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Hot Dreams!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Now before I start I would like to mention that i'm part of the group of people that dislike the use of terms like ''smark'' or ''mark'', but for the sake of this article I will shed light on these terms:








A smark is an insider term used to describe a Wrestling fan that pay attention to information on behind the scenes happenings, fans that fancy themselves as being smarter and more informed on the business than a mark . Smarks usually share two distinctive traits, those that fancy themselves purists with an appreciation for the art of wrestling, and those that enjoy analysing the wrestling bubble, disecting it's intricicies and being very critical of business and political aspects.

A mark is an insider term to describe a fan that willingly allows themselves to but strung along storylines for entertainment purposes, and are ether purposefully suspending their disbelief,or they genuinely believe that what they're watching is real. Marks are often more emotionally invested in run-of-the-mill storylines as they're generally not concerned with long term ramifications or circumstances that occured off camera. They'll usually eat up 80% of what their promotion feeds them unless it's unavoidably awful.

A diehard fan describes the core fanbase of a wrestling product, this type of fan can be a smark or a mark, but what sets them apart is their devotion to wrestling.No matter how bad the product gets, there's a good chance that this crop of fan will stick around in hope that things get better. Many diehards have been watching since a very young age, and considers wrestling to be a big part of their life. These are the types of fans that aren't ashamed to call themselves wrestling fans even when it ain't cool, and usually know a shitload of trivia on their favorite product. It's very seldom that a diehard misses a single episode of their favorite wrestling television show or PPV

A casual is the oposite of a diehard, best described as fickle viewers. These are the people that tuned into wrestling when it was at the peak of it's popularity, but didn't stick around when things started to suck. Casuals are also the parents that bring their kids to live events just to make them happy, but wouldn't go otherwise. Casuals generally have no problem missing an episode of RAW, or tuning out when a segment doesnt catch their attention. Casual fans usually only give a shit about the top faces being promoted, and their trivia knowledge is usually limited to storylines and events that are heavily promoted by a promotion. Casuals can also fall into the smark/mark categories, but they're very seldomly smarks given the investment of keeping up with latest news and rumors ect.





For decades before Vince openly admitted to Wrestling being fake, many fans considered wrestling to be real. Even throughout the late 80s to early 90s, you still had a strong crop of marks. When the WWF product became remotely unwatchable by the mid 90s, alot casuals quit watching. Still, the WWE had it's core audience of diehards that stayed loyal tot he company they loved. Back then, it was extremely uncommon for a crowd to start random chants during live events voicing their disaproval for an angle or chanting for Rick Rude to get pushed, all VInce had to measure in terms of crowd reactions were cheers, boos and indifference. Later on,promotions like ECW were treating their audience more intelligently, and captivating them with worked/shoot promos that seemed legit. This, coupled with the genesis of dirtsheets being easily accessible to anyone that seeked them adamantly, really started a new wave of fans known today as the smarks. While fan participation was a key component in ECW's product, it never really manifested itself in the WWE. Even when the Attitude Era came about, it consisted mostly of casuals and diehards that went along with the product because it was doing more right then wrong. Crowds rarely took it upon themselves to completely shit on a segment and dominate it with chants that pissed off WWE management, you'd get the occational ''we want Taz'' chant at MSG when big news leaked, but it was seldom. When fans actually took it upon themselves to get behind a wrestler, it was usually consistant and that wrestler was ensured a solid spot within the company that reflected their fan support. Skeptics of the product had the option to support rival promotions, and didnt waste their time with WWE if they werent pleased. Therefore, Vince rarely had to deal with the unpredictability of a counterculture group starting chants to f'up whatever mindcontrol tactics creative bestowed upon their viewers

By 2001, Vince is now the sole mainstream wrestling promotion left standing, and diehards now have no choice but to watch WWE. The rise of the internet medium brought forth an opportunity for Mr. and Mrs. Anybody to become a smark. Now, everyone with the desire and a fully functionable internet connection could smarten up to the business. Things didn't help when VInce took his company public, eventually turned it PG, and aimed his product at a younger demographic. While it made sense on a business level,what he was doing was completely insulting the intelligence of his diehard demographic, a demographic made up of more smarks than ever before.

