Unimpressed Cheeta is, well, unimpressed.
Eric: I had an odd thought this morning. Pat Patterson is going to die someday, probably soon. The Brisco Bros. are dying off. Bruce Prichard is gone, but whatever. Jim Ross isn’t exactly a trusted WWE confidant anymore. What happens when Vince McMahon dies and Hunter and Stephanie take over? Who will the inner circle be?
Jeremy: You are seeing the results. X-Pac. Nash. Flair.
Eric: Yep. Maybe Steamboat.
Jeremy: Only if Flair is there. I can’t see Triple H being that open. OR, no wrestlers and all “writers.”
Eric: See, I think Hunter has enough respect for pro wrestling that he wouldn’t let that happen all the way. He’s seen how well WWE operates when it’s guys like Vince, Cornette, Jim Ross and Pat Patterson leading it, and how it’s been in the shitter with the likes of Brian Gewirtz and these soap-opera writers. Plus, his buddies (Nash, Waltman, Scott Hall if he’s still alive) all have “a mind for the business” like everyone talks about.
Eric: Despite Gewirtz being the head writer of Raw, there’s still a glimmer of old-school thinking with Michael Hayes as the head writer of Smackdown.
Jeremy: Look at Smackdown, though. It is bland as bland can be. Sure the talent is bland, but there is nothing there. It is also the time of year WWE takes off. Apathy. They take a 2 to 3 month vacation after WrestleMania.
Eric: This is true, but I don’t know what to chalk that up to. Because an old wrestler is running it? Or because it’s the B-show that doesn’t get the attention.
Jeremy: B-show shouldn’t matter. You write for excitement. You do the most with what you have. It does not help the crowds are full of stupid kids who can’t pay attention. This is a huge problem: fuckers have attention spans of 3-4 seconds.
Eric: Yeah, it’s not like Prime Time Wrestling back in 1988 was setting the world on fire, when the WWF was marketing to the same age group that they are now.
Eric: Catch-22: Wrestling was at its best, most exciting and most profitable when it was marketed toward 12-17, 18-24 and 25-34. Attention spans were longer, edgier stuff was more allowable and appreciated, and more people had more money to spend. But you don’t get 18-year-old fans without hooking them as 6-year-old fans. And therein lies the rub. (At least Nash and X-Pac know edgy.)
Jeremy: You don’t even have to do edgier. You can get older fans if it is good, hence why adults watch some cartoons. Good stories will grasp any age. You don’t need the swearing and T&A. There was some good stuff in there. Your Jack Swagger criticism is spot on. These guys just do what they are told. He stands there waiting for his line instead of just going to it.
Eric: That’s a good point. A good story with good execution will grab any audience, no matter the medium or method of presentation. I think my dad liked “Ren & Stimpy” more than I did, because it was smart and hilarious.
Jeremy: But the characters need to be at least a little compelling.
Eric: And douchebags like Swagger are not
Jeremy: I can’t name one really. Christian has a compelling story I guess. Punk, as much as I like him , is going through the motions. Del Rio got sidetracked. None of them are interesting. BUT, Dolph Ziggler was real good last night.
Eric: Yeah, he was given the ball (a seat on commentary, where honestly a lot of guys are made or broken), and he ran with it.
Jeremy: I couldn’t tell if he was reading lines though.
Eric: He was reading his Twitter! As he wrote on it!
Eric: So the issue is grand: WWE is in its annual funk, its writers don’t do much to shake that out, wrestlers aren’t given much leeway to help, but when they actually get the ball, like Dolph, there’s a chance for them to shine. And then we get excited. And then… what?
Jeremy: The ball doesn’t get spread around though. It is a catch and run off with it. They only own one, if you will.
Eric: Have they ever really owned more than one? How was it that I remember the Patterson days, or the Ross-Cornette days so much more fondly? Are X-Pac and Kevin Nash gonna come in and “buy more balls” for these guys to run with?
Jeremy: Well they had Rock, DX, New Age Outlaws, Foley, and Austin all going strong. There were some to be shared.
Eric: And before that, Hogan, Warrior, Savage, Dino Bravo… oh.
Jeremy: Ric Flair, Sid Justice.
Eric: So I guess given the right cast of characters and the best brains behind them, any wrestling company can survive.
Jeremy: Yeah. Unless you are WCW.
Eric: Or your head writerusso is sleeping with your financiecarter.