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funkdoc

Wrestling parallels w/ wider cultural trends

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Is it possible that the live action hero as a concept is now dated? I think younger people now have heightened awareness of facades and don't hold institutions in the same regard. They are more hesitant to put people on pedestals, which makes it harder to create major stars. And because wrestling stardom has almost always been the product of manipulation, some people check out of the entire project itself because they see it as corrupt and authoritarian. See Roman Reigns. Fans were mad that the company tried to make him a star because the company shouldn't be in the business of making stars. I think fans in some ways now see that as manipulative or overly controlling and believe instead, that promoters should be in the business of reacting when someone catches on. That makes it much harder to promote pro wrestling, but it's a cultural change that I think has definitely impacted wrestling.

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I don't necessarily think the action hero concept is now dated or dead, I just think people wanted an evolution of it.

It seems like anymore when they attempt to bring back one of the old franchises, it dies a miserable death. Terminator, Rambo, Predator, Alien, etc.

But then you look at something like John Wick, and those movies are doing huge business every time they put a new one out.

I think the difference is that Wick was never expected to become the monster hit that it became. I barely remember seeing a commercial for the first one until a week or two before it was released. Word of mouth made the movie. Peoples desire for something different made the movie.

 Hell, they advertised that new Terminator flick for 6 months (and while it was very good) it bombed miserably. People are sick of the same old shit.

The wrestling parallel is definitely there, and we've been seeing it for years. The 80's muscle hero is dead. The guy who you are told is superman, the guy who can beat everyone and barely gets a scratch.....the people don't want that anymore. Hulkamania would die today. It's why Cena was boo'ed and it's why Reigns was never accepted.

Then you have Wick, who looks like a guy you might see working at Chipotle. But he has all these skills that make him a bad ass. He's Daniel Bryan, he's CM Punk.

 

I feel like when people try to get lost in the fantasy it is much easier for them to picture themselves as a John Wick or Daniel Bryan than jacked up Arnold or Stallone or Hulk Hogan.

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Roman wasn't liked when he was talking about beanstalks and suffering succotash, son.

When he was a silent, more brooding badass, he was way more accepted. And that kinda fits into the John Wick comparison, when we think about it.

Creed was a hit and it spawned a sequel. The Bourne franchise also had a fairly recent movie which was profittable. Fury Road is the greatest action movie ever AND was a box office success. I guess people just don't want one-note, ultra macho characters anymore.

Even the James Bond franchise, which is considerably stereotypical, had to addapt to survive.

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1 hour ago, KawadaSmile said:

Creed was a hit and it spawned a sequel. The Bourne franchise also had a fairly recent movie which was profittable. Fury Road is the greatest action movie ever AND was a box office success. I guess people just don't want one-note, ultra macho characters anymore.

Even the James Bond franchise, which is considerably stereotypical, had to addapt to survive.

Fury Road makes another good point. While it was a Mad Max film, it can certainly be argued that Furiosa and the brides were more the stars of the movie than Max. Films starring bad ass women certainly seem to be gaining traction in Hollywood and recently we've had the rise of the women in the WWE, and Becky Lynch becoming arguably the top star of the company for a period of time.

 

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9 hours ago, KawadaSmile said:

Creed was a hit and it spawned a sequel. The Bourne franchise also had a fairly recent movie which was profittable. Fury Road is the greatest action movie ever AND was a box office success. I guess people just don't want one-note, ultra macho characters anymore.

Creed was a sequel that moved the franchise forward and modernized it, not just aesthetically but emotionally.

Creed = Cody.

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8 hours ago, Migs said:

Creed was a sequel that moved the franchise forward and modernized it, not just aesthetically but emotionally.

Creed = Cody.

That's actually quite the interesting take !

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And it's a little deeper than I expressed here - they're both stories about sons who've lost fathers, trying to honor them. There's a major theme of the things we do for others, and whether they're really for ourselves. As a result, there's a real power to them, although they could be accused of being maudlin.

Also, lots of American flags.

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On 6/19/2020 at 12:16 PM, Blehschmidt said:

I don't necessarily think the action hero concept is now dated or dead, I just think people wanted an evolution of it.

It seems like anymore when they attempt to bring back one of the old franchises, it dies a miserable death. Terminator, Rambo, Predator, Alien, etc.

But then you look at something like John Wick, and those movies are doing huge business every time they put a new one out.

I think the difference is that Wick was never expected to become the monster hit that it became. I barely remember seeing a commercial for the first one until a week or two before it was released. Word of mouth made the movie. Peoples desire for something different made the movie.

 Hell, they advertised that new Terminator flick for 6 months (and while it was very good) it bombed miserably. People are sick of the same old shit.

The wrestling parallel is definitely there, and we've been seeing it for years. The 80's muscle hero is dead. The guy who you are told is superman, the guy who can beat everyone and barely gets a scratch.....the people don't want that anymore. Hulkamania would die today. It's why Cena was boo'ed and it's why Reigns was never accepted.

Then you have Wick, who looks like a guy you might see working at Chipotle. But he has all these skills that make him a bad ass. He's Daniel Bryan, he's CM Punk.

 

I feel like when people try to get lost in the fantasy it is much easier for them to picture themselves as a John Wick or Daniel Bryan than jacked up Arnold or Stallone or Hulk Hogan.

I remember how goofy Triple H looked turning his WrestleMania 31 entrance into a quasi-commercial for Terminator-whateverthefuck was in 2015. The match itself, of course, was dredging up all the ghosts of the Monday Night Wars and rehashing their victory yet again. Wrestling is steeped in nostalgia, more so than ever now. I remember listening to the director of the Andre documentary talk about interviewing Vince, and mentioning something about the 80's being their "halcyon years", with Vince responding "what do you mean, halcyon years pal?" (something like that), suggesting that he still thought they were as relevant as they were in the Rock & Wrestling days or the Attitude Era (which while I am not so fond of it, I would argue was the only time they were even close to being ahead of the pop culture curve). Reading all this makes me realize there is, within the product, a push-pull between the nostalgia for when things were better, and the denial that things aren't the same now. 

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4 minutes ago, flyonthewall2983 said:

[There] is, within the product, a push-pull between the nostalgia for when things were better, and the denial that things aren't the same now. 

That denial is so, so strong.

I think it mostly stems from the fact that, on the ledger sheet, the company is making record profits year after year. 

House show attendance, TV ratings, and overall cultural cachet are clear indicators that the WWE, as a brand, is cold and has been getting colder and colder - even during the once-revitalizing WrestleMania seasons. 

But profits are profits so that means Seth Rollins is demonstrably  a bigger star than John Cena according to the yes-men and the WWE cheerleaders who refuse to acknowledge  the obvious: that, while the WWE has been very successful in adding new revenue streams (especially internationally), their original bread-and-butter (actually putting butts in seats for non-Big 4 shows, having people watch their shows on TV regularly, selling pay-per-views) is in the gutter.

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How much do we think the Hollywood trend of going with remakes and reboots ties into WWEs use of nostalgia acts through the mid/late-2010s?

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37 minutes ago, Stiva said:

How much do we think the Hollywood trend of going with remakes and reboots ties into WWEs use of nostalgia acts through the mid/late-2010s?

If that Hollywood trend happened in the '70s, I'd say it was related to what's happening now in WWE.

There's no way WWE has its finger on the pulse of anything from this decade.

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