Now you'd think that these fans would make themselves vocal enough to change Vince's perception that smart fans are regulated to the small niche found at ECW ONS's Hammerstein Ballroom, but today, fans dominate arenas with completely random and inconsistant chants. One day fans are cheering ''lets go Ziggler'' ,the next week they boo the hell out of him and then the week after that they treat him with utter indifference. Same can be said for higher tier guys like CM Punk and John Cena, they get polarising reactions every town they go. Daniel Bryan gets loud YES! chants in London, and a crowd in North Carolina couldnt give a shit.This very missed opportunity to show the WWE brass that this crop of fans have the pulse on what people really want.


So why is this happening? has today's internet age created a community that suffers from attention deficit disorder? Are fans today skeptical to get behind something firmly in fear that it'll go absolutely nowhere? Is a place Chicago really made up of smarky diehards that will go against the grain, while Virginia is made up of nothing but casual marks? Can this be blamed solely on the amount of children that make up the live audience?

If I was in Vince's shoes, I'd be hesitant to give crowds what they want since it changes on a regular basis. Fan's inconsistancy really makes it difficult to distinguish a genuine love for a performer and a flav of the month trend started by fickle smarks just to counteract whatever WWE is doing. Vince listens to what generates revenue and ratings, and i'm sure the WWE plays favoritism with the stars they spent years to build like Cena and Orton.

So my question is this - Are fans to blame for the current state of the wrestling business? When you confuse a promoter enough with inconsistancy and incoherence, that promoter will ultimately end up doing whatever the hell they want to do. While the PG environment is not appealing to everyone,at least that crop of kids can be controlled easily and they're buying the merch, but my point is not whether the PG movement is a good or bad thing, my point is that smark rebelious movements are too poorly organised to force WWE into a real change. If this group of people stopped complaining about one thing only to adapt to it and move on to something else, then maybe they'd be taken a little more seriously.

Or, Is the WWE really not giving a shit about fan opinion because they think that it it'll harm the image of their featured stars and overall brand?














If you enjoyed this article, please check out the other 2 in my ''Analyse this'' series



Analyse this: ECW breathing down WWF's neck circa 1993-1996

http://www.wrestlingforum.com/gener...wwfs-neck-circa-1993-1996-a.html#post10729092



Analyse this part 2: Vince McMahon, still a Genius, or has he lost touch?

http://www.wrestlingforum.com/gener...ll-genius-has-he-lost-touch.html#post11017017
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

If I was in Vince's shoes, I'd be hesitant to give crowds what they want since it changes on a regular basis. Fan's inconsistancy really makes it difficult to distinguish a genuine love for a performer and a flav of the month trend started by fickle smarks just to counteract whatever WWE is doing. Vince listens to what generates revenue and ratings, and i'm sure the WWE plays favoritism with the stars they spent years to build like Cena and Orton.
Great article, brethren. The part I quoted was what really stuck out to me most, because it's the absolute truth.

Fans, majority of the time, it seems are at shows to see a small number of people and could care less about every one else. Whether it's kids or casual fans, I don't know, but you can tell the difference between the obvious 'smarky' crowds and say, a city in Virgina during an episode of Raw. The stars that are pushed long term get great responses (Orton, Cena, Sheamus), as do the comedy acts... (Santino, Hornswoggle, and to a degree, Brodus)

I'm not sure why it's become like this. Maybe it's ADD like you mentioned, who knows. But the talented wrestlers who seem to be doing everything right can't garner very much attention or a reaction in the majority of casual cities, when ten / twenty years ago, EVERYONE got a reaction of some sort. Sure, there are bigger problems, but the dull crowds really does cause a problem.
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

great read, read the other 2 as well

totally agree with the fan thing. when watching on tv, a great loud vocal crowd can make the whole thing better for you at home
 

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Hot Dreams!
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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

Great article, brethren. The part I quoted was what really stuck out to me most, because it's the absolute truth.

Fans, majority of the time, it seems are at shows to see a small number of people and could care less about every one else. Whether it's kids or casual fans, I don't know, but you can tell the difference between the obvious 'smarky' crowds and say, a city in Virgina during an episode of Raw. The stars that are pushed long term get great responses (Orton, Cena, Sheamus), as do the comedy acts... (Santino, Hornswoggle, and to a degree, Brodus)

I'm not sure why it's become like this. Maybe it's ADD like you mentioned, who knows. But the talented wrestlers who seem to be doing everything right can't garner very much attention or a reaction in the majority of casual cities, when ten / twenty years ago, EVERYONE got a reaction of some sort. Sure, there are bigger problems, but the dull crowds really does cause a problem.
I get what you're saying, you can tell in certain towns that one or two guys get a reaction, and the rest of the roster is greeted with total indifference.

