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Is it different for kids who are wrestling fans nowadays?


Maikeru
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So it's public knowledge that only a quarter of WWE's current fan base are under 18; in stark contrast to the late 80s/early 90s era when myself and many other posters on here began watching - no exact figures on that, but just look at the crowd at Summerslam '92 and we can draw a safe conclusion that the proportion was much higher.

Just wondering if those of you with kids/nephews and that notice any major differences between the Hogan/Warrior era child fan and the current more junior members of the 'WWE Universe'. For example:

- Do they think it's real, or is kayfabe so decimated now that even those say under 10 are having to suspend disbelief? I thought it was 100% legit from the ages of 7 till 9; and probably thought it was 50/50 legit until I was 10 or 11 - a magical time that I'll never experience again, but glad I had. 

- Do they view the performers as larger than life superheroes the way we did (to the extent that at my first live show in Belfast I was in awe of even being in the same building as these guys)? Or has the removal of most gimmickry / physiques (due to drug policy) / Twitter (by humanizing the stars / overexposure from the 10 hours of WWE tv per week) taken that away from them?

- Rather than savoring every single moment of WWE footage (that wasn't just a jobber squash match) and getting excited about every pay-per-view like it was the moon landing as we used to do, are even the kid fans much more apathetic nowadays with the Network and obscene amounts of content at their fingertips?

- Are any of the old school playground rumors (Ultimate Warrior's dead and this is a new guy; so-and-so's returning, wrestling's real in Japan etc) that used to keep the banter going still around, or has the net put an end to that even among the young generation? 

 

I do look forward to my son getting a bit older and hopefully sharing my hobby with him that gave me such great memories and a lasting lifelong interest that's entertained me in so many different ways over the years; however I find it hard to imagine it can be as good for him and his peers as it was for us - even setting the points above aside, the charisma of the characters was off the charts back 'in our day' and there was a passion and intensity there than just doesn't seem to be the same with the current 'millennial' generation of wrestlers. VKM had a real point in the SC podcast. 

Edited by Maikeru
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In my experience - a couple of nephews who have been to WWE house shows, and speaking to kids during signings/meet and greets at shows I've worked - they don't quite think it's real, but don't quite get "kayfabe". Like, they seem to get that it's not all entirely legit, but they often still believe that two guys who are fighting probably don't like each other, and they still believe that Roman Reigns and John Cena are the toughest, strongest guys in the company.

I tend to work shows in hotels, and we'll go to the hotel bar after the show, there'll usually be kids still milling around, and they always ask the same sort of questions - they want to know who really doesn't like who, so I always keep an element of kayfabe there.

I'm not sure about seeing them as larger than life superheroes, but definitely as something exciting and incredible - though I think, to a kid, almost anyone you see on TV or up on stage fits that criteria to some extent. You have to be special, or you wouldn't be there. I don't think Twitter or anything like that has an effect at that age. Similarly, in my experience, the Network hasn't created any apathy amongst kids because most of them don't have it - wrestling's still something they only get their hands on fleetingly.

I'd love to know the playground rumours, though! They must still exist!

 

I don't necessarily agree that the current generation have less passion, just that it's manifested differently - this generation are, more than ever before, nerds who grew up on wrestling. They're not so much ex-bouncers, footballers and bodybuilders that got smartened up after being discovered in a nightclub by a knackered old wrestler. I think wrestlers now are very driven, but many of them are driven to see everyone succeed, to see the company succeed, rather than treading on everyone else on their way to the top and holding on to their spot and so on.

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I am 40 soon and its interesting watching the WWE through the eyes of the youngsters. I still watch it but have become so cynical and don't think I have seen a great moment or PPV since WM30. The youngsters believe it, clearly they do, that is why Cena and Reigns are number 1, they are their super heroes as Hogan/Warrior, Bret/HBK would have been to older generations. Not sure I can add Austin/Rock, they seemed to have skipped a generation due to the very nature of the Attitude Era.

 

What I do enjoy is the market now for the older fans. It is less going to a wrestling show but listening to a Bruce Prichard Podcast whilst driving to work or going to An Evening with Bill Goldberg night.

