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  #1  
Old 02-14-2018, 05:33 PM
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Default Do we need more characters in WWE?

I was watching Raw last monday and my favorite moment on that show was the Elias/Braun Strowman segment. This was just the perfect over the top segment with 2 guys playing characters and it reminded me of the late 80's when WWF at the time was pretty much all characters like this.

This got me thinking, do we need more Characters in WWE? My answer is Yes, i feel you need more of this. Every Successful era in WWE where because of the fact that you had a cast of characters that worked for the era. In the mid 80's through the mid 90's you had cartoony characters like hogan, warrior, Macho man, Piper just to name a few. Then the attitude era was mostly successful because of the over the top characters like Stone cold, mankind, Mr Mcmahon and The rock just to name those guys.

Today i feel we have more and more guys that are just Wrestlers with no personality and look like normal guys and i feel i just feel bored watching them. I want the over the top characters when i watch TV, I'm o.k with seeing a finn balor wrestled but give him a gimmick that would actually make him more interesting then being the guy that can have good matches. Same goes for a lot of those performers male and female. Give me a reason to care about the show, decide if you want to be Sports entertainment or Pro Wrestling because right now i get mix signals with the way they are booking those show. I'm a huge fans of Sports entertainment, i've been a fans for almost 30 years now and i want to be entertain by those characters, i don't care if they have a 5 star matches every week because that's not why a tune in to WWE for. If i wanted that i would watch pretty much any other indy promotion on the planet. All i want is to see over the top characters wrestles and have good storylines and that's what is missing right now and i feel that it's will get even worst when HHH is gonna take control because he's more into having a pro wrestling product then a sports entertainment one.
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2018, 06:43 PM
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I do agree I have metioned on here previously about the lack of characters in wrestling today, The few characters they do have today all seem very successful, Personally I feel wrestling and athletic ability only takes you so far you could be the best wrestler in the company but if you have no personality or character you will fail but seen plenty of successful characters over the years who can't wrestle.
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  #3  
Old 02-15-2018, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrestlingmasters55 View Post
I was watching Raw last monday and my favorite moment on that show was the Elias/Braun Strowman segment. This was just the perfect over the top segment with 2 guys playing characters and it reminded me of the late 80's when WWF at the time was pretty much all characters like this.

This got me thinking, do we need more Characters in WWE? My answer is Yes, i feel you need more of this. Every Successful era in WWE where because of the fact that you had a cast of characters that worked for the era. In the mid 80's through the mid 90's you had cartoony characters like hogan, warrior, Macho man, Piper just to name a few. Then the attitude era was mostly successful because of the over the top characters like Stone cold, mankind, Mr Mcmahon and The rock just to name those guys.

Today i feel we have more and more guys that are just Wrestlers with no personality and look like normal guys and i feel i just feel bored watching them. I want the over the top characters when i watch TV, I'm o.k with seeing a finn balor wrestled but give him a gimmick that would actually make him more interesting then being the guy that can have good matches. Same goes for a lot of those performers male and female. Give me a reason to care about the show, decide if you want to be Sports entertainment or Pro Wrestling because right now i get mix signals with the way they are booking those show. I'm a huge fans of Sports entertainment, i've been a fans for almost 30 years now and i want to be entertain by those characters, i don't care if they have a 5 star matches every week because that's not why a tune in to WWE for. If i wanted that i would watch pretty much any other indy promotion on the planet. All i want is to see over the top characters wrestles and have good storylines and that's what is missing right now and i feel that it's will get even worst when HHH is gonna take control because he's more into having a pro wrestling product then a sports entertainment one.
There are quite a few over the top and colorful characters in WWE like Bray Wyatt, New Day, Dean Ambrose, Sheamus, Shinsuke Nakamura, Braun Strowman, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Naomi, the Usos and a few others. WWE has been slowly changing over the course of the last decade or so because of the growing influence of indie wrestling, Japanese wrestling and Mexican wrestling has had. Thanks to social media such as Twitter and sites like YouTube, a lot of wrestling fans have been exposed to seeing wrestling and wrestling styles in ways they had no real way of doing 10-15 years ago. A guy who may be a lifelong WWE fan may suddenly have found himself watching a bout between AJ Styles & Hiroshi Tanahashi or Kyle O'Reilly & Adam Cole and enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than watching something like a New Day segment devoted to pancakes or Miracle on 34th Street Fights during the holiday season.