When I think of smark crowds, I usually think of the people that travel to major events like Wrestlemania, but that's more diehard than smark. Truth is, most of the smarks are on Forums like this bitching rather than attending a live event and having a good time (I myself am guilty of this) Of course, you do have places that almost always guarantee a strong reaction, like NYC and Montreal, but that has more to due with the culture in those areas than anything, and the reputation they have for being hysteric crowds.
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

Nice read, although I disagree. You can't blame the fans in attendance for paying money and behaving how they want, you can't really tell silent parents and their children to stay away from live shows so that their places can be reserved for smarks, and you also can't expect fans to react big to events that simply aren't exciting. No matter how smarky the crowd, there will always be parents with their kids, and no matter how silent the crowds, there will always be a fair share of smarks around aswell.

The thing is, most smarks and casuals don't understand each others viewpoints very well, smarks care about minor details while casuals care about the overall product. That's why a lot of guys that are liked in the IWC aren't over while others that are disliked here are liked by some audiences. You can have the best mic skills in the world, but if your character and/or look is boring, generic or simply not standing out enough nobody will care (Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes to a certain degree), that's something D Bryan has figured out hence why he added some "in your face" characteristics with his "Yes" chants and utter asshole-behaviour.

Then you have other cases of Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, Undertaker, Triple H and Cena, who are very marketable and simply catch the viewers attention by default, you watch wrestling for the first time and see those guys and you'll be asking yourself "who are these people?", you will not be thinking about their ring skills or mic skills, but about their persona. Now smarks and hardcore will have no problem reacting to everybody, as they care about every wrestler to some extent, be it in a positive or negative way, but the casual fans and the families will have no reason to do so when they see models with generic characters when they're not that invested in wrestling, that's not how you become a star in the mainstream. Mean Mark and Terra Ryzing were generic midcarders/jobbers, however Undertaker and Triple H are huge stars on the other hand.

So in summary, the crowds reactions are a result of WWEs direction which invites a lot of familes along the hardcore crowd and the fact that to those crowds, most of the wrestlers and storylines are simply not that eye catching.
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

Nice read, although I disagree. You can't blame the fans in attendance for paying money and behaving how they want, you can't really tell silent parents and their children to stay away from live shows so that their places can be reserved for smarks, and you also can't expect fans to react big to events that simply aren't exciting. No matter how smarky the crowd, there will always be parents with their kids, and no matter how silent the crowds, there will always be a fair share of smarks around aswell.

The thing is, most smarks and casuals don't understand each others viewpoints very well, smarks care about minor details while casuals care about the overall product. That's why a lot of guys that are liked in the IWC aren't over while others that are disliked here are liked by some audiences. You can have the best mic skills in the world, but if your character and/or look is boring, generic or simply not standing out enough nobody will care (Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes to a certain degree), that's something D Bryan has figured out hence why he added some "in your face" characteristics with his "Yes" chants and utter asshole-behaviour.

Then you have other cases of Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, Undertaker, Triple H and Cena, who are very marketable and simply catch the viewers attention by default, you watch wrestling for the first time and see those guys and you'll be asking yourself "who are these people?", you will not be thinking about their ring skills or mic skills, but about their persona. Now smarks and hardcore will have no problem reacting to everybody, as they care about every wrestler to some extent, be it in a positive or negative way, but the casual fans and the families will have no reason to do so when they see models with generic characters when they're not that invested in wrestling, that's not how you become a star in the mainstream. Mean Mark and Terra Ryzing were generic midcarders/jobbers, however Undertaker and Triple H are huge stars on the other hand.

So in summary, the crowds reactions are a result of WWEs direction which invites a lot of familes along the hardcore crowd and the fact that to those crowds, most of the wrestlers and storylines are simply not that eye catching.


Good response.

I wasn't advocating censorship over a certain group of fans, I was simply stating a few facts. I don't blame anyone for their opinion, and I fully aknowledge that people have the right to do what they want at live events granted that they stay within rules and regulations. I don't think that seats are reserved for any group in particular, they're reserved for anyone with money wanting to see a WWE show. That said, the point of this article was to examine the climate of current Wrestling crowds and how it affects the overall product, I try staying as objective as possible seing that there's no one in the right or wrong when it comes to these things. Personally, i love rowdy, unpredictable crowds, I think they add alot to the overall atmosphere of the show, but i'm in no position to judge the people sitting on their hands at the shows ether.