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To be honest I am not sure whether I would have gotten interested as a child in this era. Early 90's WWF was very cartoony with all these various characters that you wouldn't see now. I liked that over the top stuff as a kid and it got me hooked. One of the reason I ended up only really watching Japanese wrestling is because the characters in a lot of wrestling are not fun or interesting, so I got bored (although I do still like some Chikara) and found a version where it is more like a sport. Also the image of people like Ultimate Warrior and Macho Man made me look at them as amazing human specimens. While the current guys have great bodies, it just isn't the same (but the matches are much better these days). I'm not surprised not as many kids are interested in wrestling these days. It is a shame as people you see now have had to do a lot to improve wrestling and change it so it is not the same thing. 

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Is it different? Absolutely it is. The kids these days don't have just wrestling to take up their spare time, they have a whole bunch of things that can easily take up their time. Wrestling unfortunately just isn't good or exciting enough today to really grab their attention all the time. I don't know any kids who absolutely must watch Raw every week and watch every PPV but I know many who do watch it on Youtube and with all due respect to the WWE and TNA and any other company out there, the highlights is all you need.

 

I've been watching since the late 80's myself. Wrestling matches don't matter. Just show me the finish. You have no idea the time I spent fastforwarding VHS videos to get to the end of many many matches. So 3 hours on Monday and 2 hours on Tuesday, 5 hours of fake matches is not gonna cut it for a grown man let alone a 9 year old. It's just not gonna happen. No one, not 9 years old or my age is gonna sit for 5 hours watching make believe fighting and I'll get to the rest of that in a second. It's far too time consuming. It's not digestable. If it was an hour or so that would be fine. Not 5 hours, not even 3 hours infact if you get me to sit down and watch anything for 2 hours there must be a blue moon in the sky. I can only compare it to listening to an album. How many people now can listen to 40 minutes or 80 minutes of the same person singing? It's a bit too much of the same thing over and over. There's so many things to do and ways to spend your spare time that anything you do choose must be great, whatever it is, in that moment you've chosen IT to occupy your time. I just don't think wrestling is that thing for many people, not even the kids.

 

What have you have to do is look at the business today and you start at the top, for better or worse you start at the top and that is the WWE and most indie companies look at what they're doing and try and immitate it on a small scale. The WWE over the past 10 years has stripped away everything that professional wrestling was for almost 40 years. Vince McMahon Jnr didn't do as much as he claims he did, wrestling was a show before he came along. Wrestling had big characters, big larger than life personalities before he bought that company from his Dad. People still bought tickets to see a fight.  To hear the trash talking, to see the violence. It was pantomime at it's best. Obviously McMahon kicked that into another gear by making the show full of more colourful characters and some would say superheroes. Really the biggest change he made was putting it on nationwide TV in the US and obviously worldwide TV via satelite. In reality, it was just what people could already see locally on a much bigger scale. This country is a prime example of that. We had our own wrestling. Our own flamboyancy, our own theatrics, our own characters obviously, on a much smaller scale.

 

So the WWE has stripped that away. They've done their best since Chris Benoit murdered his family to take away anything remotely entertaining, theatrical, anything resembling a soap opera or pantomime and slowly but surely everyone on the roster is just a basic wrestler. It got to the point where a big man like the Big Show cannot be cloned. Where are the big men? They don't want anything to do with it. You can't find another 7 foot man or athlete wanting to do it. In countries like this and many other countries, people going to the gym and bulking up is a rare thing so when you look at the wrestlers on the indie scene, they're in shape but they're not the kind of people you put on a TV show, which is what the WWE is, it's TV, it's no different than anything else on TV. The WWE themselves have no choice but to hire indie stars because there are no big men left, they again want to try and fit in with the real sports so they do the whole drug testing thing.......when really it makes no difference, wrestling is fake, it's not like a real sport where sport enhancing drugs actually make a difference, in wrestling it means nothing, it's no different than pouring baby oil on themselves, there is no real competition, no one wins any belts, they are props, they are told who wins and how to win, they are actors, wrestlers are actors so taking anything that makes them bigger or stronger makes no difference. It's all a show. Or it should be. We'll get to that in a minute too. The WWE has the roster it has because it has no choice but to have them and the ratings will show that, as do house show attendances, 3 and 5000 fans in a building set for over 10,000 says all you need to know.

