Seeing how this is a huge wall of text, I decided to seperate it into sections.
I have plenty of casual friends and a lot of them have named this as one of the reasons they barely watch WWE (and wrestling period) anymore.
One of my homeboys and myself have been watching wrestling (wwe) since we were kids, and he checks it out from time to time but he's seriously turned off by HIAC matches with no blood (I have to agree there) and generally the product being incredibly sterile.
There's little risk (physical, psychological, booking wise) in the product now and that takes away from the excitement. On that topic we agree, however I still think good matches can happen without people being bashed in the head with chairs or buckets of blood, but I'll be a liar if I didn't say that it wouldn't hurt the product to have them either.
I have to say I agree with the bolded statement here.
Its difficult to defend the level of sterility in the product because like I said we've been watching wrestling since the 80s. As kids we saw Randy Savage bitten by a snake, Ricky Steamboat dropped on his skull, and Jimmy Snuka jumping off a cage. All revolutionary for its time to us and the most hardcore word on TV might have been "damn" or "ass". There wasn't a lot of blood, chair shots to the head weren't as prevalent but the matches were exciting. Something as simple as a flying elbow drop would get pops from us.
I actually find 80's wrestling boring because of the fact that the characters were bigger then life. But back then guys like the Hulkster and Randy Savage were my heros. Even back then the product had a little edge to it to the point that it was exciting.
Then as teenagers we see Mick Foley thrown off a cage, thumbtacks, fire, tables and either Shawn Michaels or Jeff Hardy killing himself every night for our entertainment and there's nothing even close today. Moonsaults, shooting star presses etc are introduced and high flying/fast-paced offense brings the excitement.
Well yeah it was very exciting back then but of course it had to be exciting because they were competing with wcw. If they had the product back then that we have now, wwe would have faded away.
I understand "toning it down" but to eliminate it damn near totally has taken the fun factor out for me. I was actually into Cesaro/Cara on SD because Cara's offense was quick and exciting and I can tell the audience got into it as well, it just works to see cool shit.
Anyway, what say you IWC?
Is WWE too soft, or are we just two grumpy late twenty somethings stuck in the past?
Right now wwe is as stale as old sourdough, so yes wwe is too soft.