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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Analyze this: Death of Kayfabe

The portrayal of things that happen within the storyline as real ignoring the worked nature of the events is called Kayfabe. It basically defined and brought in the crowd during the territory days through rivalries, career ending injuries, retirement matches even if the wrestlers came back, Fake marriages, onscreen brothers, fake divorces etc.

Faces and heels were defined clearly based on their actions within kayfabe and people had it easy hating the heel for to them, Kayfabe was real. But with more and more information being available to the audience through internet and other mediums, kayfabe started to disappear slowly making it pretty complex for the booking and the fans.

In 1975, in a plane crash which involved Mr Wrestling I and Ric Flair together, Mr Wrestling I checked into hospital in his real name as a promoter so as to not break kayfabe getting caught with Flair who was a heel.

How do you think the death of Kayfabe affected pro-wrestling and when do you think it started to die, if it did?

To me, Monday Night wars, Attitude era and internet were the major culprits in killing Kayfabe and it has made booking a lot difficult and the product less enjoyable for people no longer hate heels, they merely know them openly as actors playing heel getting them less involved. Say before 20 years, If a car had run over Cena, it would have been perceived as real and the angle would have worked in a different scale than now when the first response would be, he is going to shoot a movie.

Spoiler for Give the guy a break:

Last edited by theidealstranger; 10-26-2012 at 07:06 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 07:15 AM
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Re: Analyze this: Death of Kayfabe

I feel it was diying before hand, there had been moments where WWE had "broke" and said something, like durring a tradgdey or what not, and wrestling had gotten away form its "darker side" and more popular it came the hardar it is to keep secret.

I feel Vince making WWE is what killed it, not right away but slowly, becuse of how popular it was.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 11:17 PM
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Re: Analyze this: Death of Kayfabe

Hacksaw and Iron Shiek getting caught together with drugs during a feud between the two.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 12:20 AM
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Re: Analyze this: Death of Kayfabe

Kayfabe was dead long before the Monday Night Wars, I think maybe in some of the wrestlers minds it was still alive but in reality keyfabe died in the 80's.

To me there were two events that squashed kayfabe.

1. The 20/20 piece on pro wrestling. December 28th 1984, Kayfabe died that night in my opinion.

Here is the most infamous 45 seconds of that piece,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrX9Ca7LSyQ

But if you can find the whole piece, it is the classic interview with Eddie Mansfield and other ex wrestlers who really crushed keyfabe. I was watching and even though I knew wrestling was fake I defended the sports legitimacy just to keep my end of the kayfabe bargain I had emotionally made. After that wrestling was indefensable.

2. Vince McMahons "sports entertainment" move to save money. If there were any of us (workers, and fans) still holding on to the era, it was hitwith a second nail in the coffin.

I understand your thinking on the plane crash. However the aspect of a heel and face together in a plane in 1975 was not reported on widley and even in the limited area it was reported on, the promoters explained it away simply. I forgot what the explanation was exactly but it did not cause much of a stir in that regard. In fact the news was the crash itself. From what I remember I did not hear anyone causing a stir over this until years later when Flair was interviewed and he himself talked about how that may have awakened suspision...another case of history revision. A case of over analyzing the incident years later.

The Duggan/Sheik incident was long after kayfabe was broken and only served as an embarressment to those still clinging to something that had already died.

Last edited by Greenlawler; 10-27-2012 at 12:32 AM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 02:18 AM
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Re: Analyze this: Death of Kayfabe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenlawler View Post
Kayfabe was dead long before the Monday Night Wars, I think maybe in some of the wrestlers minds it was still alive but in reality keyfabe died in the 80's.

To me there were two events that squashed kayfabe.

1. The 20/20 piece on pro wrestling. December 28th 1984, Kayfabe died that night in my opinion.

Here is the most infamous 45 seconds of that piece,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrX9Ca7LSyQ

But if you can find the whole piece, it is the classic interview with Eddie Mansfield and other ex wrestlers who really crushed keyfabe. I was watching and even though I knew wrestling was fake I defended the sports legitimacy just to keep my end of the kayfabe bargain I had emotionally made. After that wrestling was indefensable.

2. Vince McMahons "sports entertainment" move to save money. If there were any of us (workers, and fans) still holding on to the era, it was hitwith a second nail in the coffin.

I understand your thinking on the plane crash. However the aspect of a heel and face together in a plane in 1975 was not reported on widley and even in the limited area it was reported on, the promoters explained it away simply. I forgot what the explanation was exactly but it did not cause much of a stir in that regard. In fact the news was the crash itself. From what I remember I did not hear anyone causing a stir over this until years later when Flair was interviewed and he himself talked about how that may have awakened suspision...another case of history revision. A case of over analyzing the incident years later.

The Duggan/Sheik incident was long after kayfabe was broken and only served as an embarressment to those still clinging to something that had already died.
Great post
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 02:19 AM
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Re: Analyze this: Death of Kayfabe

What about the moment professional wrestlers started appearing in Hollywood movies, as a completely different character than the 1 they portrayed?

To add on to the discussion, guys like Meltzer and the dirtsheets are largely responsible for the death of kayfabe, IMO. Any time one of those articles made mention of the fact of a wrestler getting into legal trouble or jumping ship, it made the wrestling aspect lose a bit of credibility. I remember mostly reading magazines as a kid that completely kept kayfabe alive but there were numerous others that completely spoiled everything and acknowledged it was all a work.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 05:58 AM
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Re: Analyze this: Death of Kayfabe

Vince saying wrestling wasn't a sport, so he didn't have to pay taxes for it. (Not sure when exactly this happened, maybe early 90's). However I think the death of kayfabe was just a natural progression in pro wrestling, obviously a lot of wrestling is still behind closed doors, but a lot of basic information is out there. I remember Bret Hart saying when he was a kid that kids at his school would call wrestling fake and quite a lot of people at that time knew it wasn't real.

But the death of kayfabe sure has hurt the business, I'd probably say The Montreal Screwjob is the moment that pretty much made it universally known that wrestling wasn't real.

Where do people think wrestling would be now if no one outside of the inner circle in wrestling, knew about it?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 03:16 PM
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Re: Analyze this: Death of Kayfabe

when mcmahons(esp vince) starting mixing wrestling with acting the kayfabe era was pretty much doomed!
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