I disagree with the main point of your second paragraph to a degree. I'd say that casuals concern themselves with minor details, and smarks with the overall product, unless you were referring to certain people's obsession with certain wrestlers/angles, to which doesn't always apply to all smarks. In fact, some smarks go on and on about the business in general, and look at all aspects of it. It's very hard to generalise when it comes to this. Some casuals only tune in for a particular angle or wrestler....to me that can be interpreted as a minor detail to the overall picture.

the Rey Mysterios and John Cenas are indeed very marketable, but they were strategically positiioned into spots that helped them get to that point. I agree that certain guys look generic to the human eye, which is why I'm hugely in favor of diversity within the roster. Not much to argue on this point, being a flashy superstar greatly helps your chances of standing out, compared to Model #56

Crowd reactions are indeed a result of the WWE's direction, but it's hard for it to be any other way. There's alot of famillies at show, but there's always that more vocal counterpart in the arena just waiting for the right oportunity to start an counteractive chant. This will never stop for WWE if they keep going the direction they're headed. Eventually the kids will grow up and demand a better product. When that time comes, we'll get a whole new batch of chants.
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

Simply put the smarks hinder business for Vince. Too much demand with their attempted football fans like actions make Vicne push smarky favourites who ain't gonna draw over the likes of Cena/Batista etc.
Could also be Vince's fault for signing up ROH grads with a smarky following, snowballs from there?....
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

Great read bro.
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

A casual is the oposite of a diehard, best described as fickle viewers. These are the people that tuned into wrestling when it was at the peak of it's popularity, but didn't stick around when things started to suck. Casuals are also the parents that bring their kids to live events just to make them happy, but wouldn't go otherwise. Casuals generally have no problem missing an episode of RAW, or tuning out when a segment doesnt catch their attention. Casual fans usually only give a shit about the top faces being promoted, and their trivia knowledge is usually limited to storylines and events that are heavily promoted by a promotion. Casuals can also fall into the smark/mark categories, but they're very seldomly smarks given the investment of keeping up with latest news and rumors ect.
My only complaint about this entire post is this definition. Why are casual fans the ones that pay money to go see the product live even if parents? That is a contradiction. I think the casual fans are actually the people that sit on their computers now and complain everyday. Either way this is the major flaw in the business today. These 'casual' fans cannot really exist and these generalizations are bad because someone is paying to keep WWE on tv and its not casual fans.

The real problem is what you are saying though, that their are too many opinions to please. This is another reason none of these generalizations make sense or are applicable anymore. You cannot define four groups of people to represent the entire WWE demographic.

People are not sheep anymore. People aren't as stupid as back in the day. This is another factor in the issues. For example, a lot of people dislike Kofi, but I think he is actually one of the better talents. Regardless, no one will ever agree with a majority he should be the man. But you can say that about anyone now. The best anyone can give Cena is he sells the merchandise. Honestly, though even that is just a social stigma on this site.

The issue is the inability to generate a successful majority opinion.
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

@ Blarg: Thanks, another good post by you aswell, however I will try to go into a few points that I agree and disagree here a bit further.
I wasn't advocating censorship over a certain group of fans, I was simply stating a few facts. I don't blame anyone for their opinion, and I fully aknowledge that people have the right to do what they want at live events granted that they stay within rules and regulations. I don't think that seats are reserved for any group in particular, they're reserved for anyone with money wanting to see a WWE show. That said, the point of this article was to examine the climate of current Wrestling crowds and how it affects the overall product, I try staying as objective as possible seing that there's no one in the right or wrong when it comes to these things. Personally, i love rowdy, unpredictable crowds, I think they add alot to the overall atmosphere of the show, but i'm in no position to judge the people sitting on their hands at the shows ether.
Yeah, I can definitely agree with every point in this case, but like I said, hard to do something about it. WWE is not exclusive to this problem, TNA is in the same boat despite beeing a more "smark" show that's supposed to have less casual fans caring, yet they have also been fighting with the same problem. Sometimes they get great crowds (most of their shows outside the IZ actually, notably London, which is a huge wrestling market in itself but also in some smaller places) and then they have atrocities like at this years Lockdown, which was the worst crowd I've ever heard. It really comes down to luck if the product and starpower isn't there, the more smarks the usually better for todays wrestling so to say.


