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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Are We Hitting a Tipping Point in "Workrate" Wrestling?

    I had this thought yesterday when I saw an open call for talent with a company. I keep my eyes out for these constantly, but this particular one specifically asked for no match footage. They wanted promos and pictures.

    Then I got to thinking that more and more talent calls I'm seeing over the last year are either not specifying that they want, or are asking not to receive, match footage.

    So this makes me wonder: are we hitting a tipping point when it comes to spotty "workrate" pro wrestling? Every week there's a new viral stunt from a new kid hoping it gets him booked, just to ge forgotten a week later when the next kid jumps off a balcony.

    But a number of TV promotions are decreasingly interested in what you can do in a ring, and increasingly interested in whether you can talk and how you look.

    And why wouldn't they be? I know folks who can't lock up and take a headlock, but have a mean moonsault. It's easy to trick smart fans into thinking you're a good worker with a few flashy spots, it a lot harder to be marketable to a broad base.

    Most wrestlers can go out with most other wrestlers and put on a decent match. But the number of guys that I know who freeze the second a camera is pointed at them and they're expected to talk is insane.

  2. #2
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Based on some of the places I've seen these criticisms coming from lately, then yes, I'd say that we are. I get the feeling people who were broadly willing to along with it as just part of a show are losing their patience and it's not just grumps like me complaining anymore.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  3. #3
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    This feels like a discussion we've had in several threads around here. But the fact is that good workrate wrestling isn't hard to find. Any of the top televised american based brands deliver a good match regularly. WWE, NXT, AEW, ROH, Impact, MLW, NJPW... Everyone can go to at least an average level. And smaller promotions won't have the budget or access to do much outside of the ring. Promos still take place, but they are all contrived in the ring to maximize their rental space (not every promotion has access to Full Sail Univeristy or Khan budgets for vignettes).

    But how many can work the mic? I don't mean being Rock or Austin, or in a modern sense, being as good as Eli Drake or Becky Lynch. It felt like even midcarders in the Monday Night Wars were able to deliver a decent or solid promo. Can't really say that today, whether they are scripted or left to their own devices.

    All promotions want to be unique. The buzz for NWA is stronger than I anticipated, and I think it's because they are focusing on the storytelling aspects more than in-ring. That's something that's been lacking, and WWE and AEW have been criticized about for not delivering. NWA is showcasing that going in the ring like it's ROH circa 2005 is not the only way to succeed.

    AND, since you're involved as a promoter, you'll see the long term benefits. Anyone who can draw for you without putting their body on the line is likely to last longer in the industry. You'll get more mileage for your money.
    Last edited by PEN15v2; 02-20-2020 at 01:21 PM.

  4. #4
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    The other thing is that if 'all' the matches are good - or, to use Pen's phrasing, if it isn't very hard to find good workrate wrestling - then, it stands to reason that none of the matches are good. It's not like there's some scale that things have to clear and then it's fine, or at least it's not like that for any but the coldest and most clinical of fans. Good and bad in this context is solely a product of distinction.

    Great matches back when it counted were great precisely because they stood out. That's why there were, what, maybe two matches on a major card that had the license to go out and leave it all out there?

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  5. #5
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    One thing COACH brought up more than once was how early on with AEW Dynamite, he suggested a producer arrange that the matches differentiated from each other a bit more. When each match has an incredible dive, by the 3rd or 4th match, it loses the impact. It's rigid analogy, but if all matches are similar bangers, then the main event in the same style won't be as impressive. I feel NXT has suffered from this quite often on Takeover over the last year (maybe 2).

    I still think back to the negative reaction the Brock vs Reigns or Goldberg matches got from online fans, and shake my head. Those matches were different, so many people poopooed them purely because it wasn't what they expected. I'm not saying everyone should have liked them, but I do feel a significant portion were goingto hate it no matter what because of who was involved, as well as because it didn't fit the mold set by everyone outside WWE. Whenever I read about Takeover stealing the show of a big WWE PPV weekend, I tend to agree, but I'm not expecting the same type of wrestling from each PPV. WWE main roster has good to great wrestling, but it's more than that, while Takeover is purely an in-ring product.

