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Death to Wrestling? Hell no


Fletch

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Its been seen that since the WWE started to slump in terms of show quality and an ever shortening amound of Main Event stars that perhaps the wrestling business wasnt as astrong as it was may moons ago and that perhaps a slump could cause the downfall and perhaps even demise of wrestling. if thats the case I'll eat my hat.

 

We go back to the Year 2001 and Vince McMahon kicked off an episode of RAW in mid march with the news that he had purchased World Championship Wrestling, his own company The World Wrestling Federatiosn biggest rival, from arch nemesis Ted Turner. He says that the show will be very special as he has video links to Nitro for the last ever episode of Nitro and that he will adress WCW later on. However Shane McMahon turns up and says he purchased WCW. Not many moons later and we now hear ECW has been bought by supposedly Stephanie. Ok so now WWF owns ECW and WCW, its two main rivals. So what now? A seemingly never ending roster and no competition. Lets make some on air competition with WWF vs ECW and WCW. Many bashed the entire angle that lasted from July to November. Others hailed it as perhaps a small part of genious but the majority all agreed it was such a waste of what they could have done. However they all seem to forget during this time Edge and Christian were established as singles stars. We got to know and love Rob Van Dam, Booker T amongst others and of course Chris Jericho and The Rock blew the house off with an amazing feud culminating in the match of the year at No Mercy.

 

2002 and WWF still have no competition seemingly. Meanwhile in Huntsville as WWF is changing into the WWE following a legal battle in Huntsville a small explosion could be heard as Jerry Jarrett and the Carters launch NWA:TNA. before moving permanantly to Nashville , Tennesee and the TNA Asylum. Meanwhile The WWE were dealing with a seemingly too big roster thus creating a roster split as they shifted half of their superstars to appear only on RAW and HEaT shows while the other half on SmackDown and Velocity shows. Masterful move but int he early part SmackDown had a much better wealth of main event stars with Jericho, Rock, Hogan, etc all on SmackDown. Of course not too long after when Vince had apparently rid WWE of Flair as an owner he announced that he would appoint General Managers to the shows. And what a bombshell he dropped when he announced the man who would look after RAW was the man who literally tried to put Vince out of business whilst he ran WCW..Eric Bischoff. The year launched the young man known as Brock Lesnar to superstar status whilst also bringing in old fan favourites Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan. Of course Hall was soon gone after an average match with Steve Austin at WrestleMania, Nash got injured and Hulk eventually went away. Of course the whole nWo angle wasnt a complete waste as it brought back Shawn Michaels and soon after what we thought was the return of DX until HHH turned on Shawn. fans were shocked as HBK and HHH started to feud over the course of the year as HBK returned to wrestling and of course Brock lesnar got bigger and bigger following feuds with The Rock and Undertaker. As the year ended Triple H was once again World Champion after losing his newly appointed World belt to HBk for just one month and Kurt Angle seemingly heading to WrestleMania as the WWE Champion. Meanwhile in that little TNA arena, a cult of fans begane to get aquainted with the hottest prospect in wrestling AJ Styles while being greeted by old fan favourites such as Jeff Jarrett, Scott Hall, Jen Shamrock and Brian Lawler.

 

2003 and an overall sloppy year for WWE as we were reintroduced to Randy Orton and John Cena got up in the faces of the public as everyone chanted World Life. Unbeknownest to most TNA was continuing to grow with many a former star making their way over including the likes of Sting.And of course perhaps the greatest promotion angle of all time as after a match in Japan Hulk Hogan was attacked in a press conference by TNA's Jeff jarrett with his guitar. It was marketing genious yet TNA still wasnt a real force but it was trying to improve as their unique weekly pay per views continued to keep a few people with enough money to continue watching each week. new stars were being made as TNA introduced a wealth of little known stars such as Abyss, Chris Harris and Christopher Daniels into the world of wrestling. While the broadcasts were only still available in North America on PPV it seemed as if TNA would be just another small indy fed wanting to be so much bigger. 2004 however hailed the mark of The World first ever Wrestling Channel as it arrived on British Shores carrying wealths of RoH, MLW , Puro, Luche Libre and of course TNA. It was a hit with these styles and shows being now more readily available and accesable to the modern wrestling viewer. it was a marvel as TNA's weekly pay per views were shown on TWC if a little out of date. UK viewers grew to love TNA as American fans began to hear word more and more via the Internet of this amazing newish fed. of course mid 2004 and TNA introduced a new national programme on FSN byt he name of IMPACT, which included a revolutionary 6 sided ring which was the first time to be used in North America. It shocked and it worked. Eventually not so long ago TNA decided to cut losses and ditch their revolutionary weekly pay per veiw format in favour of a traditional monthly format. It seems they have turned a corner financially but also with IMPACT being so much more available to the american public and free it meant more exposure for TNA as people like Brian Urlacher and Survivors Weasel Johnny Fairplay were allowed on air to promote the promotion. Genious.

 

So TNA had grown into a serious alternative for the wrestling fan as WWE started to slump . May questioned whether it was worth WWE carrying on but with the emergance of this new promotion it seemed perhaps sooner rather than later WWE would and perhaps will have a new rival in the way of TNA. And lets not forget that there are more now than ever alternatives for the wrestling fans amongst us. With RoH, MLW, NWA Wildside etc all becoming more and more available across America and Europe it seems fans across the globe now have muchmore choice in what they want to watch.

So I say is Wrestling Dead? Hell no, its just getting started

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I've not heard too many people in the know say that they honestly think that wrestling will die, since the numbers in my opinion aren't going to get any lower than they are right now...

 

I don't think it's on the increase or anything any time soon until the WWE has a decent direction to go in. At the moment its just trodding along in my opinion, and whilst it isn't in the slump that was 2002, it still doesn't appeal to the casual viewer.

 

And also I thought 2003 was a great year personally. Smackdown produced some of the most entertaining wrestling in the first half of the year that I personally have ever seen.

 

The problem is though that the only people who care about wrestling any more are the fans who will be there all the time anyway. I wouldn't say the outlook for wrestling is particularly positive at the moment, but it isn't exactly dreadful either.

 

To sum up my opinion... bla bla bla... Cycles!

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I should have mentioned that I was being sarcastic about the cycles bit... to me its always just been a coincedence that such cycles seemed to have occured. :P

 

I still think direction is needed, and I think the interactive PPV for instance might hint that they don't actually have any for now. I mean I can't believe that they are actually considering dragging Orton v HHH out to Wrestlemania... I pray thats just a rumour.

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