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Author Topic: What has to change?  (Read 1086 times)
bic_staedtler
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« on: January 13, 2012, 02:03:56 AM »

I refuse to believe I grew out of watching wrestling.  I try and try to watch Raw and Smackdown! from time to time, only to conclude: whatever it was that I liked about it is not there anymore.

I watched in the 80s.  I watched more in the 90s, not realizing that even Hulkamania would be surpassed by the Attitude era (IMO), and for me, the high-water mark was The Rock: I would watch 2 hours of Raw just to hear his rant, and tune out!  But even then, there was always something going on worth watching. 

As bad as things got storyline-wise, it always got better.  Not so anymore.  Ever since WWF became WWE and began pandering to younger crowds, I just can't get into it.  And it's not the age their targeting, because wrasslin in the 80s targetted kids too but it was still far more entertaining for me then (and even watching some repeats now on Vintage) than now.

It's like there isn't any progression.  It was bad enough having Ric Flair and Hogan (love em, seriously) overstay their welcomes, but at least they had funny ways to do it.  After HHH became a mainstay, marrying the bosses daughter, now you can look forward to seeing the same damn roster with very little change.  You'd think DX returning in 06 woulda had me excited...nope. 

Can anybody chime in?  I'm sure this has been beat to death but I didn't even realize this board was here.

And can anybody think of some kind of alternative?  What the hell was so great about the Attitude era that just can't seem to be replicated?  Loss of competition from Ted Turner?  Loss of true talent (if ever it was the case, with Russo writing so much of what I enjoyed)? 

I never completely give up on wrasslin...I'd watch it in a heartbeat if it was actually entertaining, even in the most cheese of ways, but...so far, nuthin.  All I can think of now when I think of wrasslin is The Big Show (dull), Cena (boring), Shamus (kinda funny but didn't last) and the fake-boobed roster of nobodys (to think, it was Sunny and Sable who actually got me back into watching wrasslin for the boobfactor!).

Anybody else feel this way?
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2012, 10:20:55 AM »

Good thread!
Let’s discuss some of these factors (I presume you‘re referring primarily to the WWE).

Competition:
Vince always has competition in the form of other programming; especially now with 500+ cable channels. And, of course, there’s TNA/IMPACT, but none of that is the same as when he had WCW & ECW to contend with.

One other thing to consider is that wrestling was very hot at that time. On several occasions, more fans tuned in to RAW & Nitro than Monday Night Football.
Turner standards and practices put a cap on Nitro’s content in terms of vulgar and risqué material.
Vince capitalized by pushing his envelope harder and going where he knew WCW couldn’t.
ECW went even further, almost doing whatever the hell they wanted, and was gaining momentum; unfortunately, their “mad scientist” Paul E. didn’t manage his business/finances, and the company folded.

To me, one of Vince's biggest obstacles right now is the lack of public interest.
So, even if he improves his product dramatically, he’s got to rebuild his fan base that’s trailed off from the Attitude Era.
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2012, 11:51:43 AM »

Good topic.  Like Cornette talked about in one of his shoots that Monty posted, vince over corrected to bring on the "attitude era."  The product was stale and needed fresh life, BUT did we need to see Fae Young giving birth to a hand and Val Venis getting his junk chopped off?  No and the vast majority of fans didn't care about the majority of shit that VKM threw at the wall....BUT the stuff that did stick.....DX, Austin, Rock, Foley, etc... was huge.  Although it could be argued that all vince really did with any of them was just let them be themselves instead of spoonfeeding them with a creative team and writers.

I think that is one massive thing that will probably never allow me to be a fan as I once was.  The guy are way too manufactured now.  Sadly I don't think many of them have any sort of interesting personality in real life as the WWE seems more concerned with their build and athletic ability with zero consideration for mic skills and most importantly of all.....ring psychology.  Very few of the roster has any idea how to build heat in a match and sustain it.
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2012, 01:26:22 PM »

As far as public interest goes, I find that when wrasslin was hot, the public had REASON to like it: I don't think it was just a trendy thing, if ever wrasslin could be considered trendy!  People heard about Stone Cold, the antics, the build up...Foley and his self-mutilation (done before, but now in a way that was accessible rather than shock factor), all that made you wanna tune in each week.

