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21.12.14 1208
The W - Pro Wrestling - Is Pro Wrestling Dead?
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AJ_Levy
Mettwurst








Since: 31.3.02

Since last post: 3929 days
Last activity: 3926 days
#1 Posted on
Before you read the topic and say "Well DUH of course pro wrestling's not dead, look how strong the WWF is", let me clarify.

Especially sicne the introducation of the nWo, and perhaps earlier to when the WWF first rose to prominance, sports entertainment has been slowly taking over or evolving from pro wrestling. It's now gotten to the point where comparing the product Verne Gagne presented, complete with long matches, submission holds and ring psychology, to the product seen on Raw and Smackdown, is like comparing apples and oranges.

So my question is, will we ever see well presented pro wrestling rather than sports entertainment on our screens? Can Sports entertainment fans be weened on to pro wrestling? Or is pro wrestling just outright doomed as we used to know it?

An is this a good thing?

One thing that the old WCW had over the WWF was its wrestling. While the luchadores entertained in the undercard, WCW's mid-card provided real pro wrestling matches (or at least did until Russo came, though in many cases these matches weren't really that great). Subsequently, many WCW fans have left pro wrestling markdom.

Will sports entertainment proove to be a phase? Or is pro wrestling truely dead?
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Notorious F.A.B.
Pepperoni








Since: 4.2.02
From: Dudleyville's Gay Ghetto

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#2 Posted on
didn't your other thread cover this?

it's not dead. it's been around for a hundred years and gone through all kinds of phases. there will always be "pro wrestling" and it will always be encorporated into "sports entertainment" to one degree or another.



It's just you against the group mind.
I like weiners.
AJ_Levy
Mettwurst








Since: 31.3.02

Since last post: 3929 days
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#3 Posted on

    Originally posted by Notorious F.A.B.
    didn't your other thread cover this?

    it's not dead. it's been around for a hundred years and gone through all kinds of phases. there will always be "pro wrestling" and it will always be encorporated into "sports entertainment" to one degree or another.



Hmm, perhaps I should change the title of this thread to "is old fashioned pro wrestling dead"? The other thread is looking more at indie leagues and building a new national fed, where as this one is asking if pro wrestling like the AWA, and NWA / WCW used to produce is dead at the hands of Vinnie Mac's sports entertainment.
Notorious F.A.B.
Pepperoni








Since: 4.2.02
From: Dudleyville's Gay Ghetto

Since last post: 4085 days
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#4 Posted on
there will always be a market for it.



It's just you against the group mind.
I like weiners.
AJ_Levy
Mettwurst








Since: 31.3.02

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#5 Posted on

    Originally posted by Notorious F.A.B.
    there will always be a market for it.


Well, on the national stage, who is filling that demand? Perhaps one of the 2 WWF shows will eventually fill it, but outside of that, who does? I guess if I wanted a fix I could always get some tapes from Japan or watch the local indy fed, but nationally and internationally there is no show that fills the void of "old school" pro wrestling.
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#6 Posted on
It's like Eddie Vedder said, you gotta do the evolution. Old school wrestling of the AWA sort is dead worldwide. The days of Verne Gagne wrapping a 7 minute sleeperhold on have long passed, even in the places where "wrestling" lives on. The WWF presents enough wrestling in its shows to keep most of us who were brought up on 60's/70's/80's wrestling hooked, even though it may not always look the same way as it used to. The indies or Japan will have wrestling that has evolved into a new form, incorporating either more flying or harder martial arts like striking or both than the old school ever did. Wrestling is not dead. Old school wrestling has evolved in various forms. Some of them are seen in the WWF, some aren't.



"You used it to shove your miserable daughter down our throats week in and week out...not anymore!" - Ric Flair gives me hope, Raw 3/18/02

"I thought it was cool how HHH just tossed Jericho out of the ring and made him vanish, possibly into another dimension, at the end of the match." - Dr. Unlikely says the funniest thing I've ever read on Wienerville.

