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Wrestling popularity


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
I'm sure your all aware that wrestling popularity isn't at the same lever as it was in the 80's/90's or even the early 2000's. What do you think is the reason behind this?

Please don't just reply by saying, it's the PG rating, because clearly there's more to it than just the rating.


Haters gonna hate.
Besides the rating... well I think its because of the amount of kids watching it. This young generation is not into it as much as the wrestling business wants them to be. That's basically it. Cena is their attempt (in WWE) to garner that additional audience.


Registered Member
Quite honestly I believe a lot of people as they have gotten older have switched their attentions to MMA or UFC to be more specific. Maybe they thought why watch a combat sport that isn't real when they can watch 2 guys legitimately beat the holy fuck out of each other. I don't know but surely the rise in popularity for UFC can't be mere coincidence when it comes to the decline in popularity for Wrestling, can it?


The return shall be legenday!
It's really turn into a soap opera rather then Wrestling. Also I find that the wrestlers have really no passion for the business anymore. When was the last time we saw a gimmick rather then a wrestler with a persons name?? The Boogeyman is my best guess and he failed miserably. The 80's were full of characters and the reason why people are getting turned off is because the WWE is staying away from that aspect or just ran out of ideas.


The Rock is cooking atm..
Mainly because the gimmicks are a bit stale at the moment, or because the product just isn't that good anymore.

Or as my friends used to say...."Back when wrestling used to be cool".


Problematic Shitlord
I'm sure your all aware that wrestling popularity isn't at the same lever as it was in the 80's/90's or even the early 2000's. What do you think is the reason behind this?

Please don't just reply by saying, it's the PG rating, because clearly there's more to it than just the rating.
The PG rating is the number 1 reason, bar none and I'll tell you why.

I've been watching some compilation DVDs from Taker, Trips, The Rock, Stone Cold and recently the Royal Rumble and the wrestlers were much more willing to give to the fans. They were battered, beaten, bloody and passionate. Today's wrestlers are pampered. It's not about the entertainment anymore, it's about the wrestlers. Something about watching Stone Cold bleeding from the head as he fought to break Brett Hart's sharpshooter just felt epic or Mick Foley falling through the cell as Taker tossed him ass over tea kettle plummeting to the ring below at Hell in a Cell. People will sit here and be all hippie and soft saying that violence was not part of the reason but like it or not, it was. Violence, anger, rage, all of these things illicit a passionate response. It gets the heart racing and mind running. It's why these older matches were such thrills, everything felt so real even though we knew it wasn't. But for those two hours every Monday night, it was real.

Speaking of reality, number 2 is a reason I'm not sure many people have given thought to. It's simply "the suspension of disbelief" and how it has been ruined thanks to new informational avenues such as the internet. The "mysticism" of wrestling entertainment has always relied on a lack of information but nowadays, the WWE treats itself like a business when it used to treat itself like an arena. It's partly because the fanbase has become more aware of how things work.


Haters gonna hate.
The business has become too big for its own good, really. The PG rating exploded the ratings and I agree with you Const. regarding the knowledge of how it works. I've been watching wrestling EVERY WEEK for a little over a year (sparingly beforehand) and I know the way things work.


Better Call Saul
Staff member
All of that blood and guts stuff was good at the time but I would HATE it if they went back to that. There's no reason for guys to kill themselves for the business.

Wrestling in the so called attitude era was cool...it was hip. People who didnt even like wrestling were watching because everyone else was.

The MMA comment is spot on, I think.


I am the woolrus
The first reason i would think of is the same as cons, the loss of kayfabe. Even most kids who watch wrestling now know it's choregraphed and how the business works.

Another reason is lack of competition. It results in WWE not even having to try to be the dominant brand and the product has gone very stale.

One more reason that i definitely think has changed the wrestling industry for the worse, is the lack of territorial wrestling companies where superstars can learn their crafts before hitting the big leagues. Years ago there were so many promotions and different territories for wrestlers to learn as much as possible about the wrestling world (just look at Jerry Lawler's list of campionships for proof of that!). Develop their own gimmicks. Learn how to work a match with any range of opponents. Learn different styles. Now with WWE, almost all their superstars come from FCW (or OVW beforehand) and so many of them are just clones of eachother. Their gimmicks are mostly thrust upon them and they just read whatever their given in the script. It takes a lot away from the entertainment value of the shows.

Also, it's probably a benefit in some ways that it's gone from the business, but i think the lack of backstage politics has actually taken away from the business. hearing about fights backstage, people stabbing eachother in the back etc. I mean stuff like the Montreal Screwjob and the MSG incident were entertaining. Or even stuff like HBK's "Sunny days" comment to Bret Hart. There were actually feuds outside the ring aswell as inside the ring. We'll probably never have that again.
Also as for the PG rating, i don't think it's a valid reason for a drop in popularity of wrestling. Hulkamania was one of the cheesiest, most PG trends in wrestling (i mean, "drink your milk and take your vitamins"? :p) but it was pretty damn popular!

Also i don't think it's impossible to put on a good show while having a PG rating. Chikara for example. It's fun, it's kooky and it's very suitable for kids, but i try and catch a Chikara show whenever i can! cus it has good wrestling and unique gimmicks. Much more important than what age rating it is.

Though i would personally miss the violence and hardcore feel that WWF had, i don't think it's necessary for a good, popular show.
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