    For example, Prime, if you watch any WWE PPV from the last 5 years, I say watch the recent Rumble. None of what stood out was the match quality or workrate, but how well the stories were told. Nothing I've watched in years has matched the story of Rumble 2020, and it's all because the storytelling of experienced seasoned wrestlers hitting their queues (not spots) at the right time. Brock was the star, but the interactions with Kofi, Keith Lee, Ricochet, Braun Strowman, and eventually Drew McIntyre were incredibly told, all with minimal wrestling work rate.

    WWE messes up a lot. It's often overly produced and scripted. But in my opinion, overall they still deliver the best overall variety of match quality, story options, and excitement. The people who poopoo WWE tend to be workrate fans. They complain that Cesaro isn't a main event star, ignoring the fact that he hasn't connected with fans outside of the Cesaro Section of the online fanbase, who love to pretend they are the majority and speak for the "casual" fan. They forget that kids go to these shows, or older people who don't go online, and that other types of fans exist who prefer caring for a wrestler more than being impressed by the amount of spins in a giant swing. (by the way, I think Cesaro is one of the best in ring workers in WWE of the last decade. I just don't think he's a "star").

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    One thing I'm noticing is that this philosophy of every match trying to be a main event and steal the show is hurting shows overall on the indies.

    I see a lot of feedback from fans of one company I work for that shows are going way too long, and there's too many matches, etc. But nobody is going out to have a 10 minute, entertaining middle of the card match to advance an angle (or sometimes, just to be entertaining on its own).

    A lot of guys are in it for themselves and not to be a part of an overall show. People come to my company and are shocked when they are given a time that they are expected to stick to (I format my shows to the minute) and a finish. Because I'm not asking the cold match that I have in seg 2 to be a five star main event. It's on the card so that I can have enough matches that the fans feel they get their money's worth.

    But that level of micro management comes from the number of times I've had to put on a 12 minute main event in the past because other guys where were asked to go 10 went 15 or 20 so they could get their "great match" in.

    I'm big on maximizing the time that I have, but give what's expected for my spot. If I have 10, I'm going 10. I've cut out half of the planned spots in a match before because we were given 10 minutes on what was going to be a long card anyway. The match before us went long, the other guys wanted to get in a thousand spots, I knew that our finish would take about three minutes so I watched a clock in the venue the entire time and at seven I unilaterally slashed everything and went to the finish.

    Some guys accuse me of not wanting to go above and beyond, and I've been called lazy. But I also know that if you are given 10 minutes, maximize those 10 minutes, but do what you're going to do within those 10 minutes. Because if you go long because you don't think it's a big deal, and the next guy goes long because he doesn't think it's a big deal, and two matches later go long because everyone else gets to go long, the main event either has to trim their time or the whole show runs late.

  7. #7
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    "but what about creative freedom!!?!??! You're worse than Vince with micromanaging!!!"

    Fucking no nothing online dolt fans. I don't know why these topics get me revved up, but I just can't wrap my head around the type of fanswho refuse to think about anything but their own tastes, and assume everyone must cater to that.

  8. #8
    The Brain
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    I hope we’re hitting a tipping point, because I think we’re way oversatured with workrate matches and starving for good characters and promos in almost all areas of wrestling.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love a good workrate match, and I even love a crazy stunt in a match. But right now that’s everywhere you look, from international TV down to the small promotions. For such a long time it was rare and a lot of fans wanted to see it more, so I get why it surged so much, but if it’s now tipping back the other way that’s a very good thing in my book. A balance is best, something for everyone. Even at the height of my workrate fandom, it could be tiring to watch through the Battle of Los Angeles or something similar because that go-go style was unrelenting across the card.

