WWE News WWE NEWS: Is WWE planning more big returns to address sagging Raw ratings?, updates on three potential returning stars
Oct 10, 2012 - 8:39:39 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
When the bill came due on a lack of top stars to fill in for John Cena last Monday - resulting in an alarming 2.5 Raw TV rating - WWE head Vince McMahon returned to TV this week, and put himself in the TV main event opposite top heel C.M. Punk.
It appears bringing back part-time/Attitude Era stars will be the formula going forward the next six months heading to WrestleMania as WWE tries to stop the bleeding on a thin talent roster over-exposed three hours at a time on Monday nights.
The Undertaker is one of those part-time stars who could be called upon to appear in the Royal Rumble match, reports the Wrestling Observer Newsletter at F4WOnline.com this week. Undertaker is penciled in for a WrestleMania 29 match, but he could be back for the Rumble in January.
The Rock is already scheduled for the Rumble to challenge the WWE champion (likely C.M. Punk barring a change in direction). However, at a time of desperation opposite Monday Night Football, WWE is at least considering bringing back Rock this fall. According to the Observer, there was internal discussion about bringing Rock back "in the next few weeks" to boost TV ratings, but it's unclear if that will occur. Rock's movie schedule would be a key determinant, but it would fit the formula of foregoing the long-term to keep Raw above water this fall.
One former top star unlikely to wrestle, but potentially be involved in a TV angle is "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, whose name has been tossed around by Punk in recent promos. The goal is to promote the "WWE '13" video game, where Austin and Punk are central figures in the marketing, but could also lead to Austin somehow involved in a TV angle despite the condition of his knee, which was recently surgically repaired.
Overall, Vince McMahon is simply trying to keep the three-hour Raws going heading into Mania. WWE's priority is clearly short-term fixes - such as McMahon in a TV main event - over long-term planning, which is what got WWE into this situation by trying to fill holes every year and ignoring the warning signs that top stars needed to be built up in the event that John Cena went down, even for a few weeks or months.
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