When was the WWE roster at its best?

Discussion in 'General WWE' started by Dolph'sZiggler, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. in your opinion? for me I would say 2000 was a pretty sick year as far as the talent they had

    Big Show
    Vince/Shane in their prime
    DX (Road Dogg & X Pac)
    Too Cool/Rikishi

    And probably more that I'm forgetting. Everyone on the roster at this point was either a great worker or had an interesting character, and many qualified in both categories. King and JR were on commentary and storylines were plentiful. Probably my favorite year in WWE overall.
  2. 2000, and you forgot HBK, he found his smile.
  3. he was 'retired' until late 2001 or 2002 iirc

    I DID forget Val Venis though. shame on me
  4. As soon as AJ was added to the roster. So anywhere from 2009-present, because of her awesome days in FCW and everything else up to now. And now is great, and she's getting better every night. ^_^
  5. ^ That wasn't predictable at all.
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  6. From your OP, I would say that you should have waited until 2001, when Booker T, Chavo Guerrero, Diamond Dallas Page, Gregory Helms, Rob Van Dam, and Tommy Dreamer were part of the roster, but you make a solid argument nonetheless.

    I would offer the current roster as being a very strong entrant into any competition, especially when you add to the main roster some of the talent that is currently on the NXT roster.

    Main Event Level:
    CM Punk
    Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson (for those who weren't aware that they were the same person)
    John Cena
    Undertaker (part-time)
    Brock Lesnar (part-time)
    Alberto Del Rio/Dos Caras, Jr. (still an important name south of the border)
    Randy Orton
    Sheamus (I have a feeling he'll return to the main event scene)

    Upper Midcard Level:
    Seth Rollins/Tyler Black
    Dean Ambrose/Jon Moxley
    Roman Reigns
    Dolph Ziggler
    Cody Rhodes
    Goldust/Dustin Rhodes
    Damien Sandow/Idol Stevens
    Curtis Axel/Joe Hennig
    Rob Van Dam

    Midcard Level:
    Jimmy Uso
    Jey Uso
    Titus O'Neill
    Darren Young
    Bray Wyatt
    Erick Rowan
    Luke Harper
    Big E Langston
    Kofi Kingston
    Justin Gabriel
    Mike Mizanin (I hate typing "The Miz")
    R-Truth/Ron Killings
    Christian/Christian Cage
    Tyson Kidd
    Wade Barrett
    Drew McIntyre
    Jinder Mahal
    Heath Slater

    NXT wrestlers:
    Bo Dallas
    Kassius Ohno/Chris Hero
    Sami Zayn/El Generico
    Xavier Woods/Consequences Creed
    Rick Victor
    Conor O'Brian

    Please note that I've used their "WWE names" along with names they have been popular under or may be better known under in this list.

    This list is not definitive and I'm aware we can debate whether many of these wrestlers are worthwhile as performers or where they belong in the pecking order. What I think it does display most easily is the strength of the current roster. There are highly decorated indy wrestlers alongside guys that are pure "WWE products" on this list and I think it shows that, not only is there a strong and diverse presence in the main event scene, but that there are a bevy of talented guys in the midcard and in developmental that make the future look pretty bright.

    WWE 2000 was a solid roster. I think that, in 15 years, we may be looking back on the WWE 2013 roster as even stronger.


    Edit: Since DZ didn't include any female wrestlers on his initial list, I didn't include any on mine, but that would make the discussion all the more interesting. wk
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  7. As soon as Zack Ryder was added to the roster ^_^
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  8. I'd say 2000 or 2003. I'll go with 2000 because that was a stacked year in all categories - great wrestlers/workers, great characters, great storylines, was probably the best overall year for PPVs, etc.

    Even with Austin out, you still had Rock and Triple H in their prime. This is the year when Triple H shined the most as a heel. He was drawing mega heat after his pairing with Stephanie (the McMahon/Helmsley Era where they "ruled" Raw was an underrated but successful gimmick) and his retirement of Mick Foley (great feud that really put Triple H over the top as a long term main eventer) and people even pelted the ring with garbage when he became the first heel to walk out of Wrestlemania as still the reigning WWF Champion. You also had the Kurt Angle/Triple H/Stephanie love traingle during the Summer. Shame it ended very anti-climatically, but then again, I didn't really agree with their original idea (Steph sides with Kurt Angle and turns HHH face in the process) anyway. It's kind of funny how heel/heel feuds tend to work the best when it's two guys feuding over a woman (for another example, see Sherri Martel being struck on both Shawn Michaels and Rick Martel in 1992.)

    You also had a very solid tag team division: Edge and Christian, APA, Dudleyz, Hardyz, Too Cool, T&A, etc. Austin coming back to wreck havoc looking for who ran him over, Mick Foley as Commissioner, that great Rock/HHH Iron Man match, Undertaker returning as the humanized American Badass, Big Show's light hearted gimmick with imitating people, the 24/7 rule of the Hardcore title with Crash Holly was entertaining, Tazz's debut (though he wouldn't end up doing much, unfortunately), the Radicalz debuting (there's a strange story to that, but here isn't the place to get into it), Rikishi dancing with Too Cool was fun to watch, Right To Censor made for a unique group idea, Kaientai's amusing "evil/bad english dubbing" gimmick, you had a good light heavyweight division, etc.

