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  • WWF in 2000

    I've been watching WWF Raw from 2000 for the past month or so in my gym. This is the best pro wrestling show I've ever watched.

    Just about every segment is structured to protect everyone in it, and advance a story. They're actively working to build new stars by pairing them with established top stars. The shows move and a 90 minute show feels like 60.

    There's a lot of interference, DQ's, countouts, etc. but they also tend to protect guys with roll-ups and wins that come off like a fluke, heels going over dirty, or by using JR and King to cover for the fact that an underneath talent was beaten handedly by a top talent, but held his own for a period.

    I do somewhat wonder where guys like Benoit and Jericho would have been in 2001 if not for WWF buying WCW. That threw everything in the company up in the air. But their three pet projects in 2000 were clearly Jericho, Benoit and Angle. Angle was the one that they pushed first, and it stuck. By summer 2000, Jericho and Benoit are in and out of programs with Rock, Triple H, Undertaker, Kane, etc. Triple H and The Rock also go out of their way to establish Angle and make him look like he's completely on their level. It's brilliant booking.

    Jericho takes a big of a step back -- and by the end of 2001 he's Undisputed Champion -- but Benoit is obviously a guy that they wanted to make a tip top guy in 2000. I wonder how he might have factored it in to the Invasion, or what would have happened had WCW stayed in business and he not gotten hurt. He might have been a permanent main event star three years sooner, rather than kind of floating in the upper mid card.

    It's also cool to see how, with the benefit of hindsight, everything makes so much sense. They're starting to tease Angle vs Triple H over Steph as far back as April, and by June Rock, Angle and Triple H are moving into place for their triple threat at Summerslam. And Benoit, from about mid-April on, week by week has the weight they introduce him at increased by a few pounds (you'd never notice it watching week-to-week) so that by the time he's working with The Rock in July they've gone from announcing him at probably his shoot 220 to closer to 250, so it matches up a little better with The Rock. The little things!

    They made a real attempt with Rikishi as a heel, but it's really obvious that people don't want to boo him, and he doesn't really have the move-set to work as a top heel. They've tailor made him to be a midcard gimmick babyface.

    I'm watching the Raw before the 2000 election right now, and it's hilarious. Lawler briefly cut a promo on Al Gore, comparing him to Right to Censor and JR has to scramble to cover and remind everyone that WWF is a non-partisan company and his views do not reflect WWF.

    Speaking of Right to Censor, they're so unbelievably underrated. According to Bruce Prichard, by 2000 WWF knew they had WCW on the ropes and made the conscious decision to dial the adult content back a bit because they wanted to appeal to a wider audience and more sponsors, and didn't need to be as over the top (plus Russo's influence is gone).

    But watching RTC, it's a thing of beauty. They manage to use this heel stable to effectively dial back the adult nature of the show, but keep the promotion babyface in the process. Let the heel stable get heat by taking away the ho's, changing Billy Gunn from "Mr. Ass", get rid of the wrestling porn star, dial back the number of bra and panties matches, etc. with the babyfaces fighting against it and you have the same effect in the end without the company, via JR and King, having to be heel and explain why the ho's are gone.
    Last edited by Team Farrell; 01-27-2021, 12:48 AM.
    https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
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  • #2
    Do you blame the push from online fans for stronger in-ring content for the change in direction? Meaning how ROH really put a spotlight on regular top quality matches, and setting that expectation for WWE? This ends up causing WWE to move away from protected wins, and into the 50/50 booking?

    Comment


    • #3
      That probably contributed. It really seemed to pick up when they had more time coupled with guys whose primary skills were in-ring. Combine that with guys being less over, and I wonder if that has a lot to do with not being able to do it as much anymore.

      In 2000, people were more interested in hearing Road Dogg's pre-match promo than the match itself. They could go five minutes with Road Dogg picking up a DQ win when Perry Saturn interferes and people had seen the part they came to see. As long as The Dudley Boys put someone through a table, nothing that happened before that made much difference.

      What you didn't see back then were multi-segment matches. Those seem a little bit like a crutch. I know the claim is that they don't try to "fill time" on their show, but I think it's obvious that they recognize that their guys can go 15-20 minutes every week. Most of their roster in 2000 was capable of that as well, but for one reason or another they didn't book it like that.

