The current landscape of the wrestling business is met with polarizing responses from fans and wrestlers alike. Things have changed dramatically when it comes to the in-ring style, presentation and general atmosphere around the product. Many legends from prior eras have found displeasure with the new wrestlers and how differently they are telling stories in the ring. Others have commended and mentored the current stars by providing positive reactions to the stories.
We will look at both sides of wrestlers that have publicly expressed their opinions about the product. WWE has certainly accepted the changes by adding many of the top independent wrestlers and allowing them to work their established styles. All Elite Wrestling will showcase even more of the new generation on TNT. There are wrestlers that support these things and wrestlers that think it’s killing the business. These are five legends that love the current wrestling product and ten that hate it.
10 Love: Edge
The legendary career of Edge would see him serve as one of the stars that worked during both the Attitude Era and the recent PG era. Edge truly adapted to all the changes in the company to find consistent success until his retirement in 2011.
Following some time away from the industry, Edge now hosts a weekly podcast with Christian having pleasant conversations with today’s talent. The rare WWE appearances often see him wearing t-shirts representing today’s stars like Sami Zayn and Cesaro. Edge clearly is not bitter about today’s product and tries to offer productive advice as referenced on his podcast.
9 Hate: Bret Hart
Bret Hart does not completely bury everyone in today’s wrestling scene, but he has made it clear he’s not a fan of the product. Various interviews have featured Hart calling out certain talents like Seth Rollins for not working safely due to the high-risk style.
The commentary of Hart also claims that the product looks phony with the lack of selling in matches. To add a positive layer, Bret does still support performers like Kevin Owens and Cody Rhodes if he does like their work.
8 Love: Tazz
ECW legend and former WWE commentator Tazz developed a reputation for speaking his mind throughout his wrestling career. The aftermath of his exit from wrestling has Tazz working as a radio personality hosting a daily sports show along with his wrestling podcast.
Tazz goes out of his way to praise a lot of the current talents. The podcast has featured him defending performers insulted by other legends like the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and Priscilla Kelly. Tazz even interviewed MJF as a part of Starrcade during Double or Nothing weekend.
7 Hate: Jim Cornette
One of the most outspoken critics of the wrestling business today is Jim Cornette. The legendary manager/commentator believes many of the current young talents are contributing to the killing of the wrestling business.
Wrestlers like Kevin Owens, Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks and Will Ospreay have been called out by Cornette for their wrestling styles. Cornette’s weekly podcast and consistent shoot interview appearances always feature rants that are beloved by those who agree with him and despised by those that disagree.
6 Love: MVP
MVP had one of the all-time great United States Championship reigns in WWE before making the decision to leave on his own. The rationale was that he had a dream of wrestling in New Japan and having matches against some of his favorite wrestlers.
This was before the popularity of NJPW grew to new levels. MVP has been supportive of many of today’s wrestlers. His podcast The VIP Lounge featured a strong defense of Ricochet and Will Ospreay when many other legends were running them down for the high spots in their match.
5 Hate: Buff Bagwell
WCW legend Buff Bagwell has not found much success in the industry since the end of WCW back in 2001. Aside from a couple of weeks in WWE and TNA each, Bagwell has not gained a relevant run for a relevant promotion in that time.
The confidence of Bagwell, however, makes him believe he’s a better worker than most of today’s star. Bagwell buried Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks when claiming no one would care about All Elite Wrestling when the company debuts on television. It could be bravado, but Bagwell has made his feelings known.
4 Love: X-Pac
Sean “X-Pac” Waltman has turned his life around in recent years after his personal demons added some struggles earlier in his career. The positives have allowed him to return to the wrestling world as a podcast host with his X-Pac 12360 weekly show.
Unlike some of his peers and friends, X-Pac goes out of his way to commend the hard-working talents of today in all promotion. Matt Riddle, Johnny Gargano, the War Raiders and Drew McIntyre are just a few wrestlers he loves. X-Pac has also worked with some of the current talent during their time on the indie circuit like Sami Zayn, Adam Cole, and Ricochet.
3 Hate: Kevin Nash
The mindset of Kevin Nash sees a few different opinions about today’s business, but his criticism about today’s wrestlers is the stronger viewpoint. Nash does respect the wrestlers that work hard in the ring. However, he does not believe they are good for the business.
One constant criticism from Nash is that today’s wrestlers don’t look like stars which results in a lack of interest in the product. Kevin Owens is one current WWE star that was called out by Nash for not having the look despite his success as a former Universal Champion.
2 Love: The Rock
Despite being one of the most famous and busiest people in the world, The Rock still finds time to pay some attention to the wrestling business. There are the occasional WWE appearances that fans get to appreciate, but Rock also has his ear to the ground about the rising stars.
Ricochet was commended by The Rock after Ricochet expressed his desire to become a star after Rock’s influence on him growing up. Kevin Owens also received some love from The Rock before he even signed a contract with WWE. Rock has gone out of his way to get current wrestlers Tessa Blanchard and Zelina Vega jobs in the Fighting With My Family film.
1 Hate: Road Warrior Animal
Road Warrior Animal is half of arguably the greatest tag team in wrestling history. The pair of Animal and Hawk dominated the '80s and early '90s with the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom tag team finding success in multiple promotions.
Animal has been a vocal critic of today’s wrestlers. Becky Lynch was insulted by Animal for her promos and he claimed women in WWE can’t draw main event money despite the WrestleMania 35 main event spot. Animal also recently insulted Marty Scurll and others in Ring of Honor having an LOD inspired entrance as he clearly does not like today’s talent.