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Any other longterm fans starting to feel alienated by the current fanbase?

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Pro-wrestling isn't an art form.

 

Anything that evokes a response could be argued as being art.

 

Trolling is art now too? I mean there is an art to being a good troll but I wouldn't call trolling art.

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The question of "is something art" mostly just provides validation within whatever context it is affirmed (and at best helps that form gain momentum) and in rare cases - when accepted broadly - can alter the material or consumer culture of the medium/form.

 

I made a long, boring post that I basically erased in which I actually talked about that fact, the whole validation stuff. To me that's exactly what I get out of the neverending argument (from hardcore pro-wrestling fans only) that pro-wrestling is an art. It's simply seeking social validation, or actually simply self-social validation to feel justified about spending sooo much time on that hobby. Because if it's an Art (with the capital A), then you see, it's much more respectable and intellectual and shit. When in fact, it's not. I mean really. It's not. And it's no big deal. I sure don't give a shit about seeking validation because I've spent the last 20 years writing stuff about pro-wrestling. I don't need pro-wrestling to be ART to love (and hate) it. It's great for what it is when it is great. There's plenty of stuff to get out of it as it is. No need to try to stuff pro-wrestling in the Temple of Arts. It doesn't belong there. But hey, if people want to convince themselves otherwise, fine. Doesn't matter.

 

I agree that this isn't something worth anyone being worked up about, even if we see it differently. Calling it art or not is value-neutral.

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Pro-wrestling isn't an art form.

 

Anything that evokes a response could be argued as being art.

 

Trolling is art now too? I mean there is an art to being a good troll but I wouldn't call trolling art.

 

 

Some say Trevor is an artist.

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Art is form and content. Wrestling is all form and no content.

 

At the very least, that's a more interesting direction to go in than just calling everything equally stupid.

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Art is form and content. Wrestling is all form and no content.

Couldn't have said it better.

 

I dunno if I have said it in one of my annoying posts yesterday, but i sure wanted to say this : pro-wrestling expresses nothing about nothing. (of course, through pro-wrestling you can read a lot of things about lots of things, thanks to the signs, but this has nothing to do with any artistic content, signs are everywhere. Hell, Roland Barthes' pages about pro-wrestling are still relevant today and a joy to read.)

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You're right, pro wrestling isn't art. It just has all the hallmarks of performance art. No sir, nothing about Tommy Dreamer's Sissyphean messiah complex is artistic at all. Not one bit of it.

 

EDIT:

Legitimately, the argument over whether or not pro wrestling - or any other form of marginalized entertainment, visual or audible, for that matter - constitutes art is one of the biggest peeves of mine. Its basis is in two individuals working together to pantomime physical confrontation in order to evoke an emotional response from the viewer. If pro wrestling is not art? Neither is cinema.

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haha... Funny you brought up Barthes discussion of wrestling. I have been brainstorming a piece in defense of "Peak" as a way of evaluating and analyzing (thinking primarily of some of the discussions going on in GWWE) and then that morphed with some of the stuff we were talking about here and I downloaded it and reread it this morning. I think this whole conversation is going to wind up resonating within that piece to some (maybe a great) degree.

 

I am pretty sure the direction I am going with it would be dismissed as me attempting to validate my own tastes/interests though, and I am completely ok with that. It is just a hypothetical thing that may or may not ever go from my brain to my computer. It is, however, pretty clear to me that we just don't see the terms and the relationships the same and we all seem to recognize the greater futility of any sort of "debate" on the matter. I am no more interested in convincing El-P that wrestling is art than he is convincing me the opposite. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy exploring the conversation a bit… aaaannnnd I want to work through some of these thoughts....

 

With that in mind., this is all likely quite boring and overthought, but….

 

I don't see how wrestling is without content and even still I am not sure that a supposed lack of content disqualifies it from being art. The idea that art is form and content is just one understanding of art, but sort of narrows the lens of communication in a way. What about disruption? There are those that would argue that art's primary function is to disrupt and sometimes that comes in a form detached from a system of meaning, from which then new strands of understanding and meaning develop. Some would say art doesn’t have to mean anything so long as it disrupts convention and moves people (not something I completely buy into, but it is an argument).