 

And what happens when you strip away the entertainment, soap opera and pantomime of wrestling? You end up with wrestling in 2017. Regular looking people that for some reason all like to kick each other in the head and face and no sell it. They like to jump through the middele rope. They like to kick out of each others finishers. What they are is young men and women fooling themselves into thinking they are wrestling. It's Cirque Du Soleil. It's acrobatics. Seth Rollins is a good acrobatic. He's not a wrestler. He's not an actor. They many shots contained in an episode of Raw or Smackdown showing wrestliers slapping their thighs to make a sound effect and talking in each other's ears gives that away. You'd have to be a complete moron or imbecile not to notice that. You have your fat guys like Kevin Owens with the stretchmarks on his armpits and his big jiggly bellying wobbling around huffing and puffing getting his breath back cause he's not fit for it, anyone watching him for the first time will tell you that. That's the kind of thing non fans do laugh at. It's an absolute horror show. You would have to be a complete moron to sit for 5 hours watching it and enjoying it. There was a time in the wrestling business where Jake The Snake Roberts and Mr Perfect couldn't be the WWF Champion. Do you know why? Cause the talent was that good. It was so good that 2 of the best of all time couldn't even hold the belt, that's how good the rest of the roster was. Now you have Kevin Owens as a Champion. Even Finn Balor. They can be Champion but Jake Roberts couldn't? Are you kidding me. Guys that I could, and I daresay many of you could take in a real fight. How many on the WWE roster are like that, infact how about TNA or the indie scene? I could take most of them in a real fight but I'm supposed to buy into them supposedly wrestling each other and hurting each other? And I'm a fan of wrestling, imagine what  a non fan thinks or a fan that USED to watch but doesn't anymore. You show them Finn Balor, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, 40 year old fat Samoa Joe from 2005 is on the TV, who are they trying to kid. And they expect people to sit and buy into all that?

 

 

That's why kids don't watch it the way we used to. Even a 9 year old can look at them and know there's a bit of hocus pocus going on. All this kicking in the face and getting back on their feet, all this punching to the face and no one bleeds? No one gets a black eye? The wrestler punches another guy in the corner 10 times and the crowd chants along and the guy getting punched doesn't put his hands up to his face to protect himself? Wrestlers that supposedly hate each other and want to fight each other stand in the ring together and have a conversation on the microphone and don't try and hit each other? They hate each other that much? One wont try and punch the other one? And then look at them. They don't look or act larger than life, they are just regular people. That's why Roman gets pushed, that's why Cena is the only one that's over. That's why Braun and Jinder are getting pushed. Look at them. Of course they're getting pushed. They look the  part. They act the part. When the average person on the street thinks wrestler what do they think of in their head? It's not mid 30s Finn Balor in his underpants jumping around the ring not selling. It's real men that look the part, men that you can believe would hurt you in real life. It's a TV show, the people on it should be TV stars, TV ready. Same with the actors in movies. Same with singers and bands that sell out arenas. Same with models. Same with TV show hosts, game show hosts, who gets those jobs? People that look the part. They look like they belong doing those things.

 

So no, wrestling doesn't capture the attention of kids like it used to. It's time has been and gone. It's been that way for over 10 years. It's not gonna be any good again. There's not gonna be another boom period, at least not in my lifetime or any of your lifetimes for that matter. It's had a good run, a good 35 year on worldwide TV and that's it. It's just plodding along. That's it.

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57 minutes ago, scotswizard said:

Is it different? Absolutely it is. The kids these days don't have just wrestling to take up their spare time, they have a whole bunch of things that can easily take up their time. Wrestling unfortunately just isn't good or exciting enough today to really grab their attention all the time. I don't know any kids who absolutely must watch Raw every week and watch every PPV but I know many who do watch it on Youtube and with all due respect to the WWE and TNA and any other company out there, the highlights is all you need.

 

I've been watching since the late 80's myself. Wrestling matches don't matter. Just show me the finish. You have no idea the time I spent fastforwarding VHS videos to get to the end of many many matches. So 3 hours on Monday and 2 hours on Tuesday, 5 hours of fake matches is not gonna cut it for a grown man let alone a 9 year old. It's just not gonna happen. No one, not 9 years old or my age is gonna sit for 5 hours watching make believe fighting and I'll get to the rest of that in a second. It's far too time consuming. It's not digestable. If it was an hour or so that would be fine. Not 5 hours, not even 3 hours infact if you get me to sit down and watch anything for 2 hours there must be a blue moon in the sky. I can only compare it to listening to an album. How many people now can listen to 40 minutes or 80 minutes of the same person singing? It's a bit too much of the same thing over and over. There's so many things to do and ways to spend your spare time that anything you do choose must be great, whatever it is, in that moment you've chosen IT to occupy your time. I just don't think wrestling is that thing for many people, not even the kids.

