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Thread: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

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    EAT. SLEEP. SMARK. REPEAT Djm's Avatar
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    Default In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    In the heyday of the Attitude Era, WWE’s entire narrative was the complete polar opposite of what it is today. Think about it from the past for a second.

    The two biggest stars, Steve Austin & The Rock, and HUUUUGE anti-authoritarian streaks. Austin was the epitome of anti-authority and Rock was “The People’s Champion” until he became an antagonist, and the he became “The CORPORATE champion”. Now, look at things today. Is it so crazy to think that today, Stone Cold would be doing his thing and he’d be the heel and he’d be characterized as “disrespectful” in the narrative? Wouldn’t he be accused of not caring about the WWE Universe? And wouldn't the once-hated Mr. McMahon only be looking out for the fans and the company's best interests? Poor Mr. McMahon.

    John Cena, nearly the literal personification of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. Public-facing and aware of it to a fault. Always putting on the right face and always making sure to go out of your way to do what you can to make WWE look the best possible. Always sticking to the talking points. And of course, always being a role model for the kids. Looking “cool” but not too cool so their parents don't get a little upset. CM Punk may have been the last remnants of an idea of “the system” being the problem that we may see in a long time. The pipebomb, the Summer of Punk, all quite literally stopped dead by who else? HHH. I don't care what anyone says, if you don't see the symbolism in that, I have no idea how to even speak to you.

    WWE during the late 90s was very good at having awareness of the pop culture consciousness. It fit in when a band like Rage Against The Machine was at its peak, when Office Space was a movie that was still fresh in people’s minds because people hated their jobs and hated working for bosses that were fucking morons.

    What changed? What caused the change? When did Stephanie McMahon being a “billion-dollar princess” stop being a bad thing? When did being the company guy stop being a soulless sell-out? What was it that changed WWE’s narrative?

    What changed? Was it something in pop culture? Was it real world events? What caused this change?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Roman Reigns becomes champion for the first time before Bryan wins the title again? I'll get in on that action.

    With my PW Career. Bryan wins the title again before Roman, I'm gone.

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    Cener Member The Champ's Avatar
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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Well, part of it is the fact that the McMahon family (including Triple H) has been around for a long time, and all its members are now beloved by the fans because of the memories they provided "back in the day."

    But I do think your point about John Cena is a HUGE part (if not the biggest factor) in why adult males who were around for the Attitude Era boo him so vehemently.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    The Monday Night Wars ended, interest in wrestling waned and the WWE had to attract new fans and targeted a younger demographic.

    From a story telling perspective, the WWE reverted back to the good ol' days because it was a safer approach in an uncertain environment. Essentially, the WWE became what they despised at the time, WCW.

    Over-saturated product, main-event with stale characters, PG environment, more focus on wrestling, etc. etc.
    Last edited by Big Pete; 05-08-2013 at 05:50 PM.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pete View Post
    The Monday Night Wars ended, interest in wrestling waned and the WWE had to attract new fans and targeted a younger demographic.

    From a story telling perspective, the WWE reverted back to the good ol' days because it was a safer approach in an uncertain environment. Essentially, the WWE became what they despised at the time, WCW.

    Over-saturated product, main-event with stale characters, PG environment, more focus on wrestling, etc. etc.
    It's not that simple as the Monday Night Wars ending. Granted, I believe that's a part of it.

    But during that time WWE understood pop culture and understood what the world of entertainment really was beyond "Hey, can you talk about us on E! or ESPN, please?"

    What I'm trying to find out is what changed in or out of the wrestling business that made WWE flip its overall narrative 180 degrees.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Roman Reigns becomes champion for the first time before Bryan wins the title again? I'll get in on that action.

    With my PW Career. Bryan wins the title again before Roman, I'm gone.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Honestly, I don't think there's any one thing we can nail down to attribute to the change in product over the last decade and some change. Champ hit a good point with all of the McMahon's being beloved by the fans now, so that's the only obvious no brainer. I think when the company realized how much they could make on a younger demographic, a lot of the focus started to shift. Because first and foremost, when you want parent to buy things, they have to be okay with what their kid is watching. I huess when it comes down to it, the times changed, which changed the demographic. You hit on pop culture a little but Deej and look at all forms of entertainment during the time period of the Attitude era, it wasn't just wrestling that was on the edgier movement, it was sort of thew climate of the time, and once that died down a bit, WWE just moved with it.

