On Sunday night, Edge won the 2021 Royal Rumble and will go on to headline Wrestlemania against either Drew McIntyre or Roman Reigns.
Edge is 47. Drew is 35. Roman is 35. Two of those men are in their primes and deserve a great title match. One of those men was retired for a decade and returned last season only to instantly injure himself and take the remainder of the year off.
We don’t need to be naive about why Edge won.
In part, it makes people like me take notice. I no longer watch wrestling because like most of pop culture, all of the great stories have already been told and I am not captivated by watching 46-year old Rey Mysterio land on his neck in order to win a ‘mask match’ where if he loses he’ll have to take his mask off. He’s nearly 50. This seems very low stakes at this point.
It’s worth noting that the WWE Network is closing down and their streaming service is being absorbed by Peacock so now you can watch The Office with your lame future ex-girlfriend and then sneak in the 2002 Survivor Series when she falls asleep dreaming about banging her college boyfriend.
Can’t blame WWF for taking the easy route. Especially during a pandemic where they can’t steal money from parents getting dragged by their runny-nosed kids. Wrestlemania has always relied on legends to get eyes from casual or non-wrestling fans.
But at some point, in order to have legends continually come and save your product you must actively create new legends. At some point, Brock Lesnar’s body is going to become immune to HGH and then what? Will Vince McMahon call Val Venis to come beat a defending champion? By the way, please do this.
As I mentioned earlier, having someone like Edge win the Royal Rumble obviously works. But you can’t ignore that earlier that night, 54-year old Goldberg, had a 2-minute match against Drew McIntyre for the title.
Does it behoove Drew in any way to beat an elderly man that was popular in the NINETIES only to then immediately get speared and lose his belt to a man who debuted in 1998?
It’s not a difficult equation to crack. You are going to run out of legends to save your program when your legends exist simply to get quick attention while burying the pre-existing ‘stars’ that you can’t turn into household names because, ya know, they keep losing to geriatric retirees.
But whatever. Do your thing. Just alert me when Val Venis wins the heavyweight title please.