Posted by Steven James Blair
I would first like to say “Hello!” to the WWENEWS.net readers for the first time! I have been hired as a new writer and happy to be a part of this community and I look forward to your comments!
There are seemingly so many wrestling fans out there it is hard to categorize them or pigeon-hole them, it is hard to group them into categories, or say “I know what a wrestling fan is exactly”, or even “I know what a wrestling fan wants.” Rarely, certain people- just do. Especially if we tell them. When it comes to providing entertainment for today’s wrestling fan, it is much different than it was only ten, fifteen or twenty years ago.
On the week of the launch of the biggest thing in Wrestling history, close to the thirtieth anniversary of Wrestlemania, we get ready for the WWE Network. Everyone knows how big of an event this is, but do they truly understand the magnitude of what is now possible? A huge event indeed, not only for the WWE Corporation, Its shareholders, the “best-for-business”, blah, blah, blah, but for every wrestler, (not only in the WWE). For the true fans of the business.
Never before has there been a definitive library that is accessible in an instant for everyone who has ever wanted to know the history of a certain superstar, had a question about a match, missed a pay per view or just wanted to watch in awe at someone’s style as they performed in their greatest challenge! Never before has an average fan had such access to the history, the records ,and the footage of the all the WWE (WCW & ECW) superstars that we all think we “know” and love. And we get to know them and love them more and more. Well some of them.
As a wrestler myself, I own thousands of hours of VHS tapes that needed to be recorded from cable, network and local television or pay per view, or swapped trough fanatic sites, or purchased through wrestling forums- just in order to view something other than what I could see on TV or live in my area. When I was a kid, wrestling did not come on the weekdays and if you wanted to know more, you did not have the internet to participate in, let alone ask you for your opinion…(even if they don’t always listen to it) . If I wanted to learn the craft – and envisioned my own life inside that squared circle- I had to write away to newsletters, that you would wait and wait and wait to receive back in the mail for the next little tidbit of inside information you could gather on the working of the business that I loved and wanted so desperately to understand. It was always felt like a big secret and everyone was hiding how the wrestling business really worked.
Having grown up idolizing the likes of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, The Killer Bees, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio Jr., these individuals all had an impact on me. I needed to research, understand, study and learn all how they came to be the magnificent performers they were in my eyes. So I studied all their tapes, anything I could find. I wish it was just as easy as a couple clicks away back then!
When someone decides to become a wrestler, you model yourself after wrestlers that touched your heart and that made you feel, root and cheer for and, after you learned the truth of the business, you loved who made you boo (but for good reasons!). Once you get “the bug”, you want to know more…you want to know how it works, you want to know the truth! -And once you find out what Kayfabe means, (“in-character” or “acting”) you want to know what’s really behind the curtain. That veil is so much thinner nowadays than it ever has been.
Added, how interactive and seemingly expansive the “WWE Universe” has become (which is only a recent term. What was the “WWE Universe” 6 years ago, before Twitter and Facebook really allowed the fans to express their voices so strongly and instantly?). When I was younger, there were very few ways to find other wrestling fans to even talk about wrestling with, let alone have your opinion help decide the fate of a match live on a pay-per-view or Monday Night RAW through an app on your cell phone. Pretty cool in comparison.
Fans (and pro-wrestlers alike) now have the power, via the internet- to have so much more of a say and voice in able to influence the company now more than ever before, and as someone who has been on both sides of the business, and can attest to – this is a good thing! Because if you do your research, or you look back on any superstar that you have been drawn too, you can find their story, you can find their careers and the history of their struggle, or discover the history of a certain wrestling move or hold, or whats going on behind the curtain as well as the stage, you can pretty much find it- if you look hard enough, and you can even tweet your favourite superstar or friends instantly! If you love this business- you can get information, matches, stats, bios, merchandise, dirt, shoots, sex videos, you name it! within seconds.
The wrestling world is open now more than it ever has been, and as die hard wrestling fans, we should all feel pretty lucky!
Although its not the varied independent circuit styles of wrestling, I can appreciate that every major match we have ever heard about or wanted to see will be now available through the WWE Network.
Never before has the WWE had the ability & potential to be so in-tune with what todays fans wants, yet somehow leaving them feeling so “out-of-tune” as well. Some people struggle to understand the logic behind the booking and the use of talent, discuss opinions over how they think things should be run and what they would do if they had the power to create the wrestling world as they see fit.
The truth is, the fans have more power now than ever to make what they want to happen a reality! The WWE as a company has never been able to listen so close…but I must ask myself sometimes, how much are they really paying attention?
The WWE is responsible to the fans and to their shareholders. WWE is based on developing talent towards what they think YOU want, but if you don’t express what you want, or don’t say / tweet / email / vote / blog / write / create signs / that express what you want…then how can you blame them for not giving it to you?
If you want the next “boom” in wrestling, If you want to see more of someone…we can pretty much create it!! …After all, now that the WWE is public, and the number one show on cable and the number one trend on social media repeatedly, it begs for your input, your contribution and your opinion, so share it honestly and share it with the knowledge and history of the business and those superstars that paved the path for this golden road in wrestling history!
You have never had so much power. Use it Wisely. Someone may actually be listening.
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