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Stop with the boring ass "Vanilla Midget" plot, to excuse why the ratings and fans have been driven away. They had Lesnar, Strowman and Reigns and Batista/HHH feud pushed hard and the ratings still sucked.
Stop? The truth hurts sometimes. Everyone that is being pushed has the exact same interchangeable match that we've all seen 1000 times. Ratings obviously don't matter when Vince is rakimg in the BILLIONS from the networks and the Saudis, however those of us that grew up in the 80s and 90s actually knows what a real superstar looks like and it's certainly not the SHIT they are trying to shovel down our throats at the moment.
 

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None other than wrestling stopped being cool therefore casuals turned to other things. Didn't help that UFC emerged and a lot of great TV series/movies for entertainment beat WWE by miles. Wrestling isn't seen as cool anymore and a thing of the past. Kayfabe being broken and everything being so exposed killed all the casual interest.
 

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The casual viewers left because wrestling wasn't cool anymore. That's not even entirely the WWE's fault (although they don't help). Everything runs its course, things get popular for awhile, then fall off. The Walking Dead once drew 17 million viewers, now they draw in four million.
 

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Discussion Starter #44 (Edited)
So many people have different definitions of casual fans too.

What's a casual fan by definition?

- Are they those that watch Raw, Smackdown and every PPV, find them entertaining and doesn't really talk about booking, engage in dirtsheets and are basically what we were all like as kids?
- Are they those that just happen to find Raw on the USA channel on a Monday night and tune in?
- People who watch but don't take it seriously?
- Someone who just watches WWE and doesn't really care or know other wrestling promotions?

The wrestling business has changed so much that a casual fan in 2019 isn't the same as what a casual fan meant 20 odd years ago. I feel like the so called casuals now are those you see replying to the wrestlers on their official Twitter pages, saying how much they loved them, those who message heels on Twitter saying they should be fired for the bad stuff they done and a lot of the kids who just watch the show, cheer for who they like, don't moan about what was booked (because they don't entirely care or understand) and then go on there way until watching again the following week.

But casuals come and go, the WWE knows this. Its the hardcores that stay. Those who literally love wrestling. Regardless of how shit the product is. They are the ones who will watch other promotions, sign up to the forums, discuss booking, read the dirtsheets and no matter what, always end up watching some part of their show each year.

The ones who clamour for the Attitude Era to come back ARE the hardcore fans, they're still fucking here, on forums and bashing the current stars because they still fucking care. That's hardcore. Moaning about shit 20 years later. The 'casuals' who came in and watched during the Attitude Era don't give a shit about wrestling and have ZERO reason to tune in again. It isn't the same. Won't be the same. They're all older and moved on with their lives. Understanding that what they enjoyed 20 years was a fad. Just like owning a Tamgotchi was or trading Pokemon cards.

Biggest reason casuals tune out?

- They get older.
- They find something else they enjoy.
- Favourite wrestlers move on.

Those are usually the main three (Wrestling being a fad comes into that, if you're asking why people moved on in the early 00s and ratings have declined ever since). I'd love to see a graph of how long casual fans tend to watch wrestling for. I'd be amazed if they tune in for any longer than 5 or so years maximum before another 'generation' of kids start to tune in at a young age. And those "casuals" turn into "hardcore" fans because they get hooked, enjoy the overall aspect of the business and become moaners like the rest of us.
A casual fan is as its name state, any person who watches 'casually'.

Technically speaking, every human being in the world is a potential casual fan, you are in a mistake if you catalog casuals as individuals group of fans of every generation, we don't talk about "atitude era casuals".

Casuals are all ages, from all generations, they come and go, some of them have been watching for awhile, some of them just started watching yesterday because some friend told them to watch, even that typical thot who would never watch a wrestling show but saw this interview in youtube of this hot samoan guy named Joe and turned to Raw the next monday just out of curiosity, even if she never watched it again, is technically, a casual fan.

When I say "casuals went away", they technically didn't, they are still there, all over the world, they just aren't watching , they are ignoring the existence of wrestling. Which differences past generations, who actually knew how to hook up those "fans" who watched "casually".

It's actually pretty simple even if it sounds confusing.
 

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Discussion Starter #48 (Edited)
Pretty much nail on the head. The simple fact pro wrestling is a passing fad that has a spike in been popular every 20 to 30 years. WWE could have the greatest product right now, have those big characters, have the best wrestlers, cutting the best promo's and having the greatest matches and it would still draw like meh. It has it's hardcore fanbase and that's how it's going to stay for a while.
Honestly, all the people in this thread saying this probably don't even understand what made wrestling popular in the first place.

Wrestling would be popular again, pretty easily, if they had big stars people would care to watch, it's that simple.