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deadbeater
Morcilla








Since: 12.2.02
From: Parts unknown

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#7 Posted on
I do not want to go back to the days of Harley Race, which you can tell when a move finally gets executed with a lunar eclipse schedule.
AJ_Levy
Mettwurst








Since: 31.3.02

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#8 Posted on

    Originally posted by deadbeater
    I do not want to go back to the days of Harley Race, which you can tell when a move finally gets executed with a lunar eclipse schedule.


Some of the innovation is good. Just somethimes I wish theat there was more "wrestling" and less talking! Or that someone knew how to put someone over without using the mic much!
Yun
Salami








Since: 2.1.02
From: Just outside Dudleyville

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#9 Posted on
Pro Wrestling as you define it died a long time ago... namely the minute Vince took a sledgehammer to kayfabe and admitted to the world that the whole thing is a work. Sports entertainment was born because, a few obsessive smarks notwithstanding, nobody watches pro wrestling for the sport anymore. They want to be entertained, and whether it's through acrobatic high spots, hardcore silliness, or backstage skits the pro-wrestling companies have stepped up to the challenge by giving us Sports Entertainment. A thirty minute technical masterpiece is, itself, worthless if the audience knows its all predetermined. Sports Entertainment fills in the gaps left by the absence of Kayfabe. That's why Benoit vs. Angle will be better than, for instance, Storm vs. Malenko. All four guys can wow us technically but Benoit and Angle can give it that something extra that makes up for the fact that the people all know its a work.



Everything's cool when you're Yun [point] Cheol [point] Su [point]
Ike
Salami








Since: 14.2.02
From: Burlington, Ontario

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#10 Posted on
I agree with most of your points, Yun but I wouldn't call a thirty minute technical masterpiece useless. It's certainly what *I* want to see.

However, I doubt there is a national (or even international) audience for pure technical wrestling large enough to sustain another fed the size of the WWF. If there was, I'm sure something that that would be around today. As such I watch (or at least used to watch) the sports entertainment in the hopes of catching a few moments of wrestling.

Reminds me of CRZ's old THIS MATCH IS THE PRETZELS gag.



"Go for the eyes, Boo! GO FOR THE EYES! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" - Minsc, Baldur's Gate.
Kokolums
Linguica








Since: 21.2.02

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#11 Posted on
Wrestling changes to attract the fringe fans. These fans might be entertained by a certain style once, but it gets old. All TV shows have to deal with the same issue. No matter how popular a show gets, eventually the premise gets worn and tired and ratings drop.

Style over substance is a growing trend pro wrestling shares with many other things. Talk radio is crap, but there are probably some good shortwave stations to listen to. Movies are crap, but there are probably some indy films that are good. Music is crap, but there are still symphony halls that are good. Heck, my local library renovated a few yers ago and, of course, got rid of tons of research material like back issues of newspapers and magazines to make more room for their day-care center feel. Books? We got no books! Its stunning to look at an encyclopedia from 30 years ago to see how much more content and less style used to be found in them.

I guess what I'm saying is we gettin dumbed down dood.
Weevil
Polska kielbasa








Since: 19.3.02
From: Ireland

Since last post: 3274 days
Last activity: 3274 days
#12 Posted on
Anyone watching wrestling over the last few years would assume that a women needed implants to get over, especially in the WWF, but Stacy keibler comes along and gets over just fine.

If noone is providing technical wrestling how do we know the public wouldn't accept it. They don't even have to prefer it to sports entertainment, it could just be an alternative.

Besides wrestling doesn't have to be a mat masterclass to be proper wrestling. It can still have interviews, angles and modern style matches, but with the focus on the in ring action instead of shampoo commercials and triple H's dog.
WTF13
Boerewors








Since: 22.1.02

Since last post: 4519 days
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#13 Posted on
Yeah, I'd say it is, in regards to the original question, and as an earlier poster said, I think the reason is related to the end of kayfabe. Feuds are practically non-existent, titles are meaningless, heel and faces are virtually the same. I suppose that it was probably impossible to keep things going the way they were and be able to sustain a major promotion. Still, what we see today isn't nearly as good, in my opinion, and I don't know what it's going to take to get me to watch again.

