The Death of Wrestling: Abandoning Tradition for the Bright Lights of Hollywood

Cec Van GaliniAnalyst IIIMarch 22, 2011

World Wide Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation, World Wrestling Entertainment, National Wrestling Alliance, Extreme Championship Wrestling. All are bound by the one word and the one tradition, wrestling.

And yet, coming out of Connecticut now is the dictate that WWE is no longer a wrestling company. It is an entertainment company with many branches, including international movie studios and three publications.

Wrestling is no longer acceptable.

WWE is not alone in this new phenomenon. As has been reported by Lords of Pain, the most recent TNA Impact show had just nine minutes and 58 seconds of wrestling in its 120-minute program. Put another way, there were more advertisements than there was wrestling!

Now we must surely appreciate that wrestling has changed, and that the days of simple grappling requires a change, but nine minutes and 58 seconds?!

The reality of wrestling today is that Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon now see themselves as Hollywood directors. In their pursuit of legitimacy, they have abandoned wrestling tradition in the attempt to reach the red carpets of the movie world.

The current format of TNA, which relies on "reality-based" interviews, now dominates the show, and yet this has come at the expense of its wrestling product. TNA has some amazing athletes, its attempt to be some kind of "new age" wrestling means that it lost its core selling point: wrestling.

WWE is worse, however, and not a month goes by without another straight-to-DVD movie being released. The quality of such releases is highly questionable and have been slammed by the critics. How many ads will we have to sit through for The Chaperone?

If they really wanted to push the venture, then invest to impress.  

As a wrestling fan, I want to see some entertainment, but I also want to watch wrestling. It is an art form, and the likes of Bret Hart, Kurt Angle and AJ Styles are masters. If Bischoff and McMahon really want to be Hollywood directors, then why can't they at least keep the balance between wrestling and creative "angles?"

Maybe I am a cynical fan, but surely we watch wrestling for the action we see in the ring. All feuds require some creative angle and bits, but the balance needs to be right.                                     

With only two weeks until the biggest event in WWE's calendar, the question remains, are we to call it EntertainmentMania?