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Isn't it time the WWE invested more time into creating characters? What I see currently within the roster is an immense lack of character and personality in the superstars. When there are a lack of characters, storylines are immediately less interesting and intense, yet storylines also need to be used to create and develop the characters of superstars. That isn't happening neither. So, there is a rotten circle going at the moment: no characters --> uninteresting storylines --> no characters --> uninteresting storylines.

I see many people experience nostalgia when they look back to the Attitude Era. Why do people have that nostalgia? Why do many consider those the "good old days"? Well... there were many characters. They were all entertainers. Others may argue that the wrestling was of a lower quality and the talent back then was a lot less skilful than now. Perhaps true. For me, they need to strike that very fine balance between great wrestling and great characters, and now, they have great wrestlers, but no characters.

Now, what types of characters should the WWE invest in? I've seen many people point out the supernatural characters, e.g. the Undertaker, Kane, Gangrel, etc, have run their course. Rightly so. WWE seems to be heading in a more realistic direction with their characters. However, they are concentrating on trying to be so realistic that they are not developing any entertaining characters and draining some of the superstars of their characters, e.g. MVP.

What I want to ask is: what realistic characters can the WWE invest in that will be entertaining? That will achieve reactions from the crowd?

I think a good way to answer this question is to think of topics that are realistic that the WWE can delve into with research and develop characters from. To trigger the discussion, I've thought of three examples:

1) Gangland Warfare: This is a topic that is always very prominent with the media - gangs fighting over territory, drugs, money, etc. The set up of a gang with the hierarchy, tattoos, brotherhoods, etc. You may think that this is similar to the idea of stables, but that doesn't have the same depth. Gangs are their livelihoods, their entire person. What if this could be incorporated into a tag team or a stable? Plus it shouldn't be all about race either.

2) The Occult: Now this may seem like a contradiction from what I said earlier about the supernatural characters running their course. Obviously such characters wouldn't have supernatural powers, but they could have this eery, creepy nature surrounding them.

3) Puroresu: One thing the WWE is horrendous at doing is utilizing Japanese superstars. With arguably some of the most talented wrestlers in the world, Japan offers a variety of talents that could be amazing if utilized correctly in the WWE. How could they be utilized in the WWE without being a comedic character? Their puroresu backgrounds could be specifically mentioned - how they are trained in dojos, the psychology of puroresu matches, the pride of having matches end by pinfall*, etc. Other things that could be mentioned is maybe having background in the Yakuza, etc. There is a variety of things that could be done.

* Japanese matches often end via pinfall or submission. It is unusual for them to end by DQ or countout.

Discuss.
 

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Celestial Messiah
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I went into this thread looking to insult you because I assumed it was a Attitude Era thread. I gotta say, i'm pleasantly surprised,

And yeah, the WWE needs more characters that stand out.
 

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I agree with you Dantastic except on one point, characters aren't necessarily the same things as gimmicks. Guys need personality, but not necessarily be gimmicky. The two problems are that one, the writing for the midcard is simply uninspiring and secondly that the WWE (and much of the IWC) assumes you have to be charismatic and have mic skill in order to have a personality even though those two attributes have more to do with how a guy displays his personality as opposed to whether or not he has one.

Kaval and Bourne are two examples as they suck on the mic, but they clearly display personality through their mannerisms and manage to stand out from the rest of the roster (Kaval being no nonsense and competent and Bourne being opprotunistic, energetic, endearing, and plucky) yet they get consistently jobbed out and buried despite clearly getting over with the audience as opposed to creative actually being smart and using them to fill out the midcard and to protect them to an extent so the audience can actually get behind them. Instead, creative and the IWC seem to be so focused on finding that next headliner that they discard perfectly good talent on the idea that non headliners or potential headlinera shouldn't get any creative attention as opposed to using them to add towards rather sparce programming.

Not being blatently charismatic doesn't automatically make someone have as little personality as Tyson Kidd; **** even indy fans and WWE casuals are perspective enough to actually realize the difference.
 

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Solid thread for starters. My view on this may be slightly different than most. When I think character, and the WWE I don't get many stars. There are a handful of solid talent that actually has a character that stands out. Typically they're main event type stars, and that's part of the problem. It's as if the WWE creative team saves the best ideas for the top tier, or the top tier just gets to do what they want creatively.

Either way, it doesn't go very well for the mid card. Thus, the every now, and again thread asking why the mid card titles in the WWE mean nothing. There aren't many characters in the WWE to keep things interesting. Yeah, there may be some catchy nicknames, but they never impose the nicknames with the character. Many stars have no real depth to them making them for the most part unwatchable.

Character just isn't involve the look, name, or nickname. This can also be measured in actions that he, or she may involve themselves in. Take for example HHH's hit, and run of Austin. It was to define Trips as "The Cerebral Assassin", and later on "The Game". His actions spoke loudly of his character.

Dolph Ziggler - The WWE at this point needs to give this man a serious overhaul. Scrap Vickie who Kaitlyn can say dressed him. Maybe, we can even stretch it a little, and get her to admit that he is using a fake "Hollywood" name to get over with the fans. This is the only way I could see him changing his name(it's his last hope). He changes his name, and decides to go with his real name Nick Nemeth, and better yet "The Natural" Nick Nemeth. At this point we realize how vulnerable he is to a woman's words. This could come back to haunt him later on in his career, thus elaborating on his character using one type of emotion, vulnerability. Hopefully his "vulnerability" will lead to his "face" turn, and that's where you see how dynamic of a character he is, or if he is static.


Then again, his "vulnerability" may turn for the wrong, and lead to his snap case attitude that we've seen him unleash on stars before like Khali. Not that this has never been done before, but it's how it would all be told in the ring, or where ever. I'll admit when Dolph snapped on Khali with a chair, it was a side of him I had never seen before, and was a bit refreshing from someone I never would have expected. Just one emotion can lead to so many different story-lines, angles, or career paths.

If he goes by the name "The Natural", then it has to relate to his character. Honestly if you are going to call yourself "The Natural" then you've got to be arrogant in a way that stands out more than The Miz, or even Del Rio. Totally boring to see the same arrogant characters, and the true gem is seeing one play the role in their own way. The idea of being "The Natural" could expand over any general topic, or hypothetical situation, and that's what helps this character because it can go in so many directions. He goes from "Perfection", to "Natural".
 

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I echo the sentiments of those who've already posted by saying that this is a great post.

My 2 cents on it:
To add to Dantastic's original point. I think it's not only the fact that the Attitude Era guys have characters, it's the characterization. Week in week out, you will see these characters do something that further strengthens their characters and makes the fans dig the character if they consider it to be good.

Take the Acolytes for example. Because of the good characterization that they've been through, we become familiar with the fact that they can be hired for protection by anyone. To this single day, I still mark out at the fact that Chris Jericho hired the Acolytes to watch his back during his match against Triple H that led to the title change that never happened. Due to the characterization, the APA being hired by Jericho in his match against Triple H added to the drama of the story. I doubt that things would be dramatic if the Acolytes were just Generic Powerhouse Tag Team #21.

So I think what what the WWE needs to do right now is things like Cody Rhodes' how to be dashing tips, Del Rio's Spanish announcer, and Cole's "And I quote" but done with more wrestlers around the roster. Give them something to do week in week out that will help them have a character.
 
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