He is spot on there.
Wrestlers use to look intimidating, but this current roster just look like a bunch of poor actors.
All of them? Honestly? I certainly wouldn't want to run into a few of them on a bad day. I'm more fond of there being less carnival freaks these days whose purpose is best suited for people to gawk at. Don't get me wrong though, it makes for a great story if they all had talent that went along with their look.
I just watched the new Russo shoot(not the live show he did), a lot of interesting and 100% true things:
Russo said that when RAW was at its peak, he was sitting with Vince every week on the minute/minute breakdown of ratings to see what works, what did well, he put on TV more the next week. Which is why they were always booking week to week, always based on the ratings.
Talked about the fact that the audience don't care about wrestling matches and just wait to see the results, usually what happens after the match is doing a bigger number than the match.
When he was asked if he was watching the product today, he said no but when he changes channels and watch from time to time, he said that almost nobody looks like a star, all of them looks like regular people. Said how the people in the office are allowing this to happen and why the hell he should watch some ordinary guys pretending to be wrestlers.
He said that if he can pick one person from the industry today to start a company, he will pick Randy Orton because of how believable he is with his character. He said that if he watches a wrestling program and even thinks "I can take this guy", you're killing the entire aura of this business. He said that if he sees a guy like Orton, he is doing his gimmick to perfection and can be legit intimidating.
Who can be the next Rock from the industry today? He said nobody from this material.
When clueless marks always talking about "Russo finish" and all that BS without understanding that there are agents who are booking this and he's just the TV writer, a guy who write characters to draw the biggest rating possible. That's not even his aspect(go back a few pages ago to the Rock interview when he talks about Patterson booking the finish for top matches)Basically how people think they know the business and talking based on slogans and stigmas.
The business is dying, irrelevant and out of touch with the real world. The creative meetings of 20 guys with 20 different visions are ridiculous. When the numbers were at the peak, 2 guys were writing the shows, Russo and Ed, with Vince giving his touch to the full script, now 20 people are writing the shows and the numbers are almost all-time low, so where's the logic here? He said that he will come back to WWE but only if he can truly make a difference like he did in the past, if he's just a part of that 20 people meeting, it's not worth his time or the company's.
Great interview, especially the second part, Russo understands the business and what the masses want to see, his mentality is spot on and when he's not talking about 2.6-3.5 on Nitro 2000, he's 100% real in everything he says.
It's ironic that you base a conclusion on WWE being out of touch when it appears you're pushing for taller, musclier guys to spearhead the company. Look is important of course, it helps round out a character type and sustains the audience's perception of them. There has to be variety in there for goodness sake. Are we supposed to take heel characters like Miz as serious, no nonsense arse kickers? Of course not, and his look is indicative of his character's traits.
There's more to deterioration of the industry "aura" than stringently maintaining a certain look. Creativity and lack of special talent for starters. Orton, for instance, may be equipped with a good look, talent to boot and a fair depiction of a sociopathic character. Even by his own admission, though, the character is pretty flat. Why is that? Lack of enthralling surrounding characters to create any intriguing stories he could be involved in (the Kane thing wasn't terrible, although it was terribly one-note). It's interesting to see you included his mentioning of The Rock and the connection to quality of material from his time to that of today. Aside from his extraordinary abilities as a performer, this problem of choice material is pretty much etched in stone for creative to wrap their heads around.
I haven't heard this Russo interview, but taking into account his previous recollections on how he'd work closely with characters surely he's aware of how one-dimensional characters and distinct lack of creativity in mindset are stagnating things. Looks work on a superficial level and adds to the aura, but doesn't make it 100% as you put it. I know kids like simple, but they can appreciate certain things of slightly higher intellectual value, as can older audiences. Just something to invest in with confident company backing for goodness sake.