Ok, I've been putting some serious though into this. I know the WWE will probably be around in some shape or form in the "future". Yet what would happen if we all some how stopped watching wrestling or it wasn't hip, cool, or the rave to do. What would happen? Well, I've made a prediction to some of my close friends here that the WWE is already in trouble with continued losses. I said they will probably be off television in the next 5 to 15 years. Ok, that could be a wild guess but I'm saying there is a trend that seems to be catching on again. Regionalized wrestling where you can actually get up close and personal with some "up and coming stars" or "just meet a wrestler" Matt Boone and Ryan Clark from Wrestlezone.com say that regional wrestling is dead but I beg to differ do to the NWA is all regional based promotions. I see people going to indies due the the state of the WWE. NWA-TNA is just the main outlet for the NWA right now. If that wasn't around I don't think they would have much mainstream attention. Well, anyways, that's my opinion. Don't get me "wrong", it's just a topic and everybody has an A**hole so everybody can say I'm "wrong".
The wrestling cycle has generally coincided with economic cycles. Back in the original 'Golden Age' of the 50's and early 60's, the economy was generally strong, and wrestling was at its peak. When the economy suffered from the late 60's through the early 80's, it coincided with the downturn of pro wrestling. The economic boom of the mid-late 80's conveniently came along with the Rock 'n Wrestling/Von Erich boom that wrestling enjoyed. Economic struggles in the early-mid 90's coincided with poor results for pro wrestling. The new internet economy of the mid-late 90's emerged, coinciding with the wrestling boom of the time period. Once the bubble on the new economy (naturally) burst, the wrestling boom bubble burst. The main reason for this: ancillary income. If the general public has extra money to spend, wrestling benefits. During difficult economic times, purchasing wrestling tickets/ppv's becomes a luxury that is easily eliminated from a budget. An example of this is World Class and Mid South. These companies began to be successful in the early 80's when the general marketplace was poor, but the oil boom was strong in those regions. Once the oil boom ended, those companies went belly-up, despite the overall strength of the economy elsewhere. Early prediction for the next wrestling boom: Late 2005.
There is only one man left to save Vince McMahon and the WWF/E. Where have you gone Greg Gagne, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Alberta's always had a strong economy, ever since the Oil boom of the 1960s and 70s, about the same time the Hart Family's promotion, Stampede Wrestling, and others sprung up. The economy stays strong up here, so lots of promotions stay open.
That's an interesting debate redsox, I hate to say coincidence, but I am. The situation in the early 90's mainly revolved around the 2 steroid trails, and the sexual assault case. As soon as the Zahorian thing popped up business went down. With that type of stuff making headlines buiness is going down regardless of the economy.
The downslide of 2001 may have had a little to do with the economy. But the fall of the economy was no where near as drastic as how the WWE fell in the course of a year. XFL, drained Vince, and they were pushing a formula that ran its course. What really severed the jugular was the failed invasion. If you look back on the ratings and buy rates from June/July of 2001 they started to swing back up. But when they started to rush the invasion and made a parody of it they went right back down. When your drenching you evil heels with a milk hose that's a sure sign of failure. That episode did it for me and for many others, as ratings dipped really low after that. I always thought that thing should have just been wrapped up a week ago at WM 19, heh.
I always thought the late 60's and 70's were great economically for wrestling. I was an unfertilized egg at the time, but after reading the Observer from a few weeks back I know WWF was doing great business during that time. I think St. Louis and AWA was real strong in the late 60's and early 70's. Again I could be wrong, but that's what I always thought.
As far as the Regionals go, it won't fly. TNA hardly breaks 1,300, most of that is papered. RoH which does awesome shows don't even draw 1,000. Local TV stations don't do local programming, thus won't pick up the costs of regional wrestling a la Memphis. Syndies are a no win situation. The only alternative is finding a television baron with large enough pursestrings to purchase the talent and produce the product. Which means it wouldn't be a regional.