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How can wrestling evolve?


Michael_3165

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Ok, so I quickly skimmed through a interview/column written by Jim Cornette and his rant about the "sport" of pro wrestling and what he deems it should be... Ie: wins, losses. Fighting for a reason and less goofy storylines.

 

UFC have in recent years taken fans in droves from wrestling, using the same match hyping techniques wrestling invented (just look at lesnars very heel like character in ufc).

 

So... In your mind, what will it take to get fans back to wrestling? You could say WWE are still drawing a profit but its nothing like the 1998 level boom. Has Sport entertainment model run its course? Does wrestling need to take a more legit/serious approach?

 

In terms of stars, you could say the lack of big names causes this. The problem is that you can't MAKE a Austin or Rock. So what can wrestling do to turn around their decline? The match quality isn't a problem either. From Edge vs Ziggler at RR to Miz vs Bryan on RAW there has been some class action. so...

 

What is wrestling "missing"?

What can wrestling do to get a boom going?

Does the model of WWE/TNA of stupid gimmicks and storylines need to run its course?

Does it even need changing?

Is Jim Cornette too fixed on the past and "wrestling" is no longer wrestling?

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I think wrestling is fine. I posted this in a thread somewhere the other day, but I feel right now as a WWE fan, that we're in about 1998 from the last WWF boom. Last year showed some phenomenal strides forward with some big angles (1997), this year's Wrestlemania marks the culmination of some tremendously built new stars in the title matches fulfilling their potential as Main Eventers for the future, and the following few years will see tremendous prosper. It just won't feel quite like an explosion of money and excitement as it did the last time, because the company is in way better shape than it was the last time it happened.

 

TNA though, no fucking clue. It's an enjoyable shambles for the most part, and unless the money dries up it isn't going away anytime soon, but I'm not quite sure what it can offer in terms of great success or anything.

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Wrestling's fine. As a great, it's great. As you get older, some may stick with wrestling whilst others may turn to sports such as MMA after find out their beloved wrestling was a fix.

 

If wrestling were to be presented as a true sport in the way Conette wants it to be, then it would be considered an even bigger joke than it is now.

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It's hard to say i think as profits are coming from different avenues. PPVs are falling attendance is low at times, however Merchandise and sponsorship are up in the WWE due to the PG product.

 

Wrestling will have to evolve with the way technology and media does over the next 10 years and beyond. I personally belive we will see the end in the next 25 years of TV as we watch in (On demand will become the norm, with no set broadcast time) and Wrestling will need to adapt to that. Episodic TV will still be there and big events/ live shows etc.

 

Right now they have made strides with credting new stars, not saying they have done a great job but I see a roster with new defined charecters that were not here in 09.

 

Overall through with the PG product you have more kids watching it, who will get other kids into it and as they get older the product will again go into a more adult style product again. perhaps not how it did during the attitude era but something more grown up, once that audience starts to fall then it will be PG again and the cycle starts again.

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I went to the last Smackdown taping at the MEN, first WWE show in years & couldn't believe how empty it was. The whole top tier was blacked out & large portions of the camera side were empty. They had the same attendance as the TNA house show I went to (the tour prior to the Flair tour).

Compare this to the tapings at the same venue about 7 years prior where the whole place was rammed I can't see how people are saying they're fine?

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I've never understood why you want to do a fixed version of MMA when the real thing is there and it's bloody good.

 

Wrestling does need to evolve. Most numbers are up thanks to The Rock but the PPV business is still a shambles. Less is more, a policy both companies need to adopt.

 

TNA is alright for a bit of nostalgia and killing a couple of hours but you'll never get invested in their stars of product with the current writing team. Dixie Carter refuses to change, even when the head writer says he's burnt out.

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I've never understood why you want to do a fixed version of MMA when the real thing is there and it's bloody good..

 

Not agreeing or disagreeing with you, but I suppose its because if you could pull off a believable "shoot-work" sport / style, then you can control the outcome of matches and build interest in individual competitors and fueds.

 

In many ways, Pro Wrestling started out as being a real competition, and it was when promoters cottened onto the idea that they could maximise their profits by fixing match outcomes that wrestling became what it is today.

 

In some weird sort of way, UFC is wrestling going full circle (though I'm sure some will consider what I've said as blasphemy).

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I've never understood why you want to do a fixed version of MMA when the real thing is there and it's bloody good.

 

Wrestling does need to evolve. Most numbers are up thanks to The Rock but the PPV business is still a shambles. Less is more, a policy both companies need to adopt.

 

TNA is alright for a bit of nostalgia and killing a couple of hours but you'll never get invested in their stars of product with the current writing team. Dixie Carter refuses to change, even when the head writer says he's burnt out.