 

And to that point, I am not sure what "artistic content" is really. I mean I can speculate, but I am curious about what constitutes "artistic content" that wrestling doesn't have, or more accurately, what wrestling can't have. What is the thinkable, material, or emotional thing on the other side of the sign that wrestling lacks? I could be convinced that most wrestling actively is not art, but I am not sure I can be convinced that the from is incapable of producing art... just as I may not regard all films as art, but would obviously regard some films as art.

 

For me the point of the sign is a good one. I have always really loved that wrestling has sort of quasi-created its own meaning system (more or less what Barthes talks about). It is of course borrowed from, or perhaps an extension of the cultures wrestling has grown up in over time (for better or worse), but there is a relationship between sign and object (or signifier and signified or whatever!) that is at least somewhat internal to wrestling. I agree completely that we spend the vast majority of our time as wrestling fans focused on the sign and the form (execution thereof, organization, creativity, etc etc). I also completely acknowledge that the form more often than not moves in ways that are expected (at least relatively so). I remember when I was a kid – long before I was too smarky for my own good – I could call parts of matches before they happened. This isn’t a unique skill. We can all watch a match and predict counters, moves, finishers, etc and we can all do it without much mental effort. Even further we know the function of the first match on a card and the last (or at least what they are “supposed” to be). We have an idea of when we think feuds should elevate, turn, or end. Every part of the system (from the micro level to the narrative arches) is guided by convention and the audience demands those to an extent. That is – again – much of what Barthes discusses in his piece, that within the spectacle and all its parts (its characters, the moves, the lights… all those things that don’t exceed the sum) there is a comfortable predictability that we revel in.

 

But to me there is something compelling and artistic in the masterful manipulation of those signs and conventions. My dad used to ask me why I bothered watching if I knew what was going to happen. I am not sure if I explained it this confidently at the time, but in hindsight the answer was “because it is still fun and sometimes I am wrong”. To me, people who surprise me at all levels are impressive, artistic even in the way they engage their form. That isn’t necessarily a break with the broader notion of convention, but it is the implementation and execution that can get and hold interest.

 

Now to me, mere fact that I can identify a meaning system at least partially unique to wrestling is enough to constitute it as a medium with the potential to produce art, not to mention the issue of execution. Even acknowledging that the vast majority of wrestling probably re-inscribes conventions and that there a relatively limited set of stories that can or are told through wrestling (again, mostly by convention), the notion that this is a form which translates stories, characters and emotions through its own somewhat unique meaning system is enough for me. There are those who do it well and there are those who do it poorly and yes that might be largely a matter of taste, but there is a physical craft to it, trends, region/cultural differences, and all that constitutes a form that is if not outright artistic it has the potential for art.

 

However, and this is probably the biggest thing for me, within wrestling there is – at least in my opinion – the possibility that something transcends the conventions. That is, within that constellation of signs it is possible that moments, stories, matches, programs, etc can extend beyond what is conventional for wrestling and impact the audience in a different way. They can move people. Again, this is impossible to quantify, but art always is (unless you only measure by $$$). It doesn’t matter if it only affects one person or 10 or 10 million people, its possible for wrestling – as a form of entertainment and communication – to exceed convention, break with its own mold, tap into emotion, disrupt grids of intelligibility – and sometimes (perhaps at its most artistic) that is not really something that is describable. It just hits you and it is awesome and maybe tugs on your emotions. It isn’t that it JUST demands an emotional response; it is that it does so within its own meaning system and does so in a way that can alter or disrupt that system. For me, wrestling’s greatest artistic potential is in the fact that it has a meaning system and traverses it from time to time and can tap into emotions in a way that moves people, and there is no more carefree enjoyment-centered way to approach wrestling than to admit that it can emotionally move you or make you think beyond wrestling.

