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How (not) popular is wrestling compared to a few years ago?


Slim Jim
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Looking at this picture from WWE.com closely I noticed a lot of empty seats and it got me wondering about the popularity of WWE and wrestling in general.

 

http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/5859/emptyseats9xv.jpg

 

I circled in red the areas of empty seats, and it quite clearly shows the whole "upper deck" empty and some empty spots on the lower tier. Now people don't have their nacho break when Stone Cold is drinking beer so it means that the arena was far from being sold out and that's with Mick Foley being advertised and an appearence from the Rattlesnake likely.

 

During (and after) the Attitude era, every arena was sold out for any TV show (that I can remember).

 

So is it just a slump in the buisness? Just a minor dip? Just everyone's stopped going/watching because it's predictable rubbish?

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I wouldn't say predicatable rubbish... but very predicatble...... wrestling in general has nothing to draw the casual fan in nowadays... during the monday night wars everyone talked about it so people tuned in and become hooked.. now though its too predicatable and WWE in particular is in a slump

 

TNA is on the up becasue it has good matches and still has the sports entertainment part

 

WWE's main problenm this year is the titles... im not bashing Cena and i rate DAve alot... but having the same champs practically all years isn't good... people loose intrest.. Cena is the more predictable one.. Batista's reign has a bit more unpredicatability because of the whole Brock thing that's been and gone and 3 matches with HHH

 

Wrestling needs a new hook for causual fans... that's why you need TNA to get better becasue Vince Mcmahon is great under pressure.. and he has no pressure now.... (but now we have holywood and steph so who knows)...

 

WWE has become predicatble and wrestlnig in general has nothing to draw ne fans in at the moment

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In general, attendences in wrestling are way down. That's why TNA don't tour, and places like Philly, where there's a huge slump in wrestling attendences, would be very lucky to get any wrestling at all there. In theory anyway, it hasn't stopped a ton of idiotic promoters thinking they can be the next ECW by starting up in Philly without doing research to find out that the people there just have no interest in pro wrestling.

 

It's just an effect of the fact that wrestling is nowhere near mainstream right now.

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Yeah, it's nowhere nearly as popular anymore, look at what happened to Smackdown, it's gone to fridays with miserable ratings, Heat and Velocity are gone to the Internet. It happens in cycles though, wrestling went down around 93' and picked up big time with the Monday night wars, and it looks as if that might happen again so nothing really to worry about, although WWE need to focus more on decent action and forget about attracting fans with "entertainment", which can be found much better elsewhere. It's a wrestling business so why not have wrestlers as champions instead of rappers and movie stars?
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Yeah' date=' it's nowhere nearly as popular anymore, look at what happened to Smackdown, it's gone to fridays with miserable ratings, Heat and Velocity are gone to the Internet. It happens in cycles though, wrestling went down around 93' and picked up big time with the Monday night wars, and it looks as if that might happen again so nothing really to worry about, although WWE need to focus more on decent action and forget about attracting fans with "entertainment", which can be found much better elsewhere. It's a wrestling business so why not have wrestlers as champions instead of rappers and movie stars?[/quote']

 

spot on dave

 

i think mentioning at smackdown ratings would be harsh.. they are firday night... all if WWE's audience is aound 13-30 so the majority are out friday night so smackdown's ratings drop... it was because UPN and spike are like related or somethnig and seeing as Raw screwed over Spike UPN punished smackdown

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WWE isn't doing to much to help its situation. They have terrible booking, and they really don't put on many exciting matches. Seriously, who believed Bischoff was going to beat Cena. No one. TNA is definatly on the up as they have good matches without crappy angle. Their entertainment is actually good. People want the titles, and thats the basis for a good fued. As long as WWE had hollywood writers, I believe they are going to continue to suffer.
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I think there are two main problems:

 

1. The Brand Split - I never understood it. They're limiting the number of possible match-ups that could happen, and the WWE seems like they want to create some kind of competition within themselves (which is completely unnecessary) with this whole RAW vs. SD thing. On top of that, ending the split would get rid of some of the guys that no one cares about. I don't like to see anyone lose their jobs, but there's always other promotions.

