A Few Good Men: Rise of the New Generation – By Andrew Smith

At Wrestlemania we witnessed an event, a spectacle, it was truly an end of an era. Now it’s time for the new era to begin, for the young rising stars to be elevated to the next level.

At Wrestlemania we saw two titans clash within the Hellacious Cell leaving behind a legacy like no other. Two icons battled it out to cement they’re claim as the greatest star the wrestling world has ever seen. Now the journey begins again. WWE will have already put pen to paper in who they wish to showcase at 29, a few names have already been tossed around and we can be assured the usual suspects will make an appearance. But amongst all that WWE must put in motion the wheels of the machine and begin the push for the next generation.

CM Punk has cemented himself as a main eventer, showcasing to the fans why he wears the T-shirt dictating that he is The Best in the World. The clean win over the first ever Undisputed Champion laid claim to the fact that WWE now trusts Punk as someone that they believe can get the job done.

Daniel Bryan’s fate is yet to be seen. After losing the title in just 18 seconds to the Celtic Warrior fans were up in arms, voicing they’re opinion throughout the night and continued with the verbal assault on Raw. Bryan’s Wrestlemania match may have been the shortest match of his career, but the backlash could very well lead to his security at the top.

Waiting in the wings are the likes of Dolph Ziggler, the former Spirit Squad member has a shawn michaels’esque about his in ring work, putting his opponent over as strongly as himself (see his selling of Brodus Clay’s head butt on Raw as evidence) Having already had a brief stint with the World Heavyweight Title another, longer run with the strap would do no harm in elevating this young star in the coming months.

Zack Ryder, he was the catalyst to his own stardom in 2011. His entertaining YouTube videos and stubbornness to get himself over even when WWE had no intention of doing it themselves led to his short, yet very much welcomed United States Title run last year.
WWE then dropped the ball not long after but this year needs to be the year of the Ryder revolution, picking up the ball and going for goal. The former Edge-Head has already been embraced by the fans and proved that he can get the desired response while getting the job done in the ring.

Cody Rhodes, the former Legacy member captured the Intercontinental Title last year and held it for almost 8 months. A brief feud with Booker T ensued during last December through to January, Rhodes went on to successfully defended his Championship against the 5 time Champion. Legends and previous Champions are regularly sacrificed to enhance upcoming talent, the fact that a lengthy programme ending with a win at a PPV proved WWE have big plans for the second generation star. At Wrestlemania a win would have been more beneficial for this young man, but if it means moving him away from the Intercontinental Title and onto the next level it will be eagerly welcomed.

Honourable mentions go to Brodus Clay. So far the Funkasaurus has been little more than a comedy act and is miles away from the beast he was on NXT. When he was announced as the runner up he cut a stellar promo which held more passion and charisma than most the dribble we see on our screens each week. Many hope that a return to the monster is at some point on the cards, but needless to say he has proved that he can run with any act creative give him.

Also Wade Barrett made progress in the last few months before his injury. Paired with Smackdowns top dog Randy Orton he was destined for good things until an unfortunate injury stopped him in his tracks. Hopefully WWE won’t renege on the young mans push and will continue his flight to the top through the coming months of his return.

WWE will bring in past stars and pay big money for the top names, but what good are the past without the future? Hopefully the dawn of the new Era has begun.