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  • However there is still a major difference in WWE wrestling now vs 15 or more years ago. They have a true developmental training center that is aired on TV, where performers can work out everything. They can be taken off TV without a question of why, and re-emerge without the same question. A guy like Dream who is turning 25, it the WWE does not think, (as I and you Coach agree) that his gimmick is a main roster and main event worthy, then they can easily do a gimmick modification in NXT over the next year or 2 to make it work better.

    I get that there aren't territories, and AEW has not been around long enough to be a game changer to the WWE as WCW was, and Impact seems to be lost. BUT with NXT, the WWE can create and tweak new stars.

    Yes, Stunning Steve Austin could not beat Hogan, Macho, Flair etc, but he was a multiple time champion, with years of experience by the time he made it to the WWF at 30-31. And his push started at 32, then lightning struck. The Rock is a unique talent, but he was 25 at his mega push, Undertaker was about 25 at the start of his push, Angle was 32, Lesnar was 23-24, Orton was 23-24, Edge was around 27, Jericho was 30, HBK was 27-30, HHH was 28, and yes Cena was around 25.

    So the WWE DOES have history of making and finding stars who were on the south end of 30 or just above. I just listed the top stars of the past 20-30 years of the WWE and they all got their start from 23-32 years old.

    Rock, Austin, Angle, Taker, Orton, Cena, Lesnar, Edge, HBK, HHH, and Jericho. Not one of them were 35+ at the start of their main event pushes and they all have been around for 10-15+ years each since their push, except for career ending injuries.
    Last edited by Powder; 06-12-2020, 02:07 PM.

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    • Originally posted by Powder View Post
      BUT with NXT, the WWE can create and tweak new stars.
      You say that, but NXT has existed for ten years, and the performance center for seven, and they haven't managed to make a star out of it yet. And they only managed one in the decade before that (unless you want to majorly lower the threshold of what a star is).

      "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Prime Time View Post
        You say that, but NXT has existed for ten years, and the performance center for seven, and they haven't managed to make a star out of it yet. And they only managed one in the decade before that (unless you want to majorly lower the threshold of what a star is).
        Reigns, Ambrose, Rollins, Charlotte, Becky, Sasha, Bayley, The Miz, Big E, Kofi, Daniel Bryan, Shaemus to an extent Balor ,Corbin and Alexa Bliss all clear examples of how wrong you are.

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        • None of whom are stars. I love some of those guys, but not one of them is a star. They all only matter to the handful of wrestling fans who are left and no one else.

          "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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          • How are they not stars? Because they do not cross over to the main stream?

            Becky was on the season premiere of Billions 2 months ago, Reigns has been in a few movies, so has Ambrose. The Miz is all over the 'Hollywood scene' He hosts shows, on radio, TV, talk shows etc.

            Being a star in wrestling, is never going to be like it was during the 1980s wth Hogan and Macho, or during the mid to late 90s with the nWo and the AE, ever again, but to say that Reigns, Ambrose, Rollins, Charlotte, Becky, Sasha, Bayley, The Miz, Big E, Kofi, Daniel Bryan, Shaemus to an extent Balor ,Corbin and Alexa Bliss are not stars is just having horse blinders on.

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            • Honestly, we're not even talking about the mainstream. WWE hasn't been mainstream since, what, 2001? WWE has lost a fuck load of hardcore fans in that time - and if you can't draw wrestling fans, then you're not a star. That's not to say they don't have ability. That's not to say that well presented, they couldn't have been stars. But they're not, as they have been presented.

              You can throw out insults as much as you want, it doesn't change the fact that at the top level none of them move the needle, and none of them have mass recognition, and you really need to be able to claim at least one of those things to be a star. And it's simply lowering the standard of what a star is to pretend otherwise, lowering it to the point the whole concept becomes meaningless.

