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Why is so hard to create


kieranjennings

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You don't take your biggest stars out of the equation. You have to use stars to make stars. They failed to do that enough the past 10 years. It's no coincidence that the guys who were made to look like stars while the roster was still relatively rich like Orton and Cena are now the biggest stars they have.

 

The Rock didn't become a star because Austin was out of the way. The entire roster was massively over back then and Rocky was already the #2 babyface. Austin being absent forced the light to shine on him perhaps more than it would have but there was absolutely no way he wasn't going to make it that big anyway.

 

Since 2001, the product has got more and more lukewarm and the audience has constantly dwindled. They needed to make more stars back then so that those guys could make stars in the future. It never quite worked out, some of which is their fault and some isn't.

 

The only way to recover now is to make well rounded characters and put on compelling TV each week. Don't try and hotshot, don't give up every time the ratings drop half a point. Put a long term strategy in place and stick to it.

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Wrestlers are too "real" now, that's why you're not seeing many new major stars. In the past, wrestlers were about over the top gimmicks, nicknames and zany personas. Most current wrestlers could be guys walking down your street.

 

John Cena: Goes by his real name, has stated many times that he basically plays himself on TV, and apart from his Superman thing, seems like a regular guy in regular clothes.

 

Randy Orton: Real name, character traits are that he's a bit of a psycho- something that has been true in the past.

 

CM Punk: Gimmick name, but his current persona is the everyman. Put him in street clothes and he's an average dude.

 

Daniel Bryan: Obvious.

 

Compare that to Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, Andre The Giant, Stone Cold, the Rock, early Mankind, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and the Undertaker. The latter two are absolutely the end of an era, those recent promos have rang extremely true.

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I know that one reason often thrown around is that WWE has trained people that it's a waste of time to invest emotionally in new stars on their way up because their pushes will peter. (I'm thinking of Kofi Kingston, though to be fair Sheamus seems to be doing fine for himself.)

 

I know from my side it's more that I don't perceive that there's anyone really packageable as a star there. When I think of a top name and what a wrestler looks like I think of Triple H. Even after WM XV when he was casting off his DX security blanket he just looked the part to me, both physically and in how he carried himself. Maybe I'm simply a cynic, maybe I've grown away from wrestling compared to over a decade ago when it was all fresh and exciting for me, but I just don't buy many on the contemporary roster as anybody who could be replacement cogs for the past's top-liners.

 

I don't think that I'm the only one that thinks like that either. I visited my parents a few weeks back and my Dad idly flipped the channel and chanced on Smackdown. "Who's that, then?" he asked, as Daniel Bryan entered the ring wearing the strap. He shook his head after a minute or two and tutted. He was the same when Benoit had the belt. He thinks of top-liners as Hogan, Austin, Rock, Undertaker too, and average-looking Joes who look no different to some of the people we might pass standing at a bus-stop are pale imitations.

 

So I think a part of the problem is that the benchmark is these larger-than-life characters and that the raw materials to craft another that meets the standards just aren't there in abundance.

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Taking Cena off telly for months would do more harm than good. They need to do something, though. Sheamus has obviously been on the track to being a very top babyface since last spring or early summer, but he's done very little of note. Started a feud with Henry that saw a good match at SummerSlam and then nothing... Started a feud with Christian that wasn't really about anything besides having a million rematches... Then squashed Jinder Mahal loads and flirted with feuding with Wade Barrett, again not really about anything.

 

He's been booked strong the whole time, but almost none of it was substantial. His memorable feuds are still the ones with Cena and Triple H. And it's a shame, because they could've done something a lot better with Sheamus vs Christian and/or Sheamus vs Barrett.

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Wrestlers are too "real" now, that's why you're not seeing many new major stars. In the past, wrestlers were about over the top gimmicks, nicknames and zany personas. Most current wrestlers could be guys walking down your street.

 

John Cena: Goes by his real name, has stated many times that he basically plays himself on TV, and apart from his Superman thing, seems like a regular guy in regular clothes.

 

Randy Orton: Real name, character traits are that he's a bit of a psycho- something that has been true in the past.

 

CM Punk: Gimmick name, but his current persona is the everyman. Put him in street clothes and he's an average dude.

 

Daniel Bryan: Obvious.

 

Compare that to Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, Andre The Giant, Stone Cold, the Rock, early Mankind, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and the Undertaker. The latter two are absolutely the end of an era, those recent promos have rang extremely true.

 

This. This this this. x 1000.

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Wrestlers are too "real" now, that's why you're not seeing many new major stars. In the past, wrestlers were about over the top gimmicks, nicknames and zany personas. Most current wrestlers could be guys walking down your street.

 

John Cena: Goes by his real name, has stated many times that he basically plays himself on TV, and apart from his Superman thing, seems like a regular guy in regular clothes.

 

Randy Orton: Real name, character traits are that he's a bit of a psycho- something that has been true in the past.

