Welcome to the debut edition of WrestleZone’s "Inbox," where we answer all of your pro wrestling questions and respond to any comments you may have during the week. If you have a question or a comment and would like to see it responded to right here on the website, be sure to email us at WZInbox@yahoo.com!
The First Question Comes From Cory
Me and my friends have been arguing over Rhyno (yes Rhyno). I think ECW had the right idea with Rhyno. He was a powerhouse and a Main eventer. WWE and TNA screwed up with Rhyno. WWE because Vince doesn’t like anyone who made it big before coming to the WWE and TNA manages to screw up just about everything.
My friend thinks both TNA and WWE had the right idea with Rhino. You use him as a short time filler, to charge up the crowd. That’s what he’s good for, and that’s how you use him.
Who do you think had the right idea with Rhyno?
Without question I would say that ECW had the right idea with Rhyno, but you have to remember that the old ECW had a different aim than TNA and WWE currently have for their respective products. TNA and WWE are sports entertainment companies, and in addition to good wrestling ability, sometimes not even that is a requirement, the talent that wrestle for their promotions are character based, and Rhyno never excelled on the mic. Fans of ECW required a different set of criteria from the wrestlers they watched, and were namely interested in talent who could get it done in the ring. Rhyno was a brute force talent, much like Taz was when he was at the top of his game in ECW, but unfortunately, he could not connect to the audience as a character in WWE. Personally I thought the TNA audience responded to him much better, so I don’t see why TNA couldn’t have found a better use for him and his in-ring potential.
The following is from Aaron
If WWE really insists on a PG rating, why not set aside a show specifically for that? ECW would probably be the best for this. If Mysterio is over most with the kids, put him on the ECW as a top face, along with some other guys who appeal to the kids (Hornswoggle, Cena, etc.), some younger guys from developmental, and maybe 2-3 older guys to work with them and help get them over (Christian, Finlay, Hacksaw, etc.) and ready for RAW/Smackdown. That way they could have the best of both worlds. Kids would have a PG show designed specifically for them, and adults and teens would have the TV-14 shows. Every show would probably see a rise in viewers.
This is not an entirely bad idea, but I feel the need to respond to the many people who claim that WWE’s current product is suffering because of the PG rating. WWE DOES NOT need to return to its old TV-MA/Attitude period of programming to put out a good product. TV-PG should not imply an automatic programming for children mindset, as there are plenty of TV-PG shows and movies out there that adults can and do enjoy on a regular basis. What WWE needs it to work creatively within the confines of their PG rating.
The age-old question of do you market pro wrestling towards kids or adults has been around for years, and the bottom line is that the smart business move is to market towards kids because they are the ones who are buying the merchandise, which is a huge percentage of WWE’s revenue. If you were to book talent on an "adult" oriented show only, you would lose out on the possible merchandise sales you could get from that particular talent.
This does not imply, however, that story lines need to be dumbed-down or focused on characters like Hornswoggle who have ridiculous magic leprechaun powers. Children are a lot more intelligent than a company like WWE gives thinks they are, and are capable of enjoying story lines that can appeal to adults as well.
The following is from Ramon
How do you think WWE and TNA will cope over the next few years (say maybe 5-10 years etc), as many of its big stars begin to leave or retire etc? (like Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, etc…) And do you think that the younger talent in both WWE and TNA will be able to fill the voids left by those big main event stars?
At this point I’d say WWE will cope with it a hell of a lot better than TNA currently will. TNA has a bad track record of making WCW-like mistakes in booking ex-WWE or veteran talent over the youth of their roster. TNA has not created break out stars in the pro wrestling industry with the possible exception of Samoa Joe and AJ Styles, and even their stars are begin to fade in brightness as TNA continues to book them improperly. It all comes down to creating new stars, and giving them unique personalities that the audience wants to see more of. I think the reason why you don’t see guys like Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase getting over with the fans is because they are not characters, plain and simple. They’re Cody and Ted, and we don’t feel a larger than life sense of character that was so present in talent like Hogan, Savage, The Rock and Stone Cold. WWE needs to get back to creating larger than life characters who are grounded in reality, but have depth and abilities which are just out of a "normal" person’s grasp.
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