Not to sound like a Debbie Downer, but pro wrestling is dead. Even hardcore fans, who are so absorbed in the soap opera that they rarely understand an outsider’s opinion, can see its decline. The writing has been on the wall for years.
Often referred to as the world’s oldest sport, one has trouble believing that men of yesteryear, dressed to the nines in bedazzled spandex outfit, would jump off of granite columns to the delight of thousands of peasants. No, professional wrestling of today is not the world’s oldest sport. It’s now referred to as sports entertainment, and the entertainment hybrid is slowly dying.
Sure, one can say that pro wrestling is cyclical. Or they can blame the downturned economy as to why people aren’t spending their hard earned bucks on the sports entertainment outfit. But if that were true, other sports would be feeling the hit just as hard as pro wrestling. Yet, Monday Night Football hasn’t taken a hit in the numbers, and UFC is becoming a bold leader in pay per view. A title that pro wrestling once held.
No, the real reason that pro wrestling is dying is because it has consumed itself. Vince McMahon and his corporate entity have monopolized the entire pro wrestling business. There are no more competitors. No more WCW or ECW, which provided fresh content when the WWE style got stale. And without an alternative, disenfranchised fans have only one option. Either watch the WWE product, or stop watching all together. The drop in ratings for WWE Raw shows that many fans have just stopped watching.
A more positive person may chime in and have the opinion that the WWE can turn it around at any moment. But that’s simply not true. It’s not the storylines or even the wrestlers necessarily, that are driving fans away. It’s the WWE as a whole. You can change the way someone dresses, but you can’t change the person they are. No matter how you dress up the WWE product, it’s still WWE.
For a little while it seemed as though TNA Wrestling were going to provide an alternative to the WWE. However, they lack the resources to really compete against or offer a solid alternative to WWE. Their product is still too minor league looking to attract the fans that leave WWE. They have tried luring in fans by signing men like Hulk Hogan, Sting and Jeff Hardy to contracts. But the little spike in ratings burn out, and they’re still left with their small niche audience.
Pro wrestling as is known today, and has been known for the last 30 years or so, is dying. The body is there and there are still some gasps for breathe, but there is no more light in the eyes. Barring a miracle, get ready for a major change.