    I agree the Corporation, in theory would be faces, but I'm not sold on Austin as a heel. No matter what time period we're in, people will always hate their boss. This is a topic that just has so many ins and outs that it would be impossible to give anything a large amount of credit.
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    COYG Todd's Avatar
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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    It's the most major part for sure.

    McMahon's vision of what a wrestling product should be wasn't cutting it, they were on the verge of going bankrupt so he shifted direction completely. The wars put the company in a position where all their thoughts were short-term, e.g. how are we going to beat Nitro in the ratings this week. That's extremely uncomfortable so he went all out. Had WCW not come along, the direction of the product would've stayed as it was, with a focus on wrestling and a lack of in-depth characters. WCW forced WWE to change their ways.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    It's the most major part for sure.

    McMahon's vision of what a wrestling product should be wasn't cutting it, they were on the verge of going bankrupt so he shifted direction completely. The wars put the company in a position where all their thoughts were short-term, e.g. how are we going to beat Nitro in the ratings this week. That's extremely uncomfortable so he went all out. Had WCW not come along, the direction of the product would've stayed as it was, with a focus on wrestling and a lack of in-depth characters. WCW forced WWE to change their ways.
    Can it really be narrowed down to just WCW though? That of course has a major role, but I find the climate of pop culture at the time to be a bigger factor.
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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ice View Post
    Can it really be narrowed down to just WCW though? That of course has a major role, but I find the climate of pop culture at the time to be a bigger factor.
    Both are factors, but history has shown that McMahon plays it safe when the company has no strong competition, he has shown that with Bret and Cena over the years. If WCW weren't around, I'm not sure the direction would've changed at all. The business was on its knees, he had to do something. Then and only then did he turn to pop culture, but WCW got the ball rolling IMO.

    If he had his finger on pop culture, or used pop culture, as much as people think, then Zack Ryder wouldn't be a jobber.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ice View Post
    Honestly, I don't think there's any one thing we can nail down to attribute to the change in product over the last decade and some change. Champ hit a good point with all of the McMahon's being beloved by the fans now, so that's the only obvious no brainer. I think when the company realized how much they could make on a younger demographic, a lot of the focus started to shift. Because first and foremost, when you want parent to buy things, they have to be okay with what their kid is watching. I huess when it comes down to it, the times changed, which changed the demographic. You hit on pop culture a little but Deej and look at all forms of entertainment during the time period of the Attitude era, it wasn't just wrestling that was on the edgier movement, it was sort of thew climate of the time, and once that died down a bit, WWE just moved with it.

    I agree the Corporation, in theory would be faces, but I'm not sold on Austin as a heel. No matter what time period we're in, people will always hate their boss. This is a topic that just has so many ins and outs that it would be impossible to give anything a large amount of credit.
    Ice, thank you for stepping a bit outside of the bubble on this one, because I want to talk about WWE amongst pop culture, because it did change along with the rest of the world.

    My big question....what changed? What caused WWE to become what it is now, where The Corporation would be babyfaces, the same way that a group like Public Enemy probably wouldn't get signed to a record deal in 2013, but *sigh....Detroit shame....* Big Sean is one of the biggest names around? So much Detroit shame...

    Yes, I do think Vince and co. realized they had to take risks and it worked. And yes Vince McMahon's vision is his vision and nothing about that will change unless the situation requires it.

    But what is stopping WWE now? What is stopping WWE from being edgy beyond just "the kids"? I'm not going to allow this to be answered so simply because I don't think it is simple.

    I wanna know WHY The Corporation would be babyfaces in 2013.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Roman Reigns becomes champion for the first time before Bryan wins the title again? I'll get in on that action.

    With my PW Career. Bryan wins the title again before Roman, I'm gone.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    And yes Vince McMahon's vision is his vision and nothing about that will change unless the situation requires it.

    But what is stopping WWE now? What is stopping WWE from being edgy beyond just "the kids"? I'm not going to allow this to be answered so simply because I don't think it is simple.
    You kind of answered the question in your second line, with your first line. He doesn't need to do it. He doesn't want the scandal, dirty reputation and quick saturation that comes with that sort of product. He did it because he had to do it.

