Luckily, I have not watched much new wrestling in the last 25 years. When I do, I’m always reminded why I’ve lost interest and found other things to do with my time. Don’t get me wrong.
Watching stuff from about 30 or 35 years ago is still enjoyable. Obviously WWE does not really need to target me. I’m already gone. The problem is that their current fans seem to hate today’s product. Although there are obvious differences between today’s world and how things were when I grew up, some ideas from the glory days are worth trying again. I think the company would have a lot of trouble selling monthly PPVs with the old format, but now people can see them with their monthly subscription to WWE Network. It is very hard to believe that most fans would continue to fork over about 50 bucks each month for a lousy product.
However, I guess the fact that people keep complaining means they have not completely stopped watching. Even things that are not necessarily major issues make me shake my head at just how stupid and unreasonable Vince and whoever else makes decisions has become when compared to my youth. Years ago it was revealed that certain words are forbidden. The list includes phrases like “professional wrestling” and “title shot”, which were synonymous with wrestling when I grew up. Also words such as “wrestler” and “belt”. I even see that for some strange reason the word “interesting” is on this list.
Clearly Vince McMahon is a psycho. Decades of classic wrestling were defined by rivalries. A great feud captivated an audience. Then, people were not even allowed to say the word. Yes, “feud” also made the list.
On to more pressing issues. Months of great battles had audiences coming back for more. Feuds, or storylines, were key. Tag team wrestling was exciting. Guys were paired together for years. These things seem to have gone by the wayside. WrestleMania goes for 7 hours. Are we still allowed to say that word? Vince’s son-in-law has to wrestle for 40 minutes as other matches are cut or shortened. WWE has about 57 championships. I would say that the belts have been devalued, if I could say that. WWE decided to address this by creating another championship. Talent is on different shows. In the 1980s, we didn’t have certain superstars who only competed Sunday on Wrestling Challenge. Now, WWE has created a Wild Card Rule. Thank goodness certain performers can cross over to the other show.
Monday, fans complained that there was no match for the first 50 minutes of Raw. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a regular wrestling program that went so long with no match. The only possible exception coming to mind is the Slammy Awards, but that should not really count. Maybe there wouldn’t be such a problem of too many performers if they actually had matches in the first hour. Every time I am unfortunate enough to be stuck in front of a television when Raw comes on, it begins with somebody babbling in the ring. This makes for a boring first 15 minutes as people look at their phones. It’s not unpredictable, or interesting. Someone’s music starts to play. Another person walks out and joins in meaningless chatter. It seems like the “main event” is also usually more speaking in the ring.
They do the same things, constantly. Weeks go by. Then, months. Eventually, years. Same garbage. They can change writers, fake GMs, and whatever else. It never gets any better. I actually wonder if they are intentionally making their fans miserable because the loyal crowd is apparently not going anywhere regardless of how terrible the product is. Brock Lesnar goes months without defending championships. Nobody cares. Actually, they brag about it. How is that good for business? Look up how many times Hulk Hogan and other top stars in say 1987 would wrestle. Usually over 300 times in a year. Possibly up near 400. Guys performed twice on Saturday and Sunday. Finally, WWE hypes up their women. Then, they sign a 10-year deal with Saudi Arabia. The female superstars are not allowed to compete there.
Watch the old WWF. See how much better it was. Maybe somebody in charge of today’s mess will do this as well. We can dream.