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  1. #1

    The Undertaker, or why i have a problem with modern wrestling

    Let me start by saying that i wasnt entirely sure in what section to put this, or if i should have made it a blog.
    But since i am quite unsure of my english writing skills i would prefer to start it as a normal Forum post.

    Now, to my topic.

    It was in 1990, i was 19 years old, that my Dad got us a satellite dish. Just so you understand this, back then in Germany you had 5 to 7 TV channels, and only if you had satellite you were able to get more. Cable was just in its beginnings.

    Now i was all excited browsing the new TV programs, and one program in particular, i dont even remember what channel it was on, caught my interest. There were some pretty colorful guys jumping around in what seemed to be a boxing ring, beating the shit out of each other.
    I got hooked from minute one, and the german commentators, knowing that wrestling back then was a niche sport, made a special effort to explain what was going on. I think the first match i saw was with 'El Matador' Tito Santana. It probably wasnt even a good match, but damn, did it get me excited.

    Now, to understand the next part, i need to give a tiny bit of extra information. When i was 19 i was what people would call a gothic. Yes, all dressed in black, eyeliner, wearing upside down crucifixes, the whole deal.
    And as i was sitting there giving my best Robert Smith impression, watching this newfound program, i was awestruck.
    All of a sudden there was this GONG, followed by the funeral march, and this MONSTROUS guy walked down to the ring, wearing all black and grey, looking more dead than alive.

    Needless to say, i was stunned. I became an instant Undertaker fan, the minute i first saw him.

    I followed his career over the years, and even as i got older and my understanding of wrestling and the whole business grew (yes, in the first few weeks i had no idea that the fights were actually fake, since i had no internet and noone i talked to knew about it at all), i still favored the big pale guy. No matter what he did, i thought it was awesome.
    Actually, i didnt even really care for the fights themselves that much. I guess you could say that for me wrestling and especially the Undertaker were some form of adult cartoon, just like He-Man or Captain Future.

    Now, why am i saying all this? Its simple. The product that is the WWE right now has nothing to do with what i watched back then anymore. None of the colorful heroes and antiheroes are really left, except maybe Kane. The Undertaker wrestles max 1 time a year, and not even that is certain anymore. It makes me sad. I really think that most current wrestlers are bland and absolutely boring compared to the likes of Taker, the British Bulldog, Ted DiBiase Sr, Sid Vicious, Mr. Perfect, Vader, Yokozuna, Bret Hart, HBK, and so on and so on.

    They used to be my larger than life heroes or villains. They were my cartoon stars. My Superman and Batman and Joker and Lex Luthor.

    I dont see that anymore. All i see is boring average guys like Cena or Daniel Bryan or CM Punk or whoever is on the current roster and main event scene. They simply dont tickle me the way the old guard did. Now, this is by no means an attack on Punk or Cena or Bryan. It is just that they are NOT what i started watching wresling for. I am quite sure that the day the Undertaker finally really retires will be the last wrestling show i ever watch. And it makes me sad.

    Thanks for reading. If the mods think this should go into the blogs area, let me know.


    Edited to correct a few typos.
    Last edited by Karsten Langenfeld; 12-12-2012 at 07:32 AM.
    Wrestling lost the spectacle factor.

  2. #2
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    Nice post. It's hard to disagree with your point.

    Wrestling has really suffered from the whole social acceptability factor. They want the product to appeal to the masses and the masses these days don't like cartoon characters as wrestlers. Back in the day, wrestling was pure escapism and the larger than life characters were part of that appeal. Now, the company and the fans want the more 'average joe' appeal - once was, you'd dream and fantasize that you could be a character like that; now its a matter of giving you something closer to what you already are. Which is why people tire of these bland, beige wrestlers so very, very quickly.

    Sadly, there's no going back. Once you don't believe in fairytales anymore, you cannot recapture that innocence.

  3. #3
    Yep Robstar's exactly right. You just cant market (Market may be the wrong word) A "Dead " guy anymore really in this day and age. People won't go for it. Wrestling isn't what it used to be in that era at all and will never be again(Most likely,never say never I suppose.)