    Not to shit on your topic, it's a good topic. Please don't think I'm doing that. There are a number of factors and yourself and Ice are right in that, but the wars were the biggest reason IMO.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    I do think that WCW closing caused fans to lose interest especially when it became clear Rock was headed to Hollywood and Austin was headed for retirement.

    When a lot of the Attitude fans left the die hard fans remained and Vince knew those fans would always be there.

    Vince then shifted the company to the younger audience and placed Cena in the fore front as the as the clean cut all american hero that he always wanted.

    Fans could either leave or deal with it, but with no direct competition the WWE never really has to change direction something that it always has had to do in the past in order to compete with other federations.

    Cena is the real life corperate champion and its why he will never have the full support of the majority of fans


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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    Both are factors, but history has shown that McMahon plays it safe when the company has no strong competition, he has shown that with Bret and Cena over the years. If WCW weren't around, I'm not sure the direction would've changed at all. The business was on its knees, he had to do something. Then and only then did he turn to pop culture, but WCW got the ball rolling IMO.

    If he had his finger on pop culture, or used pop culture, as much as people think, then Zack Ryder wouldn't be a jobber.
    Well quite the contrary, I don't think pop culture has too much to do with the product today all, outside of social media that is. The attitude era to me was and is the one time WWE was up to speed (again excluding social media) and it also made total sense. I get Rock N' Wrestling was the first blend of pop culture and WWE but a lot of it was just pretty random. Whereas the attitude era seemed a bit more systematic. Pop culture isn't a factor today, this is why it leads me to believe it was such a big factor at that time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Ice, thank you for stepping a bit outside of the bubble on this one, because I want to talk about WWE amongst pop culture, because it did change along with the rest of the world.

    My big question....what changed? What caused WWE to become what it is now, where The Corporation would be babyfaces, the same way that a group like Public Enemy probably wouldn't get signed to a record deal in 2013, but *sigh....Detroit shame....* Big Sean is one of the biggest names around? So much Detroit shame...

    Yes, I do think Vince and co. realized they had to take risks and it worked. And yes Vince McMahon's vision is his vision and nothing about that will change unless the situation requires it.

    But what is stopping WWE now? What is stopping WWE from being edgy beyond just "the kids"? I'm not going to allow this to be answered so simply because I don't think it is simple.

    I wanna know WHY The Corporation would be babyfaces in 2013.
    Hey now, his mixtapes aren't that bad.

    As far as your question goes, and I think I'm about to prove Todd right, what's the need? I don't mean to fall back on "the kids" its just who the target is most of the time right now. The change, like Todd said, was simply necessity+pop culture=attitude. I don't really think it goes much beyond that. Vince McMahon needed to do something to compete, and changing the product to fit the needs was exactly that something.

    The only other thing I feel I can argue is the fans changed. I have an extensive VHS collection from when I was a kid, we used to tape wrestling every week, both companies. The fans became a little more rabid as the kid Hogan fans started to get a little older and needed something different, something new. Now you could say that the edginess wasn't the necessity, as much as the change. There's no telling whether or not some other system could have worked, really in theory, anything exciting would have.

    I'm reaching a bit, I'm aware, but it's truly hard to say.
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    EAT. SLEEP. SMARK. REPEAT Djm's Avatar
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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    I guess what I don't understand is what is stopping WWE from wanting to excel even higher. Yes, they beat WCW and won the war. And Vince McMahon took his company and went back to the tried and true.

    That is something that I cannot for the life of me understand. WCW is no longer competition, but what about everything else? I honestly think they're going about growing their brand in completely the wrong way with the movies and everything else, while just letting their core product be...what it is.

    I don't understand their idea of going back to the safe formula simply because it's the same formula when the risks sent them into the stratosphere.

    Also, John Cena, the ultimate corporate champion. The near-literal personification of the World Wrestling Entertainment brand.

    Aside from "because they say he is", why is he the top babyface in the company? Why was the one guy in the last 5 years to come close to his level so frustrated by the company's stagnance forced to almost hold them hostage on live TV, and now is gone again?

    When did the corporation become cool? I'm sorry to keep repeating it, but I just don't get it, and all due respect, I'm not getting an answer.

