Is Hogan/nWo to Blame for WWE's "Brand-First" Attitude?
We are all aware that WWE's current M.O. is one where they consider the overall brand to be the draw, rather than the individual superstars. I'm of the opinion that Vince adopted this attitude as a method of self-preservation and to insulate himself from any potential future competition.
Now, in all honesty, the title is a bit simplified. There are actually quite a long list of wrestlers whom Vince pushed as Faces of the Company who either became "bigger than the brand" and/or didn't tow the company line: Hogan, Warrior, Luger, Nash, Hart, Stone Cold.
And while, each of those incidents did damage to the WWF/E's brand, I'd argue the exodus of Hogan (and to a lesser extent Luger, Nash and Hall) to a competitor, after pushing him as essentially bigger than the brand for nearly a decade, left the worst taste in Vince's mouth.
And I think that's the root to a lot of WWE's problems. Vince actually doesn't want another Hogan, Austin or Rock because he fears the vacuum that comes after they leave. Two out of the three of the worst pair of years for WWE came in 93-95 and 03-05 (for live gates), right after the three biggest draws of their respective eras left. Worse still, in Hogan's case he leant his star power to the competitor and almost buried WWF as a result. Vince never wants to the let that happen again, but as a result, I fear we'll never get a truly pushed & over superstar ever again either (see: CM Punk, Daniel Bryan).