WWE is credited for creating transcendental heroes like Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and John Cena. However, universal fan favorites don't exist in today's WWE and Jim Ross thinks that may be a problem.
During an episode of the The Jim Ross Report Good Ol' JR discussed the current state of WWE and how it appears that Vince McMahon & Co. aren't making a concentrated effort to build a beloved star.
"I think that the company has been made famous for building fan favorites. The 'babyface.' Over the years, some of the biggest stars on the babyface side of the roster, have been products of WWE," Ross said. "It seems like that's not the focus right now," he said.
WWE certainly tried to cut Roman Reigns from the Herculean mold, but fans were never keen on accepting him in that role. Instead, WWE shifted towards keeping Reigns a "tweener" who only needed noise, instead of exclusively adulation. While Ross says he could be wrong, what he sees in the product, WWE hasn't placed a high priority in creating their new demi-god.
"Maybe it is [the focus]. I'm going by what I see on television. That's the extent of my interaction with this company." I watch the product religiously, and those are my observations. They're not tainted, they're not influenced, they're just what I see, and what I feel," Ross said.
WWE's ability to create these folk hero's is a big reason why they have a monopoly on the sport. Fueled by Hulkamania, Vince McMahon was able to take take over the United States, and with the likes of Stone Cold and The Rock he was able to fend off and eventually defeat WCW in the mid-90's. But with the creation of John Cena, McMahon was able to turn WWE into a global institution. And with these precedent set, Ross thinks WWE needs to get back to it's roots.
"The fan favorite machine, the babyface machine, needs to get back into business."
the argument could be made that WWE is trying to make Ronda Rousey this type of star. However with her being in the company less than a year, it's not fair to saddle her with such expectations. However, despite him limited experience, Rousey has proven to be a priceless addition to WWE's roster. It's unclear how long she'll be wit hthe company, but all indication point to her genuinely loving her current journey in WWE. While names like Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, and Daniel Bryan are all incredibly popular, the next face of WWE may have to be Rousey.0comments
Rousey will at least have the next crack at such a role. With the news of Roman Reigns' leukemia, it's possible we never see The Big Dog wrestle again. However if he does return, he'll have more goodwill than any WWE superstar in history. And that momentum, combined with Reigns talent could indeed make him the star that Vince McMahon has always imagined