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If you were charged with creating a biopic of the WWF around the early-mid 90s casting current WWE performers, you'd actually find a number of quite obvious similarities. Number one star and still the top draw in the industry: Hogan and Cena. Wrestler probably the most popular with the fans, but reluctantly pushed by management when other options fail? Bret and Bryan. The chosen star pushed before he was ready for the top? Diesel and Reigns. The rising star that is having great matches and could ultimately end up as the main guy? Michaels and Rollins.
I've already written at length about the comparison between Reigns and Diesel, but the others are still worth exploring too. OK, Hogan wasn't in the WWF in 1995, he left two years previously, but in many ways the comparison between him and Cena is still valid. It's likely a look at what might have happened have Hogan never left - Vince still would've explored new stars (although the Lex Luger experiment never would have happened) and Hogan likely would've faded with dwindling interest in his character, a lack of fresh opponents and growing ambitions of an acting career outside of wrestling. Cena, it doesn't seem, will follow the final path, but the dwindling interest in his character is certainly true to a point and the lack of true big opponents is true now more than ever, even if it is at a time where Cena is being put in more feuds with up and comers like Bray Wyatt and Rusev, it seems like as much as a demotion for Cena as it is an elevation for his opponent.
Bryan vs Bret is a fascinating comparison. Both are probably the best worker of their generation (if we're kind enough to call Bret and Ric Flair in separate generations), both remained very popular despite managements best efforts to go with others, both are lacking in the promo department, and both have been thrown the ball when other efforts have stalled. Bret picking up the pieces after Lex Luger fell, and Bryan swept up the mess that could've became of the Wrestlemania 30 main event. Bret in this era likely would've been popular in the way Bryan is, the reaction to his loss of the title at Survivor Series 1994 and subsequent lack of victory over Diesel in the 1995 Royal Rumble would've been met with a very different crowd reaction in 2015.
As for Shawn Michaels and Seth Rollins, in both cases it's perhaps where the future may lie. Seth, like Shawn at the foot of 1995, seemed like a guy in a good place to pounce. Seth is a phenomenal performer, his breakout night may have been the Royal Rumble in 2015, Shawn's was at the Royal Rumble twenty years earlier. Both weren't overpushed, both were respected by the hardcore fans even if they perhaps preferred other guys. Seth, like Shawn, might have to wait for others to try and fail before getting his chance at the top, but the presence of a Money in the Bank contract may mean that opportunity comes sooner rather than later.
What do these comparisons all mean for 2015? Well, if we follow the same pattern it looks something like this: Reigns will be given the title at Wrestlemania, as Diesel was just after Survivor Series. Reigns won't face the same long term issue that Diesel did with a lack of quality opponents, but likewise he won't get 300+ days in the job if he faulters to the same degree. Equally, Seth Rollins will likely be used to cut Reigns off regardless of how well or badly he's doing, giving Reigns a chance of chasing the title as we head into the summer. This all assumes, of course, Reigns isn't turned heel in the near future.
Fortunately for the WWE now there are a number of factors in their favour. Firstly, while the light of John Cena maybe fading, he's still on the inside pissing out rather than on the outside pissing in. Secondly, the factor that within reason means the company can get away with whatever they like, is the total lack of competition. The third factor is the small (or rather large) matter of Brock Lesnar - a performer that the WWE are finally booking correctly, at a time when his contract is coming up for renewal.
But the company hit a financial nadir in 1995, and in 2014 lost more money than they ever have in their history. A lack of full time star power, a TV show that's too long and a creative direction pushing some guys too hard and other guys not hard enough means that history should not be forgotten. Armageddon seems unlikely, but Reigns, Bryan, Cena and Rollins all seem to have been cast in the remake of WWF:1995, let's hope they've not read the script.