesting. The storyline would end at either WM29 or WM30, where the old stars would end up giving the new guys "their due" or have Triple H turn into his corporate mega heel role and take it from there.:hhh
Or, you do what these clowns did and end up with ratings below 3.0.