The same fundamentals exist now as did ten years ago. But in 2009 there still existed Legacy star power - HBK, HHH, Undertaker, and Edge were regular performers. That’s missing now.
This can't be stated enough. WWE is severely lacking in this and have been for years since Rock vs Cena 1 time period which included the return of Brock. They have not been the same since that year imo along with CM Punk's Pipebomb.
Lesnar has been their default star since with WWE trying and failing miserably trying to create a new Cena (much less new Rock which is nowhere in sight).
I'd say yes it's worse now. I really didn't enjoy the product 10 years ago, but now I just have a general apathy to it. Its like they aren't even trying anymore.
THIS. I have watched FOR DECADES and have NEVER been this apathetic to WWE. I never have been this down on the product even when they were stinking up the joint Monday nights against Nitro.
I at least then still believed in guys like Hart, Austin, HBK, Taker, and Mankind. I see no future upward mobility with the cast they have now. I just don't see it.
Well less people are watching that's for sure. I mean even look at this board. Every week I come here I recognize more and more regulars. THAT'S NOT GOOD. So it feels like only 25 or so fans are left still talking about the WWE in here. On a forum that used to have more posters than you could remember them all. Sometimes I wonder why I'm still here, I tend to get more enjoyment from the posters here than watching the actual product.
The thing is, does it feel like the company still has the emotional investment of a lot of people? No. And it feels like the people who are still invested are more masochists than actual fans. And the masochists is a very very niche demographic in this world.
I think there are forums dedicated to chess tournaments that have more regulars in them than in here now.
I said this a couple of years ago that I never understood why some people were saying the IWC was bigger now than ever.
I always wondered how many were really aware of just how much people were online and how many forums and blogs were affecting the Monday Night War from 97-2001.
There were MUCH MORE sites and forums with fans on it than today. There is like a handful of sites today compared to hundreds of sites back in 1998-2001. WWE itself may have a bigger chuck today, but I'm talking the total industry with WCW and ECW included. The fall off has been going on since 2005 at the latest.
Cena's reign took a hit when WWE ignored the core base turning on him. That is where I saw the huge u turn happen online where things split into what we have today.
It's definitely the worst right now. The ratings prove it.
It's so, so bad right now.
I think it doesn't matter what the WWE does any more. It's all been done before. Everyone is just so burnt out on the same, formulaic WWE way. Everyone is burnt out of over 5+ hours a week of programming. It's all down hill from here in my opinion. I honestly don't think there's a chance to salvage WWE other then if competition arises. Real competition. It seems odd but I truly believe if there's another promotion that can push WWE to be better, bring back wrestling fans to watch wrestling, give the fans options, and allow for the fans to be able to compare and contrast, etc. is the only way the WWE will survive.
I love WWE, it's part of my child hood and it's part of who I am today. But it is at an all time low right now. I hope it survives and I hope it gets better but I'm truly hoping AEW can bring a renaissance.
I love WWE too. Even when WCW was kicking its ass in 1996 and 1997 I STILL had confident in the talent and creative. The reality is though without WCW with Hogan, Hall, and Nash there would have been no 2nd boom.
What we are having today is the issues that plagued the WWF in 1995 being out of touch and lacking in roster depth and creativity.
Things are really bad now. I just have apathy to it. During the time when they were losing to Nitro I was still able to think of ways they could book themselves back to be competitive and entertaining.
I seriously have not been able to do this since Bryan won the belt at WM 30. The red flags were popping up when they started to botch Roman Reigns who I actually agreed with them in pushing as a future main event guy, but they butchered his career making him into Diesel 2.0 in his original push at WM 31.
AEW has to be a real game changer how WCW was. For all the mockery WCW now has received the history and truth is Turner pumped new blood into the band names of Hogan and Savage and actually used Vince's "new generation" in Razor and Diesel better than the WWF did as they changed the aesthetics everyone was use to.
The problem I see with AEW is they are not going to have the built in credibility that WCW/NWA had and they also will not have any name brands as huge as WCW had that was recognizable to the mainstream audience.
WCW was a completely different beast in comparison to AEW, but because of how WCW went out of business people either don't know or forget that WCW/NWA at least always seemed as the "other league" and them signing Hogan and Savage started the snowball effect of changing the mainstream's mindset about WCW being the minor leagues.
It is why it was smart for Vince to counter with New Generation campaign and label the 80's stars as sell outs. The irony of that was WCW was drawing in the fans from the 80's who recognized the stars of the 80's, while doing a new approach. Then the WWF at the same time was forced to go with new stars(who 80's fans also knew as HBK and Hart were in tag teams and UT beat Hogan at the tail end of his legendary 80's run), so it all balanced out giving fans the best of both worlds.
The WWE and the industry today has NOTHING like this in terms of synergy. AEW will not have any influx of stars that were breaking records in the last 10 years that mainstream fans care or recognize because WWE only has John Cena basically.
Cena going to AEW NEEDS TO HAPPEN, but then you run into the problem that Cena caused in WWE to begin with unless he is used as a heel to put over AEW new talent. That still won't be enough though because of that synergy the Monday Night War had was much different due to what I mentioned above.