 

2. The Lack of Real Star Power - With guys like The Rock, Stone Cold, Mick Foley, and Hulk Hogan not around full-time anymore, there's very few wrestlers who make me want to tune into RAW or SD each week. I realize that it takes time to build guys up, but it seems like WWE/World title matches with a 'big match' feel to them are few and far between these days.

 

That is all.

Edited by wrestler223
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2. The Lack of Real Star Power - With guys like The Rock, Stone Cold, Mick Foley, and Hulk Hogan not around full-time anymore, there's very few wrestlers who make me want to tune into RAW or SD each week. I realize that it takes time to build guys up, but it seems like WWE/World title matches with a 'big match' feel to them are few and far between these days.

 

absolutly 100% agree!.. :worship thats what i've been saying for 2 years now on diffrent forums :) lol

 

another thing for me is the humor, okay so it's gotta have entertaiment... so lets make that FUNNY!...

 

who doesnt miss DX... Kurt singing... The rock; this is your life...

 

to me the last part of the nineties had it all... humor AND larger then life caracters... people with natural charisma... it made me laugh and gasp at some of the big, bad, bigger then anything you've seen before matches..

 

last week smackdown... the segment when the rock promoted 'Doom'.. that was more entertaining than ANY of the matches... and even Orton, benoit an Kennedy were in big matches...

 

 

my 2 cents..:devil

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WWE has been slumping for a while since WCW folded in my opinion,when WCW was around then there was compatition for them they had to make their show good to compete for an audiance but now its just them they put any old crap on and there is no other show to watch at the same time on a Monday, so people are instead not waching at all
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2. The Lack of Real Star Power - With guys like The Rock' date=' Stone Cold, Mick Foley, and Hulk Hogan not around full-time anymore, there's very few wrestlers who make me want to tune into RAW or SD each week. I realize that it takes time to build guys up, but it seems like WWE/World title matches with a 'big match' feel to them are few and far between these days.[/quote']

 

I remember reading somewhere (I think in a Mick Foley book) that this may be the causeof all the slumps. Basically that th bookers/writers concentrate on pushing the top guys at that time and don't bother grooming the best lower and mid card guys to step up into the void left by the decline and departure of the current top guys.

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I think one of the reasons why it isn't as popular is that basically wrestling has lost its magic. I suppose it is the equivalent of finding out that there is no Santa Claus or learning how a magician does all his tricks. Finding out wrestling isn't real has killed the love alot of people have for it. Shows like Tough Enough, the worked shoot angles the WWE sometimes like to do and the Internet have exposed the wrestling business. A hell of alot of people now know most of, if not all the tricks that are used in wrestling, so they're not going to pay money to watch a show. Even going back 5 or 6 years ago, the amount of fans who knew the secrets of wrestling was pretty small, but now it has exploded. Do alot of people still like wrestling? Sure, but I don't think they like it as much as they did when they thought it was all real.

 

