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  #1  
Old 01-15-2011, 10:21 AM
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Default Has the Internet ruined Wrestling?

First Thread, so come with what you got.

So I was reading Jericho's book at a book store the other day, and came to a point in the story where he talked about the Wild Samoans. He said nobody knew that they really could speak English because they didn't have the wonders of the Internet to fill them in on such matters like we do today. So that got me thinking, has technology sucked all the fun out of wrestling??

I mean, back in the Attitude Era, technology wasn't as big as it was now. Without the internet, alot of people still thought it was real, and when you think that, it's more interesting in a sense. You ALWAYS wanted to know what happened next, and things were always unpredictable. You're more sucked into the show, and you almost feel the hatred between two bitter rivals. Some people say that wrestling is less fun because we have grown older. In a way, thats true, but a kid can still access a computer. He could learn that it's fake if given the proper tools. Now that we have the internet, we know who's injured, who's returning, who was released, etc. In my opinion, it's less fun this way, which is why I don't read spoilers; it takes the fun out of the experience.

So, looking back on it, has the internet, and technology in general, ruined wrestling?
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:19 AM
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Yes it has. I knew it was fake before I had ever even heard of the internet though, so that's not why I think it ruined it. Basically, we rarely ever get surprised anymore and it's too predictable. For example, EVERYONE knows Triple H is coming back soon, we may not know the date, but when it happens, we will be shocked for about 3 seconds, then we'll be over it.

On top of that, you have every fan with a computer thinking that they are masterminds when it comes to booking, and they make up the most retarded storylines I've ever heard of (remember the 'wrestlers need time off, so whoever they are feuding with should shoot them' thread?). Also it seems like a lot of the internet people don't even like wrestling, they just like to bitch about it (kind of like I'm doing now). They complain about what wrestlers wear, their hair, the rope color, I've even seen someone say they refuse watch because Cena's entrance has too many yellow lights. I don't know why I keep coming here, the internet made me less of a fan.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:18 PM
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I agree the internet has ruined professional wrestling, and without it today's wrestling prolly be more enjoyed by these people that come on here and complain. If the internet was around during the Attitude Era, people prolly complain about it back then too.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:44 PM
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The Internet hasn't ruined professional wrestling. It just made it evolve. The Internet was a big part in telling everyone that professional wrestling was scripted, but that revelation would've become widespread eventually. Just about everyone knows nowadays, but there's still huge interest in pro wrestling. How can something that's still a majorly profitable entertainment juggernaut be considered ruined?

The Internet did get rid of a lot of the mystique that pro wrestling used to have. Now we know a lot more about the performers and the company itself. We know about the inner workings of the business. That doesn't "ruin" the business, though. Pro wrestling has had to evolve to meet the current, wiser market. And they have. TNA, for example, has utilized a lot of shoot-style segments that blur the line between kayfabe and reality. WWE has had to become a lot more creative to keep the fans entertained, as well. With the advent of the Internet, WWE can't rely on things like returns to shock people anymore. WWE has to come up with original, captivating angles to keep today's audience watching. The Nexus angle still managed to shock today's savvy audience, thanks to the new product.

While the Internet has caused major change in professional wrestling, it hasn't ruined it. It was only a catalyst for the creation of a new product for a new audience.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:54 PM
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Yes it has. The whole reason wcw was even popular enough to have the nWo become what it became in it's origins is because the internet was not so easily accessible therefore it was a surprise that Hogan turned heel on the night of Bash at The Beach, it was a surprise whenever someone jumped ship, it was shock value whenever Eric Bischoff read off the results of a pretaped raw. With the news that leaks to the internet these days, it was no shock at all when Mr. Anderson, Kurt Angle, EV2, Booker T, showed up on Impact. The only real surprise in WWE in several years has been the night Nexus first showed up on Raw. Even going back in 2001 the night of Vince buying wcw and showing up on Raw. If the internet wasn't around that would have been a huge shock in the wrestling world, instead people read a few days before hand at the fact Vince bought wcw so while there was still the awe factor of what happened and how this happened, it wasn't that initial "WOW! VINCE JUST BOUGHT WCW!"
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:16 PM
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I'm kind of on the fence about this one. On one hand the internet has occasionally spoiled some surprises, yet on the other hand I have the opportunity to learn a lot more about wrestling. One great thing the internet has done is make available thousands of old and new wrestling videos on YouTube. These videos of matches and promos are a constant source of entertainment. The news sites give me a lot of information on wrestlers, the company and situations that I wouldn't be able to get elsewhere. The wrestler's sites, Facebook and Twitter pages are fun to read. And of course, Wrestle Zone wouldn't be around without the internet. I like wrestling and I like to read and write, so WZ is a perfect site for me to check out everyday. I enjoy reading peoples ideas, opinions and predictions. One of the things I like best about wrestling is trying to figure out what is coming next and how storylines are going to play out. What I read on the internet helps me sometimes and other times leads me in the wrong direction. Bound for Glory is a good example of how you can be swerved. So has the internet ruined wrestling for me? No, it has made it more interesting.

