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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Honest opinion, do you think they were better when they were mainstream and part of pop culture, or do you think they are better off not trying to have that crossover mainstream appeal? WWE had their best eras when they were mainstream. In the 80s and later 90s-early 2000s. After the wrestling bubble popped around 2002, is when they started loosing their mainstream appeal and audience. Granted the Ruthless Aggression era was also a great time for WWE(which I wish WWE today was like that era), but now fastforward, they aren't producing the best storylines, bookings, and creative. So what is your opinion?
 

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They were mainstream BECAUSE they were at its best. The attitude era with the Rock and Austin was legitimately the best product that they put on. Sorry Cena and Reigns dick riding smarks but the past 10 years fuckin sucked and turned away all the casuals.
 

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It's not rocket science.
The WWF was massive in the 80s and late 90's/early 00's because the product was great.
Great characters, great production, great storylines, great writing and great overall product. If you put on a highly entertaining and watchable tv programme, people will watch it. Those people will also tell their friends about it, then they will start watching it.
The reason people don't watch wrestling anymore is because the product is poor. Why would people invest 3 hours of their night on a Monday, and another 2 hours the night after to watch boring, poorly written, poorly produced TV shows with lacklustre storylines and unlikable characters who are badly written?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's not rocket science.
The WWF was massive in the 80s and late 90's/early 00's because the product was great.
Great characters, great production, great storylines, great writing and great overall product. If you put on a highly entertaining and watchable tv programme, people will watch it. Those people will also tell their friends about it, then they will start watching it.
The reason people don't watch wrestling anymore is because the product is poor. Why would people invest 3 hours of their night on a Monday, and another 2 hours the night after to watch boring, poorly written, poorly produced TV shows with lacklustre storylines and unlikable characters who are badly written?
I agree 100%, but I have read on here from some people its actually better for WWE to not be mainstream. I mean look at the Ruthless Aggression era. Not as popular as the 80s and late 90s/early 00's but it had great storylines, great writing and entertaining.
 

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I dont think the mainstream has much bearing, the ruthless aggression wasnt a result of them coming out of the mainstream, people just started switching off from wwe, it likely wouldve been the same product with more people watching is all.
 
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I agree 100%, but I have read on here from some people its actually better for WWE to not be mainstream. I mean look at the Ruthless Aggression era. Not as popular as the 80s and late 90s/early 00's but it had great storylines, great writing and entertaining.
I think the WWE was still mainstream during the early years of the ruthless aggression era. It didn't start going below mainstream until 2007/2008-ish. Anyways, I think they were obviously better when they were mainstream. As you said, they had great characters and such. Nowadays, it's a more independent circuit style and that's turning away viewers. I have a bunch of friends that haven't watched WWE in years that would sit and watch Triple H vs HBK from 2002 but would be bored with Sami Zayn vs Seth Rollins from 2015. Interesting characters and personalities are what draw audiences. You can't go too overboard and overdose the roster with atrocious gimmicks like the WWE did in the early 90s, but you definitely can't have little to no characters like the WWE has now. In the 80s and late 90s-late 2000s, the WWE had a balance of both. Nowadays, the WWE doesn't and that's a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think the WWE was still mainstream during the early years of the ruthless aggression era. It didn't start going below mainstream until 2007/2008-ish. Anyways, I think they were obviously better when they were mainstream. As you said, they had great characters and such. Nowadays, it's a more independent circuit style and that's turning away viewers. I have a bunch of friends that haven't watched WWE in years that would sit and watch Triple H vs HBK from 2002 but would be bored with Sami Zayn vs Seth Rollins from 2015. Interesting characters and personalities are what draw audiences. You can't go too overboard and overdose the roster with atrocious gimmicks like the WWE did in the early 90s, but you definitely can't have little to no characters like the WWE has now. In the 80s and late 90s-late 2000s, the WWE had a balance of both. Nowadays, the WWE doesn't and that's a problem.
Yeah what made WWE great was great characters, larger than life personas, and great storylines. Wasn't necessarily about the in ring work. No wonder they were massive in the 80s and late 90s/early 00s. But the Ruthless Aggression era did blend storylines/characters and in ring work well. Can't understand why they can't do that today.
 

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Depends how mainsteam you mean.

