WWE: Is Time Running out for the Professional Wrestling Industry?

Ben GartlandAnalyst IIJune 3, 2011

For generations professional wrestling has entertained us with spectacular entertainers and moments that will be remembered by us for ages to come. However, time could be running out for this wonderful thing we call professional wrestling.

You're reading this and thinking "How can that be? Isn't the WWE a huge, billion-dollar corporation?" Well, yes it is. For now. But for how long will it be like that?

First and foremost, the WWE is a television show. All TV shows in the past, with the exception of the news and other similar things, have come to an end. A series finale. It's because the writers have run out of ideas to make the show run longer.

It shows great tribute to the genius of the writers if a show lasts more then five seasons. That's why shows like Friends, MASH and Law and Order were so legendary, the latter especially because it ran almost 20 seasons.

Now the WWE is definitely different from those other shows for a multitude of reasons. For one, the WWE constantly changes its entertainers, which makes it hard for the audience to get bored with the current roster. The shows I mentioned above had the same main actors for the entire length of the show.

The changing roster is what has kept the WWE in the television business for so long. However, it will run into the same problem as the other shows. There will be nothing left to write about.

Let's face it. The only people who care about the actual wrestling aspect of the show is the IWC, and we only make up about 10 percent of the audience. The other 90 percent is in it for the story lines, the characters and things that entertain them.

It's not the actual wrestling that's winding down. Wrestling talent will be here forever. It's the entertainment aspect that has lifted the business up and will eventually tear it down.

Even now we are starting to realize that the entertainment aspect is lacking, especially in TNA, where they are rehashing old WCW storylines like there's no tomorrow. TNA will be the first to go since they cannot come up with any new ideas—which, among other things, is the reason their ratings are so terribly low.

Now the WWE has stayed away from re-doing story lines for the most part. However, their original storylines are not much better. And it's because almost all the good storylines have been done already in the Golden, Attitude or Ruthless Aggression eras.

So when the WWE finally just cannot think of any more good ideas, or even average storylines, the majority of the fans will get bored. When the fans get bored, the business falters. The WWE has had to adjust to different markets before, but can they do it again?

And even if they can move to another market when these current fans get bored, what's to say they will still be able to entertain? The Attitude Era was chock full of good storylines, but can the WWE still have entertainment that competes with the entertainment from the Attitude Era?

Fans change all the time. They always want more than what the current product is giving out (cough *The IWC* cough). You notice this with the finishing moves.

Remember when all it took was a leg drop from Hogan or a flying elbow from Savage to get the three count? Now that would be only a one-count or maybe a short two-count. Remember when a superplex was the move that no one could ever get up from? Now it will only give a wrestler a two-count.

It's because the wrestling business is always trying to out-do itself. Once you do something, it has to be even better the next time, or the fans get bored. I don't blame the business for trying to out-do itself. It's a necessary business move to keep the fans buying the tickets.

However, there's a point where something simply cannot be outdone. An example is the Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels WrestleMania matches. The match at WrestleMania XXV was absolutely phenomenal. Many, including myself, would proclaim it as the best match ever.

The WWE tried to out-do the match at WrestleMania XXVI. While it was still a fantastic match, it did not beat WrestleMania XXVI's match. (That's just my opinion, yours may be different.) They reached the point where they couldn't beat themselves.

Another example was the Nexus storyline. It started off fantastic. Then the WWE started to see the positive reaction and tried to make it better. They tried to do too much and ended up making the storyline lackluster. It did not exceed the expectations we all had at the beginning, because they tried to do too much with it to please the fickle fans.

The fans, especially older fans, have been spoiled by the fantastic entertainment of earlier eras. Now nothing seems as good in our eyes. And that's why time is running out for wrestling. There's nothing to do to stop it.

Now, it's not going to end any time soon. But in the distant future, say in 20-25 years, we may not have the WWE or TNA anymore. The only promotion that has a decent chance of surviving is Ring of Honor, and that's because Ring of Honor's entire business is based off of being entertained by the actual wrestling. The fans of ROH are there for the wrestling. Like I said earlier, wrestling talent will be here forever.

Unfortunately, there's nothing to do to stop the eventual demise of the Sports Entertainment business. Hopefully I'm wrong. Hopefully there's an ace up Vince McMahon's sleeve that will allow the business to survive for a very long time. But if not, then it's eventually going to come to an end.

Life changes like that. Things that we love come to an end and leave our lives. It's not a fun subject to think about, but we have to deal with it anyway.

Here's my message after all this. To the IWC, stop complaining over every little thing that you don't like in the business. Appreciate that you still have it.

It may not be here forever.