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THIS Is The Exact Reason Wrestling Will Never Get Big Again

As you once knew it. All Elite Wrestling is the only hope the industry has left...

WWE.com

Pro wrestling is a paradox of an industry. It is a predetermined art form that asks, or used to ask, its audience to take it very earnestly.

Reductively, the old model played on a strict babyface versus heel dynamic. The heel would beat the sh*t out of the babyface or otherwise f*ck him over in disqualification finishes before the hero would triumph in the big town for the big gate. It was A-grade carny fare effective for its time (which makes it all the more batsh*t that WWE goes back to the DQ over and over again in the 21st century). The people were more earnest back then. No adult ever truly bought that wrestling was real, but they were more inclined to believe in it. The psychological complexion of the general public was simply more susceptible to the worked machinations of the industry, and indeed fictional in a general sense. Numbed into submission by wave upon wave of harrowing real-world events, the entertainment medium itself has lost the power to shock and outrage the average person. The old boogeymen - Eminem, Marilyn Manson et al. - feel positively quaint in 2020.

That which used to drive pro wrestling - the big heat angle - is untenable now. The potential pro wrestling fan won't feel it. The existing hardcore fan cannot ever feel it in the same way because they are too far beyond the looking glass. It's another extension of the paradox; even the very best heat angles don't work because our understanding of the craft is such that, ironically, we respect the heel's work. To elicit even an emulation of the old feeling is such an impressive achievement that one can only applaud the talent we are meant to loathe.

CONT'D...(1 of 6)

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Contributor
Contributor

Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!