Wrestling Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Are they part of the problem?

I'm not speaking directly to the purists here who crave the art of each move and sequence, but the wider audience and casuals.

I'm really struggling, even as a lifelong wrestling fan to understand why we have every match lasting 15-30 mins every week on TV for no real reason. Yes you can appreciate athleticism etc, but no more casual fan is going to stop channel surfing to watch a fake fight that lasts that long without a major back story or jeopardy attached.

If you think of the TV/film world, if a fight broke out between two random characters with no real stake halfway through that lasted 20 mins, would you be invested? No. The big fight scene is built up throughout for the payoff.

Game of Thrones did this very well, they spent the best part of seven years building up to a showdown between the White Walkers and the humans, and it was a one hour battle that had everyone hooked. Granted the action, effects etc are a big part of it, but the audience needed to see this story come to an end, and were invested for the full hour.

Take that into wrestling, surely your free TV is for story advancement only to get people invested in your 3-4 hour PPV where we have 20-30 min masterpieces. Why are they churned out week after week where the only important thing of any of these matches is the finish?

Interested to know where you stand on this - because for all we complain about the quality of writing, are we actually unable to even stay involved in the storyline because it barely moves anywhere week after week and is sacrificed for great 20 min wrestling instead with no purpose?

Considering this is all entertainment, shouldn't the formula for wrestling/tv/film remain the same - you build up to a huge payoff?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
I agree. It's a reason amongst many why ratings have dropped off a cliff.

Once Raw was extended to three hours they bumped up how long matches lasted as it was an easy way to prolong the same script. Was probably an easy sell to the wrestlers - do more of your thing for longer = more over. In reality cutting 'real' promos and squashing a veteran or building up a programme works better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
I agree. One 15-20 minute match involving a great worker on a free tv show is fine, but most matches should be shorter. Most matches that go over 15 minutes should be saved for pay per view where there is a pay off between two wrestlers who have been feuding for a while.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,648 Posts
It's definitely part of the problem.

TV shows should be used to push stories to make us want to see people go at it at a PPV.
RAW went 3h and it started to show more how un-creative WWE are, with fewer stories and more ring work. On one hand, sure it's great, I'm still a wrestling fan, but I feel like all matches now we've somehow seen them or a version of them.

I want great remembered RAW matches like Jeff/Taker, HBK/Shelton, Cena/Punk to be quite rare. You can't have great matches on RAW all the time. You build the stories and give them time to tear down the house on the PPV.

I have the same problem with AEW. They have long matches almost every week. In AEW's case since PPV is fewer, of course, they should keep doing these "special" events. But I really don't need 2 15min+ matches every single week.
 

·
The Fastest of the Fastest of Jamaican Sprinters
Joined
·
3,487 Posts
WWE serves a bunch of masters, and one of their (perceived) masters is the hardcore audience. They're the ones most likely to watch other promotions, and thus they'll draw comparisons with promotions that LIVE on 15-20+ minute matches. They're also the most vocal group online, the ones most likely to post things like "Pac/Omega from Dynamite was better than ANYTHING on Raw/SD this year!"

I think those long "workrate" matches are the WWE's one olive branch to the hardcore fans who otherwise aren't really the target audience of the main roster shows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,456 Posts
I think people are trying to overread every aspect of the shows to explain declining ratings. The Smackdown 6 era in the early 2000s had matches on TV that went SIXTY minutes!

The fact of the matter is that wrestling just isn't that popular anymore. Kayfabe has been broken, shattered, obliterated 10 times over and now people spend more time talking about booking than anything else. THAT is what killed wrestling the most.

Wrestling did much better when fans didn't think about the creative process as much. Now it's 90% of what they think about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
For sure. I have been saying it for long time - my fav matches and wrestlers are those who can tell a good story in 5-7 min max and that’s it. Roman vs Lesnar 1, Lesnar vs Goldberg , taker cs Cena ,hell even Lesnar vs Kofi .

Even in mma the greatest matches are very rarely 5 rounds back and forth , but usually a quick and decisive knockout in round 1 .

People care about the winner and what happens after he wins and not that much the 15-20 min back and forth match.

20 min matches def have their place but only if it’s between 2 equal and huge main event stars - like Rock vs Hogan for example or HHH vs Batista on their first mania clash.

I never look or care about AJ Styles or Daniel Bryan matches unless they are for a major title so I couldn’t give 2 shits if all their matches are 5 star back and forth 20 min- just not interested .

Give me great stories and colorful characters with 5-10 min matches max and spend the saved time for character development and storylines
 

·
The Fastest of the Fastest of Jamaican Sprinters
Joined
·
3,487 Posts
I think people are trying to overread every aspect of the shows to explain declining ratings. The Smackdown 6 era in the early 2000s had matches on TV that went SIXTY minutes!
Well, that's not really accurate, of course. Smackdown only had ONE match go over 37 minutes during that period, and even that was only by match design (the Angle/Lesnar Iron Man Match). Let's not exaggerate things.

Wasn't there something from Meltzer or someone else suggesting that longer matches tend to get higher ratings than short ones? I feel like I heard that somewhere semi-credible, but I could be wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,456 Posts
Well, that's not really accurate, of course. Smackdown only had ONE match go over 37 minutes during that period, and even that was only by match design (the Angle/Lesnar Iron Man Match). Let's not exaggerate things.