I disagree with the main point of your second paragraph to a degree. I'd say that casuals concern themselves with minor details, and smarks with the overall product, unless you were referring to certain people's obsession with certain wrestlers/angles, to which doesn't always apply to all smarks. In fact, some smarks go on and on about the business in general, and look at all aspects of it. It's very hard to generalise when it comes to this. Some casuals only tune in for a particular angle or wrestler....to me that can be interpreted as a minor detail to the overall picture.
I think you partly misunderstood me here, or our definitions on minor and major details vary. When I think of minor details, I think about the things you mentioned (ratings, buyrates and the business side of things), but in that case I wasreferring to mic skills and ring skills in particular. Some wrestlers are great in those departments, but the viewer just doesn't find them interesting. Now when I think about casual viewers, they will only care whether someone is interesting or not, regardless of the reason which doesn't necessarily contradict your point with them watching for certain wrestlers only, as those are usually also the maineventers who simply stick out the most, they will care about the starpower and big storylines, which is what I tried to point out, although maybe the term "overall" was badly used and I should have said "superficial" instead.

the Rey Mysterios and John Cenas are indeed very marketable, but they were strategically positiioned into spots that helped them get to that point. I agree that certain guys look generic to the human eye, which is why I'm hugely in favor of diversity within the roster. Not much to argue on this point, being a flashy superstar greatly helps your chances of standing out, compared to Model #56
Exactly my point, nothing to argue here. Of course they got into the position to stand out, but many wrestlers get good pushes and simply fly off the radar very easily after that, while those guys simply demand attention. No doubt that variation is VERY important, the more unique characters there are, the more each and everyone of them stands out individually.

Crowd reactions are indeed a result of the WWE's direction, but it's hard for it to be any other way. There's alot of famillies at show, but there's always that more vocal counterpart in the arena just waiting for the right oportunity to start an counteractive chant. This will never stop for WWE if they keep going the direction they're headed. Eventually the kids will grow up and demand a better product. When that time comes, we'll get a whole new batch of chants.
Absolutely, it's like a cycle, it happened in the golden era (loud) becoming tamer in the early 90s/new generation era, and this cycle got repeated when the attitude era/ruthless agression era came and the fans used to be into the shows again, only to cool off in the recent 5 years with the PG/Reality era setting in.
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

My only complaint about this entire post is this definition. Why are casual fans the ones that pay money to go see the product live even if parents? That is a contradiction. I think the casual fans are actually the people that sit on their computers now and complain everyday. Either way this is the major flaw in the business today. These 'casual' fans cannot really exist and these generalizations are bad because someone is paying to keep WWE on tv and its not casual fans.

The real problem is what you are saying though, that their are too many opinions to please. This is another reason none of these generalizations make sense or are applicable anymore. You cannot define four groups of people to represent the entire WWE demographic.

People are not sheep anymore. People aren't as stupid as back in the day. This is another factor in the issues. For example, a lot of people dislike Kofi, but I think he is actually one of the better talents. Regardless, no one will ever agree with a majority he should be the man. But you can say that about anyone now. The best anyone can give Cena is he sells the merchandise. Honestly, though even that is just a social stigma on this site.

The issue is the inability to generate a successful majority opinion.
You're right on just about all accounts, but let me elaborate on a few points..

When I referred to parents being casuals, I stressed that I was referring to parents that would go to the events solely because their kids are fans. Where I contracted myself was calling them casual FANS, since someone that otherwise wouldnt give a crap isn't a fan at all. However, said person is a viewer, even if a reluctant one. They're casuals in that sense, just not fans.

I agree that generalising people into four insider terms is wrong, which is why I started this article by stating that I wasn't high on these terms personally. I do think that they're the most commonly used and accepted terms, and their respective attributes generally apply to said groups. Of course, nowdays you have these attributes interwoven, and you'd have to analyse everyone individually to get an accurate portrait... which is next to impossible. For the sake of this article, i used these four terms, but they're used very loosely.

People's intelligence level hasn't really changed since the 80s onward, but the information readily availlable has. Alot of people will revert back to being the proverbial sheeps if given reason to believe in what they're watching. The WWE has had moments of creating angles where people genuinely believed were real, the CM Punk worked/shoot promos and the recent Brock vs Cena match being good examples. The reason people are so skeptical is that the WWE have converted back to their ancient philosophies of booking, writing and executing storylines. If you give epople the same shit over and over, I don't care who you are, you'll eventually notice a pattern and call bullshit. As for the Cena example... yes he sells merch, but relative to who? The rest of the roster that haven't been featured and promoted nearly as much as he has? I digress though, that's a whole other topic for a whole other time lol
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

@ Blarg: Thanks, another good post by you aswell, however I will try to go into a few points that I agree and disagree here a bit further.


