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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just ready a different thread on how Vince is a genius for targeting women and children. That made me think that this of course is no real difference from the WWE business model of 1984 - 1995. So I have the following question:

In late 1993 there was a real worry within WCW that Ted Turner would finally throw in the towel and elect to shutter the wrestling division. WCW had not turned a profit, and Bischoff was desperate to at least break even. However in December 1993 Ted Turner held a meeting with talent and answered that he would not be shutting WCW down (in response to a question fielded to him by Vader). But let's suppose that he said yes. That in the beginning of 1994 World Championship Wrestling was no more.

This immediately frees up some talent that would go to WWE - Brian Pillman, Steve Austin, and Johnny B Badd. Perhaps Max Payne, Dave Sullivan, and Mick Foley would end up in there well. But other talents such as HHH or Vader may not get there at all, or far later. And more importantly, without the competition of WCW there would be no impetus to skew towards an older audience. So Steve Austin would remain a Ring Master, and Pillman would be some variant of "Flyin' Brian".

In the other thread that I mentioned at the beginning it is cited that older males are the primary audience of WWE. But my question is this - would those older males be there if not for an Attitude Era? If WWE had muddled along with The Ringmaster, Flyin Brian, and Rocky Miavia in the main event mix along with Bret Hart and Undertaker in the late 90s, the company would have continued to retain only a child audience. The company still would have been a shadow of what was considered the Golden Era of WWE, pre-steroid trial. Without the Attitude Era to draw back in the lapsed fans, would we not have seen WWE's audience dwindle to a state even worse than present (but perhaps the future), where the company only has young fans? A state where they desperately have to churn out new younger viewers to replace those who have aged out and will never come back?

As the Attitude Era stars fade away and there are no more nostalgia acts to bring back for the older fans, is this WWE's fate in next decade?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The attitude era created millions of new young fans under 17
Right. Which makes me think that part of their long-term strategy should be that over a twenty year period, that they go teenage/young adult for perhaps a five year period, then phase back gradually for five years, then finish off the second decade targeting young adults. Then repeat the cycle again for another twenty years.

Without it all you get are lapsed fans that have no reason to come back. No reason than grown up, lapsed fans of kids shows like Spongebob or Power Rangers have a reason to come back.
 

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The problem is that kids aren't as stupid as Vince McMahon and the WWE marketing team make out. They're actually a hard demographic to appeal to, because they know when something feels inherently "lame." That's why advertisers go after an older demographic, despite kids being able to get into their parents' ears about buying them toys and shit. I'm fairly certain that the numbers state that more women and children actually watched the WWF during the Attitude era than watch WWE today. Look at the crowds for RAW today versus back then.

Kids are going to see older people they think are cool talking about wrestling and want to get into it. You need to generate that buzz around the product. Quiet kids who might go for wrestling and become obsessed with it aren't the trend-setters that are going to cast a huge demographic net for you. Somehow you want to get the kids other kids are going to copy -- so you need to ask yourself where those kids get their cultural information. And that comes from older demographics. They see their dads drinking beer with his friends watching a PPV on a Sunday, his older brother shows him footage of how cool Wrestler A is. That kid then takes this knowledge, mixes it with their social capital among their peers, and suddenly Wrestler A and PPVs are cool again. Kids exposed to that go home and tell their parents that they need a Wrestler A t-shirt and that they need to order the Sunday PPV because everyone is watching it. Trends like this happen all the time, with parents not understanding what their kids are even into half the time. It comes from other kids, and other kids get that from someone they are trying to emulate.

Well, that's the theory. Trying to make "child friendly" storylines isn't the best approach, because no kid is going to find that "cool." Cool is passed down. The best way to get kids watching WWE? Turn John Cena heel. Turn Roman Reigns heel. Have them rule as the coolest motherfuckers on the planet.

Most of the WWE's viewers are older men, so I imagine they are all holding over from a time when wrestling was cool again, Brain. I wonder how they are actually doing with children and women?
 

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Right. Which makes me think that part of their long-term strategy should be that over a twenty year period, that they go teenage/young adult for perhaps a five year period, then phase back gradually for five years, then finish off the second decade targeting young adults. Then repeat the cycle again for another twenty years.

Without it all you get are lapsed fans that have no reason to come back. No reason than grown up, lapsed fans of kids shows like Spongebob or Power Rangers have a reason to come back.
So by what...2018 we'd see more adult focused programming?
 
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