    I said this:

    My big question....what changed? What caused WWE to become what it is now, where The Corporation would be babyfaces, the same way that a group like Public Enemy probably wouldn't get signed to a record deal in 2013, but *sigh....Detroit shame....* Big Sean is one of the biggest names around?
    This is what I have such a hard time understanding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Roman Reigns becomes champion for the first time before Bryan wins the title again? I'll get in on that action.

    With my PW Career. Bryan wins the title again before Roman, I'm gone.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Cena is the top babyface for a number of reasons, he's a poster boy, represents the company well, sells thousands of shirts and gets a huge reaction.

    As for Punk being the one guy to get close having to hold them hostage, well, it was holding them hostage that got him close. That whole angle got him over, and I love the guy, but there is no guarantee that he would have made it without that.

    Why don't they want to excel? They have no desire to push the boat out. The longer they run the company this way, the greater respect it will earn in the big wide world. The negative press during the Attitude era was potentially crippling once it went out of fashion. Of course Benoit didn't help (another factor).

    McMahon must associate a change in creative direction with risk. I can see his point. Just because it worked during Attitude doesn't mean it will work again.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    No you're right, you're not getting an answer, that simply because I personally don't have it and I'm not sure it's a question that can be answered. If it can, I hope somebody else has the answer you want. I don't know whether or not it's that simple, then again it could very well be something simple. I'm going to brew about this for awhile, because now I'm asking the same question.
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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    Cena is the top babyface for a number of reasons, he's a poster boy, represents the company well, sells thousands of shirts and gets a huge reaction.

    As for Punk being the one guy to get close having to hold them hostage, well, it was holding them hostage that got him close. That whole angle got him over, and I love the guy, but there is no guarantee that he would have made it without that.

    Why don't they want to excel? They have no desire to push the boat out. The longer they run the company this way, the greater respect it will earn in the big wide world. The negative press during the Attitude era was potentially crippling once it went out of fashion. Of course Benoit didn't help (another factor).

    McMahon must associate a change in creative direction with risk. I can see his point. Just because it worked during Attitude doesn't mean it will work again.
    Absolutely great post. I suppose this is just where I won't ever see eye to eye with him philosophically. One, I don't think that a second Attitude Era WOULD work. However, I don't automatically shy away from risk simply because it's a risk. They decided to open a film division. That was a risk. They're trying to build an cable network. That's a risk. A change in creative direction is also a risk, and one I think is worth taking.

    But I guess this is what makes me one of those "old fans"...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Roman Reigns becomes champion for the first time before Bryan wins the title again? I'll get in on that action.

    With my PW Career. Bryan wins the title again before Roman, I'm gone.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Ice, thank you for stepping a bit outside of the bubble on this one, because I want to talk about WWE amongst pop culture, because it did change along with the rest of the world.

    My big question....what changed? What caused WWE to become what it is now, where The Corporation would be babyfaces, the same way that a group like Public Enemy probably wouldn't get signed to a record deal in 2013, but *sigh....Detroit shame....* Big Sean is one of the biggest names around? So much Detroit shame...

    Yes, I do think Vince and co. realized they had to take risks and it worked. And yes Vince McMahon's vision is his vision and nothing about that will change unless the situation requires it.

    But what is stopping WWE now? What is stopping WWE from being edgy beyond just "the kids"? I'm not going to allow this to be answered so simply because I don't think it is simple.

    I wanna know WHY The Corporation would be babyfaces in 2013.
    Why is it that guys like P Diddy, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube have million dollar empires in 2013 considering what they rapped about and what their image was back in the day and they are still very well liked?

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Absolutely great post. I suppose this is just where I won't ever see eye to eye with him philosophically. One, I don't think that a second Attitude Era WOULD work. However, I don't automatically shy away from risk simply because it's a risk. They decided to open a film division. That was a risk. They're trying to build an cable network. That's a risk. A change in creative direction is also a risk, and one I think is worth taking.

    But I guess this is what makes me one of those "old fans"...
    Are you pretty frustrated with the product right now? Is that what fueled this?
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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ice View Post
    Are you pretty frustrated with the product right now? Is that what fueled this?
    Frustrated would be way too strong. Vexed. Nonplussed. Nearing apathy. I enjoy what I enjoy. I dislike what I dislike.

    No secret that the pipebomb promo and all of the happenings with the Summer of Punk resonated with me on a pretty deep level.

    I don't want another Attitude Era, but I do want something beyond just "ENTERTAINMENT". Right now, WWE is a hot dog. I want it to be a Coney Dog with extra mustard.

