Russo is joined on today’s show by Big Vito.

Vito says he’s quite concerned about the state of professional wrestling today. He points out that kayfabe can still work if performers tried to protect it, but today’s generation takes the business for granted. He adds that trying to out-flip each other one match after the next on an indie show is not the way to earn new fans, especially when a lot of those performers don’t look like professional wrestlers.

Russo thinks there’s a couple of things that could happen which would result in the old style of professional wrestling returning. He believes fans will continue to tune out because eventually performers will not be able to show fans any new moves. Everything will be done, and then fans will get bored of this flip-flop style.

Secondly, he points out that the change could occur when performers start dropping like flies due to injury. When this happens, maybe promoters and the performers themselves will realize that not only does this style not sell to a mainstream audience, it’s also very dangerous and will shorten performers’ careers.

Russo says that it really bothers him when he talks to younger indie performers and they claim that they’re evolving the wrestling business. He’d have no issue if they claimed that they’re changing the business, but they certainly shouldn’t claim to be evolving it. If you take the psychology, characters and storylines out of professional wrestling, you can no longer call it professional wrestling.

Russo goes on to say that if today’s style of professional wrestling is so popular, Undertaker, Triple H, Shane McMahon, Kurt Angle, and all these other iconic performers wouldn’t be headlining the bill at WrestleMania each year. If this new style was so popular, guys like Nakamura and Finn Balor would be the top stars in the industry and they’d be headlining WrestleMania without hesitation. Instead, Stephanie McMahon is putting her wrestling boots back on and working an angle with Ronda Rousey because that’s what draws.

Vito agrees entirely and points out that if Hulk Hogan was still working for WWE, we’d probably see Hogan challenge John Cena at WrestleMania. Even though Hogan can’t move like he used to, this match would draw huge numbers and everyone would tune in to see that WrestleMania moment. The same could be said for a potential Undertaker/Sting match.

Iconic characters who the fans invest in through captivating storylines will always draw more than two guys who are just fake fighting for the sake of it. This is the reason that new stars are never at the top of the bill for WrestleMania each year, and it’s the reason that WWE relies on the old guard to put asses in seats at WrestleMania each year.

Russo points out that during the attitude era, WWE was never forced to bring in talents from the past in order to sell tickets because the roster at that time was absolutely stacked with talents who were over. The bottom line is Vince McMahon has zero confidence in this new generation of performers in Russo’s opinion.

Russo gives credit to WWE for making WrestleMania into a Superbowl-esque event, and he thinks they’d probably sell out WrestleMania each year regardless of who’s main-eventing. However, if their goal is to continue to attract new fans, the new style of professional wrestling is not what they should be highlighting because that’s not a mainstream style.

Vito thinks that WWE should make NXT into its own brand and this would give fans an alternative option in terms of what to watch on a Monday night. He thinks if NXT were to go head to head against RAW on Mondays, NXT would actually end up drawing more numbers than RAW. This would also create a competitive environment again, similar to the Monday Night Wars back in the day.

Russo points out that some fans might jump from RAW to NXT, but the majority of the NXT audience would be the smart marks. For this reason, he doesn’t think the NXT roster would ever develop bigger stars than RAW roster.

That sums up today’s episode of Vince Russo’s The Brand. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya tomorrow for another recap!

Tags: WrestleMania
Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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