WWE: Is Today's WWE That Different from the '80s, or Did the Fans Just Grow Up?

Jordan WallingContributor IMay 28, 2011

By the way Vince, I liked your hair better before Hair vs Hair at Wrestlemania
By the way Vince, I liked your hair better before Hair vs Hair at WrestlemaniaMark A. Wallenfang/Getty Images

I've been reading a lot of wrestling articles since Randy Savage passed away. Some of these articles are comparing the eras from the '80's and '90s to today's WWE product.  

These stories got me thinking. Is the WWE really that different today than it used to be? I, for one, am not so sure. Fifteen years ago I loved the stars of that era while my parents hated the non-traditional direction of the business. Fifteen years from now our kids will hate the current state of wrestling entertainment and long for the good old days of John Cena and Edge.  

Growing up, I loved Hulk Hogan. Then I hated him. And then I loved him. At the time, I remember being mad that the Rockers never won the tag team titles and despising teams like Money Inc, The Colossal Connection, The Natural Disasters, and the Brain Busters.  Now I think back on them with a great fondness.

In case you didn't know those teams included legends like The Million Dollar Man, Andre the Giant, Arn Anderson, King Haku and Earthquake, just to name a few.

So even I was fickle with who I liked. If the IWC was active back in those days the adults of the time would have complained about how cartoonish wrestling has become and how Bruno Samartino, Bob Backlund and other purest performers should be pushed and made champions again.  

Luckily for older wrestling fans, the way Vince McMahon markets to kids opens the door for other promotions that cater to older fans to ensure the constant evolution of sports entertainment.  

In fact this is partially what gave birth to NWA/WCW. They had the wrestlers like Flair, Steamboat and Anderson at a time when Hulk Hogan was running wild on the world.  

Saying prayers and taking vitamins on one side and figure fours on the other. That was up until WCW realized that Stinger splashes paid the bills and did a great job combining the two styles, leaving the business in a better place by forcing WWF/WWE to eventually evolve, a skill that Vince McMahon does better than anyone on this planet.  

Eric Bishoff has a book called Controversy Creates Cash that should be called Competition Creates Cash, because that's what made the WWE vs WCW Monday Night Wars so captivating. It was reality TV before reality TV was popular. Superstars were on WWE shows one day then were wrestlers on WCW the next.  

That is the one drawback to the WWE 90-day clause: it prevents the competition from signing your Superstars and immediately putting them on TV before the IWC posts the details of the angle, killing the buzz of reality that goes along with this.  

We should thank Vince instead of polluting his good name. He is hooking another generation of youngsters and pushing TNA/Impact wrestling to evolve into what will be the newest style of middle ground wrestling that Vince McMahon is sure to adapt (if that is what is best for the business).

Instead of trying to predict what Vince is thinking by taking the wrestling out of WWE (except for Wrestlemania I hope) we should just say thank you for the brilliance and accept that he knows a thing or two about what works in this business.

Can we really blame WWE for promoting to kids? Things are different for kids. It was in fact when we were kids that we fell in love with the business. I, for one, usually pay for at least one PPV (Wrestlemania) and a few magazines (usually PWI) each year.  On the contrary, as a child, I either purchased or had purchased for me every action figure, wrestling ring, championship belt, video game, magazine, pillow, shirt, or etc. that I could get my hands on.

It makes economical sense to continue what they have always done, entertain kids first. How else can they ensure another generation of adult fans have something to miss from when they were kids, which in turn gives them at least a partial reason to stay tuned?

Don't get me wrong, I am one of the adult fans. I have at times been frustrated with the direction of the on-air product. Christian is the most recent example, but I have to sit back and remember that I'm not behind closed doors. I have to let those in the know do their jobs. If we are all really honest, John Cena has to at least slightly grown on even the most stubborn of IWC Cena haters through his superhuman determination and charity work.

Perception is the determining factor of our own individual reality. Whether we are kids in love with cartoon superstars or adults in love with technical studs we have to realize that we have ourselves evolved our personal taste along multiple points of the intangible scale.

Thanks for listening. I look forward to your comments. Thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart for taking the time out of your busy lives to read my opinions. That is 100 percent sincere. Have a great holiday weekend and be safe.