    Really like Coach’s point about using the actual number of minutes the match is supposed to have to maximum effect. In a wrestling promotion I really want to see everyone working towards the overall quality of product instead of only being out for themselves. That’s one reason I love dedicated jobbers who do their job well, it’s great to see someone who “gets it” on that level.

    And for sure, any fans who think “creative freedom” for wrestlers means being able to have every match go 20+ minutes and do everything in their arsenal every time probably needs to have their head examined.

  9. #9
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    How ever, I do not want to see nothing but 20-25 minute promos non-stop.

  10. #10
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    I'm not in any way arguing, but it still amazes me how much forgiveness online fans tend to have for the Monday Night Wars, when the promos were repetitive and influenced the standard HHH/Evolution promos of the Raw 2003 era. Those Nitros with the NWO front and center for 15 minutes. People were fine with that, but not with that idea today.

    But, I agree. Even with the solid changes on Raw these days, it's still very slow, and standard with a talking segment to start every Monday night. It doesn't have to be crash tv, but step back on the overuse of the format every week.

  11. #11
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEN15v2 View Post
    I'm not in any way arguing, but it still amazes me how much forgiveness online fans tend to have for the Monday Night Wars, when the promos were repetitive and influenced the standard HHH/Evolution promos of the Raw 2003 era. Those Nitros with the NWO front and center for 15 minutes. People were fine with that, but not with that idea today.
    Austin, Rock, and McMahon, all as over as you like. Disguised the fact that a lot of what was actually on air - particularly in 1999, when the boom was it's peak - was actually quite often rubbish. It's one of the reasons looking for comparisons with the past to defend things in the present is always a bad move - amongst the many other reasons, you can get away with murder when you've got the kind of genuinely over star that can do silly things and get away with it. But those people just don't exist anymore.

    Just to go quickly back to the last point, I've a pretty different take on WWE and their storytelling, Pen, but I don't want to derail the thread too much. I guess the quickest way of making the comparison would be with AEW, as much as to say WWE don't do as many things to actually put me off watching, but for all those many, many hours of programming they do very little to make me want to watch. AEW has probably had as many moments in the storytelling that the sound of which has intrigued me in the past 14 weeks as the WWE have had in the last 2-3 years. But then, WWE don't actively circulate videos on their twitter every single week that make me think they are clown show. So, swings and roundabouts I guess.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  12. #12
    The Brain
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    It's funny, I've been watching a lot of Nitro lately and while some of those nWo promos are indeed kind of pointless and meandering, at the point I'm at (mid '97) I really don't mind them because the product and the angle is still so hot, and usually it's really good promo guys doing the heavy work. Same for Austin, Rock, and McMahon I would imagine. I liked Evolution but Triple H just didn't have the same appeal.

  13. #13
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I've always had a real problem with the whole dynamic of a wrestler just being stood in the ring and being allowed to talk. As if TV time isn't a precious commodity and there isn't any schedule to the matches or anything like that. But if the NWO were doing it, or McMahon was doing it... it sort of made a little bit of sense because at least they were the boss, or somehow *with* the boss. It sort of made sense they'd play by different rules.

    Obviously I watched a lot of those Nitro's back for the sadly departed MNW series, and it was only going back to it week-on-week years later that you realised just how much nonsense Hogan was spouting. In 1997, back when he was still HULK FUCKING HOGAN, it never quite sunk in. You were just sat there waiting for someone to come along to kick his ass.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  14. #14
    The Brain
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    Yup, half the time someone ran out from the back or zipped down from the rafters. It just worked at the time, though it has become very overdone since. Only a select few are really good at it, I'd much rather see the old 30-60 second backstage spots of days gone by.

