10 Ways To Make WWE Cool Again

I know cool...

Carlito apple

It's no secret that WWE's popularity has been flagging over the past several years. While hardcore fans have signed up for the WWE Network in record numbers, keeping the company financially stable, TV ratings have been on a steady decline. That means that WWE hasn't been creating new fans, and that's a huge problem going forward.

The last time WWE was really drawing new eyes on its product at an impressive clip was during the Attitude Era. Much has been written about exactly what made the company set records in terms of popularity during that period, and one thing's for certain: reclaiming that fanbase would require a lot more than simply trying to emulate what worked at the time.

Instead, what WWE should be trying to do is learn general lessons about why the Attitude Era was such a success. Yes, WWE blew up because of the superstars and the edgy feel, but at the heart of it all was that the company felt cool. For people of a certain age during the late '90s, not watching wrestling carried more of a social stigma than watching it did. That's shocking to think about today, during an era when even the most hardcore WWE fans would be unlikely to use the world "cool" when describing the product.

So how can WWE become cool again? Here are some suggestions.

10. Let Talent Be Unique

Carlito apple

One of the main criticisms levied at WWE in recent years is just how homogeneous the product tends to feel. So many of the stars churned out by the company's Performance Center and developmental system feel like they come out of a cookie cutter, and the result is a unified look and style of wrestling that just comes off as sanitized - and let's not even get started on the promos.

During the Attitude Era, stars really felt unique, and the result was that they crossed over and became real celebrities in mainstream media. Fans also saw stars who wouldn't have gotten a chance today - like Mick Foley - really connect with a crowd and shoot up the card, soon becoming legends. It's imperative WWE allows for different kinds of superstars in the company, and lets wrestlers explore their own characters.

There's no shortage of great talent in the company today - stars like AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Apollo Crews, Hideo Itami, Austin Aries, Sasha Banks, and more. Even Enzo Amore, whose in-ring abilities leave something to be desired, is one of a kind. As it is now, though, it tends to feel like the standouts are all run through the WWE machine and stripped of what made them unique - then shunted to the side in favor of the likes Roman Reigns, Big Cass, and Jinder Mahal.

In this post: 
Posted On: 

Scott Fried is a Slammy Award-winning* writer living and working in New York City. He has been following/writing about professional wrestling for many years and is a graduate of Lance Storm's Storm Wrestling Academy. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/scottfried. *Best Crowd of the Year, 2013