Each generation of humans, religious or otherwise, likes to believe it is on the cusp of big events. JWs as a high-control end-times religious group personifies this very human tendency to a very intense degree.
Something big is about to be changed and/or announced. Change represents “progress” and feeds the buzz. Of course sometimes there are big events - but that mentality exists throughout all human history. This or that event is the biggest, worst, best, most mementous and so on.
Chuck Russell and after him Rutherford believed fervently they would live to see the end but, as with ordinary humans everywhere, they lived to see their own end while the world continued as if these two very important men (not) had never existed. This speaks to our individual insignificance, rescued only by religious narcissism (“I’m special to live through these special times and to know it while everyone else lives in ignorance”).