There is a reason this guy Conor Mcgregor is one of the biggest stars in the world right now, Sports Entertainment doing well is something destined to be popular, "is was just a fad"... Hell fucking no, that would be like Vince biggest excuse for his shitty product.
 

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- Austin turning heel and the botched Invasion Angle shortly after (which WWE have almost tried to erase from canon).

- Rock and Austin's full-time departures coupled with Triple H's Reign of Terror on RAW that went on for way too long.

- John Cena's one-dimensional character (with limited appeal) and stranglehold over the main event scene from 2006 - 2012.

As a result, the audience is now primarily kids (with their parents) and hardcore fans.
 

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Entertainment is different today. The TV ratings declining was going to happen regardless because the world is changing. WWE became a niche product that does a really good job of getting money out of their fans. That's happening to so many shows and movies now. There's some things out there that "everybody" sees now but a lot of what people spend time watching isn't like that.


If we're going to sum up what happened to all of the fans and in regards to the product I would simply classify it as saying WWE isn't fun anymore. They create about 8-10 amazing moments a year but the journey to get there isn't fun. It's a grind to sit through 5 hours of TV every week (which I don't do anymore). If you grind it out you see these cool moments (like Kofi winning the title) but it's such a grind.

They don't have fun on a weekly basis. I know a month ago or so or whatever I was seeing posts online about the anniversary of Austin's beer truck thing on Raw. It's an all time classic moment. The entire purpose of the segment is just for Austin to piss of the people he's feuding with. That's why they did it. But they did something cool and fun. Kofi's moment at Mania was amazing. But the build to it after he came short at Elimination Chamber was him wrestling like a million guys at once and getting the shit kicked out of him all the time. And I think there were a few crazy long matches thrown in to. Amazing conclusion but it was weeks of watching him just lose every single week.
 

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Austin heel turn for the WWF/E.

The death of kayfabe, no matter how much hardcore fans mock it, keeps people back. People don't buy the con if the con gives it away. Everything is a work and people don't realize it and they let it work them -- everything except wrestling, it seems.

And yeah, the product sucks. They've forgotten all the tricks that brought them to the dance. The build to the main event of WrestleMania demonstrates that, when it should have been something so simple. Austin/Michaels it was not. They can't make stars anymore, and people latch onto the accidental successes like Becky and Kofi, which is good for those individual talents, but is a mark of how unhealthy the business is as a whole.

As far as wrestling in general goes, if they weren't bipartisan between the WWF and WCW, or if they were partisan WCW, then the Flair/Hogan double-turn seems to be the final straw that drove people off in 1999. It's when you sent the message that none of this matters -- the same as the Austin heel turn. The past few years' story? Nah, don't worry about that. Wrestling fans have a memory. It's very similar to an infamous alleged jump the shark moment in TV -- The Simpsons episode "The Principal and the Pauper." When Principal Skinner was revealed to not be the real Skinner, people hated it, and the writers (to this day, seemingly) can't understand why people wouldn't want memories of this character tarnished. It's not like people's impressions are this chalkboard you can just wipe off.

But things like the Fingerpoke of Doom, Goldberg being fucked and Sting being fucked probably didn't help matters either. Man, Bischoff was a fucking idiot.
 

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1. 3 hour Raw is too long for people.
2: Lack of top stars: the last huge star they had was Cena and he was not the level of Austin and Rock in their heyday.
3. The rise of YouTube: There’s no reason to watch the shows now. Just go on YouTube and you can see what you want in 10 minutes instead of 3 hours.
4. There’s too much on. Between 3 hour Raw, Smackdown and sometimes 2 PPVs per month, it’s too much for some people.
5. More competition. It used to be that WWE competed against some other cable and regular channels and that was it. Now there are multiple streaming sites with tons of things for people to watch. So for many people, they are watching something on Netflix or an on Demand Show like Game of Thrones or Walking Dead instead of WWE.
 

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The wrestling bubble burst and wrestling became boring soon after. So instead of tuning in every week, casual fans tune in once in a while for a few minutes to see if there’s anything interesting happening, and tune back out once they see that the show is still dull. No stars, no eye catching segments, no interesting stories, nothing.
 

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1. 3 hour Raw is too long for people.
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I have personal experience with this one.

I stopped watching for 10 years, and would occasionally accidentally stumbled upon Raw. Maybe I'd be 90 minutes in or something.

Then I would see it's 3 hours long, and immediately I felt like "well, this section probably isn't that important" and it's just a random match between people who look normal, with normal human names.

So I went "meh" and didn't watch until the end.

That happened at least 6-7 times.

If I stumbled upon Raw and it's the opening 30 mins of a 2 hour show, or there's 30 minutes to go, I probably would've given it a go.
 

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They are casual. They watch when things are over the top or when there is nothing better on TV or other medium. Look at the amount of options today.
 
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