    The higher I go, the crookeder it becomes.

  4. #4
    My friend, you sound a lot like the type of fan that I am. I to, miss the days of the 'super heroes' when I was a kid. Wrestling has changed a lot since then. The Undertaker is a my favorite of all time and I was also a fan of, from back then, Hogan, Bret, HBK, Austin, Randy Savage, Jake the snake and so on. Those days are over. WWE, and wrestling on a whole has changed. Fans want 'realism'. There are bright spots in today's WWE and there are guys I am a fan of...I HATE John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback. CM Punk is the best heel champ since the prime years of Triple H. I am a fan of Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Wade Barrett, Antonio Cesaro and few others. Today, wrestling is less about gimmick and more about talent and skill.

  5. #5
    thanks for the nice words and encouragement so far, guys. i felt it was necessary to explain how i am ticking when it comes to wrestling, cause i did notice i came across as very critical towards the new bunch of wrestlers in the threads i posted in so far.
    And i dont want to look like that grumpy old man who hates new things for being new.
    I do think that from the skill factor and the pure talent, the younger, current wrestlers are, without a doubt, the better ones when you compare the rosters of today with those of yesteryear.

    On a sidenote that i think is rather funny: Back then wrestling was first called sports, then sports entertainment, then entertainment. But the development of wrestling itself is basically the complete opposite. To me back then it was entertainment, then sports entertainment, and now with the athleticism of the new bunch, it is more sports then it ever was.
    Last edited by Karsten Langenfeld; 12-12-2012 at 07:53 AM.
    Wrestling lost the spectacle factor.

  6. #6
    there is still a market for super heroes, look at the assencion on NXT.

    the problem is the old gimmicks are done before and the ones they trie to replay like ted dibiase now alberto del rio dont do it anymore ...
    i hope they can pull of a new generation of super heroes one day,

  7. #7
    There is still a market for the "Super Hero" wrestling star. It's why Chikara has lasted so long, or why you see wrestlers like "Star Man" and "Super Smash Brothers" gaining such traction in the indies... It's why Christopher Daniels gets asked about his time as Curry Man... The thing is that it's something that appeals to more "specific" fans than what the (I think someone said) "masses" are currently desiring. It's just a different time era that we live in, and while I do miss those days I am also glad that a lot of the over the top stuff is gone. For every 1 Undertaker we had in those days, we also had guys like Brutus the Barber, Leaping Lanny, Hercules, "The African Dream" Akeem, Tugboat, Black Bart, Crush, Dean Douglas, The Mountie, etc...

    I am all for the "larger than life" stars and the stars who make you sit back in amazement... But the whole dynamic of "super hero" wrestlers is a bit off for me. Not because I don't remember just how cool it was to see someone like Taker, Hogan, Warrior, Jake the Snake, Mr. Perfect, or the Hitman, but I also remember that there were just as many (if not more) "Adam Bomb" type characters during that time. I am all for bringing back the "Executioners" or over the top characters like The Model, but if the person playing the part can't pull of the gimmick, it doesn't matter if they bring it back or not. Mean Mark wasn't as good of a gimmick as The Undertaker, but the wrestler made them both work either way.


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  8. #8
    Black Ninja! Wade Barrett 1979's Avatar
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    It's a wonderful thing called nostalgia.

    No doubt in another 20 years todays younglings will be lamenting the days when John Cena was on top. Tis the circle of life.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten Langenfeld View Post
    Let me start by saying that i wasnt entirely sure in what section to put this, or if i should have made it a blog.
    But since i am quite unsure of my english writing skills i would prefer to start it as a normal Forum post.

    Now, to my topic.

    It was in 1990, i was 19 years old, that my Dad got us a satellite dish. Just so you understand this, back then in Germany you had 5 to 7 TV channels, and only if you had satellite you were able to get more. Cable was just in its beginnings.

