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4 hours ago, Smelly McUgly said:

I think the "You'll just watch next week and complain about that too" argument, which was pretty popular there for awhile on message boards, might have also found its way into the mindsets of the McMahon family. This has been getting posted around the internet in light of this week's news, and watching it, it's a pretty clear shoot IMO:

I think they really believed that, but actually, they're killing pro wrestling in the United States under the mistaken belief that people will just keep watching. 

 

That's been the mentality of Promoters and bookers for decades not just WWE. Cornette says it all the time, when Wrestling is hot you can get away with the stupidest things and when it's not its killing the business. Wrestling is the only business that can insult it's own fanbase and that's why it's where it's at right now but WWE isn't the first one. 

Like people say, they've got their money from the FOX deal and they haven't changed things up to increase their ratings. Now would be a good time with Wrestlemania season. I say forget AEW concentrate on Smackdown if I was them

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In late 98 through early 2001, RAW routinely did 5 million+ viewers, often over 6. By the mid-00's, 4 million was a really strong week. By 2014, they were hovering around 3 million.

They are bouncing between 2 and 2.5 now, and even had at least one show under 2 last year. 

So, yeah, "they'll complain and keep watching" is a dead argument.

(And, yes, there are serious caveats about DVR and Hulu and cord cutters and etc, but not nearly enough to explain all the drop. Especially when you look at the dying attendance on the road)

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2 hours ago, odessasteps said:

I’ve heard people say (real) sports is the one business where you can continue to produce an inferior product a nd people will keep coming back. 

Honestly, that's ultimately the real problem for why people keep coming back- especially with wrestling right now.

Real sports works because in real sports, hope springs eternal. Just a few years ago, the Chiefs looked like a sad-sack team just good enough to make the playoffs but not good enough to win a game, and the 49ers were a team that fell from a rising star to the biggest joke in the NFC in a couple years. Today, they're in the Super Bowl.  THAT is why sports fans will keep coming back- if you walk away from an inferior product, you'll never know if THIS is the year it all comes together.

The worst part about wrestling right now isn't just that it's bad- but that we know for a fact WWE could be SO GOOD if they just tried to. The quality of wrestler, top to bottom, may be the best it's been ever (somehow even including the post-InVasion era when WWE had everyone). You can't really say there's anyone truly BAD in the WWE right now- and even the worst wrestler in the company is at least "pretty good."

That has put WWE into the same problem as real sports. It's become a promise of hope springing eternal of "Yeah, we know. We suck. But you know how good these workers are. We're SO CLOSE to being good. It's right in front of you. Why, next week could be the week we turn the corner and finally become awesome again, and if we do the show will be SOOO GOOD and you'll be SOOOOOOOO SORRY you stopped watching and missed out. I bet you'll cry and cry and be miserable forever because you put so much time in bad wrestling and missed out when it finally became good. You don't want to miss when we're good again, do you? DO YOU?"

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I'd argue "most" - the Rumble thread is 21 pages, up from last year's 15. I'd love for everyone to check out so WWE draws a 0.0 and is forced to make real changes, but the decline just doesn't seem as precipitous as we'd all like it to be. It seems based more on wishful thinking than anything else. We want AEW to succeed and we want WWE to fail because that's the only thing that can force WWE to stop putting on terrible wrestling shows.

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Anecdotally, I’ve had a handful of people in my real life I talk wrestling with for the past 20 years or so. They’re not the types who watch the shows every week, but keep up with what’s going on and watch the big shows. For the first time,  they’re all completely out. 

Something different has happened over the last few years.

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My WWE viewership has dropped 10 fold in the last 3 years. I havent followed NXT on a weekly basis since right before Aleister Black got punked in the parking lot... RAW I haven't watched in well over 2 years. I dont even know what my FOX channel is for Smackdown. 

The monthly PPV's have no value for me. I check in for the Big 4, that's about it. 

There's some characters I absolutely dig- Otis & Mandy is a hilarious backstory.... but I only know of that through social media. 

What turns me off the product? Predictability and the lack of realism. Whether that is storyline or match layout - you just know how everything is going to go. Everybody has to "get their shit in", no matter how out of place it looks in a match.

I hate the WWE right now for making me sound like Eric Bischoff. 

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1 hour ago, MORELOCK said:

We want AEW to succeed and we want WWE to fail because that's the only thing that can force WWE to stop putting on terrible wrestling shows.

I don't want AEW to succeed because of what that would mean for WWE. I want AEW to succeed because of what that would mean for AEW.

It's an odd aspect of wrestling fan mentality, if hypothetically someone in AEW catches fire and becomes the generational wrestling star of this era, Dynamite starts drawing more viewers than Raw and Smackdown combined, they're drawing 50-100,000 sellouts everywhere they go, more kids own Jurassic Express lunch boxes than Peppa Pig ones... and some Wrestling fans would still spend more mental energy wondering how Vince will respond to that, than enjoying the boom and loving that they can say "In 2013, that kid wrestled in front of a crowd of 3 people and a dog. And I bought the dog".

