In many ways, the WWE of now is the opposite of what the WWF was, and yet its (remaining) fans are famously loyal.
The key demographic skews 50+; they perceive it as a Ford and won't buy from another manufacturer, as the Wednesday night ratings indicate. AEW fans are more likely to hop between TNT and USA, where NXT's audience is mostly inflexible in their viewing habit. WWE, to them, is the home team.
WWE is a sports team that rejects, absolutely, the designation - but gladly accepts the unwavering support of its ultras.
WWE has seen better periods - that is the generous consensus - but still, if there is but one consistent quality, one hard-coded into the DNA of the company that has survived the rot, it is that WWE delivers with its back pushed hard against the wall.
There is substantial evidence to support this, even through to WWE's patchy modern output. In the face of insane heat generated by the steroid trial, a far humbler and unpopular WWF still crafted storylines that are beloved by the lifer dorks - your writer included - all of these years later. Under pressure for what felt like forever - for good - the WWF overcame in the Monday Night Wars by revamping its presentation and philosophy and creating a more collaborative environment. They had the top star, and they pushed him with perfect timing and balance. Nobody ever called Austin SuperAustin because this company once knew how to book.
They still can, on occasion - but mostly when they are shaken from the staid format and lack of stakes that the monopoly has fostered.
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