I think the marketing ruined a lot of it.  When you couldn't watch ten minutes of one pay per view before Jim Ross started cranking up promo for the NEXT show, it never allowed the reason why guys would actually watch a 'soap opera': unlike women, we WANT some fucking conclusion to plots, and we'd rather it be proper than some weak attempt to hype the next show.  And monthly pay per views?...oversaturation for sure.  When main events became little more than weekly episodes, there's trouble.

I find that today's guys are in better shape, yes, but their mic skills are waaaaaaay worse....yet they talk even more now than ever!  Ok, so the Miz entertains for a while...Jericho still has it.  But I was watching a lot of Vintage over the holidays, and DAMN, those promos were the best in the late 80s!  I mean, Ted Dibiase: that guy can just ramble on and on and STILL be more believable than most of todays guys...just have a listen on youtube, his rants are just awesome.  Same goes for Heenan.  Maybe more managers might help things?

As far as the stupid plots, like Val Venis and his dick, I thought that was funny!..tasteless, lame filler, but funny enough while waiting for the good stuff.  I'm not just being nostalgic, there's definitely something missing today that could, COULD be brought back.

But dollars and cents, man...why the F would Vince bother?  If he's the big fish, and there's no threat, then why rock the boat?  Simply dish out the slop for the pigs.  But even when wrasslin wasn't popular (right after Hulkamania, right before Stone Cold), it was still entertaining...if only for its core audience, but who cares?

This is how modern economics fucks everything up.  You can't just make 'some' money, ya gotta make ALL the money.  Sometimes I wish some upstart would just come along and pick up where Vince dropped the ball.  But even then, you know that all it takes to steal the talent would be the golden handshake from Vince and you'll left with nothing to show...money talks, and wrasslers love fucking money.

Whlie I can't pinpoint how it can be brought back, I just know that it will, somehow, one of these days.  Wrasslin will never die out, but I don't wanna wait another ten fucking years.  And the way it is now, it's just not fun to watch anymore.
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2012, 02:04:35 PM »

As far as public interest goes, I find that when wrasslin was hot, the public had REASON to like it.


Sure, that's a big factor - many fans have lost the reasons to like it.
And, that's my point.
Not only does Vince have to improve his show, he's got to re-establish the fanbase he's lost since the early 2000's before he can reach his previous heights.

I really don't know if it can be done.
It has been done.

In the early 90’s, the old man saw & liked what Gordon & Heyman were doing in ECW and wanted to take his own product in a more mature, edgy direction. Those plans were pushed back due to the negative publicity of the sex & steroid scandals.
So, instead of “attitude,” we got Duke “The Dumpster” and Adam Bomb: the “New Generation.”
The lameness of the show, combined with the fallout from the media, saw a sharp decline in ratings.

Once the dust settled, Vince slowly, but steadily, introduced the “Attitude Era,” with middle fingers, beer drinking, and Shawn Michaels dry-fukking the Canadian flag on TV.
Business BOOMED with unprecedented popularity.
And that’s what we had until that asshole Benoit snapped and off’d himself and his family. Then…it was back to G/PG, with the Cross Colours of Ce-Nation.

Fans received a false glimmer of hope one night when Edge cut the first decent promo in some time on RAW. But, when Linda announced her bid for Senate a short time later, it was all but certain that the “New Generation v.2” would stagnate until her defeat (you knew she wouldn‘t win in CT).

Okay, the primaries are over; now the old man can give us back our necrophilia and penis-chopping plots.
But, apparently, $90 million is chump change to the Clan-McMahon, and Linda had so much fun losing the first time, that she’s supposedly planning a second run.
And, we all know what that means…
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2012, 05:22:54 PM »

Yeah, I wouldn't be nearly as confident that it can be revived, if only because it's come back from worse...not much worse, but worse.  I'm not sure that with the current stable of guys they can do it.  A lot of the family name wrasslers just look like snot nosed punks to me.  And CM Punk?...never liked his character, ever. 

