Do wrestlers really know what the fans want?

Discussion in 'The Wrestling Archives' started by Just Zay'n, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. Just Zay'n

    Just Zay'n Occasional Pre-Show

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    OK this thread is probably going to rustle more than a few jimmies. But I was thinking about this and thought I'd gauge what others think. I'm pretty sure the sentiment around here is that WWE and/or Vince McMahon no longer know what the fans really want to see, what will draw the most money/ratings, and to this I have two thoughts:

    1) What if Vince has always 'not really known' what the audience wants? The people who really 'knew' this were The Rock, Austin, Undertaker, Michaels, Flair, etc. They knew that they would connect with the audience as much as they did, because they were extremely confident in the characters they had developed through relentless hard work and determination. They knew what worked, because they weren't afraid to screw up big-time and discover what didn't work.

    The gist of it is, the audience reacted extremely positively to guys like Rock and Austin - so you could say that they were what the audience wanted. So, how was Vince (or anyone) supposed to know that this is exactly what the audience wants, before those characters had even come into existence?

    Those guys became popular because they themselves made it so. The onus is completely on the wrestler to make it happen. Oh sure, the booking can be absolute crap, as can the format of the show, as well as promos being scripted (which, and this is a bit of a tangent, is a result of the wrestlers themselves not being confident on what to say). But people like the above mentioned megastars would work around it. You can bet your ass those guys would have dealt with crap booking. And let's not forget Daniel Bryan, who, despite being subjected to some of the worst booking of all time, still managed to become the most over wrestler in many years. And WWE had to change their plans for him.

    Edit: I think the Social Outcasts prove this point even further. Nobody from WWE actually said "oh let's make a group called Social Outcasts, that'll be super-popular!". What it is, is WWE giving four guys who you'd think are in line for the next batch of releases, a second chance and some much needed TV time. And let's be honest here, their promo walking down the ramp was pretty terrible. So here are four guys who are struggling to connect, being thrust into the spotlight, and they didn't really take the initiative to figure out how to best use this time. So, creating a stable called 'Social Outcasts' isn't bad booking or a bad idea - it's the four guys themselves who didn't really know what to say to entertain the audience.

    2) I'm not really sure most of the guys on the roster are in it for the right reasons. It's as though being a WWE Superstar is an entirely personal achievement, but let's face it, they are supposed to be entertainers. I remember watching someone interview Bray Wyatt out of character, asking him what his goals for 2015 were, and he responded with saying "I'd like to have a few WWE World Heavyweight Championships under my belt", to which the interviewer responded "Shouldn't you focus on actually winning the first one?"

    Why does Wyatt (or in this case, Rotunda) actually care about winning what is essentially a prop? Aren't there much bigger things to achieve? If he had said something like, for example, "I will become the most terrifying force WWE has ever seen, and do things in that ring that you've never seen before", that would have at least shown some sort of drive to evolve his character to the next level and entertain the fans. Who actually gives a damn, about his personal goal of becoming WWEWHC. And that goes for a lot of the guys on the roster as well...
     
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  2. George Steele's Barber

    George Steele's Barber Advertise Here $9.95/month

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    It's like most other forms of entertainment in that the success of one superstar is built as a team. Ultimately the superstar is responsible for getting over with the crowd (or their job may be to "not get over") but there are many people and factors that ultimately go in to bulding a superstar.

    Even Robert Dinero can make a bad movie.
     
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  3. Just Zay'n

    Just Zay'n Occasional Pre-Show

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    I think the teamwork aspect is a bit higher up than the level of a single superstar. Teamwork comes into play when considering the production as a whole, i.e. an episode of RAW, a pay-per-view, etc. And there's already an established process to that, so for example if Wyatt ever became absolutely huge, they're not going to fail from a technical/production standpoint. The rest - ring performance, promos, ring entrance etc. is all up to him. Being provided the platform doesn't matter in this situation as every wrestler is provided the platform, so it's an even playing field in that respect.
     