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Old 01-15-2011, 09:55 PM
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No. The internet fans have ruined some portions of wrestling. The information is fine. Even knowing what's going to happen, is fine. A good enough storyline would keep me interested, for example.

However, fans feeling that they know more than they actually do has hurt the business. They feel they know so much better, that they bad mouth the product at any point and thus, causing the overall feel for the business will change. Fans watch less to be entertained and more to critique it. This forces WWE to change it's approach and the product can end up suffering.
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:26 AM
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Has the internet destroyed wrestling from an entertainment standpoint?

The answer to this is YES. If not for the internet a lot of people would have assumed it to be fake or would not have taken an interest to learn that it was fake. Nowadays wrestling sites are all over the internet where people are dissecting every little thing right from the booking to the color of John Cena's pants. Pro Wrestling is something that is meant to be seen and forgotten about till the next show. But so much discussion leads to the dissection of every single thing that we have seen and sometimes it feels as if the internet fans are just watching the show to criticize it rather than to enjoy it.

Surprise is an important facet of booking. And by a surprise I am not talking of the stuff that Russo dishes out. With so much knowledge being available it is harder to surprise people.

Has the internet destroyed wrestling as a whole?

The answer to this is NO. While it may have reduced our entertainment, there would have been a lot more tragedies like the Chris Benoit tragedy happening were it not for the internet. The internet has increased the awareness of the people of how the wrestling business works. You could even say that the PG era came about primarily because of us internet fans. The backlash that the industry got for the Benoit tragedy was partially our doing and that is why things such as the wellness policy are in place.

Also people are nowadays more aware of which wrestler hates to job and which wrestler is OK with it. If the internet was so big in Hogan's era, I doubt if he would have been so big. Fans would have found out how much of a dick he was backstage. A wrestler like Tito Santana might have got a bigger push than he ended up getting.

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In closing I would say that while it has reduced our entertainment levels, it has done a lot more good than harm. The lives of wrestlers are more important than entertainment. Also sometimes an internet favorite does get pushed who would have been ignored in an earlier era. So my view is that internet has not destroyed wrestling.
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2011, 10:41 AM
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There are both positives and negatives about the Internet affecting wrestling.

Firstly, the internet is a phenomenal tool. I am able to watch footage of wrestling from days gone by that I would previously have never been able to see. I have learned so much about the past superstars, feuds and storylines that I otherwise would never have known. For this, the Internet is great. Plus we can chat about it with likeminded fans, on places such as this forum

On the flip side though, yes I believe the Internet has destroyed some of the mystique of the business, or whatever was left of it. We now read about potential storylines before they happen, potential signings, and backstage information. The surprise has gone, which is a shame as it was always great to get really excited when a shock return occured on Raw, or a new superstar debuted.

With all the leaks, and available technology now, it was always going to happen. Personally, I would love to be able to read and watch old wrestling, and not know what was going to happen the upcoming week, and just speculate with other fans over what we would like to see happen, with none of us really knowing.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:04 PM
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Thank you for inspiring my new main page article. Here it is!


Before I launch myself headstrong into this week's topic, I want to take a moment to thank everybody who responded so vehemently to my soapbox dissertation last week on the image TNA and Jeff Hardy portrayed with the cigarette at their recent PPV. The response on the forums was impressive, and I spent much of the week being verbally kicked about the head and shoulders as a result of my fairly conservative viewpoint. I felt as though I'd walked into a Heavy Metal convention and announced that Pantera is over rated and that Dimebag Darrell is not one of the 50 greatest guitarists of all time. (in related news, Pantera is over rated and that Dimebag Darrell is not one of the 50 greatest guitarists of all time...) The discussion even made it onto one of Wrestlezone's cornerstone attractions, Chair Shot Reality, with Josh Isenberg doing his own version of a journalistic "run-in" coming to my aid.

I learned something from the response last week, and I've been thinking it over while decided what to write about this week. For all of its flaws, TNA Wrestling has one very important and powerful element in its favor - a niche group of extremely passionate fans. Blindly passionate fans have kept marginal bands like Rancid and Slayer going for years - decades even - and was a major part of the shocking success the original Paul Heyman led ECW achieved. It's a special type of fanship - they clearly know more than the public, and anybody who doesn't follow the product they love "must just not get it." It's either too sophisticated for the average fan, or its too this or its too that. These fans criticize WWE because they're the biggest - they are the WalMart or the Starbucks of professional wrestling, but darn it all to heck if the local coffee shop doesn't make a better latte!

