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The WWE needs to become more like Lucha Underground

6478 Views 70 Replies 42 Participants Last post by  chokugin_boi
By that I don't mean that the WWE needs to completely rip off LU and it's in-ring style, but take the serial drama part of their product and reinvent it in their own image.

What we see in mainstream professional wrestling in 2016 is staleness and old fashioned concepts that keep getting recycled -- It's not perceived as a legitimate sport and clearly established as fiction. The creative is not only poor but there is rarely any follow up to storylines and they don't connect to it's own folklore. Wrestler (A) has a beef with wrestler (B) one week and the next week it ends with no conclusion while 4 weeks later both wrestlers team up with no reason behind it. All of this would be acceptable if it was real life, but on a show that is clearly scripted to anyone with a brain this type of poor writing is not excusable

I believe that it's the format that needs to change completely. If the WWE prides themselves on being entertainment and not "rasslin" then why not go all the way? Why not turn RAW into a true serial like Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead with developed characters with consequences for their actions that changes the course of storyline? Why not develope a main storyline and sub-arcs below it that intertwine? Create love stories, stories of friendship and betrayal, use those to develope characters that will later play a role that makes sense for THAT character and for the progression of the main storyline -- not just trying one thing one week and doing something completely different the next. EVERYTHING needs to happen for a reason

Why not turn the show into an over-the-top EPIC fairytale with GREAT in-ring action? I'm sure that the WWE would reach a much larger audience is they had interesting characters with unconvoluting storylines than anyone can follow with a sense of progression. Take the Lucha Underground format of being over the top but entertaining. Don't be afraid of differentiating yourself from the UFC and other legitimate sports because blurring the line is simply NOT working. You know what worked for the WWF in the 90's? Taking a page from ECW and reflecting the times. They made a radical departure from what we knew them as being and they completely rejuvinated their product

Leave the pseudo sport of wrestling to NJPW because they do it far more convincingly. Turn RAW into a soap, give it an aesthetic facelift. make it exciting week in and week out. it's working for Lucha Underground and it has more to do with the freshness in how they tell their stories than the actual in-ring action. Pro-Wrestling is simple. It's about creating interesting personalities and giving the viewers a reason to give a sh^t about seing them wrestle. Why not go a step further and give the viewers clear suspenseful storylines that keep connecting to what happened previously? Turn the show into the draw, not just the wrestlers themselves

That's just my thoughts. I'm curious to know what you guys think. Would it be a good idea for the WWE to borrow a page from LU? Is it too much of a risk?
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By that I don't mean that the WWE needs to completely rip off LU and it's in-ring style, but take the serial drama part of their product and reinvent it in their own image.

What we see in mainstream professional wrestling in 2016 is staleness and old fashioned concepts that keep getting recycled -- It's not perceived as a legitimate sport and clearly established as fiction. The creative is not only poor but there is rarely any follow up to storylines and they don't connect to it's own...
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I can see you getting a lot of hassle for this one tbh, but I actually agree with you. I've said it many times recently that the best thing about LU is that they're not remotely pretending that this is a normal sporting event. The backstage segments are way more interesting than interviews and crap like we get on WWE, everyone knows it's fiction and by being fiction unashamedly LU really stands out for me as the product I most enjoy watching. I love wrestling, it's awesome, but I don't think it suffers in any way with the over-the top storylines and production values in LU, it enhances my enjoyment massively. WWE feels stale, LU is entertaining and fun. I would love WWE to take a more "fiction based" approach on the main roster. NXT is already better for the "straight wrestling" side of things, why not go whole-hog on the main roster?
 

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I see what you're saying but I say nah. They need to keep walking the line between sport and fantasy, just do it better. I don't want pretaped dramatic segments, I want them to keep pretending a sneaky cameraman found people backstage at a crucial moment, and I want to see those people fuck up their lines on the spot. It's fun. Cuhmon, nobody watches Lucha Underground really, I think it's fun, but it's not american style classic pro wrestling at all and that legacy is all WWE really has now
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can see you getting a lot of hassle for this one tbh, but I actually agree with you. I've said it many times recently that the best thing about LU is that they're not remotely pretending that this is a normal sporting event. The backstage segments are way more interesting than interviews and crap like we get on WWE, everyone knows it's fiction and by being fiction unashamedly LU really stands out for me as the product I most enjoy watching. I love wrestling, it's awesome, but I don't think it suffers in any way with the over-the top storylines and production values in LU, it enhances my enjoyment massively. WWE feels stale, LU is entertaining and fun. I would love WWE to take a more "fiction based" approach on the main roster. NXT is already better for the "straight wrestling" side of things, why not go whole-hog on the main roster?
I agree