Wrasslin, at it's best, was a show about men.  Now it seems like a show about priviledged frat boys.  And it is, kinda...the type of person who would become a wrestler wasn't your ordinary kinda guy...now, they do it for a different style of fame. 

But it can be brought back...I just don't know if WWE is the company to do it.
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2012, 05:03:19 AM »

I think that VKM actually benefited from competition and shot himself in the foot by crushing it. 

Back when there were other major federations, those others could "throw sh*t against the wall and see what stuck" and Vince could then focus on those successful angles with his superior resources...let the other feds make the silly mistakes.  Also, the other feds were good "feeder" systems (kind of like the minor leagues) and VKM could sit back and see what cream rose to the top and buy it off (didn't always happen but more often than not it did). 

There was probably greater overall interest in wrestling when there were more options.  And a rising tide lifts all (seaworthy) ships.

Just my 0.02
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2012, 06:23:33 AM »

I think that VKM actually benefited from competition and shot himself in the foot by crushing it. 


Vince certainly did benefit from running against WCW and ECW, but we can't blame him for their downfall.
True, he bought them (for a song), but they were both dying organizations, anyway.

WCW was given the proverbial death sentence after the AOL/Time Warner merger, and Heyman - while his product was hot - didn't adequately manage the financial end of things.
Vince simply stepped in and acquired both companies.
Granted, it would have been nice to see someone else step in and put the pieces back together, but Vince was the only bidding party.

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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2012, 06:24:43 AM »


Vince certainly did benefit from running against WCW and ECW, but we can't blame him for their downfall.
True, he bought them (for a song), but they were both dying organizations, anyway.

WCW was given the proverbial death sentence after the AOL/Time Warner merger, and Heyman - while his product was hot - didn't adequately manage the financial end of things.
Vince simply stepped in and acquired both companies.
Granted, it would have been nice to see someone else step in and put the pieces back together, but Vince was the only bidding party.



That's true.  I can't blame him for taking what basically fell into his lap.
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2012, 06:36:16 AM »

That's true.  I can't blame him for taking what basically fell into his lap.


I'd always wished the old man left Heyman in charge of ECW after the acquisition. I'm sure Vince's ego would never have allowed him to do that, but really, Paul E. was the only one who could best captain that ship; just keep him away from the bank account. Grin
I don't know if that'd work or not, I'm just speculating.

Bischoff may have done something substantial with WCW had he gotten it with his backers, but that’s even more conjecture on my part.
Eric did have some good ideas. He succeeded in building the modernized WCW product where others like Herd, Ole, and Watts had failed.
Eric, of course, also had many shit ideas, but he also had his hands tied with restrictions that were handed down from all different directions.

Bischoff made plenty of mistakes, but I’ve never blamed him entirely for the collapse of WCW. I’ve never blamed Russo, either, for that matter.
Vince has had his share of shit ideas, too, but he continues to be the premier pro-wrestling organization in the world.

The fact remains, we need a suitable alternative.
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 08:08:20 PM »

the entertainment has never been the same since this man left Cool


* the-Ultimate-Warrior-champion.jpg (21.15 KB, 300x355 - viewed 195 times.)
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 08:14:05 PM »

the entertainment has never been the same since this man left Cool


You're right, it got a lot better!
 Grin
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 08:30:50 PM »

LOL!!
I only wrote that because I know you’re an "Ultimate Hellwig" mark.
I think he was good the same way Hogan was good for a lot of years: he gave the fans what they wanted…at that time.
Maybe the character was a little too shallow and one-dimensional to endure, but that’s when you reinvent the character (Bischoff had some cool ideas for that, except that Jim‘s big return program in WCW was most aptly described as dick-to-mouth).

