My problem with The Rock's role isn't so much about him occupying spots that could be used to build futures for wrestlers like Dolph Ziggler or Cody Rhodes. My concern is that by having a former wrestler so solidly in the spotlight, WWE perpetuates a damaging, industry-wide trend. The wrestling business is steeped in tradition, and that rich history shouldn't be ignored, but I believe wrestling's future is better served when promotions try to discover or create wrestling's "Next Big Thing."
(Incidentally, I don't hold independent promotions to the same standard. In many cases, the survival of an indy promotion depends on its ability to occasionally showcase "big-name" veteran wrestlers.)
Little over a year ago, WWE made the bold decision to hand CM Punk a microphone and give him the creative freedom to let loose on Raw. Punk instantly became the hottest thing in wrestling, and remains so to this day. That, it would seem, is a better way to build for the future health of the sport than reviving nostalgia acts, which many times fail to pan out for a variety of reasons. Attempting to recreate special moments in time, not only in pro wrestling, is a hit-or-miss endeavor. Mostly miss.
One of the major reasons pro wrestling appears to be mired in a "down cycle," in my opinion, is the tendency by so many industry leaders to look to the past, rather than the future, for success. Indeed, walking down memory lane may offer some short-term benefits, but what happens when the immediate effect wears off?