 

What have you have to do is look at the business today and you start at the top, for better or worse you start at the top and that is the WWE and most indie companies look at what they're doing and try and immitate it on a small scale. The WWE over the past 10 years has stripped away everything that professional wrestling was for almost 40 years. Vince McMahon Jnr didn't do as much as he claims he did, wrestling was a show before he came along. Wrestling had big characters, big larger than life personalities before he bought that company from his Dad. People still bought tickets to see a fight.  To hear the trash talking, to see the violence. It was pantomime at it's best. Obviously McMahon kicked that into another gear by making the show full of more colourful characters and some would say superheroes. Really the biggest change he made was putting it on nationwide TV in the US and obviously worldwide TV via satelite. In reality, it was just what people could already see locally on a much bigger scale. This country is a prime example of that. We had our own wrestling. Our own flamboyancy, our own theatrics, our own characters obviously, on a much smaller scale.

 

So the WWE has stripped that away. They've done their best since Chris Benoit murdered his family to take away anything remotely entertaining, theatrical, anything resembling a soap opera or pantomime and slowly but surely everyone on the roster is just a basic wrestler. It got to the point where a big man like the Big Show cannot be cloned. Where are the big men? They don't want anything to do with it. You can't find another 7 foot man or athlete wanting to do it. In countries like this and many other countries, people going to the gym and bulking up is a rare thing so when you look at the wrestlers on the indie scene, they're in shape but they're not the kind of people you put on a TV show, which is what the WWE is, it's TV, it's no different than anything else on TV. The WWE themselves have no choice but to hire indie stars because there are no big men left, they again want to try and fit in with the real sports so they do the whole drug testing thing.......when really it makes no difference, wrestling is fake, it's not like a real sport where sport enhancing drugs actually make a difference, in wrestling it means nothing, it's no different than pouring baby oil on themselves, there is no real competition, no one wins any belts, they are props, they are told who wins and how to win, they are actors, wrestlers are actors so taking anything that makes them bigger or stronger makes no difference. It's all a show. Or it should be. We'll get to that in a minute too. The WWE has the roster it has because it has no choice but to have them and the ratings will show that, as do house show attendances, 3 and 5000 fans in a building set for over 10,000 says all you need to know.

 

And what happens when you strip away the entertainment, soap opera and pantomime of wrestling? You end up with wrestling in 2017. Regular looking people that for some reason all like to kick each other in the head and face and no sell it. They like to jump through the middele rope. They like to kick out of each others finishers. What they are is young men and women fooling themselves into thinking they are wrestling. It's Cirque Du Soleil. It's acrobatics. Seth Rollins is a good acrobatic. He's not a wrestler. He's not an actor. They many shots contained in an episode of Raw or Smackdown showing wrestliers slapping their thighs to make a sound effect and talking in each other's ears gives that away. You'd have to be a complete moron or imbecile not to notice that. You have your fat guys like Kevin Owens with the stretchmarks on his armpits and his big jiggly bellying wobbling around huffing and puffing getting his breath back cause he's not fit for it, anyone watching him for the first time will tell you that. That's the kind of thing non fans do laugh at. It's an absolute horror show. You would have to be a complete moron to sit for 5 hours watching it and enjoying it. There was a time in the wrestling business where Jake The Snake Roberts and Mr Perfect couldn't be the WWF Champion. Do you know why? Cause the talent was that good. It was so good that 2 of the best of all time couldn't even hold the belt, that's how good the rest of the roster was. Now you have Kevin Owens as a Champion. Even Finn Balor. They can be Champion but Jake Roberts couldn't? Are you kidding me. Guys that I could, and I daresay many of you could take in a real fight. How many on the WWE roster are like that, infact how about TNA or the indie scene? I could take most of them in a real fight but I'm supposed to buy into them supposedly wrestling each other and hurting each other? And I'm a fan of wrestling, imagine what  a non fan thinks or a fan that USED to watch but doesn't anymore. You show them Finn Balor, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, 40 year old fat Samoa Joe from 2005 is on the TV, who are they trying to kid. And they expect people to sit and buy into all that?

