Yes, you read correctly, one of the biggest detractors of the Attitude Era is calling for the WWE to put some Attitude back in it.
However, the writer that I am, I have a lot of things to say and talk about. So for those interested, buckle up, its time to talk business.
First of all, I would request the readers to pay some attention to the title of my article, "Is it time to put SOME Attitude Back?"
Now allow me to elaborate!
I don't suggest the WWE to actually bring back the Attitude Era as such because many concepts of the past don't and won't work, because for a company to be a success, it has to mold itself to fit the dynamic environment. Plus, pro-wrestling fans never love to see things redone.
For instance, back in the day, Hulk Hogan whose persona was that of a Superman was loved by all. Whereas today, John Cena, whose character a bit different-has been rightfully described as the modern-day Hulk Hogan, has his fair share of haters as well.
How he draws so much is an article for another day, but these are proven facts.
What is hot and happening today, might not be in fashion tomorrow. And this applies everywhere. You can go back and time and have a good laugh at the things you desired to do and wanted to do when you were a kid, the reason being that back then, things sounded cool but now, they don't.
The WWE works the same way. Any persona, gimmick suiting a superstar in the present day world, is not necessarily going to be a draw in the future as well.
With that out of the way, allow me to explain as to what exactly do I mean when I say that the WWE needs to put some Attitude back in the product.
The WWE needs to tweak the characters of the various superstars, money earners or to put it in a better way, the WWE needs to tweak the character of the superstars with high amount of stage presence in such a way that WWE can be enjoyed by fans of all ages.
I know it is tough to do, but there certainly is scope. Allow me to explain it further.
Look at John Cena for instance. Almost anything he does, screams a super hero suited mostly for the kids. Now imagine if he were to stop wearing all bright colors, stop his pandering to kids and remove his Superman costume. I know, we can't make him do that, etc etc, but this is just an idea.
Won't it suit the needs of wrestling fans of all ages if he were to become an extremely cocky comedian, whose motto is just having fun rather than care about his fans? I mean, he comes down to the ring once in a while, and rather than cutting his usual, "WWE is my family, I will never let you down," he tries to call out his opponent the best way possible and get the crowd to chuckle? With the writers the WWE has, they certainly can come up with a concept like that.
Moving over, imagine someone like Zack Ryder, getting his own segment, kind of like Jericho's highlight reel or Christian's Peep Show. Again, I know, it is not really possible, but well we are the IWC, we are supposed to express.
Getting back, imagine him having a few segments where he invites guests on his show and rather than really being grateful to them, as he usually is during his YouTube shows, he displays his arrogance, shreds them apart and ends up attacking them like a heel should?
Or maybe rather than just going out there and entertaining the fans with his acrobatic skills, John Morrison (if he keeps his place) brags about his skills, etc. and maybe insults the fans as well.
What I have explained here is, three family-friendly on-screen persona's molded or tweaked in such a way that they continue to both keep the families interested in watching whilst they have changed their character or to put it in better words, whilst they have been injected with a dose of Attitude.
This, is exactly my definition of Injecting Attitude into the WWE. A tad different from the original Attitude Era days, but still an emphasis on the need of showcase of Attitude, Aggression, In your face behavior etc.
Before I progress, I would just like to state that, while a few readers will argue that such things were present in the Attitude Era days as well, to them all I want to say is, the Script Writers are the ones who have to make a difference here by coming up with various lines and ideas which suit a wider demographic.
With that said, I would now like to focus on the various reasons why, we need the WWE to do that now.
Code 1: The Time Is Now
Such a thing won't have been possible last year, due to one major reason; Linda McMahon was running for senate. As a result of this, the WWE was trying to clear its name the best way possible and maintain a crystal clear image as it would help her chances.
However, much to the delight of the wrestling fans, she did not win and this allowed the WWE to ease up on their extremely "kiddish" programming. Plus, let's accept it, John Cena and a couple of others have also been allowed to ease up a bit.
Now, the WWE does not have to cater to her needs and they are free to get back some degree of in-your-face Attitude. The current state of the company, provides a green signal to the WWE authorities to make the desired change without being worried about a certain issues.
So a huge factor has been taken care of..
Code 2: An Era of Transition
Yes, it is finally happening. We are currently in such a phase were a lot of things are happening and pointing towards the pushing of new talent.
Most of the established veterans who can be termed as legends already have either retired or are on the verge of retiring. In the last year, the WWE has seen Shawn Michaels and Edge hang their boots, Batista quit the company with no update on his return and Triple H, Undertaker, are said to have entered the last year to year and a half of their careers.
Moving further, it has also been speculated that superstars like The Big Show, Rey Mysterio and even Kane might not have a couple of years left in them. Chris Jericho is one man who could make his return but the chances are that it won't be a huge run with the WWE.
On the flip side, John Cena is finally not the main player on RAW after a considerable amount of time and The Miz has stepped up. This leaves only John Cena and Randy Orton as the top veterans in the WWE.
All of this is being rivaled by the entry of many new superstars in the WWE, and with the addition of many potential future main eventers. So basically, now is the time to put new stars over and have the legends take a back seat from holding major gold.
Add to all this, the fact that the Draft is coming, which further allows the chances of a major roster shake up. So if the WWE plans things well, we might just see a new phase altogether, and reallocation of superstars in such a way that; A) They don't get buried wherever they go, B) Get enough of established players to put them over and C) Get proper air time to get over and start attracting a major fan base.
Come to think of it, the WWE has a great opportunity to make this transition to support newer concepts.
Code 3: Get the Wrestling out!
This point basically pertains to the latest buzz clogging the Internet Wrestling Community.
While I am in the solid minority which is unaffected by it, I do feel that now is the right time to make such a move.
My understanding of this planned change leads me to conclude that, the emphasis on wrestling will reduce, although I am pretty confident that the WWE will not boycott wrestling as such and become a soap opera or a reality show.
Anyways, with the emphasis on wrestling reduced, the WWE will need to concentrate automatically on better Entertainment standards to keep the fans interested.
Now, honestly speaking, the PG Era has been vastly debated upon and while I strongly support it, I myself feel that this PG business has gone on for a long while now, to the extent where it is not my like or dislike for the type of product but its over-usage and staleness which has sort of started to sink in.
So, if we get a new product now with a different style of Entertainment and with a different remix of style, characteristics, or maybe even a different genre, then it could aid well in making a transformation and maybe, even gathering more fans initially.
The ball, is with the WWE, where they go from now, is in their hands, but being an opinionated member of the IWC that I am, I have spoken. Thank you for being my audience.
BTW, I just want to give a shout out to my good friend and fellow Featured Columnist, Buzz for the encouragement with this article, without his stepping in and encouragement, this article won't have been possible.
And just one more thing, with Edge announcing his retirement from WWE, I just want to wish him The Best Of Luck for the future and with much respect to his fans, hope that he stays retired after the grand send off he received. Thank You Edge!
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