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  4. George Steele's Barber

    George Steele's Barber Advertise Here $9.95/month

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    You're not wrong although I hardly see much of an even playing field for any two talents. Lighting, wardrobe, music become less important as time goes by. But scripting and booking can remain critical to a guys success. Imagine if DB went out and became the clear go to guy for the Rumble win and Mania main event in January. There is no way the fans get so emotionally invested in his story.

    Unfortunately with weekly tv the talent, writers, and bookers can't just rely on the same act every week like lighting, music, and wardrobe can.
     
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  5. Just Zay'n

    Just Zay'n Occasional Pre-Show

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    This is off on a bit of a tangent! But yeah, I agree that's the way it is. I just think that this is not the way it should be - scripting and booking should remain critical, however superstars should not be relying on it for character development. I reckon this is the reason for the decreasing quality of their shows, that the wrestlers themselves aren't thinking outside of the box and not taking risks - as opposed to the main argument of why the shows aren't the best, which is Vince/creative is out of touch.

    This may be due to fear of going a bit too far and losing their job, and feeling as though their position on the roster is highly replaceable - which is why I really freaking admire Brad Maddox for having the balls to say something a bit more edgy and try to stand out. His firing didn't really help the situation.
     
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  6. Navi

    Navi With the safety off!!

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    I do think wrestler's know what the fans want because they are out there performing night after night. They see and hear the fans reactions to what they are doing and going through. The problem is that the ones in charge and the booking department doesn't seem to get it.

    It's like they look at the fans reaction and go okay we'll go in the opposite direction cause that's what they must want, or they don't even bother at all. Case in point Dean Ambrose. He has been getting since the Shield broke up some of the best pops of anyone on the roster, and I'm talking about full time roster members here not Lesnar and Taker.

    They have finally given him the IC belt and pushed him a little, but he has mostly been used as a sidekick to help Reigns get over. One gets the feeling that to placate the fans, he was given the title, but if they could have given it to someone else they would have. Everytime they had the opportunity to put the WHC on Ambrose they didn't. When he was battling Rollins, and at the Rumble the other night. He won't get it at Fastlane either.

    He's only one of the wrestler's that fans want to see succeed but might never get to the top because of Vince. So they do know what the fans want, but are more interested in giving us what they want. That's why you are seeing the trouble Reigns is having.
     
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  7. rmp0012002

    rmp0012002 Championship Contender

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    Good wrestlers do but I think today's wrestlers are so tied to a script and the fear of repercussions for not following it doesn't allow for changing it up to get the crowd going.
     
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  8. Good Golly It's Ollie

    Good Golly It's Ollie Magical Girl

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    Yes I would say on the whole that wrestlers do know what fans want because a) they constantly interact with the fandom just in the course of doing their job; b) they're pretty much all on Twitter now which makes this interaction 24/7; c) the most important one: they more or less all were fans themselves before they became wrestlers!
     
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  9. wrestlingmasters55

    wrestlingmasters55 Moderator
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    I know that some fans won't like what I'm about to write but I think that companies are giving to much powers to the fans. Yes the product is way too scripted, yes the wrestlers are too concern about makimg money of merchandise to really play their characters. But the biggest problem are the fans that don't care anymore about cheering for the babyface and hating the heels. I look a guys like kevin owens and bray ayatt. 2 guys that back 25 years ago could have been huge heel because they would have cared more about being a heel then trying to please the fans so that they could have fans to buy their merchandise. Fans shouldn't dictate what should and shouldn't be done in wrestling, the wrestlers should be able to tell the fans what they wants.

    The sad thing is that this situation will not stop anytime soon because smart fans will continue to get themselves over and think that the wrestlers need to gives them what they want, we are going to continue to see more and more wrestlers get injured and also less believable stars and more midcard guys that will never advance to anything.
     
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