 

 

That's why kids don't watch it the way we used to. Even a 9 year old can look at them and know there's a bit of hocus pocus going on. All this kicking in the face and getting back on their feet, all this punching to the face and no one bleeds? No one gets a black eye? The wrestler punches another guy in the corner 10 times and the crowd chants along and the guy getting punched doesn't put his hands up to his face to protect himself? Wrestlers that supposedly hate each other and want to fight each other stand in the ring together and have a conversation on the microphone and don't try and hit each other? They hate each other that much? One wont try and punch the other one? And then look at them. They don't look or act larger than life, they are just regular people. That's why Roman gets pushed, that's why Cena is the only one that's over. That's why Braun and Jinder are getting pushed. Look at them. Of course they're getting pushed. They look the  part. They act the part. When the average person on the street thinks wrestler what do they think of in their head? It's not mid 30s Finn Balor in his underpants jumping around the ring not selling. It's real men that look the part, men that you can believe would hurt you in real life. It's a TV show, the people on it should be TV stars, TV ready. Same with the actors in movies. Same with singers and bands that sell out arenas. Same with models. Same with TV show hosts, game show hosts, who gets those jobs? People that look the part. They look like they belong doing those things.

 

So no, wrestling doesn't capture the attention of kids like it used to. It's time has been and gone. It's been that way for over 10 years. It's not gonna be any good again. There's not gonna be another boom period, at least not in my lifetime or any of your lifetimes for that matter. It's had a good run, a good 35 year on worldwide TV and that's it. It's just plodding along. That's it.

Much food for thought and some interesting points. I certainly think the diminished star power of the talent is the most significant factor in the ambivalence of casual fans these days, but I can't quite grasp why the big men, or the smaller but extremely charismatic men don't want to do it anymore. Maybe it's that more people are better educated and can clearly see what an awful career choice it is, meaning that the only ones who get in to it are the hardcore obsessive fans that want to 'live the dream' at the expense of their health, safety, financial security, work/life balance and precious family time? 

Edited by Maikeru
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2 hours ago, Maikeru said:

So it's public knowledge that only a quarter of WWE's current fan base are under 18; in stark contrast to the late 80s/early 90s era when myself and many other posters on here began watching - no exact figures on that, but just look at the crowd at Summerslam '92 and we can draw a safe conclusion that the proportion was much higher.

Just wondering if those of you with kids/nephews and that notice any major differences between the Hogan/Warrior era child fan and the current more junior members of the 'WWE Universe'. For example:

- Do they think it's real, or is kayfabe so decimated now that even those say under 10 are having to suspend disbelief? I thought it was 100% legit from the ages of 7 till 9; and probably thought it was 50/50 legit until I was 10 or 11 - a magical time that I'll never experience again, but glad I had. 

- Do they view the performers as larger than life superheroes the way we did (to the extent that at my first live show in Belfast I was in awe of even being in the same building as these guys)? Or has the removal of most gimmickry / physiques (due to drug policy) / Twitter (by humanizing the stars / overexposure from the 10 hours of WWE tv per week) taken that away from them?

- Rather than savoring every single moment of WWE footage (that wasn't just a jobber squash match) and getting excited about every pay-per-view like it was the moon landing as we used to do, are even the kid fans much more apathetic nowadays with the Network and obscene amounts of content at their fingertips?

- Are any of the old school playground rumors (Ultimate Warrior's dead and this is a new guy; so-and-so's returning, wrestling's real in Japan etc) that used to keep the banter going still around, or has the net put an end to that even among the young generation? 

 

I do look forward to my son getting a bit older and hopefully sharing my hobby with him that gave me such great memories and a lasting lifelong interest that's entertained me in so many different ways over the years; however I find it hard to imagine it can be as good for him and his peers as it was for us - even setting the points above aside, the charisma of the characters was off the charts back 'in our day' and there was a passion and intensity there than just doesn't seem to be the same with the current 'millennial' generation of wrestlers. VKM had a real point in the SC podcast. 

