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Future-Shock #20



21 August 2004

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Bring Back the Interest!
Why has wrestling gone so stale? Lets investigate.

Short of an unscripted feud between Ric Flair and anyone dissed by his book, wrestling doesn’t seem to be bringing the feuds that viewers need to get ‘hooked’.  I’ve often said that much of the WWE’s success post 1998 is because of 4 on-screen characters, in this order, Mike Tyson, Steve Austin, Vince McMahon, The Rock.

Gate receipts and TV ratings shot to record levels when Mike Tyson brought the ‘average Joe’ back to wrestling. The WWE has been riding that wave for the best part of 6 years, and now that the tide is going back in, how hard can it be to find the solution?

It’s simple; bring the interest back. Viewers who came in at the time of Tyson don’t see Bradshaw as a world champion; they see him as one half of the APA. Why should they be hooked again by observing one half of a former Tag Team as a world champion? As great as Bret Hart is as a wrestler, he needed a period of careful booking as the ‘Fighting’ist Champion of All Time” to gain acceptance… And, how is the WWE explaining the fact that Kane, a man viewed in the Tyson days as a burned, one-eyed freak, is walking around scar free?

I’m not against change, but it seems that the WWE doesn’t cater to the casual fans as much as they would like to think – which is strange because long serving, hard core fans think that the WWE spends too much time trying pull in the casuals. Despite what certain areas of the industry may think, what casual and hardcore fans is not so different… they just want something of interest!

Many feel that the N.W.O was the only reason WCW came to prominence in 1997. The truth is that Dennis Rodman, one of America’s biggest celebrities at that time, was brought into to stir things up. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not advocating the way WCW put the strap on Courtney’s groom, but I am advocating the WWE try to shake things up.

We have a similar problem with British Wrestling. Until someone with the thought, and the cash to back it up, creates a stir for British Wrestling in the UK, the interest will not be there. Smoke filled halls don’t compare to Warner Cinema Villages or Ten Pin Bowling. It’s not unrelated then that the award for promotion of the year should go to NWA-TNA for proposing a new, multi sided ring. Hey at least it’s something different, and therein lays the interest.

Scott Future



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