 

Of course, this is highly subjective, what is art if not subjective? Maybe not everyone gets that from wrestling, just like not everyone might get that from paintings, film, theater, literature, or even music (I know people who claim they don’t really like music… I don’t trust them, but I know them), but just because signs are everywhere and we can read into them what we want, doesn’t mean that those signs are incompatible with the concept of art. Audiences have a part of the communicative process long before the concept of decoding. The notion that it is a meaning free for all is nonsense. Some might argue it potentially could be, but that is a theoretical trope, not an actuality with any function.

 

Ok, that is more than enough. Again, I don’t care to persuade anyone, and I actually agree with quite a bit of the criticism of the wrestling as art position, but I did want to talk this relationship between sign, communication, meaning, and art from another angle. To me, if film or theater are art, wrestling has to be. I just fail to see what wrestling lacks that "art" has. I fail to see what that "artistic content" is from above. I fail to see how it doesn't communicate, evoke emotion, tell stories, create meaning, disrupt convention, and even sometimes challenge people, but again, I am probably overthinking it.

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Fantastic post ! The kind of which has me work on my English too to get the whole of it. ;) (this is where I reach my limitations too, sadly)

 

Just this :

 

Now to me, mere fact that I can identify a meaning system at least partially unique to wrestling is enough to constitute it as a medium with the potential to produce art, not to mention the issue of execution. Even acknowledging that the vast majority of wrestling probably re-inscribes conventions and that there a relatively limited set of stories that can or are told through wrestling (again, mostly by convention), the notion that this is a form which translates stories, characters and emotions through its own somewhat unique meaning system is enough for me. There are those who do it well and there are those who do it poorly and yes that might be largely a matter of taste, but there is a physical craft to it, trends, region/cultural differences, and all that constitutes a form that is if not outright artistic it has the potential for art.

 

I would agree with this, with emphasis on the bolded part. I would also use the word "craftmanship" as far as to describe what pro-wrestling is.

 

But again, terrific post.

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Fantastic post ! The kind of which has me work on my English too to get the whole of it. ;) (this is where I reach my limitations too, sadly)

 

Just this :

 

Now to me, mere fact that I can identify a meaning system at least partially unique to wrestling is enough to constitute it as a medium with the potential to produce art, not to mention the issue of execution. Even acknowledging that the vast majority of wrestling probably re-inscribes conventions and that there a relatively limited set of stories that can or are told through wrestling (again, mostly by convention), the notion that this is a form which translates stories, characters and emotions through its own somewhat unique meaning system is enough for me. There are those who do it well and there are those who do it poorly and yes that might be largely a matter of taste, but there is a physical craft to it, trends, region/cultural differences, and all that constitutes a form that is if not outright artistic it has the potential for art.

 

I would agree with this, with emphasis on the bolded part. I would also use the word "craftmanship" as far as to describe what pro-wrestling is.

 

But again, terrific post.

Thanks... much appreciated

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I would agree with this, with emphasis on the bolded part. I would also use the word "craftmanship" as far as to describe what pro-wrestling is.

A craftsman can easily be considered an artist, as one of the definitions of "craftsmanship" is "artistry."

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"Art" has many definitions and spinoffs.

I could see someone saying pro wrestling is not an "art form" if they feel it is low brow entertainment.

For example, I consider a Michael Bay or most Marvel movies (trigger warning) to be "entertainment" as opposed to art. Like pr0n.

IMHO, art ought to tell us something about ourselves or society that we may not necessarily want to see or hear. It ought to hold its content up like a mirror to reflect warts, ways to improve, use symbolism, trigger deep thoughts, etc. On the other side of the coin, art is also beauty, i.e. classical music and paintings. But generally speaking, creating forms for mass appeal commercial profit usually is entertainment (Star Wars/Hollywood in general).

It should be noted Stan Lee loved when Marvel comic books were considered "pop art" in the 1960s, and thus was accepted and seen as hip. However, he and his generation always perceived comic books as shameful- just a way to make a living- not true art at all. The "artists" were seen as draftsmen and laborers. Jack Kirby was not appreciated until much later. "Pop art Marvel" went out of vogue like a fad until mid-1980s when Alan Moore and Frank Miller established that comics were no longer for kids. Neil Gaiman was the cherry on top with Sandman in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

Moore considers his work to be art, because he pushed the medium to new heights and had meaning and messages, but saw every comic book adapted movie as empty unoriginal entertainment.