      People track so much stuff today. I was scrolling twitter last night when I saw someone with a blue checkmark complaining that one match ended in interference and the next ended in a DQ. Maybe it has to do with pundits having more direct influence than they used to?

      It's all kind of led to everybody feeling like they're basically on the same level unless they're currently wrestling for the top title and nobody being over. Maybe if more guys could cut promos like they could in 2000?

      Now's the time to try something different, though. It's not like more people are going to tune out.
      https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
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      Comment


      • #4
        While I won't go as far as to say it's the best wrestling I've ever seen, I did enjoy the hell out of the WWF in 2000 - really through as far as the following WrestleMania. It's genuinely the last spell in wrestling that I think was more hit than miss, or that you don't have to put an asterisk next to. So for example, there was a run there when TNA were putting out entertaining shows that got me interested in the angles, but I don't recall ever seeing a match that stuck in my mind or made me want to go back and rewatch it. So a pretty big asterisk there, and one that doesn't apply to this WWF run. There are half a dozen matches just from Triple H alone that I always thought had tremendous rewatch value.

        As to why they didn't book it like that, I think they had the good sense back then to understand that if every match is a good match, then there's no such thing as a good match. The contrast is key. But the handful of fans who are left don't think like that, and so the company don't tend to concern themselves. They aren't fans of limiting themselves when they don't have to, it seems, even if there are potential rewards for doing so.

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

        Comment


        • #5
          I think Benoit's injury is what truly halted his momentum, he won the Rumble 18 months after returning. And when he returned you still had all the top guys from 2000 plus a Brock Lesnar who was already being groomed as THE guy and Cena, Batista & Orton debuting with the latter talked up from the get-go.

          The worst thing that could've happened to Raw was it going to 3 hours permanently I believe. It's been 8 1/2 years now and while the beginning of Daniel Bryan's main event push from mid-2013 to The Shield breakup was pretty good the rest of the time has generally seen dour and dull episodes with the odd great show chucked in. But when was the last great episode of Raw? Obviously the last 9 months made it virtually impossible to have one but before then, I can't remember one off the top of my head. But I'd hazard a guess at it being in 2018.

          Comment


          • #6
            Coach, in your initial post is exactly the convo I had with Pen last night. 20 years ago the WWE had stories for the entire roster, and did not just use the same 4-6 people over and over again, having the same matches week after week after week. I mean, how many times do we have to see Miz, Morrison, Sheamus and Drew wrestle each other on RAW? It's been about 6-8 weeks of the same guys. Maybe throw in Keith Lee. But where is the other talent? The WWE has a deep roster, but they do not use most of them.

            I have faith in the performers, but they can only do what they are being asked to do, so I cannot blame them. It is clear that the old man has his vision, and it is not connecting with many people. People are tuning out, and ratings are falling, and no new stars are being built.

            Yes performers can still perform until much later in their careers and age than ever before, but in my opinion, those older stars should be used to put over the younger stars. Let's take look at RAW from this past Monday:

            Sheamus (42)
            Goldberg (54)
            Shelton Benjamin (45)
            Bobby Lashley (44)
            MVP (yes he is more of a manager, but still had a match 47)
            The Miz (40)
            Morrison (41)
            Orton (40)
            AJ Styles (43)
            R-Truth (49)

            And the ONE 'new star' Riddle is already 36.

            The throw in the other star that was not used
            Jeff Hardy (43)

            So the future of the WWE is in the hands of guys that are in the last stage of their careers. Do not give me that the some are doing amazing work (Orton and Lashley), I DO NOT CARE, and then compare the ages of the rosters from 2000 vs now. The main focus and ages of the roster of 2000 was around 28-33, now the roster is around 40-50.

            Where is the new, young talent? Where is the new stars that are the future of the company? Hell, even look at NXT. Damien Priest (38) is a supposed call up, Keith Lee (36), Matt Riddle (35), they are all 'older'. Where are the young guys who are hungry and want to prove themselves? back in the AE, we had HHH, The Hardys, E&C, the Dudleys, Angle, Jericho, the Rock, Mick Foley, etc, where all of these guys were the future and were around 28-33 when they arrived and made compelling TV, and you saw the future with all of them. hell even Eddie and Benoit, when they finally arrived in the WWE, were south of 35.

