I Remember How It Was

This was prior to all the networks, pyro entrances, the storylines. Pro wrestling was different in my day. Entertainment it always was, but not in that category of sports-entertainment that was changed because of demographics.

Yes, demographics. The instrumental part of pro wrestling that dictates how pro wrestling is televised on cable networks and via social media. From this perspective, one could never envision this change.

But, as they say, times have changed And more so, promotions, in particular the WWE and AEW have implemented that formula of virtual fans and other techniques to make up for the absence of no fans in their venue that are to the global pandemic.

So,this is 2020. How much different? Oldtimers will tell you, there is that distinct difference. The entrance of the superstar with themes and pyro, and the overall performances in the ring are distinctly different.

Then again, this is new school vs. the old school and pro wrestling is definitely in that new era and has been different. Many years after the explosion of “Hulkamania” of what was called the WWF in the early 1980’s, this is attributed to demographics and TV ratings.

Oldtimers, like yours truly, want to see more of the traditional holds and moves. Remember matches of headlocks, flying scissors, leg locks and using the ring more. Instead, now, there is more of the storyline that is played out of the ring.

Oh, do I miss the “Camel Clutch” of the Iron Sheik, by the way, as you may be aware, a real Iranian and in that era with Hulk Hogan when pro wrestling made a comeback on national television.

The interview sets up the storyline.  Remember  the late Ray Morgan, Gordon Solie, Gene Okerlund? Their facial expressions told the story as talent took over the microphone. Now, it’s one question from a female and the rest of the story is told.

Nothing against the women and their ability to tell the storyline, and that has added to the diversity of pro wrestling. However, talent on a broadcast is important and will assist with the ratings.

You see, back then, and when pro wrestling was limited on TV, ratings were not an indicator where this business stood when it pertained to fans attending a local arena.

Madison Square Garden had a monthly and sold out crowd when Bruno Sammartino defended his WWWF title reign, a record streak that was eventually stopped by the late Ivan Koloff. And, then, it was a way for Sammartino to drop the strap due to a legitimate injury.

Sammartino, the late and great Hall of Famer, once said to me, “I can’t accept how this has changed. It’s entertainment and not wrestling.”

Indeed, Sammartino was correct. Because this is entertainment, televised pro wrestling in prime time. The ratings continue to determine strength and weak spots for a promotion and that is ongoing with the WWE on Monday and Friday evenings. Wednesday nights the ratings war with NXT and AEW.

Then again, this is new school vs. the old school and pro wrestling is definitely in that new era and has been different. Many years after the explosion of “Hulkamania” of what was called the WWF in the early 1980’s, this is attributed to demographics and TV ratings.

Then again, this is 2020. There will be more change. However, the old-timers still watch. The new era viewing this product can accept the product.

In other words, and from this perspective, pro wrestling will always be here. Old to the new, it’s entertainment. It always was and will continue to be here.

MORE OF KEEP IT IN THE RING FROM THE PAST WITH RICH MANCUSO AND THE NAWA CAN BE VIEWED ON YOU-TUBE ALONG WITH ANNALS OF WFAN SPORTS RADIO BROADCAST WITH JODI MCDONALD. REACH RICH: TWITTER @RING786, FACEBOOK.COM/ RICH MANCUSO,  INSTAGRAM: MANCUSO 786

 

 

 

 

 

 

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