Logically I would have thought the best thing to do is don't let them watch any current WWE stuff. Instead from a early age bring them up on classic WWF wrestling, I know back in the day we had tapes and DVDs but today you could watch say a Monday Night Raw on a Monday Night and then eventually the PPVs on a Sunday and try to make it feel like thats todays wrestling. Sure it be great if they had Superstars and stuff like the weekly shows we had but the only problem being you couldn't attend LIVE WWE as they wouldnt recognise anyone. Ebay would be a good source to buy boxed 90's figures or Magazines for Presents.

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3 minutes ago, iamthedoctor said:

Logically I would have thought the best thing to do is don't let them watch any current WWE stuff. Instead from a early age bring them up on classic WWF wrestling, I know back in the day we had tapes and DVDs but today you could watch say a Monday Night Raw on a Monday Night and then eventually the PPVs on a Sunday and try to make it feel like thats todays wrestling. Sure it be great if they had Superstars and stuff like the weekly shows we had but the only problem being you couldn't attend LIVE WWE as they wouldnt recognise anyone. Ebay would be a good source to buy boxed 90's figures or Magazines for Presents.

Lol the thought has crossed my mind; as you say though it would take a lot away from the live event experience which shouldn't be missed. I'm thinking maybe a mixture of the classic stuff with the modern content in smaller doses e.g. not watching Raw or Smackdown (I'm not a Sky Sports subscriber anyway) and so sticking to the 1-hour Raw recap show on Sky One on Sundays plus the PPVs on the network. No kid should waste more than 3-4 hours a week watching fake fighting. That said I worry more generally about how spoilt for choice kids are these days with Sky On Demand/Catch Up, Amazon Prime, Netflix, WWE Network....... it's nuts to think I had to re-watch my Survivor Series 88 video 100+ times back in the day cause I had nothing else. Same with my single Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles video, with my Muppet movie video...... these are things I could literally recite the entire script for as a 7 year old. 

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15 minutes ago, Maikeru said:

Much food for thought and some interesting points; but not sure I understood how you feel anything remotely entertaining in WWE has been stripped away since over 10 years ago (which I agree with but can't quite put my finger on why) - I certainly think the diminished star power of the talent is the most significant factor, but I can't quite grasp why the big men, or the smaller but extremely charismatic men don't want to do it anymore. Maybe it's that more people are better educated and can clearly see what an awful career choice it is, meaning that the only ones who get in to it are the hardcore obsessive fans that want to 'live the dream' at the expense of their health, safety, financial security, work/life balance and precious family time? 

 

 

I'm not saying it's all gone, there's flashes of brilliance there, there are good angles and matches but when you have 5 hours of TV across 2 nights, you might get half an hour to an hour of stuff that is really good and to get those bits you need to sit through it all. I think back in the day whether it was Superstars for an hour or even later on when WCW was available and the very early days of them competiting there was a lot of stuff in those shows that didn't feel like filler. Nowadays the shows are so long people are waiting for that match, or that promo or that angle to happen. What wrestling companies used to be good at was doing that all night long. They knew how to do this. They knew how to keep you entertained and busy, I don't know why they have moved so far away from that. I don't like bringing up the Chris Benoit incident but it's kinda true, if you go back to June 2007 and even jump forward to June 2008, the difference is there.

 

Maybe a lot of the big men don't wanna risk their health. Where are people like that? Where are the 7 foot men of the world? You just don't see people like that anymore and as much as people praise the WWE for pushing new talent, most of which are in their late 30s right now, the WWE kind of has to, TNA has to, ROH has to, when you look at the talent out there, they are all much the same. I genuinely think it's more a case of them having no choice. You said it perfect, it is living the dream, it's a selfish business and I guess you have to have a selfish attitude to really succeed, you really do have to put family, work, money, everything on the backburner, you could lose all of it just trying, just trying without even making it big but I guess so did the biggest stars in the industry, I think the one thing that bothers me most is the current style of wrestling that is being put on TV. This constant no selling of moves and finishing moves don't finish opponents and no one acts hurt, where did that come from? Like I said earlier, most of these men are in their mid 30s. Did they not watch what we watched? That's not the kind of wrestling I watched in the 80s or 90s. I wasn't a big attendee of British wrestling but I think that would have been much the same. Who is teaching them this? I don't know where that came from. Where are the gimmicks? The characters. Now everyone has a real name or a realistic sounding name. Even a gimmick like Bray Wyatt is called Bray Wyatt, it's not that far fetched to believe it's his real name. I don't want to name all the names again, there's a lot more I could name but if they really are over 30 years old, even AJ Styles is nearly 40, where is the inspiration for any of the wrestling they grew up on? They must have watched the same WWF I did,  the same WCW I did. I couldn't see any of the territories in America during the 80s but I'm pretty sure that style of wrestling wasn't what was selling the arenas out. Where is that homage and that respect for that style of wrestling?