There is no doubt that wrestling is a craft; after all it is taught like a guild and some workers are better than others, and the basics and fundamentals are the most important. Wrestlers can craft matches, gimmicks, and storylines.

It is definitely a for-profit entertainment. The messages are base and usually appeal to the lowest common denominator. At best wrestling tells stories, usually adapted from tropes, like beast slayer, jealousy, to be the best, betrayal, revenge, underdog etc. At worst, it is exploitative, ignorant, savage, crass, racist, sexist, and dumbed down for Homer Simpson.

Does sometimes telling stories using pantomime make it art? Is pretending to have a competitive fight art? Especially when it is done at the expense of the money in your checking account? Does that the fact that W. Ospreay believes he is a performance artist make it art? Was Damien Sandow a performance artist with his comedy routines? How about The Librarians from AEW? Is pro wrestling a deep, universal, beautiful, or telling form of art? I doubt Vince McMahon views it as such. He created his own personal sandbox to have fun in and make money.

Even when he made the leap to MTV and NBC in 1985, it was pitched as entertainment. Andy Warhol, in his diary, liked Dusty Rhodes and Wrestlemania I. An intelligent artist such as himself probably thought there was something more to wrestling- how they could manipulate the emotions of so many with over the top interviews and fake punches. But I'm sure Brock doesn't see it as art. Moxley does, which is why they miscommunicated at Wrestlemania.

Music is art, yet not all forms of music are art. There is a difference between 2019 pop music and Mozart. Where does wrestling fit on the spectrum? Video games were never respected but now they are, yet does it change the truth that video games are entertainment and not art? I don't feel there is a clear answer. Is it even a binary question?

"Back in the day" the workers and promoters themselves did not perceive wrestling as art. It was a way to make money by tricking audiences, just like the old comic book creators and publishers felt they were in a factory making dumb kiddie stories, not creating serious, timeless works of art which would be analyzed decades later. I am not sure if Kenny Omega's opinion could change the reality of wrestling being anything other than fun entertainment.

 

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Interesting that you brought up Andy Warhol here. This reminded me of what was announced up here to a lesser scale about the project from a notorious playwright named Robert Lepage here in Quebec called Le Diamant, where he's gonna have all sorts of plays performed there when it opens. Lepage also announced that there would also be wrestling in his venue (In occurrence, the 10th Anniversary show for NSPW on October 5, Shawn Spears from AEW is booked, and the Lucha Bros are also supposed to be booked as well), which raised a lot of eyebrows among the cultural community up here but Lepage explained that he attended an NSPW event last year and he was so engulfed within the atmosphere and also very enthused by the presentation and the emotions he felt while watching the show that he decided he had to have a wrestling event in Le Diamant.

It's very interesting to me that artists, people who would more likely frown upon pro wrestling being perceived as an art, have a more favorable reaction to that point of view than actual pro wrestling fans.

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2 hours ago, War is Raw said:

IMHO, art ought to tell us something about ourselves or society that we may not necessarily want to see or hear. It ought to hold its content up like a mirror to reflect warts, ways to improve, use symbolism, trigger deep thoughts, etc. On the other side of the coin, art is also beauty, i.e. classical music and paintings. But generally speaking, creating forms for mass appeal commercial profit usually is entertainment (Star Wars/Hollywood in general).

This is where we need some smart quotes from Bourdieu and Adorno about the society of entertainment and the Kulturindustrie, but I'm way too lazy to do it now. Just a way to point out that this is a pretty great post.

Warhol and the whole pop-art stuff could be pretty criticized though, and honestly by the time Warhol pimped Mania 1, he was pretty much an irrelevant socialite. Kinda like the old, former cool guy who know says embarrassing stuff and exposes himself as a goof. The glory days of the Factory days were long gone I believe. Anyway, I'm probably overthinking this.

