Let the People Decide: What Do You Want to See in Wrestling Today?
When you look at it objectively, it must seem really easy for people like me to log into Bleacher Report and slam people like you, my faithful readers, with article after article about what is or is not wrong with professional wrestling.
It also must seem easy for people like me to write about what everyone wants to see, but when I myself looked at it objectively, I realized something: How do I know what everyone wants?
I base my pieces off of the general bits of public knowledge and opinion that I find. I write about things like tag team wrestling, the new Monday Night Wars, and endless comparisons between WWE and TNA.
But now that I think about it, I've never taken the time to really poll the public and find out what it is they want to see. So, in the interest of fairness, we're going to do things a little bit differently. I'm going to tell you, my readers, what I want to see.
And then its time for you to sit in the hot seat and speak up about what you want to see. Sounds easy enough, right? So, hold your breath and here we go.
This is probably what is missing the most from professional wrestling, in my opinion. I recently read a good article from another writer on a different site who mentioned this key point.
A good pro wrestling company will find the balance between risque and childish. This being said, there are two major pro wrestling companies in the market today.
WWE and TNA.
One of them is a corporate powerhouse, the other a smaller underdog. While WWE is miles ahead of TNA in terms of ratings, neither company is honestly doing right by their fanbase with their content. After an extensive study, I came to the following conclusions:
WWE has over-corrected their content while TNA is trying too hard to be edgy. There is really no balance from either company. My ability to suspend disbelief pops like a pimple on prom night when I see trainers calling time-out during a match to put a dinosaur band-aid on a wrestler's cut.
Likewise, my eyebrows go up at how quickly TNA went from their moderate censorship to using words like "prick" freely on television. I'm no censor but TNA should keep in mind there will always be a percentage of kids that watch wrestling. Words like that don't need to be used on TV just for shock value.
The balance I speak of has long since disappeared. In my opinion, the balance of content needs to be realistic. I don't want to see Lita having a miscarriage or a live sex celebration on my wrestling program.
On the flip side, I also don't want to see 60 year old men bleeding all over the place, just for the sake of blood. There has to be a fine line drawn between sexy and obscene, violent and grotesque.
Don't insult the audience's intelligence by trying to cover up the women. That's completely counter-productive. Just use them sparingly and trust the parents to monitor what their kids are watching, just as they should with all programs on TV.
Don't let the wrestlers cuss like sailors freely on television but don't dumb down their vocabulary either. Obviously, words like "prick" and "bitch" don't really need to be tossed around very freely but censoring a word like "ass," which is hardly considered a curse anymore, is just going to disillusion your adult fanbase.
Be honest: Kids are more than likely to hear words a lot worse than "ass" on a daily basis. Probably from their own parents. Stone Cold Steve Austin just isn't himself if he can't even get through one sentence without having it bleeped and muted from the broadcast.
2. Star Power
Another area that neither company should have trouble with, but both do. In WWE's case, you're probably saying, "Oh, but what about DX and Randy Orton and John Cena and Undertaker?"
Exactly. What about them? Many of them are either overexposed or just plain stale because of consistent exposure. When Orton finishes his program with Legacy, he'll go right back into the title picture. When Triple H finishes his program with Sheamus, he'll go right back into the title picture.
Cena does wonders for pay-per-view buys and merchandise sales but he is a nightmare for continued creativity. You can't plan out the ending of a show or a big PPV without factoring him in there somewhere. Yes, he's the name and face of the company.
No, he does not need to stay at that level at the expense of every midcarder on the roster.
The Undertaker, as great as he still is, should not be World Heavyweight Champion. He's getting older, he's only good for a match or two every month and his gimmick is all but extinct.
With the current fear of edgy content that exists within WWE, 'Taker's gimmick has become nothing more than an entrance and make-up.
WWE's tunnel vision as it relates to its major stars leads to much more work for them in the long run, when it comes to creating a new big star. Getting from mid-card to main event is nowhere near as simple as it once was.
In the case of Sheamus, not even a WWE Championship reign is enough to take him seriously. Perhaps if he'd done more than beat up Jamie Noble and Goldust before winning the Title, people would have bought into him more.
TNA is certainly not exempt from this. While the "alternative" company has greater freedom to push their younger talent, they are far too focused on the old timers.
Guys like Hogan, Flair, and the Nasty Boys do not belong in a ring anymore. Their time is over. I'm not saying exclude them from being part of the show but they don't need to be getting in the ring and taking performance time away from guys like AJ, Joe, Daniels, Kazarian, and all the other young guys that still have many years of ring time ahead of them.
TNA is in a better position than WWE as it relates to pushing the future Main Eventers of wrestling, so they need to quit trying to suck up whatever drawing power is left in Hogan and Flair and focus on guys that will be drawing for the next 10 years.
3. Don't Try to Be Something You're Not
WWE is not the Cartoon Network. TNA is not WWE.
Both companies seem to be having a bit of an identity crisis when you think about it. WWE is currently scared of blood and profanity and is pushing guest hosts and is leaning away from the term "wrestling."
TNA is promoting itself as the "alternative" to WWE by hiring ex-WWE employees and recycling old WWE storylines.
What's wrong with this big picture? WWE is the giant of the wrestling world. The suits in Stamford, Connecticut seem to have forgotten their roots and are doing everything in their power to either erase or alter the path that made them big in the first place.
While WWE practically bathes in cold hard cash, Vince McMahon can't neglect the audience that made him the pop culture icon he is today. I'm not talking about kids or adults or even teenagers.
I'm talking about the wrestling audience. At the end of the day, you're supposed to be a wrestling company, catering to wrestling fans, young or old, male or female.
WWE has accepted the media label of "entertainment" company while completely forgetting that wrestling is what made it one of the most powerful organizations on the planet.
TNA is supposed to be the alternative to this. Dixie Carter's brilliant answer? Previously used storylines and previously owned wrestlers. To be an alternative to your biggest rival, why put the spotlight on ex-WWE guys as opposed to your own people?
Why use rehashed WWE stories instead of coming up with your own?
The answer is simple: Dixie Carter has no idea what she's doing.
By doing what she's doing, she is simply showing her lack of confidence in her home-grown employees and her faith in writers that used to work for the "other guys."
I feel that's enough from me. I've told you all what I want to see. Now it's your turn.
Let me hear your responses. Be it comments, emails, counter-articles, whatever suits you. The people need to speak up.
What is it that you want to see in wrestling today?
Questions and comments may be left here or emailed .
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