Another big part of LU's appeal is it's grittiness. WWE would have to find a comfortable balance between appealing to mature audiences and young ones which means that they'll never be a carbon copy of LU unless they start aiming for a completely new demographic and market. but they can be the Star Wars of their medium. They can be exciting entertainment with a big budget. If the were REALLY smart they'd present a familly friendly product with mature undertones so that everyone can get something from it without the need for buckets of blood and barbaric violence -- I'd much rather that then the non-connected aimless crap we have now

As long as things makes sense, things progress, the characters are interesting, the storylines are interesting to get the viewer hooked and emotionally invested -- as long as they try to stay fresh and consistant with their concepts and try to evolve what works then at least they'd be getting somewhere

WWE just needs to be more like NXT

The writers cant write good storylines as it is, you want more of that LOL
Honestly Dave, i'm not a big fan of NXT as a weekly show. The promo packages are definitely cool but it's still a basic wrestling show to me and tbh can be rather boring and formulaic at times. It does go out of it's way to present fresh faces and give us better matches but I still see it as RAW on a smaller scale and with a bit more focus. Definitely take what's working from NXT tho -- I certainly think that it has some stuff going for it especially on the production side of things

Of course the LU concept wouldn't work with crappy writing, but it would be up to them to bring in revolutionary writers with passion. It CAN work if they put in the effort. It's a solid blueprint to present pro wrestling in a new and exciting way
 

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No. Let it be different and still good. Old school presentation still works... Both NXT and NJPW prove this. We don't need another more serial show.
 

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No. Let it be different and still good. Old school presentation still works... Both NXT and NJPW prove this. We don't need another more serial show.
The ratings don't prove it tho
NXT and NJPW's exposure are both rising. WWE's ratings are falling because they don't adhere to any wrestling basics. If WWE main roster was booked like NXT, we wouldn't be talking about changing into a serial. LU works for several reasons, not just the serial "gritty" style.
 

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All they need is better more concise storylines. Other than that they'll be fine.

I don't see how they could pull off anything close to LU on Raw since its live. Maybe have Smackdown emulate it cinematic wise could work.

But I honestly would rather WWE stay them I like what they bring to the table and I like what LU brings. Two very different products is what the business needs. Hopefully LU can start to grow, though they'll have to leave El Rey to get bigger because that network is shit and will never get them popular.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
NXT and NJPW's exposure are both rising. WWE's ratings are falling because they don't adhere to any wrestling basics. If WWE main roster was booked like NXT, we wouldn't be talking about changing into a serial. LU works for several reasons, not just the serial "gritty" style.
Well here's the thing. i'm not saying for a fact that the LU concept would work, but it's an educated assumption and i'm leaving it up for debate

Since the AE 7 million people stopped watching. The WWE aren't bringing in new fans. They've been doing "basic" traditional style wrestling for the longest time. NXT and NJPW absolutely appeal to the pure wrestling fans -- the hardcores, but does it really appeal to a mainstream audience?

Like I said in another post, I really see NXT as being RAW on a smaller scale with a bit more focus and better production, but overall it still uses the same redundant tropes. it feels fresher compared to RAW because the performers are allowed room to breathe, but it doesn't really feel to me like something revolutionary that will bring pro wrestling back to being relevant again. LU is a niche product right now but what they're doing is completely different and it's catching on extremely quickly. Yeah, grittiness has a lot to do with it, but the entire structure is turned on it's head and the product somehow feels more organic and urgent even with the over-the-top scripting.

I really think that this structure is an entirely new toybox that the WWE can tap into for so many different ways of representing their product to a new audience. it would feel NEW. NXT to me feels like a solid basic wrestling show at it's best, but it doesn't really feel NEW to me
 

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What's funny to me is that WWE has for years been telling us that this is what they do. They like to brag that they are the longest running series on television and then compare themselves to other scripted series on TV

Then it's like Lucha Underground came along and called out WWE on their bullshit by actually giving us a wrestling show that is like a scripted TV series and basically telling Vince and WWE, "This is how it's actually done dumb asses"

Sports Entertainment? WWE may have coined the phrase, but Lucha Underground is the first show to ever actually DO sports entertainment

Meanwhile New Japan Pro Wrestling has carried the flag of presenting wrestling like it's a real, legit sport like UFC

This leaves WWE with a product that doesn't really stand out in any way and feels very outdated.

