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The Future of Pro Wrestling Is...

1298 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  SHIRLEY
Not in definitive faces and heels as it has traditionally been, but in characters that are only faces to those who agree with them, and characters that are only heels to those who disagree with them.

These days, and ever since the attitude era really, it is very hard to predict exactly who the fans will support and who they will hate. Take Stone Cold Steve Austin for example. Stone Cold was meant to be a heel, but everyone cheered him so he was pushed as a face. DX committed similar acts to Stone Cold at the time, and yet they were booed.

Now if you look at wrestling recently, you have the number one face John Cena getting booed at Wrestlemania against top heels like HHH, you have Randy Orton being half booed and half cheered depending on who you listen to.

Then take someone like CM Punk and the Straight Edge Society. They were heels but I seriously loved them and wanted them to convert everyone on the roster.

Also, just from a practical stand point, if all of your wrestlers are likeable to at least one demographic, then you will appeal to a much wider audience. Personally, I haven't watched wrestling regularly since about Wrestlemania 18, but when CM Punk and the Straight Edge Society were around I watched it every week and got all of the PPVs too. If I tune in and the WWE is pushing a violent beer drinker with a foul mouth as their number one face, while at the same time ridiculing more conservative characters as heels, then I am unlikely to keep watching. However, if they give credibility to both types of characters, then I will keep watching to see my guys take down the guys I percieve to be bad. Then, even if my guys lose I would still keep watching in the hope that they would eventually over come the bad guys and win, just like I did keep watching during the attitude era hoping that Vince McMahon and his corporate team would beat Stone Cold and DX.


Therefore, I believe that the future of professional wrestling lies with characters that are both loved and hated at the same time by different demographics. It would give the WWE writers more freedom to make 3D characters and it would attract a much larger and much more emotionally invested audience.
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· Lucy Snorebush
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The way I look at is there's 3 types of pro-wrestlers.

The Baby face: Basically your do-gooder, always thanks the fans and helps anyone and everyone out.
The Heel: Pretty much the opposite as above, will quite happily insult fans, cheat to win, use dirty tactics and screw everyone over.
The Badass: Basically Austin and (currently) Orton. They do things associated with heels but get face pops for it. Austin or Orton could stunner/RKO the whole roster for no reason and still get cheered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Agreed.

However, this pro wrestling convention needs to change. If we had really 3D characters who only appealed to certain demographics it would be much more interesting and would appeal to a much larger audience.

Think about how huge Wrestlemania 6's main event was, think about how excited and emotionally invested all the fans were in it. That was because both Hulk and the Warrior were faces and both were prefered by one half of the crowd or the other. Same as at WM 17 with Austin and the Rock.
 

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Interesting. I'll say I personally feel you're wrong, but I can't fault how you came to that conclusion.

What actually really works is the same thing that has always worked - personality is key. Dusty Rhodes really wasn't a 3D character, nor was The Rock. They were just larger than life and fucking great at what they did. Now the reason I feel this point is flawed is because this is the way it has always been.

Take The Rock. When he was a heel, he was so entertaining that people wanted to cheer him. He was a babyface, and was loved by everybody for pretty much all of 2000, but after that, there were many times when Rock was supposed to be a babyface (run up to Mania X7 when fans were booing him at the buildings), the match against Lesnar, and a few others to boot, where people would turn on him.

People will always rotate their tastes, and to me it's more about what the cycle is now - it's going to be tough to find a guy unanimously adored with a passion the way people did with Austin. Because when guys are heels and they're good, the people will want to cheer them, but when they're cast in that role and because of WWE's lack of subtlety, its obvious you are now "supposed" to cheer for them, and people have never liked being dictated to. It's been the case with a lot of guys for years, it's not the future.

What they need is to let the potential Rocks and Dustys stand out, because one thing that stuck out like a sore thumb at the Rumble was when the countdown would end, generic music would play, and out would walk the same looking guy with the same looking TitanTron time and again.
 