  15. #15
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Yeah, I mean, I've said it before, but that era was sustainable in a way that Attitude isn't, really. Which makes it a shame that it's become the model for so much.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  16. #16
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    Speaking of backstage promos, I really hate the WWE format WWE uses. The interviewer stands in focus, introduces the weather, who then walks into frame... They pause to let the live audience react, then after a single dumb or simple question like "what are your thoughts on your match tonight?", followed by a full promo. It is so contrived, the interviewer is useless overall, and I eye roll almost every time. No sports interview follows that format. It's just an obvious setup,and it's a bad one. Had the interview started with "welcome my guest who has thoughts he'd like to share, wrestler A", it would work better. But the promo rarely relates to the question, or goes longer than the question really requires. And while I fall in the middle of the discussion about scripted promos and leaving the wrestler to be creative, those are the worst promos for obvious scripting in WWE.

    As it relates to this discussion, I think that's an unsung bonus to the NWA Promo style. Joe Galli and David Marquez interact with the wrestlers. It feels so much more off the cuff. With that style succeeding for one of the most discussed brands across North America, I can see why smaller promotions are following suit

  17. #17
    The Brain
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    Can't under estimate the value of Gene Okerlund. That ability to interact with wrestlers and draw them out was unmatched. NWA definitely has the right idea as far as that goes.

  18. #18
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I don't much care for the format WWE uses whether it's backstage or in front of the camera, but I'd certainly co-sign all the stuff you've said there. It's almost like they are trying to send out a dozen clues that this is all phony and you don't have to worry about it.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  19. #19
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEN15v2 View Post
    As it relates to this discussion, I think that's an unsung bonus to the NWA Promo style. Joe Galli and David Marquez interact with the wrestlers. It feels so much more off the cuff. With that style succeeding for one of the most discussed brands across North America, I can see why smaller promotions are following suit
    This is big. Guys are allowed to look into the camera (for one) and Galli and Marquez are working with them. If they sense that something isn't working, they'll prod or ask another question, or frame what they've asked in a different way.

    If Charly sees that someone has clearly forgotten their lines, I don't think she's got the authority to step in and try to save it.

    SO....

    I was on the road all weekend and one of my travelling mates was a girl who's been in the business about a year. She's only been a fan for four or five and actually only got into it when an ex of hers was doing some sort of a YouTube show where he interviewed Kenny and she looked up his stuff. It's really only modern Japanese wrestling, a little US indy, AEW, NXT and some WWE stuff that she's into and I don't know if she's ever watched anything else.

    A little insight into my life: my girlfriend is a worker, too. She was a big wrestling fan 20 years ago, fell out of it for a while, got back into it, and broke in to the business about three years ago. I do a lot of "homework". All I watch on TV at home is wrestling (and some Netflix comedy specials or Always Sunny when I want to unwind) but it's on in the background all the time. We watch promos, old stuff, new stuff, everything, and she and I talk about it.

    But this other girl has never gone back and seen the old stuff. I put on Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes promos, and a random episode of Thunder (great place to mine for interesting spots) in the hotel room Sunday night, and she wanted nothing to do with it.

    And that's when it hit me. There's an entire generation of wrestlers out there that have come along in the last few years that have no idea about the past. They don't know why we do A instead of B, and why C worked back in 1980 and could probably work again with this tweak. When they study, they study current New Japan, because that's what's cool with no idea at all of what's brought the company to the point that it's at. They understand the rules of wrestling as they were taught in school, but don't have a firm grasp on what the rules actually are (more on this later) so they don't know why a heel would do this and it's illegal.

    They seem to have a mindset of "if it entertains me, it's what's good wrestling".

    I don't think that everyone should have an encyclopedic knowledge of professional wrestling's past, but when I mention the "Hard Times" promo or Ric Flair's promo on Buddy Landell (shit, that one went viral a few years ago), or the Funk vs Flair I Quit match, nobody should be looking at me with a blank face.

    Even my girlfriend said that if we hadn't met, she probably wouldn't know half of the history that she does because that's not something that's pushed at wrestling schools anymore. One of the things I actually love about Cornette's podcast is how he discusses history, but not only that it happened how it happened and why it happened and why it did or did not work.