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I heard alot of people say that AEW isn't that much different than WWE has been over the past 2 decades. People say they have too much talking segments and silly gimmicks and angles for their liking to really set them apart from WWE of them to really succeed love term.

I think everyone should want them to succeed even if they aren't following it because it will hit home to WWE that they aren't the be all end all of Wrestling anymore. I want every Promotion to have success. Whether it's MLW or NWA or ROH.

Its Amazing how a few more networks have expressed interest in Wrestling and you got Sinclair basically sitting on ROH. Its SBC was serious about Wrestling ROH could be far ahead of AEW several years before. I hope that Sinclair sees more potential with Wrestling since more interest from these networks is growing with Wrestling atleast right now. For that reason only we should all want these other promotions to deliver a great product and show them a potential market for Wrestling outside of WWE.

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There’s no consequences or stakes in WWE.

Say Samoa Joe went on a losing streak, what does it matter? He could very well be put into a US title shot or whatever the very next week.

Dynamite’s ranking system, while flawed, at least is a device they use to explain why a title match is happening, MLW is great at booking blood feuds, NWA uses their studio set up to escalate feuds.

WWE has momentum.  “Joe might have lost 36 weeks in a row, but he’s won the last 2 matches and that momentum has gotten him this Championship Opportunity”.  

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And momentum usually works in reverse anyway. The more momentum you have going in to your PPV title shot, the lower the chance that you win the belt. If the champ already put you over in the build, he gets his heat back once the stakes are highest.

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I think part of it is that WWE's main event scene has developed in a manner similar to WCW"s final year or so. WCW had built their title picture around aging veterans like Hogan, Savage, Flair, Nash, Sting, at the expense of anyone who had the momentum to jump to that level (except for Goldberg.) Then suddenly you had Scott Steiner, Booker T, and Jeff Jarrett in the mix with little passing-of-the-torch from one group to another.

The WWE main event scene now is similar, in that there was little passing-of-the-torch. Sure, Cena lost to Wyatt, Triple H lost to Roman Reigns - but when the champ loses then vanishes without a word, it means little. Guys don't get the chance to establish themselves as true main eventers if they're back to wrestling the same upper carders the next month, no matter how good they are.

In a way, it's not 100% their fault. With Punk walking and Bryan and Edge forced to retire, they kind of lost some continuity that would have helped establishe the next wave. Instead they had to rely on an increasingly ageing group of guys, many of whom were already part-timers and so couldn't or wouldn't stick around as long as was needed.

Not that this should give them a pass. They had plenty of times to strike while the iron was hot with guys like Strowman, and before him Wyatt, Kingston, or even Ziggler. But they didn't, and now they're suffering.

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I'm not sure WWE has a tradition of the former ace sticking around as a support act to a younger headliner. Backlund going on before Hogan, maybe. But...

When they were going from the Superstars era to New Generation, Hogan jobbed to Yokozuna once and vanished, without Jobbing to Bret. Savage was commentating, Piper was out of the business, Orndorff was WCW tag champ. Arguably Taker was made by beating Hogan, but not much torch passing between generations.

When it went from New Generation to Attitude Era, Bret went 50/50 with Austin and jobbed to Michaels (who eventually did job to Austin too), but no old timer passed a main event torch to Rock or Hunter. It was basically them both killing Foley, and Austin working even with them.

A case could be made that we should remember the last 5-7 years for how the Shield guys, Wyatt fam and Prince Balor were beating Taker, Brock, Sting, HHH, Jericho, Show and Angle on all the major events, but it seems like the vets really wanted to mainly just work each other on the bigger stages.

Completely different subject: If you don't follow WARHORSE on twitter (@jpWarhorse), give his feed a look. Last night he was uploading in-character promos about literally anything anyone asked him to. Promoting random pixel art makers and telling people's kids it was bedtime.

Edited by AxB
Warhorse
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Did Bret ever actually drop a televised fall to Austin? Things like Austin hitting Hart with the steel chair causing him to lose the title to Sid and the ambulance assbeating made it seem like 50/50, but the logical conclusion of Austin taking the title from Hart at WrestleMania never came to pass. Of course, we all know things worked out perfectly for them, the most important piece being how the Montreal Screwjob set up Vince as the ultimate asshole boss. 

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Austin never pinned Bret and in that case clearly he didn't need to.  The double turn at WM13 felt like and more importantly was correctly framed by the WWF as Austin having defeated Bret metaphysically.

Of course you often can't rely on WWE to properly construct that frame so normally its best to pass the torch with a clean fall and not undercut it.  (Undertaker should've stayed gone after Brock broke the streak, for intsance)

 

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9 hours ago, odessasteps said:

I’ve heard people say (real) sports is the one business where you can continue to produce an inferior product a nd people will keep coming back. 

There's another: 

The end of that is NSFW btw (not that I advise listening to a discussion of the drug business at your job)

Edited by Curt McGirt
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28 minutes ago, BobbyWhioux said:

Austin never pinned Bret and in that case clearly he didn't need to.  The double turn at WM13 felt like and more importantly was correctly framed by the WWF as Austin having defeated Bret metaphysically.