            Again, I know that people are in better shape now at an older age. Better health care, better everything, but if you are building a business where you need to plan for your future, you cannot rely on older talent. Yes Veterans should be there. Yes they should still work. But they should not all be the focus of your show. They should be giving back to the business by getting the next generation ready. It is NOT their fault. This starts at the top (Vince) and it is his decision. My suggestion, is to look to NXT, find the young guys, bring them up and start booking them and using them to build a future.

            This is what AEW is doing. They have their future on screen almost weekly. Adam Page, MJF, Jungle Boy, Ricky Starks, Darby Allin, Hobbs, Wardlow, Sammy Guevara, Rey Fenix, Santana and Ortiz, Private Party. Yes AEW also uses veterans, but they mix it up so that the future is being groomed.
            Last edited by Powder; 01-27-2021, 01:08 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh man, it's about damn tie RTC got some respect - good to see. They were one of my favourite stables at the time, even if I was only 12/13 in 2000, and I think they get a bit unfairly overlooked in retrospectives.

              WM XV is still one of my favourites. I know people say it's got too many multi-man matches on, and the whiff of the McMahons on the main event hurts it, but no lie I really, really like that show from top to bottom.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Powder View Post
                Coach, in your initial post is exactly the convo I had with Pen last night. 20 years ago the WWE had stories for the entire roster, and did not just use the same 4-6 people over and over again, having the same matches week after week after week. i mean, how many times do we have to see Miz, Morrison, Sheamus and Drew wrestle each other on RAW? It's been about 4-6 weeks of the same guys. Maybe throw in Keith Lee. But where is the talent? The WWE has a deep roster, but they do not use most of them.
                See, I don't believe age makes a difference in any way. If guys look good and move well, the number of candles on their birthday cake doesn't make a difference to me. They should still be able to do their thing on top. Some of the reason things felt fresher years ago was that there were two legitimate top companies with guys moving back and forth and it being allowed to happen. When someone like Andrade had nothing happening in WWF and felt like he could do better on his own, they'd let him leave, he'd go to WCW and try to reinvent himself. Then he felt fresh there and if he came back to WWE had a renewed star power.

                I think JR mentioned something on his podcast a few weeks ago about how the "prime" earning years in wrestling have gotten older than they were years ago -- shifting from around 35 to the late 30s -- and a large part of that has to do with improved training and physical care everyone does now. We're trending closer to the 70s and early 80s where guys could make a good living as pro wrestlers well into their 40s (and in the 70s that was into their 50s), but unlike previous years guys are able to keep up with the increasingly athletic and physical style.

                You really didn't have a lot of guys back then in the position of a Sheamus or a Ziggler who had been around in more or less the same position for 15+ years with the company feeling stale. There's a reason AJ was able to go from the big fish in TNA to one of the top stars in the entire industry, and it was because he left the company he'd done everything of interest to do in, and reinvented himself.

                It really is the same rotation of guys on top having matches in 2000. Rarely singles, but triple threats and tag teams and multi-man team matches. They'll throw in someone else here and there, but it's basically the same crew week-to-week. They've picked the three (four when they try in earnest to push Rikishi as a heel) guys that they want to establish and mix them in with the other four or five guys they consider to be their upper echelon but unless, like the episode I watched last night, you have a situation where Triple H teams with DX to face Benoit and the Radicalz, it's not often that midcard guys interact in a meaningful way with the upper card.

                Triple H and Angle did some stuff with T&A in singles and handicap matches. It gave a little bit of a rub to Test, I guess, but it was all done to further the program between Triple H and Angle. Hunter worked a match with Eddie (again, in furthering the love triangle) where the announcers put Eddie over hard but it was a clean win for Hunter.

                Mostly though, if you aren't a contender for the IC Title or above, any interaction you're having with HHH, Austin, Rock or Taker is to embarrass you for a punchline.

                Some of the stuff I'm noticing is that even the short matches are better than today's. Triple H, Angle and Rock did a triple threat on an episode from a few weeks ago (https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xxdm6q) and it was amazing. It went about 10 minutes bell-to-bell, but there were no contrived spots, nobody standing around to catch anyone else, nothing like that. It holds up to any main event on any show today in terms of hard-hitting action and looks like a legitimate fight between three people.