    It just blew my mind and made a lot of things make sense. If you don't care about the past and are only thinking about now, you're naturally not going to have any ties to what you are claiming to "evolve" by adding more flips and less selling.

    The same girl and another guy came down a few weeks ago to train with my girlfriend and I. I wanted her to work on fundamentals -- doing a lockup that doesn't suck, taking a proper headlock, striking with some oomph -- but she wanted to try a Frankensteiner.

    I had a referee that weekend that I literally had to walk through things while I was out there. I had to tell her to hold me back or count me down or kick me out of the ring when I wasn't legal. Nobody knows the rules of professional wrestling anymore, referees don't know them! (I hang them on the wall in the "Gorilla Position" of my company.) Since it's all a "performance art" in a lot of peoples minds they don't matter anyway.

    The rules have become a thing that's convenient when you want a DQ as an "out" or you need one of the babyfaces to not be allowed in the ring during a tag match, but are otherwise ignored the rest of the time.

    A lot of people say things like "well, they fight on the floor all they want in New Japan" without understanding the psychology of it. Yes, they fight on the floor but that's because within the rules of the sport of professional wrestling the referee can only count you out when he/she is in the ring (otherwise, how would they know for sure if you've broken the count).

    Traditionally, they just count you ass out, but pro wrestling as with all sports has evolved so that the referee's priority even above enforcing the rules is the safety of the competitors (it's why in UFC you don't need to be out cold for a referee to call it) so a referee will leave the ring to try and get the competitors back in to the ring, it is a work after all and we're all working together. When it become clear to the official that they are not being listened to, that official will head back to the ring to begin the count.

    It's not that you can just fight with impunity on the floor while the impotent ref stands there and watches. There's a reason for all of this stuff, but the majority of wrestlers and even refs don't quite grasp it, so you get matches that devolve into chaos with no rules and no reason to have a ref out there at all.

  20. #20
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Basically confirmation of what I already suspected watching modern wrestling. You've pretty much summarised, there, why I don't watch anymore.

    Evolution of wrestling my ass. It's a hostile fucking takeover.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  21. #21
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    Coach, you just described everything that is wrong with public education with an anecdote about your wrestling experiences.

    I have been teaching middle school math to 8th graders (13-14 year olds) for 22 years. I teach in a fully incorporated ipad district, and do you know how many of the kids do not know the fundamentals about math? Like the basic 4 operations of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. They do not know how to perform any arithmetic! Seriously. Even the 'honors' students. They rely on a calculator, or their phone, and *gasp* they seriously ask Siri what 7 time 8 is!

    When the students, who have fully internet capable devices sitting in their hands for 6.5 hours a day, and you ask a question that they may not remember, and they cannot even use their ipad to search the internet appropriately. But then you have a side tracked conversation where you may have mis-represented a fucking Kardashian, and they all run to the internet to prove me wrong.

    So if I cannot get these kids to learn basics of Education for their future and god forbid some higher level thinking problems, regardless of what career they want, I can empathize and sympathize with what you are going through when it comes to learning about wrestling.

    The problem is that this entire younger generation is given way too much way too young, and do not have to work or earn anything anymore. The wrestlers of the past had to go on long car rides and work the territories, and learn about what it takes to succeed as a wrestler to earn their spot and shot, now they go to a school and expect to be signed immediately.
    Last edited by Powder; 02-27-2020 at 12:24 PM.

  22. #22
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    I didn't know you were a teacher. I'll take it easier on you from now on, because the last thing you need after dealing with the fucking rugrats of the reality TV generation is this overgrown Canadian manchild telling you that the rumors you base opinions are can fuck off.

    You do describe similar issues, and it truly relates to mentality: right here right now. It's the youtube/Vine/tiktok mindset of connecting in single moments, but not the full story.