NJPW and Lucha Underground are what wrestling should look like in 2016. I've said this many times. WWE is stuck in the past. Ironically though, WWE can't even do the stuff from the past that we actually liked anymore. That's another great thing about LU, it's like you see the best parts of the Attitude Era when you watch their show. I smiled at one point seeing some beer cans at the announce table on a Lucha Underground show
 

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Wrestling being presented as a true sport is boring. Only smarks want to see "pure wrestling", and that's why ROH and NPWJ exist, if smarks don't like WWE style then they should go and watch ROH and NWPJW and stop trying to force their boring style and their shitty bland wrestlers into WWE.

WWE needs to become more like Attitude Era (which is WWE's true style and the one that made them popular), where storylines, larger than life wrestlers and character developing were more important than ring skills. Enough with trying to turn WWE into an indy company. Lucha Underground is similar to the Attitude Era in some aspects, but the true focus should be trying to turn WWE into what it was before and into what it truly made them popular (Attitude Era).
 

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LU is looking to make movies and comics, not sell out arena's and tour. It's a TV show about pro wrestling. Not a pro wrestling TV show, if you know what I mean.

Also for the people saying "nobody watches LU". It's had ONE season. It takes time, money and promotion (which they're lacking in both, tbh) to build up a television show. It's also on a new network. This season will tell a lot about the direction. To have gotten as far as they have on so little is amazing. Time will tell, but if they keep the compelling programming they've put out and sign a guy like Daniel Bryan, it's game on.

WWE should just stick to it's style, just book it better and be more edgy. Simple. Everytime someone cusses or shows a little violence, it gets one of the pops of the nights :lol

People are tired of the stale cookie cutter babyfaces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
LU is looking to make movies and comics, not sell out arena's and tour. It's a TV show about pro wrestling. Not a pro wrestling TV show, if you know what I mean.
Well I agree with this to an extent, but the WWE can find a balance between the two. Vince is on record in the "Beyond the Ropes" documentary saying that the WWE doesn't do wrestling, they do movies. @Arkham258 just said it best -- LU does sports entertainment better than the WWE does

They can still tour, sell out arenas while reinventing their storytelling presentation. RAW has always been glorified physical broadway so why not embrace it even further? RAW can remain the main show for their storylines, and they could still tour and do pure wrestling on the smaller shows and on live shows. I really don't see how the format would hurt attendances, merchandising, touring and all that other stuff -- pro wrestling could end up booming again for all we know :shrug
 

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WWE would have to find a comfortable balance between appealing to mature audiences and young ones which means that they'll never be a carbon copy of LU unless they start aiming for a completely new demographic and market. but they can be the Star Wars of their medium. They can be exciting entertainment with a big budget. If the were REALLY smart they'd present a familly friendly product with mature undertones so that everyone can get something from it without the need for buckets of blood and barbaric violence.
I agree with this sentiment 100% I would LOVE if WWE were the "big hollywood family friendly equivalent" to the style LU has come out with. I'm almost sad that this won't happen. "The Star Wars of Wrestling" oh but a man can dream!
 

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NXT and NJPW's exposure are both rising. WWE's ratings are falling because they don't adhere to any wrestling basics. If WWE main roster was booked like NXT, we wouldn't be talking about changing into a serial. LU works for several reasons, not just the serial "gritty" style.
Well here's the thing. i'm not saying for a fact that the LU concept would work, but it's an educated assumption and i'm leaving it up for debate

Since the AE 7 million people stopped watching. The WWE aren't bringing in new fans. They've been doing "basic" traditional style wrestling for the longest time. NXT and NJPW absolutely appeal to the pure wrestling fans -- the hardcores, but does it really appeal to a mainstream audience? Like I said in another post, I really see NXT as being RAW on a smaller scale with a bit more focus and better production, but overall it still uses the same redundant tropes. it feels fresher compared to RAW because the performers are allowed room to breathe, but it doesn't really feel to me like something revolutionary that will bring pro wrestling back to being relevant again. LU is a niche product right now but what they're doing is completely different and it's catching on extremely quickly. Yeah, grittiness has a lot to do with it, but the entire structure is turned on it's head and the product somehow feels more organic and urgent even with the over-the-top scripting. I really think that this structure is an entirely new toybox that the WWE can tap into for so many different ways of representing their product to a new audience. it would feel NEW. NXT to me feels like a solid basic wrestling show at it's best, but it doesn't really feel NEW to me
NEW isn't always better. And as for the long decline, part of that is the natural cycle, part clinging to outdated ideas of the big man, and then betraying the core fanbase.

