In Punk We Trust: Bring Us Hope & Reality

Justin LaBar

CM Punk to Bill Simmons on ESPN Radio: “I wanna make this s**t cool again.”

Someone tweeted me yesterday a great statement which I re-tweeted that said people should stop trying to compare this to the attitude era and worry about creating a new era. Punk then said on the ESPN podcast that he is not Stone Cold. He is CM Punk. Let's make this the “Reality Era.”

Attitude era was the appropriate type of content to follow up to an era of cartoon type programming. A reality era is the appropriate type of content to have in this time of reality TV and immediacy reaction. If people want behind the scenes, ability to hash-tag comments with the world while they watch something live, comment on something on their own websites, podcast and shows, then let's give them content to satisfy. Give them content that is rich with intrigue to fill these mediums they have and stories that cross over into those mediums.

We are in an era where a viral video online of CM Punk crashing a ComicCon is of equal or of more effectiveness to a traditional wrestling promo backstage or in the ring.

We are in an era when the main event for the next WrestleMania has had been made for 5 months and nearly all of its build has took place on a computer screen.

CM Punk returns with new music (or old music depending on how you look at it) and immediately that famous 1988 song by Living Colour is in the top 100 of downloads on iTunes. This shows the Midas touch of Punk and another example of something happening on screen for wrestling and there being an internet response.

When Eric Bischoff started using a phrase called “10% ers.” Many people interpreted it as 10 percent of the wrestling audience were online. That is incorrect. Bischoff clarified this in an interview he did here on Wrestlezone a month ago when he said the “10% ers” he was talking about was 10 percent of the total online wrestling fan population. He doesn't nor do any of us know an accurate percentage of how much of the wrestling audience are active members of the internet wrestling population. Could be 25% or it could be 75%.

It seems that for every 1 person who may stop following wrestling, you have at least 2 people who on the same day are added members of the internet wrestling population.

They might be kids who have finally gotten their own computers and stumbled upon wrestling sites and such online. They might be people of any age who heard about the activity online for wrestling fans and become active members. Or in the case of this CM Punk situation, fans who were once interested in the product have become fans again and this time around are becoming active online because every year the internet expands more and more in peoples lives. Just look at the growth of things such as Facebook among professionals and business. Everyone is using internet more. So the famous IWC is going to grow.

Don't take this past what I am saying, I don't think the internet wants and thoughts should be the end all be all of what is good in wrestling/sports entertainment but I do think they can be a valuable focus group.

Click to the next page for LaBar's thoughts on Mark Madden's recent column and more!

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