 

Cody Rhodes as Stardust was one. Bray Wyatt when he's given good creative is one. Braun Strowman right now is one. There's not enough like that. I don't know how all this happened or was allowed to happen and yet it seems like more and more people are getting injured all the time. They don't need to do half the things they do. Wrestling is about entertainment and a show, not doing things that can hurt other people or hurt yourself but that's the kind of thing that should be getting taught in NXT, day one, day one in the Performance Centre. For all the flack the WWE and TNA and WCW used to get for their programming, people miss that. They miss the sillyness and the goofy gimmicks and the wild angles, stuff that you loved watching but was so over the top you had to smile. Everything is so PC now, the world is PC now. You can't say or do anything now without upsetting someone, people's families breaking up just because of their political beliefs or losing friendships. Wrestling should still be one of those things on TV where everyone just lets loose and enjoys it. That's what's really missing. The fun. You're meant to enjoy it.

 

 

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The big men are not there because you get tested for roids these days. Also as stated many don't want to do it because it really can be a shit career choice and this has become much more open in the last 15 years.  Sure it can work out well if you get a good contract and save well, but it can be a short lived career for some and those who stick at it stand of being in pain for much of their life. The sport isn't real but it is dangerous, you can easily get injured or even die. It can also be an expensive career to train in and get nothing from. You tour vast amounts and will likely miss your family. People have seen what has become of wrestlers from yesteryear and think fuck that.

Also many of those big man wrestlers were just carnies who would have ended up touring as a strongman in a circus or something like that as they had nothing else to do. Maybe I am being cruel on US 70's to early 90's wrestlers but I generally believe that is true with many of them. 

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Urghhhhh god took me four hours to scroll to the bottom of the page. I genuinely worry about you scotswizard. Your posts take longer to read (and write) than the Bret Shawn iron man match and yet you hate matches sooo much seemingly 

Where are the big men? Brock Lesnar is their biggest draw. Braun Strowman is Raws top heel. The Authors Of Pain are NXT's tag champs. Damo/Killian Dain being built well there. Dylan Miley just turned up with his tree trunk legs. Shitloads more guys in the performance center waiting for their chance. 

When a big lad turns up you want to go "oh shit he's BIG" and it actually means something to you rather than Heidenreichs, Luther Reigns, Nathan Jones types as far as the eye can see. 

Lashley couldn't get properly over to save his life in 2007. If he turned up today he probably would. 

The balance now is better than what they had 10+ years ago

 

As for the actual topic, I do worry for the kids who want to go to shows with their family and there are all these sweaties with superiority complexes shitting all over Cena and especially Reigns and trying to get themselves over shouting shit about Paige or whatever else. The vitriol Reigns gets from ""smart"" fans is ridiculous. If I was a kid loving Roman I'd probably find it difficult to enjoy the live experience 

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Everybody in this thread STOP QUOTING RUDDY GREAT LONG POSTS. My thumbs can't take the workout. 

I don't agree with everything you say scotswizard but the idea of a character archetypes is definitely absent. I do take issue with you lumping Samoa Joe with those other pretenders though, despite being a fat bloke he's a scary fat bloke that will tear your fucking face off. 

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I had to actually try to explain, as best I could, to my 5 year old nephew a couple of weeks back why Reigns was getting booed so much as he is a huge fan of Roman. I think he got it but even my mum, who has entertained my ramblings about wrestling for nearly 30 years, was looking at me with confusion at the notion of a good guy being so hated. 

Oh and for scotswizard, you say kids don't have the time to watch the shows in full, I say bullshit. My nephew watches every episode of Raw and Smackdown in full as well as the PPVs with his mum and dad. Hell he went to his first ever wrestling show, and a non-WWE one at that, Sunday gone which lasted 2+ hours and didn't lose focus once even though he didn't know a single wrestler on the card

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