· also known as a BUSTER
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This was the case in around about 1999, when everyone was trying really hard to be post-modern, and films like 'Fight Club' and 'Memento' were coming out, but we're in a different age now. People just want simple, straight-forward things that they can rely on.

That's just one of the reasons why the whole "shades of grey" thing doesn't work. The other is that wrestlers are trained to work as either faces or heels. Not only do you have to re-programme the audience, you have to retrain every wrestler on the planet.

A small indy promotion could try something like this, to make themselves stand-out, but don't hold your breath for the WWE doing anything like this any time soon.
 

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Well more than that, the whole purpose of a face and a heel is because the concept of wrestling is to emotionally attach the fans and make them love or hate people. "Shades of Gray" has never worked in wrestling. Only thing that has changed is that its not necessarily hateworthy to pull the tights anymore.
 

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You only need to look at the trend of WWE shares and you will see the future of Wrestling...
Dive Dive Dive Insolvent.
Besides who in their right mind would even invest in wrestling shares the way the economy is hahahahaha.
Smart people will be selling them not buying them and that's what is happening and will continue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Very interesting discussion, I'm glad I started this thread.

Obviously this idea is just my opinion, I obviously have no idea if it would actually work or not.

I know that most (if not all) of the biggest wrestling stars have been totally 2D characters, and I know that wrestling has always been the way it is now. However, wrestling had always been run in the territory system as well until the WWE expanded and became national and international, so things can and do change in wrestling, sometimes very significantly too.

In the current climate, with the way the fans are cheering and booing whoever they want, and with such intense emotional investment in politics and ethics in the US right now, I think that this idea could, and should take off.

Shirley Crabtree III, you are so right about an indie promotion doing it first though. If they did it and it worked big time, then the others may get on the band wagon.
 

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The last time a little Indie promotion tried a radical new concept and changed with the times (and the idea that fans aren't fucking stupid), ECW in the late 90s happened, and thusly, the Attitude Era. So...

Hell yes, do it. FUCKING ROH!
 

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I have no idea why people use the term "shades of grey" when we talk about multi-layered characters. Stone Cold was anything but grey, the character was electrifying.

On topic, I wish they would, but I think the WWE won´t ever go that route anymore, because they don´t have to. They are the biggest fish in the pond by a large margin. Anything that could screw up their template of how to push a wrestler was abandonded. Character development just isn´t a priority anymore.

[SARCASM] After all, it´s an awful lot of work to create 50 different characters and let them interact in some kind of logical frame.[/SARCASM]

It also seems as if the WWE adopted a very backwarded product definition, and the so-called "death of kayfabe" led them to believe that they have to cater their product 100% to the kids, since only kids still believe in kayfabe, instead of trying to actually entertain the audience to put their wrestlers over.
 

· Original Cenobite
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It also seems as if the WWE adopted a very backwarded product definition, and the so-called "death of kayfabe" led them to believe that they have to cater their product 100% to the kids, since only kids still believe in kayfabe, instead of trying to actually entertain the audience to put their wrestlers over.
That right there is pretty much the reason I stopped watching wrestling. I've been picking it more in the last few months and the prediction I made about 5 years ago when I stopped watching has come true, at least for the WWE, they've gone almost completely PG and somewhere in the process lost the ability to create truly captivating and genuinely interesting characters. That's why people react however they want because, IMO, characters are either too bland or just not compeling.
 

· also known as a BUSTER
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I know that most Shirley Crabtree III, you are so right about an indie promotion doing it first though. If they did it and it worked big time, then the others may get on the band wagon.
Well this is why you saw Punk and Dragon start out the Royal Rumble. ROH forced pure wrestling and younger, smaller, more athletic guys onto the agenda.

The same thing happens in politics, where the Green Party's principles are now being gradually adopted by the mainstream parties. It happens in all walks of life. Look how many people copied low-budget films like Reservoir Dogs and Blair Witch.
 
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