I thought I’d post this question from Samoan Roots since a lot of people seem to be asking it lately:
The reason why I’m asking this is because I’ve noticed a variety of fans with different views and opinions. Some of them will say “wrestling isn’t the same as it was compared to the WCW, ECW and NWA days”. While some others will say “wrestling should be more like ROH, Dragon Gate USA, CHIKARA and etc”. The question is what has changed your view on the current mainstream wrestling companies, past promotions or the new exposed promotions? BQ – I remember seeing how some WWE fans moved on to TNA around 2004 or 2005 because TNA stood out and were doing things that WWE weren’t offering to the fans. Currently, I’m seeing how both WWE and TNA are on the same boat and how Independent Promotions are starting to stand out more because of the wrestling aspect. This is based on most people I’ve talked to or heard from, which leads to the next question. Does this prove that the mainstream companies should start capitalizing on the in-ring product? Also, if the WWE were to adapt the wrestling style of the Independent Promotions post-Attitude Era – present time, would they still be successful as they currently are or even more successful?All brief or detailed answers are appreciated and helpful.
Answer: What changed my views on mainstream wrestling was the man who killed pro wrestling and replaced it with that mainstream “sports entertainment” crap.Vince McMahon pushes gimmicks, cartoon characters, melodramatic storylines, skits, long and unnecessary pyro-filled entrances, performers based on how many T-shirts they sell, catchphrases, pretty faces, overly-muscled steroid bodies, and the same 5-6 performers year after year…in short, everything EXCEPT wrestling talent.You can’t eliminate “showmanship” from pro wrestling or it becomes amateur wrestling, and to most people amateur wrestling is boring to watch. But Vince McMahon has shoved the wrestling match (and wrestling talent) far to the back, in favor of melodrama and pyro. He has removed wrestling skills from the shows and replaced it with a loud light-show full of cartoon characters who’s every action (and even dialogue) is so predictable that any of us could write it at least as effective as Vince’s crayon-wielders.There is a reason Vince removed the word “wrestling” from the “WWE universe” — there is very little wrestling left. The vast majority of WWE “sports entertainers” “wrestle” the same match, the same style. Even newcomers who do have different styles eventually conform to the “WWE style” and become just another “sports entertainer”, pushes dependent on T-shirt sales, not wrestling talent.TNA is following this same business model. T-shirt sales are becoming more important than wrestling skills. TNA, too, is devolving into the “if you can’t dazzle them with science then baffle them with b*llshit” philosophy of blinding the fans with light shows, loud music, and melodrama to disguise the fact that the substance ain’t there any more. TNA still offers much better quality wrestling than the WWE, but it’s only a matter of time before there will be no difference between them.Promotions such as CMLL and AAA in Mexico, NOAH in Japan, ROH and DragonGate in the U.S. prove that there is a market for highly-skilled wrestlers who can combine stellar wrestling matches with entertaining gimmicks to draw in the paying customers. They prove that sappy melodrama and backstage skits are not needed to have an entertaining wrestling show that gives you value for your dollar.BQ: No. Most “mainstream” wrestling fans are not what JR would describe as “students of the game”. They really aren’t very interested in watching two skilled “technicians” exchanging holds and trying to out-wrestle each other. Hence, the “boring” chants when the guys DO wrestle. They just want the guys to “fight” once in a while, maybe throw in a huracanrana or a DDT now and then to keep up the illusion that they are “wrestling”. Punching and kicking for several minutes, followed by Sweet Chin Music, an RKO, a Swanton Bomb, a Spear, that’s all the “mainstream” fans really want in-between the flashy entrances and melodrama. A Bryan Danielson vs KENTA -style “clinic” would bore them to tears.It’s too late for Vince to “re-train” the fans into wanting the Danielson – KENTA type matches. He’s spent over two decades training them to want the Cena – Orton type brawls (WE in this section may complain about the same old same old, but the average fan doesn’t, and Vince produces his shows for THEM, not us). If Vince were to shift his product to emphasize wrestling skills and “technical” matches (as ROH does) the “mainstream” fans would stop watching. TNA, on the other hand, would benefit from offering up better wrestling matches to make them distinct from the WWE. Longtime TNA fans aren’t exactly happy with TNA’s shift to a more WWE-like product.