Overexposure: WWE in the Modern Era
by, 06-26-2013 at 06:17 PM (1194 Views)
Note: Sorry if this is a little unfocused. This blog is a way for me to motivate myself creatively and I'm still working out structural kinks.
Part 1: Introduction
When I was growing up, wrestling was about the journey. Nationally televised wrestling programs were scarce and Pay Per Views saved for a select few nights a year. Story lines had no choice but to play out over months and fans had no choice but to be patient and enjoy. Wrestlmania was where the biggest feuds came to a head and seeds for upcoming feuds were planted.
It wasn't just a different era in wrestling though, it was a different era all together. From movies to music to fashion to technology. It might have only been 25(ish) years ago but life moved a little slower and gratification didn't need to be so instantaneous.
The modern era of televised wrestling began in 1993. It was that year the WWF took a big step and moved beyond programming like Prime Time Wrestling and Saturday Night's Main Event and introduced the world to Monday Night Raw. Raw was the WWF's chance to leave the steroid era behind and introduce the world to its "new" high energy "anything can happen" product. Funny thing about MNR back then.... Only 1 hour long. In fact it was 4 years until, in the midst of the Monday Night Wars, the WWF made the change over to the two hour format. Despite the rabid and ever growing fan base, it would be another 2 years before the WWF introduced MNR's long standing tag team partner, Thursday Night Smackdown.
Part 2: Talent Overflow:
Smackdown. Smackdown just added insult to injury didn't it? WWF's new "B" show was a bigger draw then WCW's "A" show. It was around that time talent started jumping ship left and right. Jericho, the Radicalz, the Big Show, etc. ECW began to slowly bleed out as well with the losses of The Dudley's and Taz. The WWF played the part of Noah and let everyone aboard.
The roster depth. From 1999-2003(ish) it was beyond anything any one company had before or since. New guard mixed with old. Past mixed with present. Main eventers were a dime a dozen. Ego's were aplenty and guys had to grasp on tight to hang on to "their spot." The WWF/E would have been able to support another 2 hour "C" show if they were so inclined.
But as with all things, the talent peak soon saw a decline as grapplers of yesteryear either moved on or were sent packing. With the WWE's two biggest competitors 6 feet under and TNA still in it's birthing stages, there were no readymade stars left to acquire (save guys like Sting who have yet to make a run with the company). It was this decline that would foreshadow things to come.
To be concluded with parts 3 and 4....
Thank you for Reading. Feel free to leave praise, constructive feedback, or troll. If you're going to troll though, please have some style.
Song of the Day: Send It Up By Kayne West
Wrestling Move of the Day: DDT by Jake Roberts