Was it good for WWE when all the teenagers in high school were into it? yes.

Was it good for WWE when Austin was appearing on Regis and Kelly? Probably not.

They were mainstream BECAUSE they were at its best. The attitude era with the Rock and Austin was legitimately the best product that they put on. Sorry Cena and Reigns dick riding smarks but the past 10 years fuckin sucked and turned away all the casuals.
Also this. Not many shitty products have enormous mainstream appeal... Fidget spinners and pogs not withstanding... :p
 

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Of course WWE was at it's best when they were mainstream. What kind of question is that to ask and I'd love to know which idiots said it would be better for WWE not to be mainstream :lmao

Part of what made the 80's and late 90's/early 2000's so fun is that you got to see your favourite wrestlers not just on wrestling programmes but you got to see them pop up on other different TV programmes and in movies, hear other celebrities talk about them as if they were regular wrestling fans like you and me, hear them get referenced on TV shows, movies and in music when they aren't even there, see them on magazine covers, get comic books made about them, release CD's centered around them, taking part on award shows like MTV, Teen Choice etc. and other stuff. These guys were celebrities just like every other actor, musician, sports athlete in the world. You knew these guys had become tremendous successes and it made you so happy for them. It made you so happy that your favourite thing to watch was now a cool thing in the world and was talked about in schools, at work, on the streets like it was a normal everyday topic to discuss. As a kid, it excited me to see Billy Gunn and Kevin Nash randomly pop up on episodes of Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Rock and Ken Shamrock pop up on That 70's Show, Austin and Vince on Celebrity Deathmatch, Austin pop up on episodes of Nash Bridges giving Nash Bridges it's highest ratings and getting offered a spin-off show from it, Buff Bagwell, Booker T and Scott Steiner pop up in Charmed, Edge in Highlander: Endgame, Chyna pop up in 3rd Rock From The Sun and Pacific Blue, Sable pop up in Corky Romano and Pacific Blue, Lita pop up in Dark Angel, Paul Heyman and Shane McMahon in Rollerball, two WWF Superstar editions on The Weakest Link featuring Austin, Angle, Big Show, Trish, Lita, Steph, Triple H, Kane (in his mask and attire, keeping kayfabe, lol), Booker T, Regal, Lawler, Debra and other WWF superstars, The Rock in The Mummy Returns, Goldberg in Universal Soldier, Rock hosting SNL, Austin on Mad TV, Method Man reference Austin and Rock in one of his songs called "Blackout", Five reference Austin and Jimmy Snuka in one of their songs called "Everybody Get Up", famous rappers like Snoop Dogg, Run DMC, Method Man, ODB, Ice T create the WWF Aggression album covering the superstars entrance themes, see Austin on posters for "Got Milk?", get a four issue mini-series comic book about him battling The Corporation and a biker gang and release two high selling compilation Metal and Country albums, see Austin and Rock in music videos/songs that were made about them like Wyclef Jean's "It Doesn't Matter" and H-Blockx's "Oh Hell Yeah", Rock collaborate with Slick Rick to make "Pie", see Austin on Top Of The Pops introducing the #1 charting song in the UK, see wrestlers on TV commercials to promote WWF video games, see wrestlers appear on chat shows and morning shows like Live & Kicking, SM:TV Live and The Big Breakfast, and so many other random examples of them in the mainstream. These dudes were everywhere in pop culture like normal celebrities, wrestling was everywhere in pop culture. These were my experiences and from my experience, wrestling wasn't just mainstream in the US, it was mainstream in the UK too, and that mainstream appeal also extended to WCW, not just the WWF. You get nothing like that today or even in the Ruthless Aggression Era. Wrestling stopped being fun, mainstream and cool with those eras. You can't talk about wrestling in school, at work, on the streets anymore to anybody without looking like an embarrassment to that other person. Why do you think I come on here, lol. I got nobody outside of the internet to talk about wrestling with like I used to back during the Attitude Era in school, on the streets, not that I blame anybody. Anytime I have attempted a discussion with someone today about wrestling, they either tell me they don't watch it or that they used to watch it back in the Attitude Era and stopped after it ended.

