There is a lot that is different about WWE now, compared to what it was when I was a kid. For starters, WWE used to be telecast two weeks late. It pricked me a lot, and more often than not, I would use the internet to figure out the results beforehand and announce what I found out to my fellow classmates. Oh, what days they were, when spitting out water Triple H style in a school bathroom made us feel strong and invincible.
Things are different now. Most WWE superstars have a Twitter account. The shows are telecast live and in HD. The biggest change however has been that WWE has decided to become more family friendly. The days of the attitude era where Stone Cold Steve Austin would guzzle up two cans of beer in a gulp, and show his middle finger to the crowd is over.
The millions (and millions) of The Rock’s fans (including this writer) were left heartbroken when he stopped becoming a regular on either RAW or Smack Down and moved to Hollywood. For me personally, his exit was a suckerpunch that sent my levels of enthusiasm for the show sliding down like a kite that has lost its thread. To add more salt to my wounds, the family friendly format meant that there was no more of Kane electrocuting Shane McMahon’s testicles or Vince McMahon forcing Trish Stratus to strip down to her bra and panties and bark like a dog. All of which made for captivating entertainment to the boy I was.
The extreme nature of this show also invited the ire of many people (mainly parents and teachers). Children were hooked to the popular show which was high on both violence and sex. Their parents tried to make them stop, which only gave the kids a chance to practice the argumentative skills they had learnt by watching their favorite stars.
Some of you might say that the reduced violence is good as you don’t want children seeing that kind of content. I disagree. With the rise of YouTube and faster internet speeds, children can access violent and sexually explicit content very easily. It is no shocker that WWE has started to market vintage content like DVDs of the attitude era more aggressively now than ever before.
To make matters even worse for the already deflated wrestling fan in me, documentaries like ‘Wrestling secrets revealed’ showed us how the blood and the beating is nothing but a sham! The WWE that I followed with pride, now became an uncool and childish thing.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying WWE will go out of business, or the hundreds of employees it hires have reason to panic. The show will go on! However, it just won’t be as cool as it once was!
That said, there are some good things about the PG era too. No one can be wrong all the time, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Wrestlers like John Cena have added a lot of charm and entertainment, and proved to be a worthy role model for little children. His catchphrases like ‘you can’t see me’ received huge acceptance, and I am sure it was imitated several times in school classrooms across the world.
But, there are several things wrong too. People like CM Punk and Seth Rollins (where is that aura and charisma?) seem pale in comparison to The Rock, Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Forget the swearing and the brutal violence, these people aren’t as good with the mic as the old superstars.
It could be because I don’t have a young and impressionable mind anymore. Probably, the kids of today idolize Danny O’ Brien like I loved Chris Jericho. Probably not. The kids of today have access to much more entertainment than we had. They can now play some intense games on mobile phones, and need not spend money to buy WWE trump cards. They can now watch HD porn at the click of a button, and need not wait desperately for a bra and panty match or a bikini contest.
No one can ever be certain about the future, but it may never be like the old days again. People are always looking for new ways to excite themselves, and seeing two wrestlers hit each other in the ring (not for real) may not have the novelty factor going for it anymore. The action movies are getting bigger and better, with more realistic car explosions and actors jumping out of buildings and fighting on trains. WWE however is restricted to the same old suplexes, chokeslams and clotheslines.
Yes, the drama is still there, but ever since people I found out that it is scripted, it is hard to root for someone.
It is not like the heads at WWE aren’t trying to innovate. Stuff like Total Divas (which is a reality show featuring WWE Divas) and engaging games on Xbox is a step in the right direction, but it isn’t enough to arrest the damage that WWE has suffered in recent years.
What does it need? Better writing, more engaging story lines and a free leash for upcoming WWE superstars to sell themselves with the microphone.
Personal trivia (this is worth at least 1000 bucks in the gossip market): My Facebook login ID is still firstname.lastname@example.org.