Are the fans more critical of the product then before?

People criticize it now, because writing has gotten weak and lazy. Take Bray Wyatt for example…this is a character that have been around in various iterations over the years. You’ve had supernatural characters like Undertaker & Kane, you’ve had cult leaders like a Raven in WCW. These were successfully done. Bray Wyatt has been booked to shit and has been an embarrassment. People have been willing to suspend their disbelief, but you can only do that so much, until you start feeling stupid.

What about Matt Hardy? The character is way over the top and people did complain even in TNA, but nobody can deny that it was done well over there compared to WWE. People were willing to suspend their disbelief and now he’s a complete joke, where other characters are booked to mock him, just to make the owner of the company laugh. This shit deserves criticism.

I think this is partially right, but also, wrestling is arguably bigger by the numbers than it’s been in a long time. People didn’t criticize bad WWE writing as voraciously after WCW died because less people cared about wrestling as a whole. More people say more things because both wrestling, /and/ social media are hot. Then you add podcasting to the mix and your chances of smark tears drastic go up.

Using Raven in WCW as a sucess is laughable.

You can pick apart the writing for every generation of wrestling…shit…that’s literally what people do nowadays.

There’s loads of reasons, but a key one imho is that WWE stopped listening to the fans regarding who to push as the top guy(s). Fans are not as emotionally invested because they know that Reigns, and Cena before him is going to be the most pushed no matter what, and without that emotional investment in the characters people are more apt to view it as entertainment and critique it as such.

Also - if you want reasons for the product not being taken seriously then look no further than the Braun toilet nonsense from Raw. Vince is insanely low-brow, its not the fans fault.

It is entirely possible that fans are more critical, and they should be. Alternatives to the WWE are more accessible than at any other time in history.

Fans can look at local Independent promotions, ROH, NJPW, Progress, Rev Pro, AJPW, Noah PWG.

It gives fans a variety, which is excellent for wrestling at large, but also makes it glaringly obvious when one promotion pushes the norm, thinks outside the box and genuinely makes for interesting wrestling. WWE can feel very lazy at times, maybe this is because:

  1. Match length is must shorter than in other promotions
  2. Movesets are a bit more limited
  3. Scripts make talent feel rigid or unrealistic.
  4. WWE has to maintain a family friendly branding

I am not sure if all the above are reasons, or I am way off the mark but being critical of a product you enjoy, is the way to keep the company honest and striving to continuously improve their product.

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I believe in that same podcast Jimmy Korderas said something to the effect that fans “won’t give Roman a chance”… I take a bit of issue with that because fans did give Roman a chance for WM 31 and 32. It was only after the terrible decision to have him beat the undertaker to main event 33 and the long chase for the title at 34 that didn’t pay off that really turned me.

It was this time last year I realized that Roman was in for a long chase for the universal title that should have capped off at WM34. Fast forward to today and we are in the exact same situation. At this point I just want him to win the belt so we can see it again on TV and move on from this. I couldn’t care less if he wins it and holds it for 3 straight years, lets just move this story along since we all know where it’s going to end up!

I don’t think Royal Rumble 2015 was the fans “giving him a chance.” That’s where it really starts on a major level IMO.

People are overly critical with every aspect of life, and it’s easy to complain. Not that the WWE writing has been great, because it hasn’t, but with the advent of the internet and social media everyone has a voice. It’s the way the world is going these days. Everyone feels like the world revolves around them, everyone wants their 15 seconds of fame, everyone wants to be heard because they feel their opinion is the most important. I’m just as guilty as everyone else. Look at me voicing my very important opinion on this message board.

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Yeah mate, its the fans fault. I don’t understand this weird WWE mindset of blaming the fans for Roman being such a failure.

How can he be a failure when he selling more merchs then anybody in the company and he getting talk about more then anybody on the roster. Love him or hate him, he been a success the minute fans started to rebel against him.

When you compare Ravens Flock to the Wyatt Family, it absolutely was more successful. At least Raven actually had guys in his cult, Wyatt had 2 guys and never added more. Just because he ended up being a disappointment, doesn’t mean there wasn’t some form of success.

Having more jobbers in a group made it more successful? What?

Outside of Perry Saturn, what feud did Raven have that was given prominent tv time Bray Wyatt has been given since his debut? Hell, Bray Wyatt already has had far more high profile feuds, a higher position on the totem pole and championships just in his still relatively short run than Raven has had outside of ECW in his entire career.