The WWE needs to focus on returning to the basics, like NXT, first. They have to have that. Even LU has that. Maybe they can change stylistically but I feel NXT found the more UFC type pre match promos and the old school backstage promo that mix well.

LU is undoubtedly great, but it is only one way to showcase wrestling well. And in my opinion, the serial nature isn't the main draw. It's the wrestling flowing from and into hot feuds... Wrestling 101.
 
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Apparently somebody's watching it



:lose :lose :lose

LU does sports entertainment better than the WWE does
That's an understatement :lol

They can still tour, sell out arenas while reinventing their storytelling presentation. RAW has always been glorified physical broadway so why not embrace it even further? RAW can remain the main show for their storylines, and they could still tour and do pure wrestling on the smaller shows and on live shows. I really don't see how the format would hurt attendances, merchandising, touring and all that other stuff -- pro wrestling could end up booming again for all we know :shrug
I agree on all of this. WWE needs a shot in the arm in the worst way. RAW being 2 hours really kills them at keeping viewers, especially with a roster that lacks top must see talent. WWE has nobody but Brock Lesnar. Cena has worn out, and needs to turn heel which imo, is the best business move they could make in 2016.

I've always been a firm believer in that storylines sell, not wrestling. The wrestling payoff is at PPV's. WWE needs to go back to making everyone mean something, instead of just throwing shit together or having 15 minute tag matches every week. Like if Bray Wyatt was going to look so strong at the end of RAW this past Monday, why the fuck didn't he cut a promo? He's one of the mic best workers in the biz, and could have legitimately sold viewers into believing he could win the Rumble.

But nope, we get a Reigns/Jericho/Lesnar segment that bombed horribly. Book around a few top guys, not just Reigns. Show much edginess, show more violence, set hooks weekly to keep viewers tuned in. They don't do this, and they have THREE hours to do so. I'd rant on RAW being 3 hours, but I understand it's better from an advertising standpoint, and makes more money.

So yes, I agree with everything you're saying pretty much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
NEW isn't always better. And as for the long decline, part of that is the natural cycle, part clinging to outdated ideas of the big man, and then betraying the core fanbase.

The WWE needs to focus on returning to the basics, like NXT, first. They have to have that. Even LU has that. Maybe they can change stylistically but I feel NXT found the more UFC type pre match promos and the old school backstage promo that mix well.

LU is undoubtedly great, but it is only one way to showcase wrestling well. And in my opinion, the serial nature isn't the main draw. It's the wrestling flowing from and into hot feuds... Wrestling 101.
You're right -- NEW isn't always better, but the declining ratings indicate that it's at least worth a shot to try something new. By my suggestion i'm not saying to completely abandon traditional elements. LU is still very much a pro wrestling show at it's core. It's just presented in a new way. In television everything evolves. The way that they made television in the 80s isn't exactly how they make them today. Sometimes you need to experiment with new concepts. That's what the WWE did in the 90s and it worked back then

NXT definitely has things within it that would translate very well to the main roster. For one their promotional packages and wrestler bios are excellent. There's more openness to actually listening to their audience and adjusting on the spot to what works and doesn't work. They put more emphasis on divisions and match quality-- but, to me it's still a basic wrestling format and I think it's lacking that spark that'll bring in the casual fans. I really think that LU has a winning formula that hasn't been adapted to the mainstream yet. Like how ECW had a winning formula in the 90s that the mainstream knew nothing about

The serial nature would be part of an organism --it goes in tandem with the action. It's the whole that makes it work. Do the in-ring portion of pro-wrestling very well but make it work in tandem with a completely fresh presentation that hasn't been seen before. I'm sure it'd catch on quick and get the casuals curious again -- that is if the WWE put enough time and passion behind the concept and support it like they did the AE
 
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