Want Attitude Era?...No You want Entertainment
WWE The attitude Era - this is a defined period of time in WWE history between 1997-2008 where WWE went TV - 14 and had a very edgy and very over the top product where Wrestlers were more of an extension of themselves and they used more colourful language and mannerisms.
It helped be the launching pad for many great stars including Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Mankind and many more. It also gave birth to a fantastic tag team division headed by The Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian, Dudley Boyz, having amazing matches with Tables, Ladders and Chairs that redefined WWE and their tag team division at the time.
After WWE purchased WCW in 2001 and then ECW went out of business also they decided to change direction and look at a different way of doing things.
Fans since 2008 have bemoaned the direction of WWE - they have been very vocal in saying that WWE was not what it was and that they want. however WWE since 2008 and beyond decided to change direction from Attitude Era and become more of a PG product to start marketing towards children and families again and be able to attract more sponsors and appeal to a broader portion of the audience it was a clear business strategy by WWE to make more money and to make the product more family friendly.
you can read wwe statement going pg in 2008 here >>> http://www.wwe.com/inside/industrynews/7706710
WWE had stretched their product so far at the time that people were becoming desensitised to what they were seeing. WWE had taken hardcore extreme matches as far as they could go and the fans needed re-educating there became a point where WWE could no longer top themselves, so it was time to tone the product down and re educate the fans,.
This new strategy has been very successful for WWE with them making Millions of dollars, selling out Wrestlemania's and making Millions of Dollars in Merchandise with stars such as John Cena, CM Punk and Randy Orton as far as WWE business strategy since 2008 it cannot be argued that they have been successful and made profits
There is a certain portion of the audience which wants "Attitude Era" back that say they have put up with PG WWE for to long and they want edgy content back and over the top characters that certain portion of the audience say that Attitude is the wrestling they want to see - however to me the attitude era isn't wrestling its entertainment.
If you have the WWE Network you can go back and watch the attitude era and the emphasis is more on entertainment and promo segments. Don't get me wrong there were some great matches as well at the time with some of the best performers of the era but the direction was more towards entertainment.
Its Steve Austin blowing up DX bus, its The Rock telling someone to Turn something Sideways and stick it up their ass, its Triple H telling us to suck it, The New Age Outlaws throwing 2 people in a dumpster off a stage that's not wrestling that's entertainment none of those examples have anything to do with the in ring product that WWE put on an episode of Raw in 1999 had more segments of entertainment or promos than it did long in depth wrestling matches. WWE were trying to catch the attention and retain the attention of the casual viewer and they did it successfully there has never been another era before or since when more people watched WWE.
The Rock and Mankind did the biggest and highest rated Wrestling Segment of attitude era garnering an 8.4 rating people tuned in because they were entertained by what they saw, what they could feel coming through the screen and by the compelling characters that were performing for them. It wasn't a 20 minute spot fest with lots of flips and counter reversals or a 40 min technical wrestling match it was The Rock and Mankind with a purple clown that got the biggest wrestling rating in history....Fact. Im a fan of great wrestling and love seeing fantastic wrestling matches but WWE weren't marketing their product at the wrestling fan like me that will tune in every week - they were marketing it to people they wanted to hook in too it.
In 2015 you couldn't put the attitude era on TV, fans see everything from one standpoint what they see in front of them. the reason why WWE don't go back to attitude era is because they don't have too. Vince Mcmahon said previously on WWE Network series "Monday Night War" that the reason he beat WCW was that he also had something in his back pocket that he didn't put it all out there and have no back up plan.
Fact of the matter is WWE is making enough money currently with this strategy and are the biggest player in the world of Wrestling/sports entertainment if they weren't making money and eyeballs weren't on the product and live events weren't selling out, then you could see a change in strategy
but not to what you saw before. Television landscape in 2015 is very different to 1998 and No Company or organisation could put out that content and get away with it. The world is a different place with Board rooms and shareholders having more influence, that is a key difference in WWE too, when they entered Wall Street WWE as a company became answerable to other people.
The return of the attitude era in 2015 isn't the issue - the in ring product isn't and has never been the problem. The in ring WWE product is great with so many different styles, incredible moves and performers.
what WWE has to do is to be more entertaining - as history has proven the more entertaining it is the more successful it can be not to just wrestling fans but to the broader audience as well
Attitude isn't the answer Entertainment is.
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