    It's a shame not many people know the name Chris Kreski, because he was the main writer who took over for Vince Russo in late 1999 and was behind 2000 WWF's brilliance, booking wise.

    2000 might just be my favorite overall year. I'd say in no order though that 1997-2000 and 2003 were my top five favorite WWF/E years ever.
  9. I love your argument and I just want to go on record as saying this was actually my favorite Undertaker incarnation.

    I know about Kreski (who you are right about being a brilliant booker in 2000), but I'm not sure how long he was around. Was he also responsible for the horribly-booked Invasion angle or was that just Vince and his "grapefruits" showing how much of a badass he was?

  10. Pretty sure he returned and wrestled in 2000
  11. He was replaced by Stephanie in November of 2000. I've heard somewhere before (probably an interview with someone else on the writing staff at that time) that Stephanie had been trying to edge her way into his position since the summer of 2000 as she wanted to be head of creative so bad. Would love to have Kreski back, but he's passed away, unfortunately. The horrible booking of the Invasion is all on Stephanie and her team of writers (and Vince, since he's the boss and calls the shots. To be fair though, their original idea for the invasion was a well-thought one, but it didn't pan out for them for various reasons. Still...)

    And yeah, ABA Taker is awesome. I prefer the Deadman myself, but I wonder what things would be like if he was still his old Biker persona.
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  12. In my actual opinion, the rosters have always been good. 2000 and 2001 were just full of talent, especially in the mid card. I mean, you had the staples of the era in Austin, Rock, Taker, Angle, HHH, Kane, Foley, but you also had tons of guys who would become main eventers such as Benoit, Jericho and JBL. But there are guys I loved from that time period that never get talked about when talking about this period like Malenko, DDP, Kaientai, Farooq, Test, a growing diva's division, a good tag team division, a huge amount of WCW-ECW talent, etc. However, I've also always thought 2003 had some great talent as well.

    Main Event:
    Big Show
    Shawn Michaels
    Hogan (Also as Mr. America)
    The end of Rock
    The end of Austin
    Kevin Nash

    Upper Mid Card:
    Booker T
    Eddie Guerrero (Don't believe he went main event until 2004)
    Rey Mysterio
    Ric Flair
    Scott Steiner
    Edge was just beginning to get IC title push

    Mid Card:
    Tommy Dreamer
    Billy Kidman
    Randy Orton
    Lance Storm
    The Hurricane
    Ultimo Dragon
    Jeff Hardy
    Matt Hardy (Don't believe they were teaming together at the time)
    John Cena
    A Train

    Gail Kim
    Molly Holly

    Tag Team:
    Basham Bros
    The end of the APA
    The World's Greatest Tag Team
    I think London/Kendrick
    The Holly Cousins
    Rosey and Jamal
    La Resistance

    Sure I'm missing a few others to, but still a solid roster. May not be as good as 2000, but I think it can compete.
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  13. 80's/early 90's had sick rosters. 1992 roster makes my eyes tear up with joy.

  14. I was thinking Steph had taken over Creative by that point, but I wasn't sure. The Invasion angle started off so strong, but Vince just couldn't let guys WCW built beat his golden children. That wasn't the whole of the problem, but it was a big part of it.

    I think, when we discuss rosters, we also should look at the writing. WWE had some great writing in 2000 and in 2003. I think the writers right now are doing a very good job, sometimes a great one. But, we wouldn't be talking about how great the rosters were in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2013, or 1985 if the writing was weak.

  15. I think it was Kevin Dunn who can really bear the blame for the Alliance guys getting jobbed out so badly. Vince and others were willing to let them go over his own WWF stars to look dominant, but Dunn said that since they spent all these years building up the WWF brand name and their own superstars, he didn't think it was right to let stars from another company (who previously just tried to put WWF out of business) just come in and go over their own stars. Stupid reasoning IMO - those guys were officially WWF stars themselves now and it's a fiction storyline on a wrestling show anyway. Unfortunately, Vince saw his point and agreed.

    I'll try and find the huge ass article where someone spills the beans on what the original booking plan of the Invasion angle was. It originally involved stuff like Vince wanting to keep WCW open as it's own separate show and Vince also wanting USA Network to pick up a proposed ECW show and then building both those brands up (under real-life WWF management, of course) as separate shows wholly apart from WWF programming. Then, after a while, stars from both shows were gonna invade Raw and Smackdown and form an alliance with each other and then the Invasion angle would have been off and running. But TNN wouldn't green light a WCW show and USA wouldn't pick up an ECW show and so that idea was dead in the water. It was a bit more complicated than that but that's basically the gist of it.

    I agree with your last point about the writing. It's why I mentioned specific angles and characters for why I consider 2000 to be such an awesome year.
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  16. 1991. Just watch the RR that year and tell me that's not the greatest collection of talent ever.
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  17. I see 6 or 7 greats and a bunch of scrubs
  18. It's so weird looking back at that 2000 roster. It's pretty amazing how many top main event talents they had. I mean, today's roster isn't bad by any means, but in terms of main event talent who can step in when Cena is injured, it's very thin.
  19. I'm actually watching 2000 RAW over again, and i couldnt agree more. Even the tag teams had nearly 100% cred, and the ones that didnt were still good single athletes (team head cheese had Blackman still in the Hardcore title scene the whole time) and there were more belts to = more storylines. Even the Mcmahon Helmsley regime part included 90% of the roster. Today the Corporation (same shit) has like 10% of the roster, max.