Funny though, from someone who posted "Pro-wrestling isn't an art form." in this very thread two years ago, I was thinking while I was in awe of Ishii's brillance during his match with Mox that, if anything else, pro-wrestling as an amazing production of signs. And thought I should really dive into Saussure at some point. Yeah. It's not even that I mean to go all intellectual and shit, it's more that I'm probably a bit fucked up in the head. But anyway, pro-wrestling isn't an art-form, but maybe it is. It certainly is unique, whatever it is, you can't really compare it to anything else, really.

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The recent kerfuffle over Jordynne Grace's tweet that pro wrestling should be considered a performance art and not a sport reminded me of the conversation in this thread. Discussions about whether pro wrestling is art tend to go around in circles, so I'll just say I think El-P hit the nail on the head when he said that attempts to classify it as such are status anxiety-driven attempts to imbue wrestling with the prestige of high culture rather than value-neutral intellectual judgments. But I want to address the other half of the equation. Why shouldn't pro wrestling be considered a sport? Because the outcomes are fixed? Does boxers taking dives make boxing not a sport? To put it another way, which is more of a sport, pro wrestling or chess? To me at least, physical exertion is more of an essential element than lack of predetermined outcomes. If pressed, I'd say that pro wrestling is neither sport nor performance art, but it's far closer to the former than the latter.

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Boxers taking dives are (in theory) the exception rather than the rule. Calling wrestling a sport implies it's a legit contest, I'd say it's more like a Harlem Globetrotters game where the folks involved undoubtedly have athletic abilities but it's not an actual competition. Apologies if that breaks some kind of basketball kayfabe, btw. 

IMO it's just a matter of the current generation seeing pro wrestling for what it is, and the older generation (and their fanboys) are still clinging to some kind of IT'S STILL REAL TO ME nonsense and get mad when someone says differently.

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Following the Jordynne Grace debate, I heard Lance Storm made the most baffling argument that pro-wrestling was actually a *competitive sport* : workers are actually competing for spots on the card. Coming from someone supposedly as smart as Lance Storm, this is a terrible (to stay polite) argument. First off, pro-wrestling is a fiction. Even JR says so in his podcast. There's no two ways around it. If "people fighting for spots" make anything a competitive sport, then what about people trying to climb up the ladder in their company, in their acting career, in their academic hierarchy, whatever. I mean, it's just a ridiculous argument. Storm also made the Mike Oles analogy with figure skating. Well, if that's the case, who is giving the prizes away ? Meltzer ? PWO ? Except it's not the case. Meltz is a critic. THE critic maybe, but NJPW did not boost its attendance in the 2010's by trying to get snowflakes from a newsletter guy and journalist from the US. Pro-wrestlers don't go sit on the bench after their match waiting for notations, with the highest ones getting the golden medal. Let's not even talk about the fact of how biased and screwed up figure skating as always been because of that "jury gives notes" way of working anyway.

Of course it has a sporting base, and it has never been as important as it is today, because no matter what some people say, "great matches" have never mattered more than today. Because people know what pro-wrestling is and no one is gonna go crazy for Brutus Beefcake or this kind of 80's useless guys in 2020. People care about the performance because they know it is just that. 

But then, what is supposed to be sports anyway ? I mean, when the organization of the Tour de France makes the road of the next Tour, then make it so it can be a spectacle and a source of entertainment, because competitive sport at the highest level in term of mainstream appeal is just that : entertainment for the masses and money for the corporations and brands. When the rules of a game is modified because it makes it more entertaining, what is it exactly ? The whole ideology of competitive sport as a value is a complete joke in a capitalistic economy (generally speaking too, I might say).

