Does WWE Have an Age Problem?

Survivor Series
WWE Survivor Series

WWE’s latest PPV offering Survivor Series is just over a week away and following the events of RAW and Smackdown the card has been changed dramatically, arguably for the better.

One of the marquee matches on the card is the 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination match between Team RAW and Team Smackdown. On the face of it this is a star studded bout and it throws up opportunities for some in ring confrontations that we haven’t seen in years.

One thing however that isn’t being discussed is best summed up in a tweet I read earlier this week:

Now, looking at the match from an overarching standpoint you can clearly see that (relatively) recently promoted NXT stars Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe and Jason Jordan are in this bout, which is a bonus and a clear indication that the WWE is looking to promote newer stars on both sides of their brand split…but while Shinsuke, Bobby and Joe are new to the WWE fan base they are in the later stages of their career.

The fact that Jason Jordan is the only performer in this bout still in his twenties should be of concern to WWE, it is pivotal for the company to be constantly evolving and to be looking for ‘the next big thing’….which leads me to the main event.

AJ Styles vs Brock Lesnar is a top drawer match, no doubt about it. When it was announced that Brock would be facing Jinder Mahal in the Survivor Series main event it saw a fairly tepid response from the WWE faithful and on paper AJ is certainly a better foe for Brock on the 19th. But what is important to remember is the fact that both AJ and Brock are now both 40 years old, Jinder Mahal is 31.

I completely understand that Jinder did not set the world alight when he held the WWE Championship, and I can appreciate that while AJ may be 40 he could feasibly still perform at a top level for at least another 4-5 years. What concerns me as a longtime WWE fan is the fact that they are just not building younger stars and are now starting to purely rely on independent performers who they can cherry pick from the worldwide scene to plug the gap.

When you look at the current crop of ‘homegrown’ top level WWE performers, I’m talking John Cena, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle, you have to consider the age at which they debuted on television:

  • John Cena – Smackdown June 27th 2002: 25 Years Old
  • Kurt Angle – Heat March 7th 1999: 30 Years Old
  • Brock Lesnar – RAW March 18th 2002: 24 Years Old
  • Randy Orton – Smackdown April 25th 2002: 22 Years Old

Compare this to the recently promoted top stars of RAW and Smackdown and you have a real disparity there. I might be unfair in my assessment, I am comparing today’s crop of stars to one of the most unique and stacked group of performers from the old OVW territory back in the early 2000s…however the issue is truly evident when you take this final point into consideration:

In the 5-on-5 match, who is the one performer that seems out of place and hasn’t been given the same push as the others? If you said Jason Jordan then we’re on the same wave length. Jordan is a younger talent that needs to be built in this match, otherwise what is the point?

You may completely disagree with me, or you may agree that the ageing main event roster is a bubble that will eventually burst and cause a tremendous ripple effect on the WWE product…either way I want to hear from you in the comments.