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Discussion Starter #1
As the question states, which of the Golden Era and Attitude Era stars would have not achieved success had they been given scripted promos only and had clamps put down on creative expression?

I'll start with a few:

Dusty Rhodes: Wouldn't talk in the style that he became famous for. His creativity which led to his "Hard Times" speech would never be seen

Ric Flair: Would still be prominent due to his wrestling ability, but would be far more in the vein of Seth Rollins. His crazy promos, his add-libbing would be nowhere to be seen. And add to that, his womanizing "Nature Boy" gimmick would not pass muster

Steve Austin: Would also still have a strong role due to his wrestling ability (which was a strong point for him prior to his injury), but he would be more akin to a Sheamus or Ceasaro. There would be no Stone Cold character, there would be no cursing. He'd be somewhere between his "Stunning Steve" character of 1991-1993 and The Ringmaster of early 1996.

The Rock: Would have never gone past his Rocky Miavia persona. No swagger, no add-libbing. He'd still get a push, but would be like Roman Reigns

Roddy Piper: Would be very similar how Ambrose is portrayed. Toombs would be speaking in long deliberate monologues without a hint of his OTL character

Ultimate Warrior: There would be no "rocketships fueled by the Warriors" monologues. Instead you would have someone with the persona of Ryback and only a fraction of the public support

Again, this is just a few. It makes me wonder what exactly is lurking on the current roster, only to be held back by the restrictions put on today's roster.
 

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Shawn Michaels: would be Sami Zayn :mj4

Hulk Hogan: would still be Hulk Hogan. Because goddammit :hogan

Randy Savage: would be Bray Wyatt :mj4
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Shawn Michaels: would be Sami Zayn :mj4

Hulk Hogan: would still be Hulk Hogan. Because goddammit :hogan

Randy Savage: would be Bray Wyatt :mj4

I agree, Hogan would still roughly be Hogan. And I think Randy Savage would potentially not be too diminished. He too was a great in-ring worker, and elements within the company increasingly value that.

Two wrestlers who I think would be unaffected to a large extent would be Sid Vicious and Jake Roberts. For Sid, even if they didn't let him talk at all, he'd be able to get by using his look (ala Brock). Jake's charisma would come through in his promos just like Brays.
 

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all of them would be top the top guy today because they wouldn't have to compete with other wrestlers with alot of charisma despite being shackled by today's climate. Every guy u named had a presence and aura to them that none of today's guys have..We need to stop making excuses for guys not getting over today.. They just don't cut it period and no amount of creative freedom would change any of that
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I watched a YT clip that said Stephanie McMahon is the reason we have scripted promos. How accurate is that?
She was head of Creative when it was instituted. If so, the drive was to formalize the process like any other entertainment company and reduce the chances of wrestlers "going into business for themselves"

all of them would be top the top guy today because they wouldn't have to compete with other wrestlers with alot of charisma despite being shackled by today's climate. Every guy u named had a presence and aura to them that none of today's guys have..We need to stop making excuses for guys not getting over today.. They just don't cut it period and no amount of creative freedom would change any of that
The difference between the WWF of yesteryear and WWE today is that the company refuses to make character adjustments, because "they won the war". Their way is the right way, and more importantly the only way. Would the following wrestlers have an aura about them when they were locked into these characters, with no changes allowed?























Basically, imagine if no character adjustments were allowed, ever.
 

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WWE going with scripted promos feels like a symptom of the larger issue in the entertainment industry.

Look at major films that come out now. There are varying degrees of quality, but everything feels like a calculated move to make money and not take any kind of risk.

Lets make more Star Wars movies, cause it'll make money. Lets make superhero movies, cause it'll make money, and so on and so forth. It feels like originality has been forsaken so they can factory assemble movies based off of an existing property and cash in on nostalgia and ticking all the right boxes for audiences. That's much easier than taking a chance on a crazy idea that may or may not work. Nowadays, it feels like everyone is just a cog in the machine and if you want real creativity in film, you'd be better off looking at Independent/Small scale films.

The scripted promos reduce the risk of "Wrestlers going into business for themselves" so you won't get any Scott Steiner style shoot in the middle of a live show, Terry Funk calling someone's mom a whore, or having to bleep out excessive swearing. I guess its easier to control as much as possible than it is to let crazy

But it also costs you energy and creativity. Guys like Hogan, Savage, Piper, Flair, Dusty, Jake, Austin, Rock, Foley, and heck, even someone as bonkers as Warrior all thrived on coming up with their own shit. Not everyone could do what they could do and sometimes giving a guy a mic without guidance could create a deer in the headlights situation (Jumping Jeff Farmer anyone?) but letting guys go out there, feel it, do it, and grow from it was more rewarding than just micromanaging the crap out of them. I mean, I've seen Hogan's movies, scripted dialogue is not his forte. Let him wing it on the mic though, and its magic.

Since Mean Gene has recently passed away, this one is fresh on my mind, but look at Savage's "Cream always rises to the top" promo. It is completely insane, and I guarantee that Randy just walked by the coffee station at catering and thought "I got an idea' and just ran with it. The end result was one of the goofiest, hilarious, and most memorable promos of Savage's career.

Also, if what is scripted doesn't work, and it sinks, then the talents are just left out there to flounder. Cena's "Sunday" promo might be the best example of this where he was just left to suffer and die as he had to recite the garbage that they wrote for him. It was painful. In the old days, Cena would have been given some bullet points and told to just go and I guarantee if he had been allowed to do that, it at the very least would have been better than the scripted garbage.

I also found that being allowed to come up with your own stuff allows guys to grow and develop much better overtime and turn into something more natural on the stick. Look at Bret and Shawn in the late 80s. They are downright awful on the mic. Neidhart basically had to carry the Hart Foundation promos and The Rockers kind of got by on good looks and athleticism. Now fast forward to 1997, and I dare say you'd be hard pressed to find two more natural and exciting mic workers than Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, and this is at a time when Austin was coming into his own and Foley being allowed to shine.
 

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Both

I know that's an indecisive answer but it's true, both era's would likely never have been successes with scripted promos and everyone playing a 'character' which 9 times out of 10 bears no similarity to their real personality as opposed to the 80's and AE were most of the guys had a gimmick which was just an extension of their real personality.
 

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The ones that got over the most from their promos. And/or the ones that would need promos to get over, because their almost as outdated as Vince's booking.
 

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Not a wrestler per say - but Heenan (RIP) would fit the bill. If he was managing or doing commentary he always managed to come up with good stuff on the fly.

Maybe Eddie G - look how he caught fire after he started "Lying, Cheatin' and Stealin'"
 
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