The Evolution of WWE: Vince, HHH, Lesnar
by, 10-18-2013 at 10:04 AM (4442 Views)
The evolution of wrestling over the years has been shifted from a sport to an entertainment industry. In fact, WWE ownerVince McMahon,was the very first to acknowledge it as Sports Entertainment, not a real sport.This was like a shot heard around the world, as everyone was shocked that such a statement was made public. Consequently, this move proved to ingenious, as it put to rest some of the fear that individual wrestlers were getting physically beaten and made people aware of situational storylines where, for the most part, wrestlers were escaping the matches unscathed. This was the beginning of Vince McMahon using his brilliance to cater the business towards the kids, who, in turn would be the sole audience to keep the industry showing continuedsuccess.
The wrestling industry has gone through many changes over the years, some for the good, and some for the bad. Obviously, good or bad, it is up to public opinion,but in some cases there is just no way to decide if it is, like Vince and Triple H says, “good for business.” The one avenue that bolstered and benefitedwas the merchandise sales. Every kid growing up wanted t-shirts, hats, figures,posters, anything that symbolized their love for their favorite wrestler. In my opinion, this is where the industry transformed into what it is today, moretalking and dancing instead of good ole fashioned wrestling. I am a huge fan ofthe business, but still wish there were sounder, technical matches instead of segments like Miz TV and the Highlight Reel.
As the timeline of the business is acknowledged, wrestling started as a popular sport, reached its high point in the Attitude Era,and now is still popular because of Vince’s reestablished PG monotone to all of the live shows. In wrestling fashion we went from Hulk Hogan & Ric Flair, to The Rock & Steve Austin, and now John Cena andCM Punk. This is not to slight the days of Bruno Sammartino, Playboy Buddy Roseor King Harley Race, just merely stating my opinion of when and how the business picked up momentum.
In Vince’s newfound glory, he seems to be trying to rekindle the old momentum bybringing back huge stars like The Rock and Brock Lesnar, who previously left due to other aspirations, on 3-6 month contracts in order to capture the audience on the suspense of when they might show up. In my opinion, this move has worked great and was necessary due to thedrop in attendance and audience, merely because those attitude wrestlers werenever really replaced. They never really had the influx of young talent to come over as superstars at the time when they needed it. However, they are starting to assemble some nice young stars such as Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan, using their veterans such as Chris Jericho andRob Van Damto put them over.Therefore, wrestling is beginning to have a premise again instead of just the same old act, night after night.
I will forever be a wrestling fan and continue to look forward to the influx ofnew talent from the likes of NXT and the developmental scene. At the same time,I understand there will never be another attitude era where everything goes andthe FCC calls the WWE more times than the teenage boy calls his first girlfriend. The classic matches will forever hold their luster, just as the highlights of Hulk Hogan leg dropping Macho Man Randy Savage in his infamous heel turn at Bash at the Beach never get old. Even though the sport has evolved into an entertaining miniseries, it still maintains a captive audience andcontinues to sell out arenas all around the globe. The interesting part of this scenario is if the WWE can keep this product going into the future with up andcoming talent, instead of re hashing the same old storylines with some of theirl egends. For Example:
·CorporationPart II: Triple H, Stephanie McMahon andRandy Orton trying to duplicate the original Corporate Champion of The Rock, led by Vince and Shane…
· TripleH doing a Heel Turn on Daniel Bryan, just like Vince McMahon screwing Bret Hart
In my opinion, neither of these storylines are better than the original. However,I definitely think these were all necessary moves to try and boost ratings andgive the product a new direction. The problem is either the new talent doesn’tstick or there are obstacles unknown to the public on why some of these younger guys do not pan out. Either way, the WWE will need to rebuild their product on a more consistent basis if they want to continue success into the future. I think they are on the right track with the likes of NXT and the developmental school for training, but it needs to be the emphasis of the company, just likeit is in the major sports market. A sports organization is only as good as its scouting department, something the WWE is starting to turn around.