The Ruthless Aggression Era was good but it wasn't as great as The Golden Era and Attitude Era. It was a stepdown in quality when it came to storylines, characters, feuds, writing (Steph was in charge of creative) and they had no true mega-stars left as Austin and Rock were gone for the most part. Angle, Taker, Triple H, Michaels, Brock etc. were great but weren't true mega-stars like Austin & Rock and Triple H drove fans away from the product with his reign of terror, so it's not like Raw was great with him as the top dog like both Raw and Smackdown were great in the Attitude Era, it was unbearable and hard to watch. As for the ring-work, the Attitude Era never put it first before storylines, characters, feuds etc. but there was still great ring-work and matches in the AE. Again, I'm not saying the storylines, characters, feuds, writing were shit in the Ruthless Aggression Era, they were good, much better than today, it just wasn't as great as The Golden Era and Attitude Era's storylines, characters, feuds and writing. That's why it wasn't as popular and mainstream as those two eras. It was a stepdown in quality and what slowly started the decline of wrestling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Of course WWE was at it's best when they were mainstream. What kind of question is that to ask and I'd love to know which idiots said it would be better for WWE not to be mainstream :lmao

Part of what made the 80's and late 90's/early 2000's so fun is that you got to see your favourite wrestlers not just on wrestling programmes but you got to see them pop up on other different TV programmes and in movies, hear other celebrities talk about them as if they were regular wrestling fans like you and me, hear them get referenced on TV shows, movies and in music when they aren't even there, see them on magazine covers, get comic books made about them, release CD's centered around them, taking part on award shows like MTV, Teen Choice etc. and other stuff. These guys were celebrities just like every other actor, musician, sports athlete in the world. You knew these guys had become tremendous successes and it made you so happy for them. It made you so happy that your favourite thing to watch was now a cool thing in the world and was talked about in schools, at work, on the streets like it was a normal everyday topic to discuss. As a kid, it excited me to see Billy Gunn and Kevin Nash randomly pop up on episodes of Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Rock and Ken Shamrock pop up on That 70's Show, Austin and Vince on Celebrity Deathmatch, Austin pop up on episodes of Nash Bridges giving Nash Bridges it's highest ratings and getting offered a spin-off show from it, Buff Bagwell, Booker T and Scott Steiner pop up in Charmed, Edge in Highlander: Endgame, Chyna pop up in 3rd Rock From The Sun and Pacific Blue, Sable pop up in Corky Romano and Pacific Blue, Lita pop up in Dark Angel, Paul Heyman and Shane McMahon in Rollerball, two WWF Superstar editions on The Weakest Link featuring Austin, Angle, Big Show, Trish, Lita, Steph, Triple H, Kane (in his mask and attire, keeping kayfabe, lol), Booker T, Regal, Lawler, Debra and other WWF superstars, The Rock in The Mummy Returns, Goldberg in Universal Soldier, Rock hosting SNL, Austin on Mad TV, Method Man reference Austin and Rock in one of his songs called "Blackout", Five reference Austin and Jimmy Snuka in one of their songs called "Everybody Get Up", famous rappers like Snoop Dogg, Run DMC, Method Man, ODB, Ice T create the WWF Aggression album covering the superstars entrance themes, see Austin on posters for "Got Milk?", get a four issue mini-series comic book about him battling The Corporation and a biker gang and release two high selling compilation Metal and Country albums, see Austin and Rock in music videos/songs that were made about them like Wyclef Jean's "It Doesn't Matter" and H-Blockx's "Oh Hell Yeah", Rock collaborate with Slick Rick to make "Pie", see Austin on Top Of The Pops introducing the #1 charting song in the UK, see wrestlers on TV commercials to promote WWF video games, see wrestlers appear on chat shows and morning shows like Live & Kicking, SM:TV Live and The Big Breakfast, and so many other random examples of them in the mainstream. These dudes were everywhere in pop culture like normal celebrities, wrestling was everywhere in pop culture. These were my experiences and from my experience, wrestling wasn't just mainstream in the US, it was mainstream in the UK too, and that mainstream appeal also extended to WCW, not just the WWF. You get nothing like that today or even in the Ruthless Aggression Era. Wrestling stopped being fun, mainstream and cool with those eras. You can't talk about wrestling in school, at work, on the streets anymore to anybody without looking like an embarrassment to that other person. Why do you think I come on here, lol. I got nobody outside of the internet to talk about wrestling with like I used to back during the Attitude Era in school, on the streets, not that I blame anybody. Anytime I have attempted a discussion with someone today about wrestling, they either tell me they don't watch it or that they used to watch it back in the Attitude Era and stopped after it ended.

