Re: The hard question (20+ year old fans only please).
I don't feel that I am too old for it, but just that I am growing tired of predictability.
Call me a mark, but to be edgy or interesting in today's product you basically have to break the fourth wall, something Punk is very good at doing without damaging kayfabe too much.
Because the product is rather bland, its all too easy to point fingers and really start to hate individuals like Cena/Orton as figures of doom for the wrestling business, but the problem is deeper ingrained than one or two guys perceived as "boring" or "predictable".
The problem is that the fans are not being listened to. Vince would rather shove down throats in order to line his pockets his way, rather than listen to the fans and still line his pockets, but without his poster boys doing the work for him. Vince, or whoever the hell makes these decisions, cannot see that there are huge bucks to be made from Bryan, if they just cut him loose, but there is a refusal to do so.
This problem has always been here. The WWF/WWE was always afraid of cutting Jericho loose from the constraints of tight-control, and this has resulted in a Y2J psuedo-legend - the fans see him as a legend, but is he? Did he ever really get given the ball to run with it? Sure he was the undisputed champion but it was ever so awfully booked, and taken away from him so soon.
The moment things get too interesting or quirky, or into tweener territory, Vince runs scared, too afraid to go with a guy who isn't the tried and tested muscle man. Problem is that fans are crying out for a super tweener, or someone with some edge to them. To an extent we've had this with Punk, but the WWE hasn't put enough stock in guys like this. I can only hope this Ziggler thing doesn't go wrong, because there is so much potential to give the fans what they want with Ziggler.
Vincent K McMahon:
"Despite the way I would feel personally about someone, if it's the right business thing to do, I'll do it for our audience."
"Giving it to the audience is probably the easiest thing. Finding out what they truly want is probably the most difficult."
"If you stop building stars, which we never do, you wouldn't be in business."
"We love our fans, so there's nothing we wouldn't do for them, and we go directly to them."
"Again, the nice part about it is that we listen to our fans, and they're the ones who really decide who is ready to break through into that top echelon."