Now I'm thinking about the old pro-wrestling/porn analogy that everybody hates. :) I had seen a documentary about the relationships between porn and sports. At times it was eerily similar to pro-wrestling, again. There's no question that most of the girl are actual athletes, if only because their work is extremely physically demanding. One retired actress talked about how at 40 her knees were fucked up because of the thousands of hours on all four talking it doggystyle. Well, you can laugh, but it's basically the same thing as Keiji Mutoh doing too many moonsaults. There's also the performance aspect of it that some porn stars actually value, whether of not taking three dicks in your ass at the same time is more or less ridiculous/repulsive as taking a razor blade and slicing up your own flesh and actually bleeding buckets for visual effect in a pretend fight. Not even going into the performance enhancing drugs to stay hard or to be able to take the aforementioned three dicks in the ass. But like pro-wrestlers, porn workers are engaged in a simulacrum. Yes, they are actually "having sex", physically speaking, but not really. Like pro-wrestlers are actually taking bumps and hitting themselves on the chest while not really fighting. And selling is really important in both cases, really... Yet, porn really will never been seen as actual art, even though the old "non simulated scene in art movies" gimmick surfaces from time to time, and even if some efforts have been made from some directors to go well beyond simple masturbatory material.

I guess what's make pro-wrestling so interesting and unique is the fact it can't really be classified. It's a sport, yes, but not only, and certainly not competitive. It's also a performance, but will never be taken seriously as performance art because it really isn't just that either. The day pro-wrestling gets into modern art exhibitions or the like in a non  novelty way, I will change my tune, but for now, it's still its unique beast that has a very complex relationship with the truth and its own status.

In the end, I do agree that the current generation has a much healthier rapport with pro-wrestling overall, like @sek69 said, which is why it's not an issue for them to, for instance, laugh with Orange Cassidy and later in the same card, be totally, sincerely immerged in a serious match with Cody.

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Jordynne Grace is actually one of my least favorite going right now - although it's entirely based off of the things that she says, not the things that she does. Maybe unfairly, but I lump her in with the Joey Ryan's & Orange Cassidy's of the world. They have their niche audiences but I think they do more damage to pro-wrestling overall. Grace is actually a perfectly serviceable worker & I like the idea behind the books she wrote, calling out the creepers from social media. But I pretty much disagree with almost everything she says about wrestling. It's the entire new generation of social media workers. Of course, she's also only fucking twenty-three years old, so, welp.

That's without even bringing up the debate/debacle that came from wrestlers using their real names on Twitter. Which was an entirely different headache altogether.

Maybe I am in the old guard mentality. I've been watching wrestling longer than a lot of the current wrestlers have been alive. Admittedly, I'm tired of Jim Cornette as well, as I think all of his bullshit rants just come off as being ridiculously over-the-top & melodramatic just for attention seeking purposes. I do however buy into the theory that less is more, wrestling was healthier when they treated it like it was legit, and there was less fourth wall breaking & insider winking. Just because the fans know it's a work doesn't mean you have to keep telling them so. So when it's presented as more sports oriented, it usually comes with the territory that that also includes having less comedy & being booked more based around realism & outcomes. Which, in turn, leads to wins, losses & titles meaning more. Which to me should be the entire point. 

Wrestling being all inclusive? Great. Wrestling being all about Likes on Twitter, animated .gifs of spots, shock value stupidity & "This is awesome!" chants? Not so great.

As much as he is loved, I actually think Kenny Omega is a big culprit of a lot of the things I loathe in wrestling right now too. Despite how much Meltzer puts him over. He's the definition of overindulgence & I hate when people try to bring the sort of comedy into wrestling that he seems to favor.

I feel like the fans are too close to the show. The fans need to be pushed back to the crowd, back to being fans of the show & fans of the wrestlers. Everyone now is an insider, with intimate product knowledge, talking about the business workings of the companies & their booking decisions but no one feels like they're ever just watching the shows as they unfold anymore. Like, in example, a babyface turns heel. That used to be met with people gasping & being shocked & being angry. Now it's met with people saying "Why did they turn him heel? He'll make less money on merch. Didn't he just have a baby?" It's not the same. I know you can't forget what you saw once the curtain was pulled back on The Wizard of Oz but that doesn't mean you have to leave the curtain open afterward either. We don't consume content in the same way anymore. Now when a show is over, we're not talking about the stories or angles that they're doing, we're talking about if the show was any good based on match quality & discussing star ratings of matches.

