HiteshKK Asks: Hi JR, first of all I just wanted to say it's been like nearly six years since you've been gone as a full time wwe announcer and you are sorely missed, truly the greatest voice in wrestling, the emotion and storytelling you would convey was unreal, so many of my childhood memories in the attitude era and then beyond benefited from your voice. I also never realised how much great talent you've hired, my absolute favourite The Rock, and then so many others like Benjamin, Orton, Cena, Lesnar and many more. I mean when you consider you've signed The Rock, Cena and Lesnar that's certainly the three biggest stars of the new millennium considering Austin's height was before that. In my opinion three great in ring wrestlers, two of the absolute best talkers, and 3 compelling characters, those are some serious contributions.
My question is there's a lot of great guys on the roster, I started watching in late 1999, but I know in 1997-1998 when guys like Rock and Austin were becoming the mega stars and biggest draws ever the investment by the crowds and momentum, and how white hot they were was very apparent, and it's very clear to see from that, their path of Austin being the no.1 and co.no.1 guy from early 1998 to Early 2002, and Rock being the no.1 and co. no.1 from late 1998 to August 2002. Brock's ascension was easy to see in 2002. And although he's been cursed with the duel reactions for most of the last decade, John Cena when he became a rapper and whent baby face, his ascension was very clear to see, even if Batista was around too, Batista's and Cena's ascension's were completely different and it was apparent Cena was the guy.
There's no one other then Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, who's had that type of ascension since Cena, you've had guys get popular like jeff hardy and what not, but not the organic growth in charisma, popularity and all departments, where it's just like a long wave accumulating to the pinnacle. Punk and Bryan have always had their look and build against them, Punk probably had the better chance but he's gone, Bryan has been subject to some awful injuries, and his run was more akin to Eddie Guerrero's form 2003-2005.
As I said there are some great talents, but none quite have the momentum that Hogan, Austin, Rock, Lenar or Cena had when they were ascending, and after being a fan for so long and having watched the old stuff back, you can almost see where these guys are going, in terms of who stands out.
Roman Reigns- He looks fantastic, he's got a really cool style that would catch on, but the lack of depth in character and promo skills perhaps leaves him akin to a Batista type run.
Finn Balor-He's very compelling, very smart in look, really cool with the face paint a great worker and character, you can see him really hitting it off, I think I could see him reaching a Sting level, but having that same problem in not being able to work in a big way as the no.1 guy, until again becoming a great talker.
Dean Ambrose- He's an awesome talker, and if booked more serious can get really popular, and cool, but I can see him having a similar run to CM Punk from 2011-2014 where the lack of a smart look, makes WWE abit weary of him, and he wouldn't have the mainstream appeal of Cena, and given it's a family era, it would perhaps be the difference to a CM Punk run and an Austin run.
Cesaro- He's fantastic but the lack of being able to talk greatly hurts, and his Cesarco Section is more like the YES movement, you could see him having a similar run to Daniel Bryan.
Big E- The New Day Stuff, is an example of something really working, the best always involve the crowd, and there crowd involvement is phenomenal, Big E stands out in particular and shows a great amount of charisma and character, he's becoming a great taker, but the focus on comedy and a lack of seriousness would make it hard for him to get past a Rikishi level.
You've then got some great heels in Wyatt, Rollins, Owens and Rusev, who could be very akin to Jake Roberts, Shawn Michaels, Vader and Umaga.
My point is maybe even with out a draw like Cena, maybe it could be a financially successful era, by having a very few strong faces like Reigns, Balor, Ambrose, Cesaro & Big E. Then a few very strong heels in Wyatt, Rollins, Owens & Rusev. They'd probably have guys who then be part timers like Cena, Lesnar, HHH & Orton to work with at big shows, and if he wants to Rock could always give his mega star status in Hollywood and wrestling rub one of these faces at a future wrestlemania, especially Reigns given their connection.
Do you think this could be the case, or is there someone who you can visibly see having that ride of momentum, or getting that ride of momentum to surpass Cena as the no.1 draw?