The Ruthless Aggression Era was good but it wasn't as great as The Golden Era and Attitude Era. It was a stepdown in quality when it came to storylines, characters, feuds, writing (Steph was in charge of creative) and they had no true mega-stars left as Austin and Rock were gone for the most part. Angle, Taker, Triple H, Michaels, Brock etc. were great but weren't true mega-stars like Austin & Rock and Triple H drove fans away from the product with his reign of terror, so it's not like Raw was great with him as the top dog like both Raw and Smackdown were great in the Attitude Era, it was unbearable and hard to watch. As for the ring-work, the Attitude Era never put it first before storylines, characters, feuds etc. but there was still great ring-work and matches in the AE. Again, I'm not saying the storylines, characters, feuds, writing were shit in the Ruthless Aggression Era, they were good, much better than today, it just wasn't as great as The Golden Era and Attitude Era's storylines, characters, feuds and writing. That's why it wasn't as popular and mainstream as those two eras. It was a stepdown in quality and what slowly started the decline of wrestling.
Great post!
 

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They were at their best when they had competition. Back in the late 90's it was always fun to see what they'd do because they do they had competition. Monopoly is a fun board game but it doesn't work in wrestling. When WCW went in 2001 in a small way so did the WWE.
 

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the attitude era was not mainstream

it had very little crossover appeal outside of sable and torrie posing for playboy

what mainstream exposure the WWF did get was more in the vein of media hit pieces on vince mcmahon and media hand-wringing in an attempt to gin up a moral panic about how vulgar and crude the WWF was

the golden era was mainstream and that was because of four things: vince breaking up the territories and later on making national tv deals with NBC (after his first attempt with TBS didn't quite work out), hulk hogan, wrestlemania, and vince making a deal with MTV
 

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I think the WWE was still mainstream during the early years of the ruthless aggression era. It didn't start going below mainstream until 2007/2008-ish. Anyways, I think they were obviously better when they were mainstream. As you said, they had great characters and such. Nowadays, it's a more independent circuit style and that's turning away viewers. I have a bunch of friends that haven't watched WWE in years that would sit and watch Triple H vs HBK from 2002 but would be bored with Sami Zayn vs Seth Rollins from 2015. Interesting characters and personalities are what draw audiences. You can't go too overboard and overdose the roster with atrocious gimmicks like the WWE did in the early 90s, but you definitely can't have little to no characters like the WWE has now. In the 80s and late 90s-late 2000s, the WWE had a balance of both. Nowadays, the WWE doesn't and that's a problem.
Damn, some of you guys need a character limit - not the guy I'm quoting necessarily, just saying.

Look at the stuff HHH and HBK were allowed to do back then. Rollins and HHH at WM needed to be a blood feud and what we got was a so so match with really no big spots. They couldn't do 10% of the stuff that HHH could do pre-2008. We'll never get HHH/HBK or HHH/Foley caliber hardcore matches. The most aggressive thing we've gotten recently was Brock/Taker HIAC, while a good match, in the grand scope of things may not even be a top 10 HIAC match.

Nowadays guys come out and say they're going to kick a guy's butt and hit them in the back with a chair. Back then you could curse them out and hit them in the head with a barbed wire bat. It doesn't have to go back to the Crash TV Attitide days, but the kid friendly PG/PC shit has killed wrestling.
 

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There was a reason it was mainstream. The characters were incredibly strong, the matches (those which weren't interrupted) were great and the story lines were intense and adult (not necessarily mature, but that's not what I want from wrestling).
 

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What is the obsession with being mainstream. Who cares. At the end of the day WWE never had respect from people and companies that are actually mainstream. It was and still is looked down on especially since people know it's scripted.
 

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They were at their best when millions of people jumped on a bandwagon.

Wrestling, funnily enough, was it's best when no one gave a shit about wrestling and people watched because it was the in thing to watch at school or college or because all their friends were watching it.
 

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My favourite year was 2001, and my favourite storyline of the past decade was CM Punk's shoot. There is no doubt mainstream interest increases with good wrestling.
 
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