Yeah, I can definitely agree with every point in this case, but like I said, hard to do something about it. WWE is not exclusive to this problem, TNA is in the same boat despite beeing a more "smark" show that's supposed to have less casual fans caring, yet they have also been fighting with the same problem. Sometimes they get great crowds (most of their shows outside the IZ actually, notably London, which is a huge wrestling market in itself but also in some smaller places) and then they have atrocities like at this years Lockdown, which was the worst crowd I've ever heard. It really comes down to luck if the product and starpower isn't there, the more smarks the usually better for todays wrestling so to say.




I think you partly misunderstood me here, or our definitions on minor and major details vary. When I think of minor details, I think about the things you mentioned (ratings, buyrates and the business side of things), but in that case I wasreferring to mic skills and ring skills in particular. Some wrestlers are great in those departments, but the viewer just doesn't find them interesting. Now when I think about casual viewers, they will only care whether someone is interesting or not, regardless of the reason which doesn't necessarily contradict your point with them watching for certain wrestlers only, as those are usually also the maineventers who simply stick out the most, they will care about the starpower and big storylines, which is what I tried to point out, although maybe the term "overall" was badly used and I should have said "superficial" instead.



Exactly my point, nothing to argue here. Of course they got into the position to stand out, but many wrestlers get good pushes and simply fly off the radar very easily after that, while those guys simply demand attention. No doubt that variation is VERY important, the more unique characters there are, the more each and everyone of them stands out individually.



Absolutely, it's like a cycle, it happened in the golden era (loud) becoming tamer in the early 90s/new generation era, and this cycle got repeated when the attitude era/ruthless agression era came and the fans used to be into the shows again, only to cool off in the recent 5 years with the PG/Reality era setting in.


My opinion of TNA wavers, but they're quite good at promising a change to their product, and everytime they fail on their promises, they still seem to make me believe that one day they'll be a viable and consistantly good wrestling promotion. As for their fans, this is an easy one to analyse. I got 3 words for you: ''IMPACT! zone fans''. These are habitually the same crop of people attending the shows over and over, and this is a horrible way to measure how your product is coming across with your overall fanbase. If you notice, chants of ''this is awesome'' and ''you still got it'' errupt at the most inapropriate times, and this group of fans seem to accept pretty much anything TNA dishes out at them. They're also very high on nostalgia acts.. which until just recently, TNA was the go-to retirement home for over the hill legends and stars.

I agree with your second paragraph pretty much, but just like LINK's following statement, it's very hard to generalise. Different strokes for different folks. It's hard to determine when I certain wrestler is interesting or not, that's a subjective interpretation. Though I completely agree that casuals gravitate towards what's on the main menu of WWE's story-arcs.


Everything else, we are in agreeance :)
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

My opinion of TNA wavers, but they're quite good at promising a change to their product, and everytime they fail on their promises, they still seem to make me believe that one day they'll be a viable and consistantly good wrestling promotion. As for their fans, this is an easy one to analyse. I got 3 words for you: ''IMPACT! zone fans''. These are habitually the same crop of people attending the shows over and over, and this is a horrible way to measure how your product is coming across with your overall fanbase. If you notice, chants of ''this is awesome'' and ''you still got it'' errupt at the most inapropriate times, and this group of fans seem to accept pretty much anything TNA dishes out at them. They're also very high on nostalgia acts.. which until just recently, TNA was the go-to retirement home for over the hill legends and stars.

I agree with your second paragraph pretty much, but just like LINK's following statement, it's very hard to generalise. Different strokes for different folks. It's hard to determine when I certain wrestler is interesting or not, that's a subjective interpretation. Though I completely agree that casuals gravitate towards what's on the main menu of WWE's story-arcs.


Everything else, we are in agreeance :)
Definitely agree about the TNA comments, but I was using their non IZ PPV and Impact on the Road crowds as examples, which just like WWE audiences have their ups and downs as just like you said, you can't use the IZ, a audience made up by fans who go there weeky and tourists as a valid source to detect who's over and who isn't.