    It's why I mentioned the whole "You know what'd be awesome? John Cena vs. The Undertaker at Wrestlemania" ages ago. WWE should be absolutely mind-blowing, when all it really is kinda cool sometimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Roman Reigns becomes champion for the first time before Bryan wins the title again? I'll get in on that action.

    With my PW Career. Bryan wins the title again before Roman, I'm gone.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    I think all of the answers were right there in your original post.

    The Mcmahons have basically brain washed the newer fans into believing in the system.

    As has been said earlier in this thread, in today's WWE the McMahons are treated as heros for being nothing else but the establishment, Cena their handpicked corperate champion is written as THE hero despite being hated by a large portion of the fans.

    Anti establishment characters such as the Shield and CM Punk are written as heels, when they would have been treated like DX and Stone Cold back in the AE.

    The WWE is trying to control its fans and its image, when they used to listen to the fans in order to have the image they wanted.

    That's the difference.


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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by DJM
    I guess what I don't understand is what is stopping WWE from wanting to excel even higher. Yes, they beat WCW and won the war. And Vince McMahon took his company and went back to the tried and true.
    Who is to say they don't want to?

    Perhaps the answer is they don't know how to.

    Or the company is so big now there are too many chefs in the kitchen?

    That seems like the biggest problem. Too many different personalities who all have different ideas for how the show should run.

    But then it's an unenviable position to be in. The creative demands are immense and it's difficult to come up with 8 or so hours of content a week for a company that's been on television for decades now.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    The product has really gone downhill since Vince and his family started getting cheers instead of boos. The past 3-4 Wrestlemania's that I have watched have been so bad, because of some of this. CM Punk would have gotten booed out of the building back in the Attitude Era. If he came around talking about being straight edge back in the 90's, he would have been a victim of multiple stunners every Raw. Plus the Family Friendly programming is ruining the product. Generation Y is being exposed to so much family friendly garbage. Back in the Attitude Era, it was way more popular and way more cutting edge. Chicks were flashing their tits when DX came out. Stone Cold could flick off the crowd and drink a 12 pack after every match, people could throw wrestlers in dog shit if they wanted to. Now, none of that is even possible. The fans are sitting on their hands during most matches, the product is not nearly as entertaining. I blame it on the family friendly programming angle. My generation has grown up, and moved on because the product is geared towards kids, plain and simple.
    "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence, talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." - President Calvin Coolidge

  23. #23
    EAT. SLEEP. SMARK. REPEAT Djm's Avatar
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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pete View Post
    Who is to say they don't want to?

    Perhaps the answer is they don't know how to.

    Or the company is so big now there are too many chefs in the kitchen?

    That seems like the biggest problem. Too many different personalities who all have different ideas for how the show should run.

    But then it's an unenviable position to be in. The creative demands are immense and it's difficult to come up with 8 or so hours of content a week for a company that's been on television for decades now.
    Great points, but we all know that it begins and ends with one person: Vince McMahon. The man is legendary for his unwillingness to sleep and constant tweaking and poking and prodding, and his hyper micromanagement.

    It is HIS vision.
    Fanny Pack Wrestling Podcast---saving the world from the WWE Malaise, one episode at a time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    Roman Reigns becomes champion for the first time before Bryan wins the title again? I'll get in on that action.

    With my PW Career. Bryan wins the title again before Roman, I'm gone.

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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    Or did they gear the product towards kids because the Attitude Era fans have grown up and have kids of their own? I know *I* sure as hell wouldn't let my children watch half the shit that happened in the Attitude Era.

  25. #25
    Hellraiser RaulChevere's Avatar
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    Default Re: In 2013, the Corporation would be babyfaces.

    To be fair and balanced, I thought the Rock's best work came when he was the Corporate Champion. I always liked bad guys and anti-heroes, so the Attitude Era really appealed to me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by KingofMyWorld View Post
    Or did they gear the product towards kids because the Attitude Era fans have grown up and have kids of their own? I know *I* sure as hell wouldn't let my children watch half the shit that happened in the Attitude Era.
    You might be right King, I am 30, and if I had young kids, I probably would not either. Although if they were teenagers, they would have probably have seen worse things on the internet.
    "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence, talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." - President Calvin Coolidge

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