LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — For longtime pro wrestling purists, Monday nights have been painful for the better part of a decade. The days of middle fingers and puppies were replaced by a family-friendly product that seemed to be a better fit for the Disney Channel than anywhere else.
Those who watched during the Attitude Era and flipped back-and-forth between WWE and WCW were cringing at the thought of another season of the cartoonish Saturday Morning Slam.
It was all a bad dream.
Now the alarm is blaring and a once great wresting promotion is awaking from a long slumber.
“I like to think that we’re a little bit old school now,” rising WWE Superstar Roman Reigns told the Sports Junkies and Chad Dukes Monday morning on 106.7 The Fan. “When people talk about the past time of wrestling and how the guys used to be and there’s all these little stories here and there. I like to think that we shine in that regard. We’re a different breed, the new guys coming up.”
WWE is in the midst of a roster overhaul and released 11 talents, including nine wrestlers and longtime character Teddy Long. The releases are part of a painful shedding of dead weight as the publicly traded company attempts to increase subscribers on the recently launched WWE Network.
“We’re a young fresh crop and we’re hungry,” Reigns said of the new crop of wrestlers breathing life into the company. “We’re just making towns, working hard every single night. When you have that type of camaraderie, when you have that type of group, sometimes people get pushed into the shadows. That’s not our hope, but that’s just kind of what happens.”
When asked specifically about why The Miz was not still in the spotlight, Reigns offered advice to all talents that may be in need of a reboot.
“There’s always room to evolve and change things up. So, there’s a chance for him,” he said. “He had a nice run and he was doing the things he did. He headlined a WrestleMania. He also, he has different ties and crossover connections with what he did before he started wrestling…
“With any character or any performer there’s always a chance to change yourself, to evolve, to be different, to show something new. I think that anybody who is feeling like they’re stale, if they need to revamp… if they can do that, then there’s respect in that.”
Reigns was in studio to promote Monday’s live Raw broadcast from the Verizon Center.