              "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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              • No matter what level of star we are talking about, I think it's fair to call the names Powder listed as WWE stars. Just because they aren't monumental crossover mainstream stars does not mean they aren't stars in the WWE Universe. Same goes for movies. Tom Cruise is a major mega star, but Aubley Plaza still had the starring role in the Child's Play remake, therefore she is a star in that universe of fan (I know, dumb PEN horror reference, but I think you'll get the idea)

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                • I mean sure if you come at it that way, but that's not really the kind of star anyone is talking about when they talk about making stars in wrestling. By definition, you are that kind of 'star' whenever you feature in a starring role. So anyone could theoretically be a star just by being cast, and so saying someone is or isn't a star would ultimately be meaningless.

                  But ultimately, if you are called a star but you don't bring viewers in simply because they want to see you, or you aren't well known enough that people picked at random will know who you are, then you're not *really* a star: you're an actor. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it is what it is. And it's the same principle here. It means nothing to be a "WWE star" if WWE has no genuine stars (outside the ones made a generation ago). And the sad truth is WWE have made their talent largely interchangeable - certainly to the point that there's no evidence of any real stardom in any of them.

                  "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                  • I disagree. Just because you can put anyone in the main event doesn't mean they do put just anyone in the main event. They use their top people to do that, and therefore the stars.

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                    • If a star doesn't have to have anything about them other than being called a star by the company, then OK., that would follow. But to be honest, that's still a pretty feeble kind of star, and if that's the level we're drawing the line at now, that says plenty by itself about where stardom in wrestling is at.

                      And if you disagree that's fine, but it's just not enough for me. I will maintain that you need to be able to point to something else, something better than just your boss calling you a star and putting you in a high profile spot. George Gulas didn't become a star just because he was in main events. There needs to be something that demonstrates people are convinced. And I've been looking for that for years now and can't find anything to suggest that, Cena and Lesnar aside, anyone has managed it in a long, long time.

                      I will say that my threshold isn't the high points of the 1980s and 1990s. I'm not saying you have to be Austin or Hogan to be a star. That would be ludicrous. But equally, I'm not willing to throw out everything and drop the bar so low that anyone can clamber over it even though most people have never even heard of these stars, never mind want to tune in to see them or could even pick them out of a line-up.

                      "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                      • The way I see it, it's not up to us to say who is the star, or what the tangibles are to be a star, or what amount of reach their name has to be determined as a star. It's up to WWE to decide who is a star. It's their product. So Drew McIntyre is the star of Raw, with Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Brock as other stars since they've been in that role and are still competing around that level. They are all WWE stars. Cena and Brock are crossover stars, as they've reached past WWE.

                        I've never read about anyone claiming they aren't stars based on your description. Maybe I've misunderstood all these years, though.

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                        • The way I've always understood it, the traditional model is that a star is someone who sells tickets above and beyond what you could expect to do if they weren't on the card. Obviously you have to adjust that slightly for the modern era with modern media and so on, but it's not impossible to do that if you put the work in and allow that there's a certain margin of error involved. Conor McGregor is a star, say, and he's a star using the pro wrestling playbook. UFC has more eyeballs on it, undeniably, when he's in there. Nate Diaz is also a star, though of a lesser magnitude. There are some boxers who are bigger 'stars' than more talented peers, too. If enough people will watch because you are in it, then you're a star. There are similar parallels in TV and Film where some actors have followings and they get vehicles made specifically for them. That's the simple understanding in wrestling, historically. Will the show have more butts in seats if you are on the card? And conversely if you're in that role and you don't have that about you, then you're either holding the place waiting for someone else to come along, or there's something badly wrong.

                          I'd widen it out with an addition: that you're also a star in situations where it might be rather difficult to determine, but when pretty much everyone knows who you are. Like, sometimes you might say blockbusters would draw regardless of who was in them because people like those kind of movies, so how much is it to do with the lead actor?,But if you can go into the street and ask anyone, and they'd know you were, then you have enough name recognition to claim stardom regardless. But you've got to be up in the territory where at least two out of every three people you'd ask would know to qualify that way. But there's some evidence that Cena is now getting that kind of level of recognition which goes a long way to make up for his being on top in a period largely marked by decline.

