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Okay, over the last 10 years we've seen a decline in the popularity of wrestling. Many attribute this to the lack of good storylines and dull characters we see in wrestling today. Well I have a different theory. While I agree storylines are lackluster and characters fail to captivate my interest, I believe my reason is just as good as these. The biggest reason why wrestling's popularity began to fall is.......because wrestling became a bout wrestling once again!

I think for the most part (unless you're blind or just in denial) that we can all agree that the qualtiy of the matches we saw from in the Attitude Era flat out sucked. There's no ifs, ands or buts about it. It was nothing but garbage brawling, chair swinging, table breaking, carnage wrecking. But it didn't stop the crowd from standing on their feet and screaming like wild animals. The midcard acts like Billy Gunn, Road Dogg, X Pac, Val Venis, Godfather, Gangrel etc were insanely over despite displaying mediocre wrestling talent. The crowds were insane. No one was timing the matches and saying, "Hm this is bullshit, the match was only 3 minutes". In fact a match could have been 3 seconds the crowd would have been wild throughout.

But why was this? Was it simply cause of the outrageous spots? Goofy comedic acts such as The Worm? They all played a part. The main reason why the crowd was hot during those days, was because wrestling provided ENTERTAINMENT. Not wrestling. Now fast forward to 2002 and things began to slow down. We began to see more technical matches rather than spotty stunts. We had midcard guys getting 10 minutes rather than 3 minutes of brawling. The main event wasn't a brawl fest either. There was no slamming into steel steps, no table breaking etc. Wrestling became more focused on WRESTLING.

Now no company is ever going to be 100% wrestling, but WWE soon became 40% wrestling, 60% entertainment as opposed to 10% wrestling, 90% entertainment. If you draw the timeline from 2002 onwards you'd seen the declination in wrestling, but not only wrestling crowd response as well. Thus today we have dead crowds where we can literally hear a pin drop.
 

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Just it's become the "un-cool" thing to watch as UFC has replaced it as the no.1 Sports Entertainment sport. Much like wrestling replaced boxing.
 

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Because all the characters have gone. When all your performers become generic carbon copies of eachother all looking like 'athletes' pretending to wrestle it loses its entertainment appeal.

Look back at the height of its popularity all the characters all the catchphrases that were around then look at what we have no and its no surprise that the popularity has gone.
 

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UFC.. and the killing of Kayfabe, now whenever someone hears the word wrestling, the first thing that comes to mind is "thats fake you know"
 

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Wrestling boomed in the late nineties due to the change of direction of both WCW and WWF with all the kayfabe breaking and the Monday Night Wars. WCW was horrible in 2000 and once it died there was no reason for most peopel to watch wrestlign anymore, the Invasion storyline interested some old fans bu t it flopped miserably so they didn't bother to go back watching otherwise it could have lasted a bit longer.

Iceman. said:
Just it's become the "un-cool" thing to watch as UFC has replaced it as the no.1 Sports Entertainment sport. Much like wrestling replaced boxing.
UFC only reached mainstream in the mid 2000s I think, not in 2001-2002 so that's a non-factor.
 

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Nice post.

I feel you're right totally. The focus was on pure entertainment in the Attitude Era and that's what the majority of people tune in to see on TV. Me personally I love the amount of wrestling that's come into the company the past few years but I'm (as is most people on this forum) in the minority for sure when it comes to world wide wrestling fans and what they want to see.
 

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Nice post.

I feel you're right totally. The focus was on pure entertainment in the Attitude Era and that's what the majority of people tune in to see on TV. Me personally I love the amount of wrestling that's come into the company the past few years but I'm (as is most people on this forum) in the minority for sure when it comes to world wide wrestling fans and what they want to see.
But the Golden Era had alot of great wrestling, much better than Attitude Era, and it was almost as popular.
 

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Instead of staying in its "lane" they tried to jump in other lanes and out-do others and in many eyes, failed at that..So being a wrestling fan has become a punchline, where 15 years ago, not being a wrestling fan was a punchline
 

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Kayfabe is dead and WWE has monopolized the wrestling industry in North America and Europe.So if interest in the WWE falls,the indie scene also witnessed a decline in revenue.

The WWE is going through the motions,offering to the public what they have already seen.The WWE fans still buy into it,as does the kids attracted to the violent male soap opera.But the casual audience have seen it all before,unlike Rock N Wrestling and the Attitude era.The lack of character and lack of story depth further dent the appeal of weekly wrestling.

Edge abducting Paul Bearer and Wade Barrett somehow firing the biggest name today does not appeal to people who grew up on Hulkamania,NWO and McMahon/Austin.Well it does to an extent,but not enough to convince people to part with 44.95.
 

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Metro sexual wrestlers like Morrison, Justin Gabriel etc etc, MMA/UFC , PG rating,to many scripted promo´s. No bigger then life characters anymore,more then half of the roster are acrobatic normal guys insted of a roster filled with real tough guys, tough guys who were tough in and outside the ring ( L.O.D, Haku, ahh hell almost every wrestler from back then was a real tough guy) who do we have today?? Cena, Miz, Daniel Bryan, Cody RHodes etc etc...All guys who look as if you could kick their ass with no problem, well maybe not cena he´s a big dude, but a take down and some BJJ will take care of him lol
 

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I think because it's not 'cool' among people over the age of 12 anymore. I became a fan as a young kid in the AE, as did alot of my mates, then they all wnet away as they got older, and I stayed with it till this day, which happened to alot of people i'd suppose. Back in the AE it was 'cool' for casual people and was something different, the last few years is nowhere near as much as it used to in term of appeal, so alot more people will grow out of it before the age of 13/14. And most people we know of or hang around with are over over the of 14 so it probably does seem less popular.
 

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because steve austin, mic foley and the rock left, or at least were not full time workers. Plus the storylines became unoriginal, boring, predictable.
 

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all the good storylines stopped. Look at the attiude era when we had Austin V McMahon as the big storyline carrying the Show for 2 years. We had the Nation DX feud in 98. The characters that people loved being Austin Foley and Rock left the WWE leaving the public with no guys they cared for.
 

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It will pickup again, I'd assume. Wrestling has its ups and down.
 
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