    Which is odd about AEW, because they are the mainstream promotion pushing the match time more than anyone.


    And COACH, I'm buying that shirt.

  23. #23
    The Brain
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    I'll just say I think it's nuts that any current wrestler wouldn't be paying attention to what was successful in the past. I'll never be in the business but if I was I'd be borrowing obscure old stuff left and right.

  24. #24
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    I agree that it's nuts!

    I kinda feel like it's what I'm seeing when I watch modern wrestling, and not just 'any' wrestler, but a majority - don't wanna know, don't really respect wrestling, don't care where it comes from, don't respect traditional fans, don't want to entertain them, just wanna do their own shit without being bothered. And in short, that's why I have a hard time imagining myself coming back - bad writing you can recover from, but an attitude like that is as final as it gets.

    I remember hearing a few weeks ago, I think it was MJF (may be wrong on that) who was supposed to have said he was the only person in AEW who would listen when some of those old guys they had hanging around - Arn, Tully, DDP, probably several others that many here will have a better idea on than me - would speak to them about what they did and why they did it a certain way. The way this story was told was that pretty much everyone else had an attitude of 'yeah, not sure why I'd care enough to listen to that.'

    Now, on the one hand, you obviously take it with a pinch of salt whenever you hear something that a wrestler is supposed to say in an interview. But on the other... I mean, that's exactly what it looks like, from this distance. So if it's a lie, it's a damned clever one.

    Right, now getting off my soapbox.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  25. #25
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    The WWE and AEW cannot control what happens on the indy circuit, nor Japan, but they control what happens within their shows. So what is stopping the producers and bookers from preventing all these kick out after kickout matches?

    Cody is clearly influenced by his father, and his feud with MJF is as old school as it gets, hell neither are on TV evey week, yet their feud has connected with the audience more than any other feud possibly including the WWE's feuds. Cody's match with Warldow did not have the finisher/kickout formula as the rest of their programming. so what is topping him from using his obvious high position in the company to make the matches less spotty and more wrestling with storyteling?

    For instance, the Lucha Brothers are amazing athletes, and can perform some of the most amazing spots that I can remember, but all of those extreme high flying spots could be a finisher in their own right.

  26. #26
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    The impression I get is that Cody just feels like they're all on a level and he'll do what he does and the rest can do what they do. There's a more... controversial, let's say, version out there that suggests he knows he can be the top star so long as he's the only one booking this kind of thing. But I think that might be a bit Machiavellian.

    As for WWE, your guess is as good as mine. Though I've heard it said that HHH/HBK having such a role and them being on board with the style is partly to blame. But that's obviously just speculation (as is the Cody point, to be fair).

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  27. #27
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    Which is so strange, because HHH and HBK have often given me the impression of appreciating the history of wrestling, and taking an old school approach. I know Shawn brought high flying to a new level (for WWF main events), but barring ridiculous special circumstances, kept finishers to a minimum and psychology as a prime focus. Yet, their NXT golden boy Adam Cole shows absolutely none of that.

  28. #28
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    The 4 years of HBK vs Taker and HHH vs Taker at Manias was all about finisher/kickout.

  29. #29
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    Could HHH’s appreciation of history be more geared towards the old territory system and how each territory had their own style? If that’s the case, then him allowing/being on board with the spot heavy/super finisher style is just a branch of that if viewed in a certain way.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powder View Post
    The 4 years of HBK vs Taker and HHH vs Taker at Manias was all about finisher/kickout.
    Which is what I consider "ridiculous special circumstances", the WrestleMania main events

  31. #31
    The Brain
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    The fact of the matter is those matches seem to be hugely popular with a certain group of wrestling fans at the moment, and I'd speculate that's the main audience that's being targeted because that's the group that will consistently spend money on the product. I think Cody-style stuff has a much higher ceiling but I guess we'll see how that plays out in the long run.