Even if you just look at what happens in the ring, I'd say wrestling is close to dead. Nothing wrong with brawling--there have always been guys in pro wrestling who "didn't know a wristlock from a wristwatch" but now wrestling holds are almost a novelty. And I agree with the late Gordon Solie about the highspot-oriented lucha style not really being wrestling either.

So yeah, it's old tapes for me for the forseeable future. Maybe I'll become interested when Benoit comes back, or when Hogan goes away.



HUSS! HUSS! HUSS!
EastCoastAvenger
Bockwurst








Since: 4.1.02
From: Clearwater, FL

Since last post: 2051 days
Last activity: 18 hours
#14 Posted on
Wrestling is close to dead, but only here in America. I just finished watching a tape a friend of mine sent me, and while "pro wrestling" has one foot in the grave and the other on a bananna peel in America, in Japan, it's alive, doing moderately well, and improving (technique-wise). The tape I saw was of a guy named Johnny Smith, and it showed some of his matches from 1997 to late 2001, so the matches are pretty current. Over there, the emphasis seems to still be on the sport aspect of it, especially now with the influx of shoot-fighters flooding the ranks, and interviews are almost an afterthought (except in a few special cases).

It's alive, just not here, where I don't have to pay 10-20 bucks per tape to get my fix.



"I hate motherfuckers claimin' that they foldin bank
But steady talkin shit in the holding tank
First you wanna step to me
Now your ass screamin for the deputy
They send you to Charlie-Baker-Denver row
Now they runnin up in ya slow
You're gone, used to be the Don Juan
Now your name is just 'Twan
Switch it, snap it, rollin your eyes and neck
You better run a check..."


--From "Check Yo' Self"
by Ice Cube
albert44
Italian








Since: 12.2.02
From: houston , TX

Since last post: 3456 days
Last activity: 3188 days
#15 Posted on
Like the music scene, wrestling goes through cycles. Right now, mainstream rock is a joke.The last time it sucked this hard was up until Nirvana came along to stur things up. Hopefully sooner rather than later, someone's gonna come along and blow this hip-hop junk outta the water.(Signs point to sooner as I hear Kid rocks new album totally flopped)The same applies to the wrestling scene. Sure the attitude era had its moments, (early ECW) but its obviously run its course. Eventually, something (or someone) will happen that will catch our attention and spark up genuine interest. Whether a new promotion and (or) a return to more wrestling oriented programming, I cant say but I sure cant wait to see it play outt!!!!
.



albert44


EDDY GUERRERO IS MY FAVORITE WRESTLER!!! YEAH HE IS!!!!!
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

Since last post: 186 days
Last activity: 23 days
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52

I think that sports entertainment is simply a natural evolution of the wrestling industry, as the industry has changed to accomodate the times. It's been modified from the '60s “seven-minute sleeperhold” style into the '80s “punchkick” style into the current time.

Overall, I believe this change has been a positive one. Let's face it, no one would sit through a 60-minute time-limit draw these days, like the ones that Ric Flair used to have. Today's fan (including me) would say, “The match is going 60 minutes? You'd better damn well have a winner.”

And imagine how boring pro wrestling would be with no sports entertainment qualities at all. I, myself, don't just watch pro wrestling for the wrestling, but I also like when the WWF manages to put together some damn good storylines to go with them.

If one's to sit around and complain about the current brand of professional wrestling, one must also complain about the general public that has forced wrestling to change with the times. These days, it's all about immediate satisfaction. I know I'd like to watch a 30-minute technical masterpiece between, say, Storm and Benoit every week on RAW, but there are those who'd be bored to tears about it. And then there are those who'd be watching the entire match waiting for so-and-so hot chick to get naked.

Sports entertainment does have its clear negative effects, though. Some incredibly stupid angles have been thrown at us in times past. An actor won the WCW World Title. Booker T and Edge fought at WrestleMania over a shampoo commercial. Mae Young has given birth to a hand covered in goop. Sometimes with the sports entertainment aspect of wrestling, you have to take the good with the grotesque.

But I feel sports entertainment is simply a natural outgrowth to keep the fans interested, and who knows? A few years from now, we might witness yet another evolution in professional wrestling. Although I'm racking my mind to find out what that could be.