Not sure about TNA ever making it that big though, at least not in a long time, they simply have little brand value as can be seen by their PPV and house show attendance, alongside the very bad PPV buyrates. To make it worse, all 4 of their homemade guys that they created (Joe, AJ Styles, Robert Roode and James Storm) are already in their mid 30s and they will have a hard time making it as legitimate legends by the time they retire, as they simply set off way to late, or got unreasonably put aside for oldtimers in the past (Joe and AJs dilemma).

Yeah, definitely agree with the last part. What's interesting is really in the eye of the beholder, however some people just tend to be more interesting to the majority then others, and as you said, those guys are often maineventers.
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

Definitely agree about the TNA comments, but I was using their non IZ PPV and Impact on the Road crowds as examples, which just like WWE audiences have their ups and downs as just like you said, you can't use the IZ, a audience made up by fans who go there weeky and tourists as a valid source to detect who's over and who isn't.

Not sure about TNA ever making it that big though, at least not in a long time, they simply have little brand value as can be seen by their PPV and house show attendance, alongside the very bad PPV buyrates. To make it worse, all 4 of their homemade guys that they created (Joe, AJ Styles, Robert Roode and James Storm) are already in their mid 30s and they will have a hard time making it as legitimate legends by the time they retire, as they simply set off way to late, or got unreasonably put aside for oldtimers in the past (Joe and AJs dilemma).

Yeah, definitely agree with the last part. What's interesting is really in the eye of the beholder, however some people just tend to be more interesting to the majority then others, and as you said, those guys are often maineventers.
Ya, it's always interesting to hear crowds react to TNA when they're out of their hometurf of Orlando. My view on your examples are that TNA have done relatively better in the UK than domestically, and fans from that area don't get to see mainstream American wrestling very often, so they're ecstatic everytime they get a chance to be there live. Also, they packed in a helluva lotta people in that arena, made TNA seem legit. As for Nashville, that was TNA's early turf back in the Asylum days, and Storm's hometown. Their indifference throughout the night did surprise me, especially for the MSMG match and the main event.

I think i'd need to make an entirely new article to fully explain my opinion of TNA, but I fear that it'll start a flamewar and entice the mods to take it down lol
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

I love your series of "Analyze this" threads, about to read part 2 now. They're all packed with so much important information..
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

You have to cater to what the crowd wants at all times. Know your demographic, and geography. All the while staying consistent with your story lines. The WWE has a habit of being highly inconsistent, and thus the result are highly fickle fans. There is always cause, and effect no matter what the situation. The WWE are apparently clueless, or could care less to cater to the fans that they perform in front of each night. It's like comedy, some jokes will light up a room New York City, while those same jokes will bomb in Des Moines. You have to know who is out in the crowd when you put on a show. They should know their fans by now. They should know how to cater to a Chicago crowd as opposed to a Norfolk VA audience.
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

You have to cater to what the crowd wants at all times. Know your demographic, and geography. All the while staying consistent with your story lines. The WWE has a habit of being highly inconsistent, and thus the result are highly fickle fans. There is always cause, and effect no matter what the situation. The WWE are apparently clueless, or could care less to cater to the fans that they perform in front of each night. It's like comedy, some jokes will light up a room New York City, while those same jokes will bomb in Des Moines. You have to know who is out in the crowd when you put on a show. They should know their fans by now. They should know how to cater to a Chicago crowd as opposed to a Norfolk VA audience.
I think that they've attempted to resolve this issue with cheap pops/heat from whatever crowd they're in, namely making fun of the city's sport team or hitting on a recent event relative to that city. However, I don't think they put much thought process into understanding the culture of a respective state, let alone that of the entire western world lol

I think it'd be smart to have more wrestling personalities that firmly represent their hometown as well as the culture. CM Punk, Santino, the Wild Samoans, Maryse, William Regal,Bret Hart circa 1997 and hell even Lord Tensai to some extent are good examples of this. Diversity in look is not the only thing important when assembling a roster, character traits are equally important. When they're in a given city, they should utilize their representive wrestler to their full capacity while still pushing their main storylines over.. Problem is, some cities are rather plain and uneventful, so this would only apply to a select few locations.

Second option is to put on a consistantly great product as much as possible, one with storylines that people can relate to on a universal level, but we know that creative haven't been putting forth the effort for this to happen. The Austin/McMahon storyline got over everywhere because people could relate to the ''everyday man wanting to stick it to their megalomaniacal boss'' scenario.. They need to come up with something gripping.
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

▲E.;11429589 said:
I love your series of "Analyze this" threads, about to read part 2 now. They're all packed with so much important information..