  32. #32
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, of course you're right. I forgot to consider that bit this time around - yeah, it's got to be that there is a section of the audience out there who will spend more time and money on wrestling than pretty much anyone else, and these companies are chasing them first and foremost. Anyone else you can pull in seems to be a bonus, rather than expanding the audience being the goal.

    Though I think the difference might be AEW think they *can* expand the audience doing what they are doing, while in WWE it feels more like... we're going to do what we do and be OK with this group so let's just do what we do. A hint of complacency, you might say.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  33. #33
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    Well, WWE is growing in a different way. Expanding into international markets, and aiming for a younger demographic so that kids may discover it and become fans.

  34. #34
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    It's really interesting to see what they're doing. On the one hand, it seems stupid to put all the best stuff from Raw on YouTube in five minute clips so that you don't have to watch the three hours. On the other, the young demographic lives on YouTube and those videos get hundreds of thousands of hits, but those kids aren't sitting down to watch a three hour Raw show. I wonder what the demos are for their YouTube channel.

    They have this really different situation. They're living off of rights fees despite ratings dropping, but ratings are also dropping across the board so their broadcast partners at least appear to be satisfied with their investment. But it almost feels like the content that they produce for TV is done in such a way to be able to edit it into snippets of five minutes or less that someone under 20 might actually watch.

    Their live audience certainly has a lot of young people, more than "TEH DEMOZZZZ" would have you believe.

  35. #35
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    The balance is interesting, because when they have a house show here, there's almost no groups of young guys just turning up on their own anymore. The thing is a frenzy of kids. So in that sense, you can see the strategy is clear. And I was always an advocate for leaving the Attitude stuff behind and making the show something you could watch with your kids (albeit I never quite wanted to make it a kids show, per se)

    But on the other hand, those shows never even come close to selling out. So my very tentative conclusion, based not only on that but on all the various bits of data that we've got, is that they probably are getting more kids in through the WWE, but they just aren't in particularly big numbers when compared with what they would have had in that demographic in the past (and it's probably a fair assumption that they can't come close to replacing the number of people giving up on them).

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  36. #36
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    I think the reason "young guys" aren't at house shows is because it's the typical demo of fan who wants to make the show about them. I can't stress enough how much more I enjoyed an NXT house show more than Takeover Toronto. Match quality might have been better (though the kickout fest trend was starting to wear me out), but the crowd was looking to hijack everything they could. So these guys want the TV show to be the show, and not just watch the show.

    But that's just my very jaded opinion.

  37. #37
    The Brain
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    I went to a WWE house show in 2009 and I remember the kid next to us made his folks leave before the main event with Cena. Bet his parents were thrilled, floor seats too! But probably not indicative of what happens general, and even if it is, WWE already got their money!

  38. #38
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEN15v2 View Post
    I think the reason "young guys" aren't at house shows is because it's the typical demo of fan who wants to make the show about them. I can't stress enough how much more I enjoyed an NXT house show more than Takeover Toronto. Match quality might have been better (though the kickout fest trend was starting to wear me out), but the crowd was looking to hijack everything they could. So these guys want the TV show to be the show, and not just watch the show.

    But that's just my very jaded opinion.
    I recognise this description in my own experiences, but even the house shows that I last went to - which were for NXT and the NJPW/RevPro show - were like this as well. The former was half ruined by people chanting smarkish stuff (backstage news or about real life transgressions at the wrestlers), the latter by them just singing random little songs that they made up so the people near them would think they were hilarious.

    It's why, before I stopped watching on TV I'd already decided to stop going to live shows. I can be irritated just as easily at home, without paying for the privilege.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  39. #39
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    That might be due to NXT touring the UK being treated like a PPV/TV event, even if not recorded. NXT/WWE tours north American routinely throughout the year, so it's less the special attraction for the young male TV goon audience. But going to UK doesn't happen as often, so you will get more of those types. Just a guess though.

  40. #40
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    It was also in December 2015, when NXT was still a novelty, which might feature too.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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