 

CM Punk: Gimmick name, but his current persona is the everyman. Put him in street clothes and he's an average dude.

 

Daniel Bryan: Obvious.

 

Compare that to Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, Andre The Giant, Stone Cold, the Rock, early Mankind, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and the Undertaker. The latter two are absolutely the end of an era, those recent promos have rang extremely true.

 

This. This this this. x 1000.

Stone Cold, The Rock and Triple H are where it all started. They were all just exaggerated versions of the guys portraying them. Punk, Cena and Orton are exactly the same. They just don't have the quality of colleagues those guys had to establish themselves, nor the aura and charisma to carry themselves like absolute superstars.

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The weird thing is that when the WWE do suddenly have a popular guy, they don't seem to know what to do any more. Look at Mr Anderson, who was seriously over at one point, and looked to have all the crossover skills needed (hence the Marine casting I guess). Or Punk after he "walked out".

 

As soon as a midcarder sticks his head above the parapet and shows some individuality, starts separating themselves from the pack, it's almost as if they panic and try and homogenise them back into the cookie-cutter mould again.

 

They should probably swallow their pride and raid TNA's locker room. There are a bunch of experienced, talented and charismatic guys there who could be put on tv and are better travelled than many of the young guys they try and force up into major spots.

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They should probably swallow their pride and raid TNA's locker room. There are a bunch of experienced, talented and charismatic guys there who could be put on tv and are better travelled than many of the young guys they try and force up into major spots.

Absolutely spot on. It won't necessarily make stars of the TNA guys, but it'll give them a bunch of guys who don't need 6 months on the job training and who will challenge their current guys, improve them and they'll all help each other raise the quality.

 

Roode, Storm, Bully Ray & Jeff Hardy are all WWE ready for starters.

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Wrestlers are too "real" now, that's why you're not seeing many new major stars. In the past, wrestlers were about over the top gimmicks, nicknames and zany personas. Most current wrestlers could be guys walking down your street.

 

John Cena: Goes by his real name, has stated many times that he basically plays himself on TV, and apart from his Superman thing, seems like a regular guy in regular clothes.

 

Randy Orton: Real name, character traits are that he's a bit of a psycho- something that has been true in the past.

 

CM Punk: Gimmick name, but his current persona is the everyman. Put him in street clothes and he's an average dude.

 

Daniel Bryan: Obvious.

 

Compare that to Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, Andre The Giant, Stone Cold, the Rock, early Mankind, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and the Undertaker. The latter two are absolutely the end of an era, those recent promos have rang extremely true.

 

 

I'm sorry, but a lot of that is utter balderdash. You might have a point on the names, but the idea that it's because they're playing exaggerated versions of themselves is silly, especially when you compare them to the names you do. Warrior is a big nutter, Savage was pretty loopy too, Andre was a giant, Austin wore the blandest costume imaginable and genuinely didn't just toe the company line, Mick Foley spent a lot of his career playing an idiot hardman, HHH has been mentioned, Undertaker's probably the most surprising gimmick to ever catch on as massively as it did, and really there's a lot of truth to the gimmick he's played for the last decade or so.

 

The weird thing is that when the WWE do suddenly have a popular guy, they don't seem to know what to do any more. Look at Mr Anderson, who was seriously over at one point, and looked to have all the crossover skills needed (hence the Marine casting I guess). Or Punk after he "walked out".

 

I'm in two minds about this. I mean, in hindsight, we've seen that Anderson is fucking awful (he's one of the reasons I simply can't bear to watch TNA, and even Punk struggled a bit, mostly because there was no way they could book that storyline to match expectations but also partly, I suspect, because Punk caught such attention with a promo with lots of shoot comments, so he had to continue doing them but the tiem for them has passed and it was always going to end up grating. Then there's the fact that if baseball commentators are anything to go by people see Punk and laugh.

 

I think one thing that doesn't get considered so much in these discussions is the splintering of mass culture. There's something about Hogan that worked in the 80s, perhaps partly because he tapped into a certain optimism, and also I suspect because his ideals contrasted a time of coroperate greed. Austin's a real obvious case of working in the late 90s but being pathetic not long after. That's partly because once he became 'Stone Cold' he never really evolved, bar the all too brief heel turn. And sadly when that heel turn came he didn't really have a top babyface to go at it with for a while. But there's a reason why Austin and South Park both kind of hit the mainstream around that period. They really tap into a cultural feeling, especially in America.

 

The reason I think that's become harder is because the realitevely recent and quite sudden explosion in media. There's more channels than ever, TV's having to compete with the internet now more than ever, yadda yadda yadda. With this has come a real sense of appealign to niche sections of society. Not that they didn't exist before, but with more products in the media market there's going to be an ever greater number of cosumer 'groupings'.

 

If I were them I'd look at what happened before Hogan, when wrestlers were built up on the sections of the audience they'd appeal too. Before it used to be that you'd quite often have wrestlers who appealed to certain ethnic audiences; the Italians, latinos, etc. Just start havign wrestlers who appeal to the cultural groupings that there are. And then if those characters appeal to that grouping then start evolving them to appeal to others.