Elias and Strowman delivered a very entertaining segment this past Monday but the vast majority of "sports entertainment" themed segments don't go remotely that smoothly. Sometimes, it's a perfect combination of the material coupled with the right wrestlers doing the right thing. But for every segment like that one or a Festival of Friendship, we numerous more segments that are more along the lines of New Day talking about cereal or pancakes, HBK & Triple H acting like frat boys even though they were both well into their 40s, Vince McMahon pulling down his pants so that people can literally kiss his ass, etc.

I think there have to be times, places and specific wrestlers that more "sports entertainment" themed segments to work because, like it or not, it's the age of the "smart fan." What that means is an ever increasing difficulty to get fans to be willing to suspend disbelief, to "believe" in the more over the top aspects of wrestling. Braun Strowman destroying everything in his path and flipping over an ambulance works because...well look at the guy. He's also been booked CONSISTENTLY well, they've played into his strengths, emphasized them and drawn attention from where he has shortcomings. That sort of consistent booking is something the main roster has struggled with for quite some time.

Pro wrestling and sports entertainment go hand in hand, but more emphasis has been placed on the wrestling aspect of it and I've got no problem with that. Most "sports entertainment" themed segments, not all, are lame attempts at Disney Channel type humor that simply falls flat or, at even worse, are just absolute trainwrecks that sometimes drag on for much longer than they need to. I have no interest in dance offs or garbage like that and I'm glad to see them gone from the main roster. Once upon a time, Raw each Monday was about 90% segments and it got to the point where it was almost unwatchable. You'd have Cena, HBK or Triple H showing up in every other segment, you'd have stuff like Hornswoggle beating up Chavo Guerrero and you might have 10 minutes in total of actual wrestling on the show. The wrestling matches are supposed to be the culmination of everything that goes on, otherwise all you're doing is watching some sort of poorly written variety show.
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  #4  
Old 02-15-2018, 08:24 AM
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Like JH said there are a number of over the top characters already on the roster as well as what you could call your normal looking wrestler types. What I'm afraid of is, creative wouldn't know what to do with them, just look at Bray Wyatt for an example.

Wyatt has had one of the most how you say usual characters to come along in a long time and they have blown it with him. He's been up and down the roster like a yo yo. He was a jobber, champ and back to jobber. I do believe at some time in his career he was supposed to have been taken seriously as a replacement for the Undertaker, but his booking says otherwise. Now he is locked in a battle of weirdness with a cackling Matt Hardy. Will I find it entertaining to an extent, others find it pointless.

If you put more out of the realm character's on the roster, they will end up like Matt and Bray. Creative sometimes doesn't know jack.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:13 AM
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What you need is not more CHARACTERS, but less CREATIVE STRANGULATION. Look, all the characters on the planet could be on RAW, and if Creative aka VKM has no clue what to do with them, they are going to fall flat. Back in the day, Jim Crockett would put 5 words on a piece of paper, and YOU had to create something in 5 minutes because Bob Caudle would be interviewing you about whatever when they came back from commercial. That is how it was done. When Dream Machine tried to murder Bob Caudle on camera, Jimmy Hart, Dream's manager, was the most contrite SOB in history! I still hear Hart saying tearfully how sorry he was for Dream's actions to Caudle. You cannot really write this stuff up.

Fast forward to today's overly scripted, wrestling-by-numbers, and (credit to J-H) Disney Channel-esque storylines, and you are leaving wanting to take a shower after watching Raw. Creative is absolutely CLUELESS on how to bring out someone's NATURAL charisma. They do NOT play to anyone's strengths in that department. If you had people that can deliver a line NATURALLY, that works far better than all the characters in the world. You can have people believing that Finn Balor can beat Brock Lesnar cleanly. Stop overscripting and let the TALENT do the job.
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  #6  
Old 02-16-2018, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stingray11214 View Post
What you need is not more CHARACTERS, but less CREATIVE STRANGULATION. Look, all the characters on the planet could be on RAW, and if Creative aka VKM has no clue what to do with them, they are going to fall flat. Back in the day, Jim Crockett would put 5 words on a piece of paper, and YOU had to create something in 5 minutes because Bob Caudle would be interviewing you about whatever when they came back from commercial. That is how it was done. When Dream Machine tried to murder Bob Caudle on camera, Jimmy Hart, Dream's manager, was the most contrite SOB in history! I still hear Hart saying tearfully how sorry he was for Dream's actions to Caudle. You cannot really write this stuff up.

