Good points on both sides (ease up, Kokolums -- we're having a discussion, not a bar fight)
I think I probably got a little too heated yeah.
Fact is, these peaks and valleys of popularity are tied to business cycles more than anything. The country's in a recession right now, and has been for over a year. It's not a coincidence that ratings and PPV buyrates are down for a marginal activity like "sports entertainment".
I'm still in disagreement with that theory tho.
Just use wrestling booms as a point of reference to study monster heels/faces.
1. In the abscence of a monster, the industry has NEVER boomed. Not one time.
2. With monster characters, the industry has sometimes boomed.
3. All industry booms have happened when monsters existed.
I draw from that the theory that monster characters are a part of puzzle of generating a boom. It might not be the sole reason. But they apparently help and possibly are a requirement. I would say that parity at the top of the card is currently showing a strong correlation to slow or declining business.
And like I say, it makes sense. Everyone has heard of "bandwagon" fans. They want to follow a winner and it looks like they may want to boo a tyrannical reign. Its compelling.
None of this makes any value judgement on which is the "superior" brand. I mention that because some have offered their own personal preferences as to how it should be done. I'm not offering my personal preferences. I'm talking survival of the WWF here.
Now you could be right. Economic activity may also play a part. You might be right that it is the biggest part. The idea is to basically make a logic grid and figure out "what is best for business." I don't see how the parity argument holds up tho. All the trends show the opposite. Maybe its a case of people thinking they want chocolate but in reality they want strawberry.
That's why the Hardcore Belt put asses in the seats when the 24-7 rule started. Belt changes = ratings!
I can't disagree more. The more a belt changes hands, the less value it has. If it changes more (see late WCW) then it's seen as transitory, and why bother getting behind a champ when he won't be champ tomorrow? But with nice long title reigns, the chase for the belt is more important, and you can even build angles around the chase for #1 Contender, etc.
The more a belt changes hands, the less value it has? That makes sense to me, Scorpio. Maybe the WWF's problems started when they decided to build around personalities rather than titles. Also, with guys turning face/heel/face/heel over and over, back and forth, the lines between good and bad have become blurred. Can't build a good monster when that happens.
Well, obviously, it's going to depend on how the story is built. The HC Title was treated as a joke in the storylines for quite a while there, hence its importance was minor at best, tho Crash's determination to maintain the belt did add a little to it. The WCW title was also treated like a joke in the storylines, hence the lack of perceived importance.
However, when Foley and Rock were trading the WWF title back and forth a few years ago, the belt had an extra bit of meaning added to it - these guys were destroying their bodies for the right to carry that thing around, no matter the cost. They made the title seem like more than just a fancy hunk of gold, and kept their feud fresh for quite a while.
I'm not saying that the best way to build heat for a feud is to just trade the belts back and forth, but if handled correctly, a few hotshot title changes in a short period of time can do wonders.
Steve Gerding -------------------- 4-Color Review: The Comic Book Site for Comic Book READERS http://4colorreview.com