Rose colored glasses are ruining your perception. In 10 years, people will be wondering where the Bray Wyatts are, shit they’re going to be clamoring for Roman Reigns much like they been doing for Cena after he started his part time run.

It doesnt matter if they were jobbers or main event superstars, the gimmick was a cult leader, which is what the Bray Wyatt character originally was as well, before it turned into supernatural shit. They built the Flock, they allowed Raven to look like he at least was able to build a following. I’m not talking about who had higher profile matches or feuds. I’m sure you went to school and can do basic math bro, a cult leader who has 2 followers, is not more successful than a cult leader with 5 or 6 followers. Its very simple, very easy stuff to understand.

And if you really want to talk about Bray’s feuds to illustrate your point about him being successful, he would actually need to win those feuds to be a success. He himself is a glorified jobber to the stars.

They’ve tried to push him as a face for years and he’s been rejected, they got cold feet the two times he was going to beat Brock because they knew the fans would reject it. The last three PPV matches he’s had have been totally rejected by the crowd - they weren’t into the match even to see Roman lose. The push has been a failure.

On tv for the smart fans, yes I agree with you, the push as been a failure. But for everybody else, especially reigns himself, his push is a complete success since the casual seem to like him, the kids loves him and his merchandise sale are going really well so to me, it’s been more of a success then failure.

This thought makes me sad. Wyatt sucks. Reigns on the other hand is not bad, he’s just cast incorrectly. UNLESS!!! you think of him as the biggest heel in the company, which he sort of is? A heel is someone the fans hate, and fans certainly hate him. I know that back in the day heat used to be when a heel could get the crowd riled up to the point where they want to kill you, maybe with the disappearance of kayfabe this is the 2018 equivalent of that?

Overall, fans are more critical now than in prior eras. But I think that criticism is just relative to the platform available (namely, social media) and the information available. We hear about contracts and television deals and backstage heat and “personal demons”, almost whether we want to or not. I’ve tried my best to not care about that side of the business (wrote about this last month in a different thread), but I find that it’s almost impossible to watch with a keen eye and have a valid opinion without keeping this information in mind. For example, it would get old pretty quick if every Review-a-Raw featured John and Wai wondering why Brock Lesnar wasn’t there, when a cursory Google search would tell you exactly why.

Getting back on topic from the Wyatt debate…

I agree mostly with Deezy:

I have been apart of the “Internet Wrestling Community” pretty much since it started on the very earliest versions of wrestling message boards and anywhere else you could find to talk to other fans since the mid 90’s. And it doesn’t matter if it’s on message boards, blog posts, recaps, news articles, facebook, myspace, twitter, etc. people have ALWAYS been critical. WWE (and wrestling in general) has always given a small portion of its most hardcore audience a reason to be arm-chair bookers.

Whether it was complaining about WCW’s focus on the NWO, WWE’s overuse of the McMahons, Triple H’s supposed backstage reign of terror, Super Cena, Russo in TNA, burying Bryan, or the current use of Reigns and Lesnar. A certain segment of fans are always swearing that this is the worst thing they have ever seen.

That being said I do think WWE and other promotions or performers typically warrant some level of criticism. But it’s usually not as bad as it seems like everybody thinks it is. And if your not enjoying it then TAKE A BREAK! Watch something else. Watch GLOW. Watch NXT. Watch Game of Thrones. Nobodies going to care.

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I think the point is that more of the audience than ever seems to have this critical eye, not that it didn’t exist before. With the world becoming smaller and information becoming available to you literally at your fingertips, more people are able to find out more backstage information and break the fourth wall a lot easier. One big difference now I think is that with the expansion of the hardcore wrestling audience because of the internet, message boards, social media, etc., is that people don’t quit on wrestling the way they used to. In the mid 90s the WWF struggled financially because the product was bad so people stopped watching. Now there will always be a hardcore fan base who will always watch WWE, but will also criticize (justly a lot of the time) the product in hopes that it will become better (which by and large it probably won’t).

I’d say that the fans are just as vocal as in previous eras, but instead of a letters to the editor section in a wrestling magazine all feedback is almost instantly thanks to the internet.

Also it’s to do with word of mouth, if something bad happens most likely five people will share compared to if something Good happenstance.