 

Although, even then you're still going to have to deal with cynicism. Heenan's not completely right when he says its hard to get people to hate a heel now days because all there doing is yanking tights. Btu we are a culture of cynical paranoid head fucks. I don't think it is easy to get mass audiences behind a hero, especially a long running one. That's not to say its impossible though.

 

The bigger problem is, a lot of the people the WWE put time and effort into seem to fuck off, take drugs or get injured. Or turn out to be homicidal maniacs I suppose. That, of course, has been the other big issue. It should probably have started to become less of one now but it probably hanged around for a few years. Benoit, who everyone presumed was as he appeared, turned out to be a complete headfuck, and to make matters worse there's every chance he became a headfuck because of wrestling. He even got a world title at WrestleMania seemingly because people respected his hard work. Obviously some of the audience stuck around, but after that Flair and HBK retired and Undertaker and HHH started to slow down their careers. The already established stars left after what must have been a time of disillusionment for a lot of fans. It was for me. Its inevtiably going to take a good number of years to get those people to really believe in a star again, unless they're already established obviously, so they've gotta wait for that while also going to new fans.

 

I don't know, I just feel that whenver this discussion point comes around people are very quick to suggest that the booking is the main issue. I think they've had a fucking hard job for a number of years. Very few of the wrestlers have screamed "fuck me I'll cum money", the media seems in an ever increasing drive to split audiences and get them hooked on hypodermic needles designed for them, they caught major headlines for a guy that people genuinely believed in murdering his own family and all the while they've found they can make a safe and steady profit without rocking the boat.

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They should probably swallow their pride and raid TNA's locker room. There are a bunch of experienced, talented and charismatic guys there who could be put on tv and are better travelled than many of the young guys they try and force up into major spots.

Absolutely spot on. It won't necessarily make stars of the TNA guys, but it'll give them a bunch of guys who don't need 6 months on the job training and who will challenge their current guys, improve them and they'll all help each other raise the quality.

 

Roode, Storm, Bully Ray & Jeff Hardy are all WWE ready for starters.

 

I really hope Bully Ray is on WWE's radar, I'd love to see him go back there and be a top level heel, I'd just be worried he'd be pushed down the pack after 5 minutes.

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Do you know what, kind of linked to this, but this morning I was thinking how shit the name 'Big Show' is. I mean, here is a 7ft+ spectacle, that is a huge attraction and due to his presence a bit of a draw. But you give him a shit name, like The Big Show, and straight away he isn't as big of a name/spectacle/draw as he could be.

 

Take Andre the Giant for example. What a fucking great name. Do you know why? Because it does what it says on the tin. People know they are going to get a giant with a name like that, and they did. And he was a massive draw. Obviously his name isn't the main reason for this, but I think it does contribute quite a bit. Imagine wrestling is in your local town and one of the guys is called Andre the Giant? Put it this way, it holds my interest a fuckload more than whatever a Big Show is.

 

To this day Andre still holds a big name with casuals and non-wrestling fans, will the Big Show have the same claim in years to come? Sadly no, and I know Andre was quite a rare attraction then, and since we've quite a few try and replicate the 'massive giant' attraction (Silva, Khali, Gonzalez etc), but Big Show really is set aside from the others and could've- in my opinion- become a bigger draw and household name if given a better name. What do you think? Even 'Bubba Poon the Giant' would've been better!

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They should probably swallow their pride and raid TNA's locker room. There are a bunch of experienced, talented and charismatic guys there who could be put on tv and are better travelled than many of the young guys they try and force up into major spots.

Absolutely spot on. It won't necessarily make stars of the TNA guys, but it'll give them a bunch of guys who don't need 6 months on the job training and who will challenge their current guys, improve them and they'll all help each other raise the quality.

 

Roode, Storm, Bully Ray & Jeff Hardy are all WWE ready for starters.

 

I really hope Bully Ray is on WWE's radar, I'd love to see him go back there and be a top level heel, I'd just be worried he'd be pushed down the pack after 5 minutes.

 

Bully would be a fantastic addition to Smackdown as a top level heel. The brand is screaming out for more depth and he's the ticket. Although, I can't see a lot of the younger guys being overly pleased with him back in the locker room.

 

Bully Ray is a shit name though. I'd go back to Bubba Ray (without the Dudley).

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Bully Ray is an awesome name and represents exactly what his character is.

 

In terms of why names aren't created? A lack of legit mid-card pushing. Back when The Rock and HHH were fighting over a mid-card title, it actually meant something. People bitch and moan about the world titles meaning nothing, but the mid-card titles mean even less. This means that those who hold them are devalued by the titles because they don't defend them in meaningful feuds.

 

When one guy steps up to the main event level, he then has a real feud to bring the other guy up with. It's just not the done thing these days.

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