    Now i was all excited browsing the new TV programs, and one program in particular, i dont even remember what channel it was on, caught my interest. There were some pretty colorful guys jumping around in what seemed to be a boxing ring, beating the shit out of each other.
    I got hooked from minute one, and the german commentators, knowing that wrestling back then was a niche sport, made a special effort to explain what was going on. I think the first match i saw was with 'El Matador' Tito Santana. It probably wasnt even a good match, but damn, did it get me excited.

    Now, to understand the next part, i need to give a tiny bit of extra information. When i was 19 i was what people would call a gothic. Yes, all dressed in black, eyeliner, wearing upside down crucifixes, the whole deal.
    And as i was sitting there giving my best Robert Smith impression, watching this newfound program, i was awestruck.
    All of a sudden there was this GONG, followed by the funeral march, and this MONSTROUS guy walked down to the ring, wearing all black and grey, looking more dead than alive.

    Needless to say, i was stunned. I became an instant Undertaker fan, the minute i first saw him.

    I followed his career over the years, and even as i got older and my understanding of wrestling and the whole business grew (yes, in the first few weeks i had no idea that the fights were actually fake, since i had no internet and noone i talked to knew about it at all), i still favored the big pale guy. No matter what he did, i thought it was awesome.
    Actually, i didnt even really care for the fights themselves that much. I guess you could say that for me wrestling and especially the Undertaker were some form of adult cartoon, just like He-Man or Captain Future.

    Now, why am i saying all this? Its simple. The product that is the WWE right now has nothing to do with what i watched back then anymore. None of the colorful heroes and antiheroes are really left, except maybe Kane. The Undertaker wrestles max 1 time a year, and not even that is certain anymore. It makes me sad. I really think that most current wrestlers are bland and absolutely boring compared to the likes of Taker, the British Bulldog, Ted DiBiase Sr, Sid Vicious, Mr. Perfect, Vader, Yokozuna, Bret Hart, HBK, and so on and so on.

    They used to be my larger than life heroes or villains. They were my cartoon stars. My Superman and Batman and Joker and Lex Luthor.

    I dont see that anymore. All i see is boring average guys like Cena or Daniel Bryan or CM Punk or whoever is on the current roster and main event scene. They simply dont tickle me the way the old guard did. Now, this is by no means an attack on Punk or Cena or Bryan. It is just that they are NOT what i started watching wresling for. I am quite sure that the day the Undertaker finally really retires will be the last wrestling show i ever watch. And it makes me sad.

    Thanks for reading. If the mods think this should go into the blogs area, let me know.


    Edited to correct a few typos.
    This actually sums up my opinion on wrestling. There's way too much realism for a fake product! There's a reason why Indy wrestling is only enjoyed by hardcore fans, and no, being on TV would not make ROH beat WWE. It wouldn't even reach ECW viewership unfortunately.
    Back in the Golden or attitude era, WWE and WCW was full of characters; most of which were unbelievable! They were clearly corny and fake, and that's exactly what wrestling is. The main problem is, when they try gimmicks these days, they fail because they are essentially real people playing characters and that ISN'T what a gimmick used to be.
    Brodus Clay is just him dancing.

    There's a reason why i think Ryback is possibly the most over thing right now; He's basically a throw back. He's pretty much "terminator" and before the shield attacks, was a destroyer. To me, It was a character that you would have seen back in the 80s. It doesn't help that everything is too PG and politically correct these days. They don't even bother to try and push the envelope anymore, in fear that even a slight wobble when "rocking the boat" might cause a huge wave.

    G
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Barrett 1979 View Post
    It's a wonderful thing called nostalgia.

    No doubt in another 20 years todays younglings will be lamenting the days when John Cena was on top. Tis the circle of life.
    Unfortunately, we are talking about a company that had 9.0 ratings in the USA 15 years ago! These days it is pulling in 3.0.

    There might be youngsters who lament the days that Cena was on top, but there will be a hell of a lot less than the ones remembering wrestling overall.

    G
    GMU - UTID!
     
    2012 - 2nd!

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