Wasn't there something from Meltzer or someone else suggesting that longer matches tend to get higher ratings than short ones? I feel like I heard that somewhere semi-credible, but I could be wrong.
Obviously I exaggerate. But workrate guys, like Benoit, were given a platform to get over with longer matches. Benoit didn't get over by having 5 minute matches. He was having 15-20 minutes a week AT LEAST. So yeah, my point was they've been having longer matches for at least 2 decades now and only NOW it's a problem?

I don't buy it.
 

·
The Fastest of the Fastest of Jamaican Sprinters
Joined
·
3,487 Posts
Obviously I exaggerate. But workrate guys, like Benoit, were given a platform to get over with longer matches. Benoit didn't get over by having 5 minute matches. He was having 15-20 minutes a week AT LEAST. So yeah, my point was they've been having longer matches for at least 2 decades now and only NOW it's a problem?

I don't buy it.
Yeah, I'm not sure why it would be an issue now. The supposedly ADD-ridden audience can't really be to blame, because there's nothing but love for other companies when their TV matches go long.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,648 Posts
I think people are trying to overread every aspect of the shows to explain declining ratings. The Smackdown 6 era in the early 2000s had matches on TV that went SIXTY minutes!

The fact of the matter is that wrestling just isn't that popular anymore. Kayfabe has been broken, shattered, obliterated 10 times over and now people spend more time talking about booking than anything else. THAT is what killed wrestling the most.

Wrestling did much better when fans didn't think about the creative process as much. Now it's 90% of what they think about.
Another excellent point.
I always find it hard to explain to people why I still watch wrestling, to most people, no matter how “cool” some wrestlers are/get, even if we get another Rock/Austin, wrestling (as it used to be) in itself is dead. The art of it is dead.
 

·
None. More. Hated.
Joined
·
5,078 Posts
I definitely agree its an issue. But I also appreciate the tightrope other companies besides WWE who depend a lot more on live gates than massive TV deals have to walk. You wanna give the people in the stands a lot of action instead of them sitting there watching a tron for a backstage segment or a promo. So I get it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,465 Posts
It is an issue for sure. Lots of great PPV quality matches given away for free on TV. Another reason why 3 hr. RAW's are a terrible idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
I was a big fan of lucha underground and one of the positives of the show was that outside of their main event matches they had short action packed matches but still able to progress storylines/feuds, the same could be said during the Monday night wars/attitude period.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,323 Posts
The wrestling bubble really has lost perspective.

They act like the in-ring work on display is actual ability and they’re judges approving who “deserves it” like it’s a real competition.

Niche hardcore fans like Meltzer/Keller just really love in-ring wrestling matches.

“I want to win to prove I am a better wrestler than you”

“Make me”

“If you want to win by cheating then I won’t stand for that, I have respect for the ref and I will only win by doing what is right”.

So lame.

People never used to talk about how great a match was or how great a wrestler’s “actual talent” was.

We used to talk about the finish, the crazy stuff that happened, and imitate the cool catchphrases from promos.

When did it all change?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,323 Posts
The fact of the matter is that wrestling just isn't that popular anymore. Kayfabe has been broken, shattered, obliterated 10 times over and now people spend more time talking about booking than anything else. THAT is what killed wrestling the most.

Wrestling did much better when fans didn't think about the creative process as much. Now it's 90% of what they think about.
Just on this point, ”kayfabe has been broken”, everybody knew it was fake in the 90’s and I think people today overestimate how dumb crowds were back then.

If you watched wrestling, you accepted you were watching a fake sport doing everything they could to convince you it was real (on some level).

I’ve been listening to Jim Cornette lately and didn’t realise how seriously everyone used to respect the art of kayfabe behind the scenes back then.

It never mattered that kayfabe wasn’t real, everyone knew but everything that happened was plausible if the whole thing was real.

People are always willing to buy kayfabe. Wrestling works so much better when there’s a giant conspiracy that everyone is passionately working seriously to uphold.

It was a necessary ingredient for a good product IMO.

The Russo philosophy in WCW moved the line further behind the stage, but it was still the same logic. You never knew what was real and what was a work, and the writing of the show was presented as real. “Did Hogan really use his creative control card to change the finish of the match? Did he really walk out on the show because they wouldn’t let him go over? Shit... he even sued the company over it, it must’ve been real!”.

Pulling the line back too far behind the curtain didn’t work, ultimately.

The attitude era pulled it back just enough. Storylines were unreal, but the logical consequences were treated like it was real, and the character’s intentions across the whole card were cared for like they were real.

People say you can’t go back because of the internet.

That’s BS - people always knew it was fake. It’s just like any TV show or movie.

Thus, the business shouldn’t take the in-ring more seriously. They should take the art of kayfabe more seriously... just figure out how far they want the line to be drawn and pretend everything in front of that line is real.

You should feel smarter than the moron with no perspective who says “but... it’s fake, you know!”, not threatened. Those types of people are the idiots, why is the business effectively catering to them by agreeing with their perspective and killing kayfabe to solve their problem?
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top