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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Why Modern WWE Will Never Seem as Good as the Good ol' Days.
July 14, 2004 by Matthew Jones


Before we get started let me just say I do enjoy watching modern wrestling such as RoH and WWE, however it must be said it doesn't have the same impact or enjoyment factor of the "kayefabe" era. Sure Evolution beating down the RAW babyfaces is entertaining, and seeing Special K killing themselves does give you a kick but the simple fact is no matter how good the storylines/shows are there are certain things that will never allow them to be as good as the late 80's/early 90's because of certain facts of modern wrestling:

Too Many PPVs / Too Quick Ending Feuds

Now these two go hand in hand especially in relation to the WWE. In June this month we had two PPV events alone from Mr McMahon. Now I know he does it to make money as lets face it its all about the hunt for the almighty dollar, however its ruining the product. It use to be we'd have Four PPVs a year from the WWE, these days we have 14 and it starts to make them seem less special. I use to get very excited in the days heading into the Royal Rumble or Wrestlemania as it was a chance to see the big boys go at it, but these days as soon as one PPV is done along comes the next, it simply means they have less impact. Of course the large amounts of PPVs also means a greater turn over of feuds. The average feud will now last 2 big shows, one dodgy finish and one clean victory to end it. But this make it a lot harder to get into the feuds, gone on the days of the 12month feud where the story was slowly built up and reached a thrilling end. This right is only saved for certain main eventers (i.e. HHH/HBK) and rarely happens. It use to be the case where an even the opening feuds would last for months on end, such as Rhodes/ Windham vs. Dangerous Alliance or Perfect/Texas Tornado. Now you can see that a feud starts and ends with in two months and a lot are done just to fill the up the cards.

Quick Title Reigns/Lots Of Changes

Remember when Hogan held the belt for ages" Sure he sucked in the ring but the fact was it meant when he did lose it it seemed a lot more news worthy than when Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar traded the belt, and these guys were 3 times the wrestlers that Hogan ever was. Randy Orton was bragging over an 8 month reign as if it was an achievement, that happened all the time in the 80's/90's. And before it seems i'm just abusing the WWE it should be pointed that RoH's tag belts have been swapped more times than I can count from Backseats to Briscoes via Special K , not to mention two swaps in one night involving the Second City Saints! However RoH have given Samoa Joe a 2yr title run, say what you like about Joe but he's had it so long that when he does lose it it will seem so much more eventful than the bi-monthly swap we see on TNA these days with JJ, AJ and Killings. What always makes me sad about modern wrestling is that fact then when you look at the 80's/90's good decent tags such as The Fabulous Rougeaus / The Rockers e.t.c never once got to get a run as WWE champs yet today we get Rico/Haas and Spike/Tazz as you're weekly champions. I think this best can be seen that in 1999 the tag belts swapped 26 times over the year.

Knowledge

Perhaps we do know too much. The Internet and magazines allow us to know what future stories will happen and exactly when an injured wrestler will return. The shock value has gone, because we want to know too much. Its very hard to resist the urge to read a Tuesday Smackdown spoiler. It would be very hard to be avoid finding out just who a mystery wrestler is before they debut on TV even if you didn't want to know. For example we all knew that Jeff hardy would be on TNA that week, even though some people wanted not to know. But I can still remember the shock value of the Ultimate Warrior running down to help save Hogan at Wrestlemania 8. We know who will work where and who wont work with who, so the believe that certain dream matches will happen isn't around as we know of real life heat between certain wrestlers. If RoH were to announce a mystery return to face Samoa Joe for the world title you would automatically discount Low Ki or Teddy Hart

Lack of another "Big One"

With WWE being the only true global federation it means they can afford to put less effort into their product. It also means the debuts of "who's better" is gone. A recent as 2000 you always wondered who'd win between Austin/Goldberg, before that you had Sting/Hart, Vader/Yokazuna. Now all the big stars have feuded with all the other big stars, you've seen Goldberg/HHH, you watched Rock/Hogan. Now who can WWE bring in an instant dream match" Eddie vs. AJ would be cool but hardly as momentous as Hogan/Rock, HHH vs. Jarrett was a mid-card feud in 1999 WWE, and I doubt CM Punk being crushed by The Undertaker is on the top of Punk's fan's wish lists. There isn't anyone to bring in, they signed Hall, Nash, Hogan, Steiner, Flair and Goldberg. Sting isn't interested. Bret Hart can't wrestle. Vader/Awesome/Shane Douglas are past it. Raven/Dlo/Killings/Spanky were hardly main event stars in WWE and CM Punk/AJ/Homicide/Daniels don't have the name value to do a shock run in at a PPV main event. By being the only big company WWE has shot itself in the foot as it no longer has to compete and they have lost a source of future stars. They use to poach stars from NWA and AWA and no they no longer can.

I'm not going to talk about the gimmicks/storylines as even in the days of "kayefabe" they had a mix of the great and the terrible. I feel for the reasons above that wrestling will no longer seems as special and magical to me, its now just a very good show, as apposed to something different, perhaps it is down to my need to know too much which ruined my ability to believe in the product lately, or perhaps now the show overkill means its just as hard for it to seem special. Gone are the days or 1hrs a week and 4 special shows. Today is the day of quick changes, 8hrs of TV week, and rotating superstars!

by Matthew Jones..


MissTinkasBaby wrote:
Mr Jones, First off let me Congratulate you on a very interesting and fact based column.I honestly couldn't have said it better myself.I have known several ex wrestlers from the "kayfabe era."When talking to them, they seemed surprised at my knowledge of the business.At one point I said to one of them"I shouldn't even know what kayfabe is!"he replied "no you shouldn't."He wasn't upset, just surprised.If there's one thing I gathered from talking to the ex wrestlers, it was that the admission of kayfabe to the public took away something from the business.The mystery was gone.For me personally it has taken my childhood wrestling beliefs from me.We all have to grow up sometimes...but, can't anything stay sacred"Once again thank you ,as I enjoyed your column and agree with you 100%. Please feel free to edit this letter for space if you choose to use it for anything.
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