The Geritol Generation Report by Mean Gene Roberts

Discussion in 'Columns Lounge' started by mean_gene_roberts, May 27, 2008.

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What is needed to help revive wrestling?

  1. More ring time, less skits and promos.

  2. More skits and promos, less ring time.

  3. It's fine as is, don't change a thing.

  4. More realism.

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  1. mean_gene_roberts

    mean_gene_roberts Occasional Pre-Show

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    Hello and welcome to one and all to this old farts point of view. Sit back, pop-a-top on your favorite beverage and relax.

    Before I dive in head first, let me state a couple of semi-obvious things. I’m older than your “average” fan. I have no insider knowledge to share. I don’t know any performers on a first name basis nor do I exchange Christmas cards with them. There will be things I say you may agree with and others that will make you think I must have developed premature Alzheimer’s. I’m just doing this because I love pro wrestling in all its incarnations and have down through the last 45+ years.

    First, wrestling is not real.

    Second, wrestling is real.

    Most all the performers get along just great behind the curtains. Often it’s reported here on WZ that a couple of wrestlers, such as HHH and Orton arrive in the same car at the arena. Then, they go to the ring, beat the hell out of each other for 5 to 30 minutes, leave the building together and have a few beers before going to the next town and doing it all over again.

    In the sense that they are in the ring for 5 to 30 minutes and take a few good bumps and maybe even bleed, it is real. Of course, we all have that figured out by now except for the pre-schoolers begging mommy for the new John Cena t-shirt.

    These men and women make a lot of sacrifices for us the fans. Its real in that respect as well. Some have even given their lives, as Owen Hart did, just to entertain us while we cuss or cheer them.

    I’m reminded of something Hulk Hogan said during his feud with Vince a few years ago. That it was the fans, not Vince, who made Hulk-a-mania (or wrestling for that matter). We are the driving force behind any individual performer or promotion. Without us, they wouldn’t be.

    I, for one, would like to see the “Sport of Kings” return to its former glory. I’m sure it will, but what will it take?

    For one thing, how about more time between the bells? TNA does a pretty decent job of this. I haven’t timed them however, I’d guess they are doing 30 to 45 minutes of actual ring time in their 2 hour slot.

    I did time RAW last night (May 26th). 26 minutes of bell to bell action in a 2 hour, 3 minute show. That was total time for 5 matches!

    How much do tickets cost to TV events? $50? $100? More? Not to mention transportation, lodging, meals, snacks and souvenirs. And for 26 minutes? I live next to The American Legion and have see parking lot brawls last that long and didn’t have to pay a dime for that entertainment!

    I understand the need for promo’s, build-ups, etc. But over 1 ½ hours of it in a single program? Last night we were 25 minutes into the show before the first match (Melina v. Jillian Hall [that’s a barn-burner]) and it lasted a whole 2 minutes.

    I also understand the wisdom of aiming at the 18-34 demographics. They are the ones, along with the under 18 crowd, who put out the bucks for the concessions which is where promotions make their real money. As Glenn Gilbertti so eloquently told me, no promotion would want my money. Guess what Glenn…they ain’t gonna get it with the current state of the programming. And they won’t get my kids money either since that comes from me as well.

    In a world that is full of pomp and circumstance in everything from Slush Puppies to presidential elections, wouldn’t it be novel to inject a modest amount of realism into the product?

    I’ve heard the argument that what made the WWF popular in the 90’s was Vince Russo’s writing. Guess I have to disagree with that notion, because WCW kicked WWF’s ass in the ratings for around a year and a half without his services.

    It was the degree of perceived realism in the over-all product. Less comedy, less comic book heroes and more bad ass MOFO’s! The Ringmaster was not over. Steve Austin was. Flex Cavana was not over. The Rock was. Diesel and Razor Ramon were not over. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were.

    I have enjoyed professional wrestling, as I said, for over 45 years. I’d like to enjoy it for another 45, God willing. And, I’d like for that 18-34 demographic everyone is keen on to enjoy it as well into their 50’s and beyond.
     
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