Let me set the scene for you this could be any town, any arena, at any time, Hulk Hogan is in a submission hold and somewhere in the rafters of the building it starts, hogan, hogan, more people pick up on it, Hogan, Hogan, now people are stomping their feet, HOGAN, HOGAN, and all of a sudden Hogan makes that fist and starts shaking it in the air. Hulks opponent looks terrified at what is happening, and the crowd gets louder HOGAN!, HOGAN!!!, HOGAN!!!!!, and Hogan breaks the hold and after a series of rights, whips the guy into the ropes and delivers the big boot. The crowd is nearly wetting themselves at this point in excitement, Hulk bounces off the ropes drops the leg, 1, 2, 3 and "I am a Real American" comes blasting through the speakers.
Remember when you were at an arena and a chant like that started at the right time, for the right reasons, and everyone was part of it. You felt like you helped that wrestler win that night, your cheers brought them back in the face of defeat, you were a part of the magic that is wrestling.
That magic is gone, and you can feel the despair oozing through the TV almost every time you turn on RAW or Smackdown. The crowd has changed, everyone has their favorite wrestlers both heel or face. There is no more feeding off the crowd to break a hold. It has gone by the wayside of matches, there is no more ref raising a stars arm once, having it fall lifeless, a second time, and it drops again, you used to feel your heart dropping with that arm. But then all of a sudden that chant starts, hands clap, feet pound the floor, the arm goes up for a 3rd time and just before it hits the ground it sticks out straight, shaking, straining, trying to find that reserve, the intestinal fortitude if you will.
That is what it used to be like going to and watching wrestling, you felt you could affect a match. Now everyone wants to yell "What" when a wrestler is cutting a promo. Now it more about getting your sign on TV and waving it around during the match. Now when a heels music hits half the crowd cheers, that same half drowns out the cheers for a person trying to break a hold. The wrestler in the ring has to try to coach the crowd on when to cheer by waving his arm up and down, the crowd does not know, and the crowd does not care anymore.
Maybe it is because more often than not the crowd is only getting a 4 minute match, there is no time to get invested in it. Maybe it is because Hogan was so great, but it was not just Hogan, the crowd used to get behind the face every time. When Vince made it cool to be a heel, he killed the crowd. I remember when I was able to believe I made a difference in a match, I was 10 years old, I loved Wrestling and still do, but I feel sorry for the 10 year old at matches now because they will never get the feeling of helping their hero over come adversity and having the entire arena doing it with you. It is too bad because every kid should get that feeling of joy and triumph.