Editorial: What's Wrong And Who's Next?
By Matthew Harrak | November 03, 2008
Instead of becoming too hung up on one story or another that is perpetuating the wrestling world as 2008 comes to a close, I thought I would take a overall look at the industry today and how things are looking for the future.
Now I was going to start with the pure positives that are currently being developed but I feel I need to get the negatives out of the way first. The first is obviously the fact that overall, the wrestling business itself is down. Think '92-'95 down. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing. After every low, there was a boom on the way. Something usually clicks, strikes a cord with a wider audience and suddenly, wrestling is mainstream once again. That's the general feeling that both TNA and the WWE keep trying to press upon us. I'm perfectly fine in believing things are going to begin to turn around, but don't tell your audience its going to happen. As stupid as it may sound, it just sounds like a jinx. If it happens, everyone will benefit but if not, we may be stuck in a rut for a little while longer.
Many people feel that the reason why ratings and attendance is down is because both products are stale. While I do see the relevance of this argument, when has there a successful storyline that has not been a rehash of a story that had either worked or failed in the past? Many people point to the Main Event Mafia as being a straight up copy of the Millionaires' Club. And it's hard not to considering the brainchild behind both stories. But how can you really blame him? Yes the first time it didn't really succeed but you can't blame that on the idea. WCW was bleeding, from the head, and it wasn't going to recover because of one angle. So why not try it again with a company that just will not stop growing. Now you have tremendous talent involved, on BOTH sides, and the time and money involved to make it work. Just stop burying your young guns on every show and you might just have a breakout feud. And stop complaining about storylines not being original enough for your tastes. Every successful feud or storyline was a remodeling of something that had worked at one time or another. The unbeatable Goldberg? The Ultimate Warrior did it 10 years earlier. D-X (version 2 without Shawn Michaels)? Just a '90s "Generation X" version of the Horsemen. And Austin vs. McMahon? I honestly can't remember a single time where there wasn't a conflict between a main eventer and an authority figure. These stories are as old as wrestling itself and no matter how hard you try; they're always going to be there because they work. The difference is the pieces you have to play with. Austin was a phenom. So was the Rock. Hogan returned to gold when he turned heel. These are the types of men you need to make your company work. And while it might be incredible to have a roster full of Evan Bournes and the Motor City Machine Guns, they don't have the presence to carry an organization into the next surge. Joe had a shot. Hardy almost had a shot and blew it. There is only a few men right now who might be able to carry the ball given the right opportunity.