I know that WWE made that “self-destruction” DVD a few years back, on which they just slammed him for being so horrible on every count. But, how legitimate is that?
I mean, they mega-pushed the shit out of him several times, so somebody had to have liked him!
And, the old man was always super-keen on guys with the bodybuilder physiques.
I really think the whole reason they made that disc was to stick it up Hellwig’s by saying, “Look, we still own this footage, and we can STILL make money off of it without paying you a dime!”
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2012, 07:42:38 AM »

WWE needs to stop turning itself into a tv show and get back to basics. The storytelling is dead, the writing is inconsistent, the wrestlers are pushed beyond their means, i.e. we have "champions" that shouldnt even be shining the belts, titles need to be kept for 6 months + and defended hard to give them meaning again.

This needs to start at the Rumble. My dream goes a little like this:

Laurenitis, Ziggler & Swagger are laying a serious beatdown on Punk in the ring - as an example of sorts -  after they have managed to beat him down enough to get Ziggler the title. Suddenly VKM's music hits and here he comes, crowd going mental! After a brief reintroduction and telling ev1 what hes been doing, he tells us all hes back to retake the throne and has brought with him a little hired help.....prolonged silence.......Angles music hits and he destroys Ziggler & Swagger leaving Laurenitis sandwiched between VKM & Punk. Game over Mr. Laryngitis!

Think i should have emailed corporate the recommendation  Grin.
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2012, 09:31:31 AM »

Think i should have emailed corporate the recommendation  Grin.


No need; they read this board.
You can tell by the way they carefully avoid every single good idea we propose.
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« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2012, 08:14:57 PM »

Quote
Maybe the character was a little too shallow and one-dimensional to endure, but that’s when you reinvent the character

yup. hogan did it.

could warrior have? hard to say.

he wasn't really around long enough for the fans to get tired of him, like the fans started to get tired of hulk in the early 90's.

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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2012, 10:11:38 PM »

LOL!!
I only wrote that because I know you’re an "Ultimate Hellwig" mark.
I think he was good the same way Hogan was good for a lot of years: he gave the fans what they wanted…at that time.
Maybe the character was a little too shallow and one-dimensional to endure, but that’s when you reinvent the character (Bischoff had some cool ideas for that, except that Jim‘s big return program in WCW was most aptly described as dick-to-mouth).

I know that WWE made that “self-destruction” DVD a few years back, on which they just slammed him for being so horrible on every count. But, how legitimate is that?
I mean, they mega-pushed the shit out of him several times, so somebody had to have liked him!
And, the old man was always super-keen on guys with the bodybuilder physiques.
I really think the whole reason they made that disc was to stick it up Hellwig’s by saying, “Look, we still own this footage, and we can STILL make money off of it without paying you a dime!”

I see it this way. For YEARS, Warrior was running his mouth about Hogan, the WWE, and the folks involved to any independent mag or website that would give him an audience.

So, WWE gave its side of the story. And Helwig gets mad about it. You can't expect to talk all that yak about WWE and NOT expect Vince and crew not to respond in kind.

For instance, he claimed that WCW only brought him there to let Hogan avenge his WrestleMania 6 loss and when he tried to call Bischoff back over a dozen times, Bischoff never responded to him and let his original deal expire.

Bischoff and Hogan, on the other hand, claim that after the debacle of Halloween Havoc, Bischoff wanted to keep Warrior but to renegotiate his contract. Warrior simply wanted too much money; they couldn't come to terms and Warrior's short-term deal expired, leading to his release.

Warrior never quite lived up to being the "guy" that Hogan was. When Hogan came back(after filming "Suburban Commando", everyone was just waiting to see which heel was going to beat Warrior, so that Hogan could get the title back from that heel (I was hoping it'd be Ravishing Rick Rude). Notice that WWE only had "double main-events" when there were pay-per-view outings in which Hogan was NOT in the World title match.

There was no double-main-event at WrestleMania 7. It was just Slaughter vs. Hogan for the belt. The Warrior vs. Macho King "Career-Ending Match", as good as it was, didn't get the "main-event" tag.

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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2012, 05:02:03 PM »

I always hated the way the WWF booked warrior post WM6.

I mean, he was the most popular guy in the roster at the time, and they threw him into a feud with Rude post WM6 (who everyone knew would lose), then into a whole bunch of 6 man tags with LOD and Demolition.

horrible horrible booking.

they should have had him start a program with Savage right away and have awesome matches all over the place....

his IC reigns were much better than his world title run, thats for sure.

