Re: Could an Austin Rock Type of Feud Exist Today
I think to be major star and draw, you need to be able to appeal to the most people. There's no use being the greatest rapper of all time in a country which doesn't enjoy rap for example. Talent, is only part of the appeal. Marketabillity, charisma, and even details like ethnicity and nationality play a big part. There's a reason why cult classics that are heralded as some of the greatest of all time, exist, yet films such as these sometimes barely only make even or sometimes even make a loss.
Shawn Michaels is heralded is one of the greatest wrestlers ever and one of the most complete packages. Yet, he wasn't a big draw because he never appealed to the masses like a Hogan or Austin. It does not mean he wasn't great or entertaining, it just meant he wasn't able to appeal and attract a wider audience, which has nothing to do with his talent. He is the wrestling equivalent of a cult classic because despite being great, he lacks the marketabillity to draw. Which is why I hate the he doesn't draw so he must suck argument. You can be the greatest wrestler of all time, if you don't have something that properly appeals to the masses, you won't draw much.
In the 70s, guys like Bruno Sammartino were able to draw based on ethnicity. An Italian was able to draw in New York, who would've guessed it. But it goes more than Sammartino. Tito Santana was made to appeal to Hispanics. Flair although lacking in the ethnicity department, was cheered like crazy in Flair country. Dusty appealed to the working class. The Hogan name was for Hulk to appeal to the Irish. At a time when wrestling was still considered real, someone like Bruno was viewed as a genuine hero to the Italian American crowd and the American crowd in general when fighting against a foreign heel. He was able to draw by wrestling 1 hour long slow matches because for all intents and purposes because the crowd thought it was real. They were so invested in the match that they were able to sit through it all in the hopes that their hero would win the end. This isn't just limited to America. There's countless stories of fans almost rioting when their local hero lost.
Hulk Hogan was a top star during the 80s because at the time, the clean cut muscled up do gooder was something which society as someone who they should all aim to aspire to be. Also, national pride is always a draw. The fact that wrestling still had some kayfabe allowed Hogan the investment despite for the most part average if not boring matches. Other guys, like Savage, Steamboat and Warrior tried to appeal in the same way. Then there's people like Jake Roberts, Rick Rude, Flair again, Mr, Perfect who appealed in another way. But for all the talent they had, they were never as big as Hogan because Hogan not only was pushed as the top alpha male, his character was best suited to appeal to the most. So Hogan became the idyllic man in which every man dreamed into becoming, women dreamed of being with and kids idlozing.
During the late 90s, socierty shifted as they started to become more edgy and liberal. Suddenly, clean cut babyfaces weren't able to appeal anymore. That's where Austin and Rock come in. Austin appealed because he rebelled against his boss and tormented him each and every week. He was an asshole that did shit how he wanted it, drank beer and beat people up. Millions of Americans at that point in sociery were able to connect with that feeling and they wanted to be him. Rock was the charismatic asshole jock. A character that in any other time, would've never been a big face. But Rock appealed because he was the cool, charismatic, funny, handsome, athletic asshole that deep down we all wanted to be. But instead of the fans rejecting him as a heel, he was so good that people loved him for it. There were always guys like Taker, Mankind, Jericho that appealed in different ways, but they were always smaller stars than austin and Rock because despite all their talent, their characters could never appeal as much as Austin and Rock did. Also, a key thing to note is that AUSTIN DOESN't seem to be very popular outside the US. Perhaps implying the edy shift in society was onliy limited to much of the US.
And Cena? Its obvious ain't it. He has a memey character and appeals to kids.
My conclusion is that to have another Rock or Austin, you must have someone who is able to appeal to the most amount of people to society. And this is something that is mutually exclusive from talent or even being entertaining. The Great Khali was a draw in India because being Indian and a freak of nature appealed to them. It didn't matter that he was shit in everything else. So, WWE needs to figure out what kind of character would appeal to most of their audience. Give one of their most talented performers that character. Repeat once more and you got your Rock and Austin.
Last edited by Laughable Chimp; 08-01-2017 at 03:02 AM.