“If there's anything I hate, it's a loud-mouthed Canadian with blonde hair who dresses like a rock star... except you, you're cool.”

--Kurt Angle to Chris Jericho, Smackdown 4/11/2002


Support your local indy fed. Mine is WCWO.

Weevil
Polska kielbasa








Since: 19.3.02
From: Ireland

Since last post: 3274 days
Last activity: 3274 days
#17 Posted on
Wrestling and sports entertainment are not mutually exclusive.

How about this, cut one unfunny redundant skit, have the opening interview go just 10-15 minutes instead of 20.

Replace the skit with an backstage interview with Lance Storm in which he claims to be the best technical wrestler in the WWF and gets interrupted by Chris Benoit who disputes this claim.

Use the time from the opening inteview to have them wrestle for five minutes trying to one up each other technically(thereby providing storyline and wrestling simultaneously)
Storm gets the worst of it and nails Benoit with a foriegn object to win the match to set up a rematch on PPV.

So lets see, we got wrestling, we got storyline, we set up the PPV match, Storm gets to show he's a good wrestler and gets a win and get's heel heat for cheating, Benoit gets to show he's a better wrestler and has reason to hate Storm.
and all we cut was some filler.
oldschoolhero
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: nWo Country

Since last post: 2046 days
Last activity: 1980 days
#18 Posted on
People talk about the good ol' days like the wrestling on display was all gold quality. Wrong answer. 70% of the wrestling back then sucked, and that applies to the feuds and angles too. Wrestling as a whole has also become much more explosive and athletic which is, in my opinion, a good thing. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the stuff I've got from the 70s and 80s (Wrestling Gold is just that-GOLD), but it's like taking Pac-Man over Abe's Odyssey. Nostalgia's fun once in a while, but we all gotta evolve.



Hey Yo.....................I'm DRUNK.
Weevil
Polska kielbasa








Since: 19.3.02
From: Ireland

Since last post: 3274 days
Last activity: 3274 days
#19 Posted on
So why can't they take the good of both times. We used to have bad wrestlers in long matches, now we have good wrestlers in short matches. Why can't we have good wrestlers in long matches using a modern style but also keeping some of the good nuances from the past.
AJ_Levy
Mettwurst








Since: 31.3.02

Since last post: 3929 days
Last activity: 3926 days
#20 Posted on

    Originally posted by Weevil
    Wrestling and sports entertainment are not mutually exclusive.

    How about this, cut one unfunny redundant skit, have the opening interview go just 10-15 minutes instead of 20.

    Replace the skit with an backstage interview with Lance Storm in which he claims to be the best technical wrestler in the WWF and gets interrupted by Chris Benoit who disputes this claim.

    Use the time from the opening inteview to have them wrestle for five minutes trying to one up each other technically(thereby providing storyline and wrestling simultaneously)
    Storm gets the worst of it and nails Benoit with a foriegn object to win the match to set up a rematch on PPV.

    So lets see, we got wrestling, we got storyline, we set up the PPV match, Storm gets to show he's a good wrestler and gets a win and get's heel heat for cheating, Benoit gets to show he's a better wrestler and has reason to hate Storm.
    and all we cut was some filler.



Yes, this is the kind of thing I'm talking about! Sports Entertainment, pyro, enterance videos, interviews, storylines... they're all great ways to package pro wrestling, but they're just that - packaging!

You watch the WWF some nights and you get a helluva lotta packaging and very little wrestling!

Think of it like a chocolate eclaire, or your favourite cream or custard filled, chocolate dipped pastry. Now back in the day many pastry snacks had little filling and little topping. Which sucked in a way, unles you really liked pastry.

But today's WWF is serving up the equivelent of chocolate covered cream, with a few slithers of wafer like pastry in between.

Now while cream and chocolate may be the best part of a donut, if that's all you got and you'd eaten the things for a long time you'd be kinda pissed off. Cream and chocolate is fine for enhancing a fatty snacks flavour but eat it by itself and you'd get sick of it.

What I'd love to see is pro wrestling with the cream and chocolate, and a GOOD PIECE OF PASTRY IN THE MIDDLE!!!
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