Fast forward to today's overly scripted, wrestling-by-numbers, and (credit to J-H) Disney Channel-esque storylines, and you are leaving wanting to take a shower after watching Raw. Creative is absolutely CLUELESS on how to bring out someone's NATURAL charisma. They do NOT play to anyone's strengths in that department. If you had people that can deliver a line NATURALLY, that works far better than all the characters in the world. You can have people believing that Finn Balor can beat Brock Lesnar cleanly. Stop overscripting and let the TALENT do the job.
Yeah, i get your point, but at the same time, i feel like it's not fair to blame Vince for the bad creative, this as been a big problem since the attitude era in my opinion where Vince thought that it was better to have a creative team that knew nothing about wrestling instead of doing this by himself with a couple of guys. We can praise HHH all we want right now, but if put in the same Situation Vince is right now, he wouldn't do better. The thing is, back in the old WWF, Vince would do pretty much do the same thing, he would give them their characters and just let them go out and create their persona and while i don't recommend that for everybody on the roster today, a lot of the top guy would be comfortable enough to get some leeway in the promo department.

Also it's normal to want and blame creative for everything, but if the performers are not able to get themselves over with the crap they are given, that's on them in the end. Look at Braun Strowman, the guy is been given stupid stuff to do each and every week, yet he's able to get that stuff over and show some personality in the process. Look at Finn Balor, the guy as been get opportunity after opportunity to show is personality and yet, all we know about him is that he's irish and he's a good wrestler. So who's at fault here, Creative for giving him a direction to go to or Finn for not taking this same material and making it his own and finding his voice with the crap they gave him?

Like Steve austin and other guys said before, this generation of wrestlers all wait for management to give them a push when it's on them the best of what they are given, if you can prove to Vince that you deserve to get a push and you get over with your personality, you will be successful, if you just take what creative give you and just act it out like you really don't care about it, you're going to get stuck and fans will stop to care about it.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:11 AM
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Just curious...

Is the age of the internet and "smart" crowds something that stops Vince & Co. from trying characters? Back before the internet, you could throw a wrestler into a gimmick, see how it went and, if it failed, repackage them and try again. Some fans would know that, for example, Kane was the same guy who was Isaac Yankem; but, for the most part, it was left alone. You didn't have "Husky Harris"-type chants when Friar Ferguson came out as Bastion Booger. Nowadays, if a young, say, Apollo Crews was sent out as an over-the-top character that failed, he would be in a huge uphill battle to reestablish himself as anything but that failed character. I'm wondering if, by presenting these wrestlers as people and not characters, WWE feels it is easier to move on from a bad ANGLE involving a certain performer than moving on from a bad CHARACTER played by that same performer.

But, to the OP's question, I don't know if they are needed, but they would be welcomed by me! I love characters. I think they lead to more creative options. I don't care that Beefcake isn't a barber or the Undertaker isn't really dead. It's just a fun way to develop storylines. For all of his mistakes, I would take a Vince Russo back right now. Today's wrestlers are more athletic, sure, but that alone gets stale. Use their athleticism during the matches, but get me characters to entertain me before the matches begin. Two technical wrestlers poorly attacking each other in promos leading up to a PPV is lame. Give them characters and over-the-top storylines to get them there and THEN let them show off their wrestling skills. We can--and should--have both!

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Old 02-16-2018, 10:57 AM
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I agree on this... the problem with characters is that the genie is well and truly out the bottle now... you even have Steph going out of her way in every interview she does outside the company saying "I play a character onscreen...and I do a job backstage".

When one of the major bosses of the company is making that kind of statement regularly then it's harder for any talent to make a pure "character" stick as it's clear there's more to them. Strowman is working right now because for all his monster stuff, there is some fun creeping in like the cello, like him perhaps crushing on Alexa a bit etc...

Likewise, Rusev is getting over far more than ever before because he's getting to be the guy he's always been backstage, rather than being forced to be "The Bulgarian Brute" 24/7 - even on the early Up Up Down Down videos he was a funny guy but not getting close to showing it.

