Recently on Sullivan's Slaughterhouse, Kevin Sullivan interviewed Terry Funk. Sullivan and Funk discussed several topics, including the current state of professional wrestling.
Although Sullivan and Funk agree that modern professional wrestling lacks believability because there is a lack of teaching backstage, the two provide different reasons as to why there is a lack of teachers behind the scenes.
"In 1900, wrestling was real wrestling and then in 2015, it's total entertainment. We've evolved there." Funk continued, "the one thing you have got to do is make [the audience] believe. That's the thing you have to do. You have to make yourself believable within that ring. That's what's missing right now."
Funk added that he recently visited Japan and was shocked to find that a professional wrestling show was more like a Cirque du Soleil show there.
"I never thought that my business would evolve to that and it has. And I'm very fearful of that because the greatest wrestling country in the world, Japan was for many, many years, and they have evolved to something that is a little bit more than wrestling needs to be. Wrestling needs to be what it is: wrestling."
According to Funk, breaking kayfabe has undermined the believability of professional wrestling and will eventually be the demise of the professional wrestling business as we know it.
"What we tried to do was to suspend [the audience's] disbelief and I think that we did that, but we lived it more than these [younger] guys and I think it's hurting their business now."
Sullivan believes that the younger wrestlers have not been taught the nuances of professional wrestling ever since the sale of WCW to WWE, as WWE began to rely on television writers backstage instead of former professional wrestlers.
"When the companies merged, they got rid of the wrestling people and brought in television people because they got rid of the word, 'wrestling' and made it sports entertainment and have been making a lot of money on games, diva show, Legends House. It's further and further from what it once was".
Funk stated that the reason for the lack of teachers is that wrestlers did not make much money before and they went into other aspects of the professional wrestling business.
"They never got away from the business because they couldn't afford to get away from it. They didn't have the money to get away from it, but they would stay within the business and they would be your bookers. They would be the referees. They would be different things in different places and they would be the promoters in some of the towns. They would be the manipulators and they would run a large part of the country and they did and they had a great deal of respect for the business and they kept that respect."
In addition to discussing the current state of the professional wrestling business, Sullivan and Funk talked about the Undertaker, Ricky Steamboat, and much more. You can check out the premiere episode of Sullivan's podcast, "Sullivan's Slaughterhouse," on our audio channel below. You can also download the episode directly by clicking here. If you want to subscribe to the Wrestling Inc. audio channel, you can do so through iTunes as well as our RSS feed, which you can use to subscribe through any podcast app.