 

If its true that Austin's original opponent for WM 13 was supposed to Bulldog if Michaels didn't lose his smile then that means they didn't think Austin could main event a Wrestle Mania at that time. According to legend he wasn't supposed to win the Royal Rumble that year.  I dont think Bret or Taker or Michaels wouldve took a clean fall to him until they knew Vince was going to go all the way with him at that point. Alot of his rise was just things falling on creatives laps including the 96 KOTR and even then he wasn't pushed like they make it seem.

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43 minutes ago, Ziggy said:

If its true that Austin's original opponent for WM 13 was supposed to Bulldog if Michaels didn't lose his smile then that means they didn't think Austin could main event a Wrestle Mania at that time. According to legend he wasn't supposed to win the Royal Rumble that year.  I dont think Bret or Taker or Michaels wouldve took a clean fall to him until they knew Vince was going to go all the way with him at that point. Alot of his rise was just things falling on creatives laps including the 96 KOTR and even then he wasn't pushed like they make it seem.

That’s an interesting point. In wrestling, how many of a promotions big moments/ game changing angles had to do with thorough plans vs reactions to unexpected events and what you make do with catching fire. Not just with the WWE, but wrestling in general. Vince wasn’t planned to be the super heel against Austin after the Montreal Screwjob. I hear that Misawa started getting his push after Genichiro Tenryu left All Japan (read on another forum so a Puro-Head could easily correct me if I’m misinformed. On the other hand, a successfully planned phenomenon would be Hulkamania.

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16 hours ago, Oyaji said:

I don't listen to WOL normally but I saw it was a Jim Valley solo show and he was talking about the lack of fan buy-in with WWE. Brother went off and it was both entertaining and really well done. I don't agree with everything he said but he talked about wrestlers lacking motivation, start-stops, and there being no stakes for anything. He closed by going through the wrestling fan stereotypes. They are fat neckbeards that wear black, smell, virgins, living in mother's basement, etc. But they aren't stupid. And that WWE can't get all that many of them to buy into their product and open up their wallets, really who is stupid at this stage? 

Listened to the show late last night, and I agreed with Jim on absolutely everything except the Logan Paul/KSI/Jake Paul thing. You have essentially pre-made stars who discovered "hey, there exists another platform for us to profit off our stardom" as opposed to just fan engagement and investment in a "feud". Hell, if WWE was actually hip, the YouTube personalities would have pivoted from that original PPV to the WWE Network instead of DAZN. They are on DAZN now because DAZN is completely desperate, willing to pay these fuckers whatever, and willing to put them higher on the card than championship caliber fighters. The big problem that comes in is if you listen to a Logan Paul in this space is he ain't exactly the most sane or even halfway loyal person. Right after his last "fight", he is talking about how boxing is fixed and all this other conspiracy bullshit about boxing that doesn't shine the greatest light on the sport. Now, he is asking for multi million dollar paydays to fight in Bellator. I'm not saying that dealing with stars dosen't create headaches for management or promoters, but at least the Diaz brothers were in MMA for 10 to 15 years to command some type of respect and leverage to do crazy shit in general. Plus, the Diaz brothers basically were essentially tied into pro wrestling storylines in MMA which kinda help make them stars. That itself helped grow the sport of MMA in the eyes of lapsed MMA fans and the casuals. These Youtubers only exist to siphon money and time and leech off of whatever host will have them.

Now, the WWE had their own pre made superstar in Ronda Rousey who comes with less baggage. The thing is they don't have access to her whenever they want. That's exactly why you have to create your own superstars that have reach outside of the WWE Universe bubble. The WWE is just completely incapable of doing that.

Edited by Elsalvajeloco
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To me, their biggest issue is that there are just too many people having a say backstage.

When there is an entire team of writers they are all going to want to get there stuff on TV, crowd reactions and natural progression be damned.

Look at the points on something as simple as Cesaro with Heyman.

- Cesaro turns his back on Swagger/Dutch because he sees what Heyman has done for Brock and believes he should be at that level.

- We get Swagger v Cesaro for a month or two before Swagger gets some back up.

- Brock returns (at Heyman's request) and we get Cesaro/Lesnar v Swagger/xxx

- Natural progression would have Cesaro outshining Brock in their appearances together before Brock finally snaps and beats him down.

- Now we are setup for Cesaro v Lesnar.

- Even if Lesnar goes over, you have still built up a credible upper midcard/main event option for future  events.

It's these "missed chances" that really get under people's skin.

How does Rusev Day not get a decent run with the tag titles? Why split them up? What has either party done since that was better than keeping them all together?

Zack Ryder gets the "outta nowhere" IC title win at Mania what was the point other than a "WrestleMania Moment" which ultimately looks stupid in hindsight.

I'm more then happy catching TV highlights on YouTube and watching PPVs on the Network.

Edited by L_W_P
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