Thank you very much, I appreciate the kind words. Glad you enjoy :)
 

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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

I think the problem is that Vince is trying to appeal to a more casual market and that hasn't paid off in terms of the actual aired product. The casuals are the ones that tend to tune in for one or two guys and basically shut off for the rest of the show. This means that anything new has a difficult time of taking off since the crowd most likely will not react. When a crowd reacts, and reacts enough to truly give writers a chance to work with an angle, it tends to be at smarkier cities. Sadly, those are 1 in every 4 or 5 shows right now so an angle that gets a huge response in one city like Chicago, NY, or London is carried over into the Carolinas and suddenly is met with silence. And when Vince has the patience to wait it out... the sad fact is, is that most cities are filled with casual fans and thus an angle is greeted with what seems to be indifference and it is switched up and changed so often to seek a response. However, if that same angle was played 4 straight weeks with more smark heavier crowds... it is possible they'd stick with the original plan.

And this isn't really that much guesswork. If you actually watch the crowds in the AE and Golden Age and WCW at its peak, they were dominated heavily by the older male demo which is now usually identified with the smark community. Today, you see most crowds full of kids and their parents... which mirrors the New Generation era. Stunning similarities actually... same crowds, same kind of casual oriented gimmicks and stories, and an inability to maintain the atmosphere throughout an entire show. It seems pretty clear the WWE has been at its best and most relevant when it gears itself towards the older hardcore demo. Hopefully this is the tail end of this horrid era, seeing as the NG lasted about this long. ANd at least we are seeing the same small signs you started seeing throught 96 and early 97. It is a bit hopeful for the future.
 
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Re: Analyse this part 3: Are the current crop of fans helping or hindering the busine

I think the problem is that Vince is trying to appeal to a more casual market and that hasn't paid off in terms of the actual aired product. The casuals are the ones that tend to tune in for one or two guys and basically shut off for the rest of the show. This means that anything new has a difficult time of taking off since the crowd most likely will not react. When a crowd reacts, and reacts enough to truly give writers a chance to work with an angle, it tends to be at smarkier cities. Sadly, those are 1 in every 4 or 5 shows right now so an angle that gets a huge response in one city like Chicago, NY, or London is carried over into the Carolinas and suddenly is met with silence. And when Vince has the patience to wait it out... the sad fact is, is that most cities are filled with casual fans and thus an angle is greeted with what seems to be indifference and it is switched up and changed so often to seek a response. However, if that same angle was played 4 straight weeks with more smark heavier crowds... it is possible they'd stick with the original plan.

And this isn't really that much guesswork. If you actually watch the crowds in the AE and Golden Age and WCW at its peak, they were dominated heavily by the older male demo which is now usually identified with the smark community. Today, you see most crowds full of kids and their parents... which mirrors the New Generation era. Stunning similarities actually... same crowds, same kind of casual oriented gimmicks and stories, and an inability to maintain the atmosphere throughout an entire show. It seems pretty clear the WWE has been at its best and most relevant when it gears itself towards the older hardcore demo. Hopefully this is the tail end of this horrid era, seeing as the NG lasted about this long. ANd at least we are seeing the same small signs you started seeing throught 96 and early 97. It is a bit hopeful for the future.

Very good analysis, and thank you.

You're right, the polarising crowds probably trick the higher ups into thinking that angles are only fads, and since they put alot of effort and resources into established stars, they're afraid of giving up their spots to younger talent that aren't proven successes. We get the occational smarks and diehards in every arena, but it's seldom that they make up a majority unless it's a major event like Wrestlemania.

Problem is that the WWE are afraid of taking chances. Take the recent YES! chants for example, the WWE are now embrassing this thing by making t-shirts, having Daniel Bryan on both shows in major angles and cutting to the crowd everytime his entrance hits. They know they're onto something, but I fear that they'll want to keep him with that one dimentional gimmick for too long and overdo it just to make quick money, and it'll become old to the fans, ultimately hurting Bryan as well. The key is to capitalise on a wrestler's momentum by evolving them, not by running their shtick to the ground.

It's simple, if WWE start offering a fresh new product that appeals to older viewers, the crowds will change, but they're afraid of giving up on this young demographic just yet. Face it, until these kids grow up, or until WWE start getting legit competition breathing down their necks, not a damn thing will change.
 
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