And this brings me to this weeks' topic. A forum newcomer by the name of "Evanescent Death" (sounds charming) brings up the age old question about the effect "we" (the internet wrestling community, or 'IWC') has on the landscape of professional wrestling. His specific question was "Has the internet ruined professional wrestling?"

In the simplest of terms, no, it has not. The internet has changed professional wrestling, and changed it forever. The internet has changed every business in the world for better or for worse, and the only businesses it ruins are those businesses that are a) outdated / obsolete or b) too inflexible to be able to adjust with the times. There's a litany of both positives and negatives that stem from the internet, and the reason WWE is so far ahead of the curve is because of their ability - as a business, mind you - to adjust and change. Welcome to pro wrestling as a business 101.

1. The internet introduced spoilers, which reduces the value of watching a wrestling show, thereby reducing ratings and decreasing ad revenue.
This certainly makes sense, but it's an issue that both WWE and WCW got in front of. You can read the results of our tapings on the internet and thereby not feel that you need to tune in? Fine, no problem, we will start going live. Production budgets shot sky high, and as a result, the shows we watched became more and more unpredictable. Lex Luger showing up on WCW TV out of nowhere. The McMahons showing up as the new owners of WCW and simulcasting. You get the idea. Without the internet, pro wrestling may not have seen the need to go to live shows, which of course ushered in an era of unpredictability and growth.

2. The internet took the discussion away from magazine publications and made it a free medium of print for the discussion, reducing another revenue stream.
I remember wanting so badly to pick up the new copy of "WWF Magazine" when I was 10 years old. Why? Because Gene Okerlund told me that it was FULL of insider info, interviews, features, etc. $5 for that? Sure! And while I'm reading it, I can call your hotline and drop my parents mortgage payment to know that Mr. Perfect would be Randy Savage's tag team partner at the Survivor Series. All of that is long gone thanks to the internet. What has replaced it is a far more accessible and less regulated form of news and discussion where major breaking news is in the hands of millions of fans within moments. The night after "The Benoit Tragedy," thousands of people flocked to Wrestlezone to find out details and to the forums to memorialize and discuss the incident. WWE has used the internet phenomenon to their full advantage, putting matches and vignettes up on their website and earning advertising revenue from it as a result.

3. The internet gives fans a voice.
Had the Matt Hardy / Edge / Lita situation occurred in 1993, Matt would have left WWF and nobody would have known why. Since it happened when it did, Matt appealed to his fans and as a result got a 2nd chance. Fans made that happen. There's no two ways about that - it NEVER would have happened without the internet.

4. The internet allows leaks of creative plans and as a result ruins the surprise.
Yes and no. First off, fans who read spoilers shouldn't blame the internet for it. People need to have the willpower to WANT to be surprised, and honestly, people generally feel better and more empowered when they KNOW what's going to happen rather than allowing themselves to be surprised. Besides, WWE has done a nice job in the past of planting false information on the internet and then shocking the heck out of everyone. John Cena showing up at the Royal Rumble when reports seemed to suggest he'd be out 6 more weeks? Brilliant.

and finally,

5. The internet has turned dedicated fans into smarky know-it-alls.
This one has legs. In the 80's and 90's, we HATED Earthquake for killing Jake's snake, we DESPISED the Undertaker for locking the Ultimate Warrior in a casket, and we wanted to see the Four Horsemen locked up for breaking Dusty's arm. Now? "Wow, CM Punk is such a great heel, look at the way he delivers that promo." We're so in the know that the black and white that once defined the pro wrestling industry is just a canvas of various shades of gray. Cena, the overwhelming babyface, is hated and criticized. CM Punk, and dastardly heel, is diefied and lauded. The internet has facilitated a complete up-side down in the pro wrestling fan culture.

Personally, I think that IWC members should be proud. We are more organized, more consistent, and more passionate than 80% of the other internet communities out there (save for policits and fans of the TV show "Lost. I don't get it either) and there's something to be said for that. We're big enough and loud enough to invoke change in a billion dollar industry just by blogging our thoughts. We've allowed the companies we love to find new revenue streams to keep their business going strong. We're excited about young wrestlers before they even debut (Mason Ryan). And we allow companies with limited resources (R.O.H., TNA a few years ago) to reach an audience and be a part of the dicussion, opening doors for talents like Daniel Bryan and Desmond Wolfe. Heck, the internet has allowed pro wrestling to be more global, with international fans being able to access information and matches 24/7. American wrestling fans and dialed in to Japan. Mexican fans know what's happening in Canada. Etc. Etc. Etc.

So to those passionate fans of TNA, keep defending the product you love with the vitriol you came at me with last week. Financial numbers and logicbe damned, you have the voice to change the landscape. Why? Because of the internet.

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