I watched the ten man tag team match from early 2000 (Rock/Cactus Jack/Rikishi/Too Cool vs. HHH/X-Pac/Benoit/Malenko/Saturn. Great match by the way.) and the crowd reactions during it were crazy. Brian Christopher was getting huge pops. Go back and watch the Mankind vs. Rock match from Raw in late 1998, watch and listen to the reaction of the fans when Austin shows up, it was INSANE. Nowadays, you simply don't get reactions like that. I think one of the reasons for that also is that wrestling has lost its unpredictability. Alot of people, including myself, dislike Vince Russo, but during his booking reign in the WWF, Raw was simply unmissable. The wrestling and alot of the angles were pretty bad, but God was it fun. It brought an unpredictability every week that meant you simply could not miss a Raw or you'd miss something great. The WWE doesn't have this anymore. Watching Raw or Smackdown these days, aside from the obvious highlights of every show (Ric Flair, Mr. Kennedy...Kennedy, Eddie Guerrero and not many more), is almost a chore these days. The monkeys in creative are making ridiculously simply mistakes and for the last few years it has been killing the enjoyment of the product. I think one of the main mistakes they made was their booking of the Invasion angle in 2001 and I still believe that this is one of the main reasons why wrestling isn't as popular as it once was. For a guy who calls himself a genius and for a guy who likes to make money, Vince sometimes has a terrible habit of allowing his own ego to get in the way of making money, 'I hate WCW, so lets stroke my ego and my companys ego by squashing them on TV every week for 6 months. Screw making money off it. I'm a genius!' Heres the WWF coming off its best financial year ever in 2000, they enter 2001 and Vince is presented with an opportunity that he never thought he would have, an opportunity given to him on a silver platter that could make him a ton of money and be the single biggest angle in wrestling history. This was an angle that every fan wanted to see, it was their dream storyline, this was WWF vs. WCW and the WWF messed it all up. The fans wanted Goldberg, Hogan, Flair, Sting, Steiner. What they got was Hugh Morrus, Chuck Palumbo and Mark Jindrak. They wanted Goldberg vs. Austin or Rock vs. Sting, instead they got Undertaker/Kane squashing Kanyon/DDP in a cage for 167 minutes. They wanted a war, a bloody battle between two hated rivals that had been battling it out on a Monday night for 6 years, instead they got Undertaker single handedly beating up 25 WCW guys. They bring in ECW and you think 'Ok, this could be great', then they mess it up 45 minutes later by alligning ECW with their most hated rival, WCW and introducing Stephanie as the ECW owner and making WWF vs. WCW/ECW all about McMahon vs. McMahon. The Invasion did have a number of highlights (Steve Austin having the best year of his career and one of the best years any wrestler has ever had in wrestling history ever, being the main highlight), but never have I seen a storyline that had so much potential and ended up being so botched. People want to talk about the worst storylines in history, look no further than the Invasion and I think the way the Invasion turned out is why people became disillusioned with wrestling.

 

There are of course a number of other factors, lack of star power, horrible storylines, pushing the wrong people, not pushing the right people and not listening to the fans because believe it or not the fans know what they're talking about.

Edited by Naitch
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What WWE needs is unpredictability. Where you don't know what the hell could happen next week, back in the day, somethin used to happen every night. Wether it was putting someone through the announcer's table to exciting matches. How about having the Champ have title matches on Raw or have someone be put in for the title running, someone that you could never see the title around. What I think would be good is having The Hurricane win the Royal Rumble. Then we would have a super hero champion, with Rosey at his side helping him win every match. Then have a Big Show vs Hurricane fued. The reign of The Hurricane. Have Richards bring back Right to Censor. Unify the Championships at this Wrestlemania. End the brand war. More cage matches on Raw. Throw people off the Entrance Stage. Bring back Hardcore title. Put Kane in the mask again. Bischoff, HBK fued. UNPREDICTABLE
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What WWE needs is unpredictability. Where you don't know what the hell could happen next week' date=' back in the day, somethin used to happen every night. Wether it was putting someone through the announcer's table to exciting matches. How about having the Champ have title matches on Raw or have someone be put in for the title running, someone that you could never see the title around. What I think would be good is having The Hurricane win the Royal Rumble. Then we would have a super hero champion, with Rosey at his side helping him win every match. Then have a Big Show vs Hurricane fued. The reign of The Hurricane. UNPREDICTABLE[/quote']

 

Big Show vs. Hurricane??! Oh god no, please no. Well, I suppose it's unpredictable if nothing else!!!

 

You're right with unpredictability though Superkick. It was must watch telly because you never knew what was going to happen AND you really cared about who it happened to. At the moment the WWE just doesn't have the top star power (faces in particular) to make you want to watch every week.

 

I was thinking about this topic earlier today. I have a sound clip of Backlash (2000 I think???), main event HHH vs. Rock w/Stone Cold. 3 days earlier Austin had returned and blown up the DX Express. Now people knew something would happen with Austin so they had to tune in but who saw the blow-up coming? No one.

 

But the aboslute proof of popularity being higher back then was the Backlash main event. Austin has yet to arrive at the arena and Rock is being taken apart by HHH, Shane, Vince, Patterson, Briscoe. Then Austin's music hits and this place is rocking!! In true Stone Cold style he clobbers 6 people with a steel chair, leading to Rock finally regaining the title. The pop for that 3 count is incredible. Go back and listen to it. You just don't hear that anymore.

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