Characters have a place, but there needs to be more to it... someone like Adam Rose suffered as the character didn't actually have anything behind it, it might work on NXT but in the main roster people know the difference between a phoney character and someone who is "being themselves amplified". It'll be interesting to see how guys like Black and Velveteen Dream fare on the main roster... both could either hit big or bomb.
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wrestlingmasters55 View Post
Yeah, i get your point, but at the same time, i feel like it's not fair to blame Vince for the bad creative, this as been a big problem since the attitude era in my opinion where Vince thought that it was better to have a creative team that knew nothing about wrestling instead of doing this by himself with a couple of guys. We can praise HHH all we want right now, but if put in the same Situation Vince is right now, he wouldn't do better. The thing is, back in the old WWF, Vince would do pretty much do the same thing, he would give them their characters and just let them go out and create their persona and while i don't recommend that for everybody on the roster today, a lot of the top guy would be comfortable enough to get some leeway in the promo department.
Of course it's fair to blame McMahon for bad creative considering he is the final say on everything that goes on in promo's, the ring and pretty much everything else. So if we don't blame the guy who puts the whole thing together then who is to blame. You can't put the onus on the wrestler who is only working with what he or she is given. The buck stops with Vince.

I think HHH has proved that he is much better at creative than Vince is right now, just look at NXT. The character's in NXT are great, it's when they hit the main roster and Vince gets a hold of them they flounder. For God's sake he wanted to turn Neville into Mighty Mouse, cape and all.

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Also it's normal to want and blame creative for everything, but if the performers are not able to get themselves over with the crap they are given, that's on them in the end. Look at Braun Strowman, the guy is been given stupid stuff to do each and every week, yet he's able to get that stuff over and show some personality in the process. Look at Finn Balor, the guy as been get opportunity after opportunity to show is personality and yet, all we know about him is that he's irish and he's a good wrestler. So who's at fault here, Creative for giving him a direction to go to or Finn for not taking this same material and making it his own and finding his voice with the crap they gave him?
I agree about Strowman, the guy is great. What with the flipping over of vehicles and just destroying shit, the fans love it. Balor on the other hand is boring, always has been for me anyway. He is only becomes interesting when the paint is on, and it's really not that interesting. It's Finn Balor wearing a bunch of face paint. Guy is gold in the ring wrestling wise, but has the personality of a wet blanket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrestlingmasters55 View Post
Like Steve austin and other guys said before, this generation of wrestlers all wait for management to give them a push when it's on them the best of what they are given, if you can prove to Vince that you deserve to get a push and you get over with your personality, you will be successful, if you just take what creative give you and just act it out like you really don't care about it, you're going to get stuck and fans will stop to care about it.
Management does pick and choose who gets a push and who doesn't. If you want an example look at Reigns, we are four years into his push and it's not over yet. The guy still gets boo'd. Actually you described him perfectly in your quote, he has taken what's been given to him and quite honestly I don't think he cares much. He knows that he will get a rocket up his ass no matter what happens. Compare him to someone like Rusev who should be a major heel, fans should hate him but they don't. "Rusev Day" is over as hell. He has personality up the ying yang, and where is he on the roster, nowhere. Fans want to see more of him, but because he's not related to the Rock that isn't going to happen.

Like I said the buck stops with Vince when you hit the main roster. He picks and chooses who will get a push and who won't. It doesn't matter how charismatic you are, if Vince likes someone better you are screwed.
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:57 AM
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Yeah, i get your point, but at the same time, i feel like it's not fair to blame Vince for the bad creative, this as been a big problem since the attitude era in my opinion where Vince thought that it was better to have a creative team that knew nothing about wrestling instead of doing this by himself with a couple of guys.
It's asinine not to assign Vince blame for bad creative decisions because he's the one who makes them. Even though being head of WWE's creative team is part of Triple H's job description, it's just a title because the only true head of WWE creative is Vince McMahon. He doesn't come up with all the ideas, of course, but he comes up with some of them; whether they're his ideas or not, we see them on television if he likes them.

While it may technically be the job of WWE's creative team to actually come up with ideas to please the audience, their actual job is to please Vince McMahon. Anything and everything we see on WWE television week in and week out, the good and the bad, we only see because Vince likes it. I'll be the first to say that neither he or the creative team doesn't gets nearly the credit they should when good quality is put out but people sure do line up to kick him in the nuts when they see something they don't like. In some instance, I think some of it is taking something that's not really an issue or that bad and trying to exaggerate it. I also think a good deal of that is just plain ol' trolling because crapping all over WWE is the "cool" thing to do in wrestling among smarks from all walks of life.

However, when something just falls flat or just plain stinks, as Navi pointed out, the buck has to stop with Vince. That's part of what having THE final say about anything and everything is all about.
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