 

Mostly this. I don't think wrestling should be looking to copy the MMA route at all; MMA, or more specifically the UFC, is so popular at the moment because it's a legitimate combat sport that's managed to effectively lift a lot of the promotional hyping techniques from wrestling without losing its legitmacy. Take away the actual legitimacy, and you take away a large part of the appeal. Wrestling has to concentrate on the things it's actually good at, or has been in the past - when it was at its best (circa 2000), it was an all-round entertainment package involving genuinely funny humour, compelling storylines, unique characters and top quality wrestling that was still very distinctively and recognisably wrestling. Looking to the past may sound oxymoronic when talking about evolution, but any models for the future need to focus on what can be great about wrestling, rather than trying to copy something it will never be.

 

I also agree with the second point. While the build for Wrestlemania is one the most enjoyable for years, it's easy to forget that only a few weeks ago it was looking like a potential flop before The Rock, HHH and Undertaker got involved. This creative and commercial revival of sorts has been hugely predicated on stars of the past, so I'm a little wary of too much unqualified optimism for the future. The Wrestlemania build is traditionally the highlight of the wrestling year, and the real test is how much momentum they can retain in the months after when The Rock, HHH and/or Taker disappear again.

 

Looking at NEWM's prediction of entering another boom period, I wouldn't discount that altogether but I will say that what's currently missing from that is the big 'holy shit' moment that really grabs you by the balls and defines a change in the tide - back then it was the Austin/Bret double-turn, or the Montreal screwjob, or the Austin/Tyson showdown. Today, I'm pretty sure the only thing that would qualify is the Cena turn. It needs to happen in the next year (at the very latest, at next year's Mania against Taker or Rock) to sustain any significant momentum to bring the business out of its holding pattern.

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I think wrestling is fine. I posted this in a thread somewhere the other day, but I feel right now as a WWE fan, that we're in about 1998 from the last WWF boom. Last year showed some phenomenal strides forward with some big angles (1997), this year's Wrestlemania marks the culmination of some tremendously built new stars in the title matches fulfilling their potential as Main Eventers for the future, and the following few years will see tremendous prosper. It just won't feel quite like an explosion of money and excitement as it did the last time, because the company is in way better shape than it was the last time it happened.

 

I'd agree with that. WWE is better now than at any point over the last 10 years.

 

WWE isn't UFC and can never compete with it... if it went down that road, I'd stop watching.

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I think wrestling is fine. I posted this in a thread somewhere the other day, but I feel right now as a WWE fan, that we're in about 1998 from the last WWF boom. Last year showed some phenomenal strides forward with some big angles (1997), this year's Wrestlemania marks the culmination of some tremendously built new stars in the title matches fulfilling their potential as Main Eventers for the future, and the following few years will see tremendous prosper. It just won't feel quite like an explosion of money and excitement as it did the last time, because the company is in way better shape than it was the last time it happened.

 

I'd agree with that. WWE is better now than at any point over the last 10 years.

 

WWE isn't UFC and can never compete with it... if it went down that road, I'd stop watching.

I Wouldn't say it's the best it's been in 10 years, 2002 was great (minus the first two months or so of Raw after the brand extension) and 2003 was a really good year for Smackdown. I would say that since November though, it's been a great improvement over everything they have done since then, hopefully it isn't just because of Royal Rumble/Wrestlemania season, and it evolves into something great in the long run.

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So... In your mind, what will it take to get fans back to wrestling? You could say WWE are still drawing a profit but its nothing like the 1998 level boom. Has Sport entertainment model run its course? Does wrestling need to take a more legit/serious approach?

No. Nobody except the likes of Jim Cornette and his ilk has any interest in wrestling being a fake UFC knock-off. The appeal of UFC is "it's like wrestling, only real." Trying to apply that hook backwards would never work. "It's like cage fighting, only fake." The UFC audience isn't suddenly going to love Raw just because wrestling starts being humourless and taking itself too seriously. Wrestling only appeals because it's a gaudy, comic-book version of a fighting sport.

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I think it would be an interesting experiment to try and run/televise a "worked MMA" style promotion, ala UWFi. Though I enjoy sports entertainment, I do like a good technical wrestling match as well, and the UFC has shown that simple "who's better" storylines are as compelling now as ever. Where UFC falls down for me, is the actual bouts which are often really unsatisfying. This is, of course, where professional wrestling came from in the first place - worked fights to improve the entertainment of the fight/grapple game.

 

It'd probably be a total disaster, but I'd tune in to see how it went. I think the visual excitement of cages, entrances with your posse of cornermen, rounds and all of that, could be a pretty fun thing.

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UFC has shown that simple "who's better" storylines are as compelling now as ever.

I don't think that's true, in the sense of applying to fake fights. In UFC, it matters because the winner really does beat the loser in a fight. If you look at examples of huge wrestling matches in the last twenty years or so that were built on "who's better" then it's only because people really, really cared about the characters involved. Stuff like Rock vs Austin, Hogan vs Warrior. And near enough everything those characters did to get to the point where people cared that much about them was pure wrestling panto.

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