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« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2012, 08:05:21 PM »

I always hated the way the WWF booked warrior post WM6.

I mean, he was the most popular guy in the roster at the time, and they threw him into a feud with Rude post WM6 (who everyone knew would lose), then into a whole bunch of 6 man tags with LOD and Demolition.

horrible horrible booking.

they should have had him start a program with Savage right away and have awesome matches all over the place....

his IC reigns were much better than his world title run, thats for sure.



Rude was the logical choice. He was the only one that beat Warrior, and for the Intercontinental title, no less. That cage match at SummerSlam was done well, with Rude having Warrior beat, but opting to jump from the cage (Superfly-style) instead of just dropping to the floor.

Besides, Warrior started his feud with "Macho King" Randy Savage, shortly after the feud with Ravishing Rick ended. The six-man tag matches with LOD ended, when they finally pared down Demolition to just two guys.

Besides, if the feud had started with Savage, it would have ended by SummerSlam. THEN WHAT!!! Starting with Rude was the right call. There was history and beef, between those two off which to build.
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2012, 10:44:37 AM »

a few of my opinions..

1. Less talking more wrestling. Go back to the 2 minute interviews where I am going to kick your butt etc etc

2. Stop changing the belts so much. Only good thing right now is Rhodes holding the belt for a little while

3. Aside from Broadus Clay, maybe do some characters, more flamboyance. I am not saying cartoonish but more like the Macho Man's and Brutus Beefcakes

4. Longer feuds

and last but not least

Finish a Damn Storyline
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« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2012, 01:50:29 PM »

I think the absolute most important thing is the reintroduction of squash matches. No explanation required.......
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« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2012, 02:04:00 PM »

I think the absolute most important thing is the reintroduction of squash matches. No explanation required.......


You know, that'd probably be quite appropriate for today's audience.
It's at least something they could follow.

I'm not criticizing the fans, either.
We can't lay all the blame on fans becoming "stupider," even though compared with past generations, the ones we primarily have now can't compare.
The way they're running angles, I think some of the story lines are difficult for anyone to follow.
Maybe they need to abandon some of the overly complex premises and just simplify things.
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« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2012, 03:47:50 PM »


You're right, it got a lot better!
 Grin

LOL @ the facial expression from 4:13 to 4:17

I don't see Warrior. I just see Jim Helwig for the bitter asshole that he really was.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7NRaZ64ha0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7NRaZ64ha0</a>
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« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2012, 05:59:57 PM »


You know, that'd probably be quite appropriate for today's audience.
It's at least something they could follow.

I'm not criticizing the fans, either.
We can't lay all the blame on fans becoming "stupider," even though compared with past generations, the ones we primarily have now can't compare.
The way they're running angles, I think some of the story lines are difficult for anyone to follow.
Maybe they need to abandon some of the overly complex premises and just simplify things.

I agree with this.  I remember being highly entertained during the beginning of the "smark" era of the 90's and knowing what all the behind the scenes stuff being referenced to was all about on air.  But talking with others, they had no clue and couldn't understand the way angles were being booked.

I think the WWF (refuse to call them WWE) brass has lost touch with some of that simplicity that worked so well for generations.  Tighten up on the "spoiler/inside info on the net" and put more focus on the in-ring work and the psychology in the ring and on the mic to build heat and I think you could have a solid product again.
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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2012, 03:28:39 AM »

I agree with this.  I remember being highly entertained during the beginning of the "smark" era of the 90's and knowing what all the behind the scenes stuff being referenced to was all about on air.  But talking with others, they had no clue and couldn't understand the way angles were being booked.

I think the WWF (refuse to call them WWE) brass has lost touch with some of that simplicity that worked so well for generations.  Tighten up on the "spoiler/inside info on the net" and put more focus on the in-ring work and the psychology in the ring and on the mic to build heat and I think you could have a solid product again.


I also believe that those specific facets from that era provided an added dimension interest, removing some of the "sting" out of watching wrestling.
The shows now had a little more substance than just "guys in spandex pretending to fight."
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