                          I will say this - when we talk about making stars and the difficulty making stars, and in that conversation Powder's example was NXT making stars, the version you're using doesn't work in that kind of conversation. Because the WWE could always make the kind of star you are talking about, under any circumstances, simply by deciding it's the case. By saying NXT could help them make stars it necessarily implies the possibility that they could fail to do so, which means that in the way we're talking about it must be - at some level - out of WWE's control.



                          So you know, if you mean there are literally people on the wrestling programme in a starring role, yes, you're not wrong, and all those guys might fit into that bracket - and presumably would not, the minute they were no longer booked as stars. But in terms of doing the things that wrestling stars are traditionally understood as doing, and what I believe is the common discourse around stardom and wrestling, none of them have really managed it. Some have come closer than others - it's not a total washout across the board. Becky Lynch was threatening to break through most recently and one or two others have come closer (though some on that list wouldn't even belong in the conversation, honestly).

                          "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                          • But the difference is that that people who the WWE chooses do not always pan out. Look at the current WWE champion, Drew McIntyre. 11 years ago in 2009, at 24 year old, he was the Chosen One in gimmick and literal meaning. The WWE (Vince) hand picked him to be the future of the company but he failed miserably. He subsequently went away honed his craft and became a star.

                            Also look at the Rock. He was also hand picked and he failed harder than Drew intitially, but he was cut loose and allowed to shine and became one of the greatest of all time. But he initially failed as well.

                            John Cena was almost fired because he failed at finding his gimmick.

                            SCSA was fired from WCW and is the biggest draw of all time.

                            Jericho was let go from WCW because they did not see his talent, and he almost lost his spot after debuting in the WWE.

                            Batista was told he would never become anything by WCW, and was almost not included in Evolution.

                            Not everyone the WWE picks becomes stars. They do not have 'it', or charisma, or can't cut that promo, or just do not connect with the audience, but others do. Becky was made by the WWE, but she made herself, helped with a miscue from Nia. CM Punk was held back by the WWE but became a huge star despite them. Same for Daniel Bryan. They really tried to kill Bryan's momentum, but the crowd did not let them.

                            Sometimes the WWE gets it wrong, but they also get it right.

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                            • Prime, I think you use the term "star" the way I use "draw". And to me they are different in this context and discussion.

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                              • Most of the names you list there are stars, but most are also stars from 20 years ago, when WWE had no problem making stars. As for the more recent names you list in that last post.... it's a better list than the first one because here, you've at least only cited people who threatened to break through at one point (except Drew, where there's literally no evidence of that - though to give WWE and Drew their due, it's still early on that). Ultimately though, they were popular with the few wrestling fans who were left, but because they were largely bungled they were never able to reach the kind of level where you'd call them a legit star judging by any kind of normal standard. None really showed any ability to grow WWE's business consistently, nor broke through to gain wider recognition.

                                I agree that Punk and Bryan in particular were in a great position to get over the hump, and should have been managed better in order to achieve that. For a brief while there it looked like Batista might have done, too. Becky might still manage it, though it's looking a longer shot. But that's the best I think you can say. Ultimately the only person who has consistently moved the needle for WWE in the last decade is Brock Lesnar, and he was largely trading off his UFC reputation. Even that's seen diminishing returns in the last 1-2 years.

                                What a lot of it comes down to is the wrestling bubble. What it's done, is left people who still watch not realising just how atypical they are, so they don't see the wider picture. Getting out of that for a bit and doing the research is quite revealing about how the land actually lies.


                                EDIT: Pen, you may use them differently but so far as I can tell historically there isn't much of a difference. Stars draw, and that is what makes them stars. You can either be the star who gets people into the building (either a top star in the main event role or a more general attraction that people will still pay to see), or you can be there to make the star look good and deliver the content in-ring, and everything really boils down to those two roles. When people aren't overcomplicating it all it's a fairly straightforward business in that regard, but of course ego and other human fallibilities get in the way.

                                "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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