Quite rightly, WWE get a lot of criticism for their output.
Considering the vast wealth, both financially and in terms of talent, that they have at their disposal, it is almost criminal how little care or attention is put into their weekly shows.
Yes, Smackdown! has been watchable ever since Roman Reigns finally ascended to the superstar he was always destined to become, but when did passable TV become the barometer of success? Raw has been turgid ever since it went to it’s current three hour format and the fact that NXT has had to go through a reboot speaks volumes about its success.
The failure to create new stars, through compelling, long term storytelling is only highlighted by the fact that in 2021, Goldberg has had two WWE Championship matches. John Cena was parachuted in from Hollywood to headline SummerSlam and Brock Lesnar has been given another big fat contract just to provide Reigns with a genuine main event calibre program.
The systemic, creative issues have failed to produce new, top tier stars and for that, WWE does deserve criticism.
However, it’s not all bad. There have been some success stories this year and the following list will show that sometimes, the WWE still knows what it’s doing.
Often considered the most under-utilized wrestler in the company, Cesaro has had a baffling run in the company. One of the most natural between the ropes, with an explosive arsenal and phenomenal strength, the Swiss Superman has always been held back due to his struggles on the mic.
Sorry, perceived struggles on the mic.
In 2021, Cesaro cut one of the best promos of his life on an episode of Talking Smack, where he bore his soul to the world about what the business means to him. It was heartfelt and passionate, and once again, ignited the argument of why Cesaro has never been given a run at the top.
Along with that, Cesaro had his first singles feud heading into WrestleMania 37, where he successfully defeated Seth Rollins in a great match up. Then, one month later at WrestleMania Backlash, Cesaro squared off with Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship.
Finally, Cesaro main-evented a pay-per-view for the top belt. Sure, he didn’t win, and he hasn’t done a tremendous amount in the months since, but there is no denying that WWE certainly elevated Cesaro in 2021, higher than they ever had before.