It's not an insult to the fans' intelligence when you treat the show as a show & have all of the wrestlers in character for the show. Is it asking too much for them to maintain kayfabe outside of the shows in this day & age as well? Perhaps, but I bet heels would get more heat & faces would draw more money if they did. It's the whole suspension of disbelief can of worms. 

Of course, this all makes me a hypocrite as I am personally guilty of everything I am condemning in this post as well. So it goes.

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I hit the point earlier this year when I realized I should just be posting on wrestling classics, or whatever. I became that person that I openly mocked ten years ago. I'm pretty happy with my wrestling watching right now, though. Very little new stuff, even CMLL which I was following heavily a few years ago. I keep track of certain things, but it's like anything else: enjoy what you want on your terms. It's nice to have social interaction on all of this. I wish people would respond more to the new footage stuff we do on Segunda Caida or that I ran Secret Santo a little more successfully, but some of it I do to myself by not being on twitter, etc. That's the other thing about getting older. You tend to have a lot more going on in your life that ISN'T wrestling. I devote just about all the time I can to wrestling. Sometimes it's tough to slip in the three matches a week for New Footage Friday between work/kids/other hobbies, etc. 

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Thinking about the figure skating analogy, I was wondering what would happen if they made a wrestling show as an America's Got Talent style show. A series of matches, and after each one,  a group of judges talk review it live on camera. I don't know if traditional wrestling fans would like it, but maybe new viewers would be interested in something like that. 

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13 hours ago, TheDuke said:

Thinking about the figure skating analogy, I was wondering what would happen if they made a wrestling show as an America's Got Talent style show. A series of matches, and after each one,  a group of judges talk review it live on camera. I don't know if traditional wrestling fans would like it, but maybe new viewers would be interested in something like that. 

There was a group here in West Virginia who did a show with this exact premise. They brought in a bunch of indy guys, and sat them in front of three judges and filmed the show in an episodic style. Most of the workers were names no one would be familiar with (apart from Kahagas and maybe The Thrillseekers) and some of them were downright rotten. The judges were Jim Cornette, Robert Fuller, and for some reason Miss Kitty (who was B.B. the ambulance driver during the Attitude Era)

The matches were guaranteed to go 2 minutes, with a maximum of 10, and after the 2 minutes, Cornette had an air horn which he could use to stop the match (and believe me he did.) Once the matches were over, each judge would give input, and then vote on whether the wrestler would move on to the next round.

Jerry Jarrett was actually backstage producing the whole thing, but I don't think the footage has ever seen the light of day, because they were supposedly shopping it around to major networks, and apparently none were interested.

If I remember correctly they were calling this project Olympus Wrestling or something like that.

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Amazing. It's got to be pretty recent too since Corny is sporting the grey hair. 

And you know what ? It *could* work, especially with Corny cutting hilarious promos on the guys (although I hear the usual bunch complaining about "body shaming" already, and for once they wouldn't be completely wrong, I mean Corny is the one who thought Kevin Steen could not be a star because of his look). I mean, it's nothing too different from Tough Enough and the likes. 

It's also hilarious in hindsight Corny would take part in this while shitting on anything "meta", because at least the meta comedy guys plays on tropes to get some legit results as far as comedy goes in the context of a pro-wrestling show, while this is downright "exposing the business" by cutting down matches like the Meltz and the forum geeks of the world are doing on a daily basis.

Why the fuck is BB there BTW, apart from the obvious reason ?

This stuff can only come from Memphis guys too, the parangon of pro-wrestling purity, realism and credibility...

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It was recorded in late April of last year.

I'm not sure if any of the planned follow up shows ever happened.

and I am 99% certain that BB is there for EXACTLY that reason.

The promoter who was teaming up with Jarrett on this, is a guy that I used to do ring announcing for, and is also the guy that is part of the Jarrett/Parsons Roku Channel that went up recently with a ton of old footage that WWE doesn't have. So I wouldn't be shocked to see this eventually turn up on there.  Very good guy and a shockingly honest promoter, who is sadly suffering from Alzheimer's.

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