                Benoit looks, visually, like a million bucks at this point. There's one episode where he turns sideways and his arms are wider than his torso. I'm not someone who has any issue watching Benoit stuff, but I will admit it's a little uncomfortable seeing him get physical with or intimidating Stephanie McMahon. At one point Steph slaps him and he registers it, and then smiles all creepy at her and it was just bone chilling knowing where he'd be seven years later.

                I'm wondering who the TLC trio pissed off backstage, though. Someone wants them dead. At one point some combination of the three teams go from TLC, to a table match a week or so later, to a cage match on PPV, to a ladder match on the first episode on TNN. All six guys are limping around for a solid month.
                Last edited by Team Farrell; 01-27-2021, 01:14 PM.
                https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
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                Comment


                • #9
                  However, you still did not really address my point that the people on RAW on Monday are all 40 or above as opposed to the RAW you watched from 21 years ago, where they were all (or mostly) 33 and younger. That makes a huge difference in the future of the company. YES all of the guys on RAW from Monday can still perform on a high level, and look good, but are we supposed to believe that they are the future of the company? No. They are the reason we do not have young stars because Vince won't push the younger talent.

                  Wrestling in this since is like professional sports, in that in order to have your franchise move forward, you need to rebuild. You need young rookies, and younger talent, along with established veterans to help them learn and develop. The veterans can still play, but they are NOT the future of the team. In the WWE almost the entire MALE roster is 35 and older. That is not the future, that is the past.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    See, I don't really care about who's the future. I judge today's product by what they're putting on now as opposed to a potential future that may not come to fruition. Drew and Roman are just barely entering those prime money making years JR mentioned and they're established as 1 and 1A of the company. They'll probably be the top guys for five to 10 years. Killer Kross and Damien Priest could be slotted with them, and unfortunately Bray is going to be there for years to come. Orton has another easy five years in him as a full time talent, and Big E could be on top for five or six if he doesn't even make it there for another few.

                    There is literally nobody on the roster today in their 20s that, when I close my eyes, I see as a top star. Maybe Austin Theory. He reminds me of John Cena in 2002. Otherwise, the next crop of "top talent" that'll be on top a decade from now probably isn't even in the company, and might be just getting started right now.

                    The truth is, with very few exceptions (Angle, Rock, Rousey, Cena, Batista and Orton are the only ones that jump to mind) you don't get "top guy" good until 10-15 years in the sport. We're seeing that now with Roman getting comfortable and coming in to his own, Drew really breaking out, Big E starting to come into his own, etc.

                    The future is fine.

                    EDIT: Shit, I don't recall Bobby Lashley ever being injured. He's in his mid-40s and showing no signs of physical degradation. He could wrestle until he's 50 if he can maintain that physique.
                    Last edited by Team Farrell; 01-27-2021, 01:33 PM.
                    https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
                    My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Powder View Post
                      Coach, in your initial post is exactly the convo I had with Pen last night. 20 years ago the WWE had stories for the entire roster, and did not just use the same 4-6 people over and over again, having the same matches week after week after week. I mean, how many times do we have to see Miz, Morrison, Sheamus and Drew wrestle each other on RAW? It's been about 6-8 weeks of the same guys. Maybe throw in Keith Lee. But where is the other talent? The WWE has a deep roster, but they do not use most of them.

                      I have faith in the performers, but they can only do what they are being asked to do, so I cannot blame them. It is clear that the old man has his vision, and it is not connecting with many people. People are tuning out, and ratings are falling, and no new stars are being built.

                      Yes performers can still perform until much later in their careers and age than ever before, but in my opinion, those older stars should be used to put over the younger stars. Let's take look at RAW from this past Monday:

                      Sheamus (42)
                      Goldberg (54)
                      Shelton Benjamin (45)
                      Bobby Lashley (44)
                      MVP (yes he is more of a manager, but still had a match 47)
                      The Miz (40)
                      Morrison (41)
                      Orton (40)
                      AJ Styles (43)
                      R-Truth (49)

                      And the ONE 'new star' Riddle is already 36.

                      The throw in the other star that was not used
                      Jeff Hardy (43)

                      So the future of the WWE is in the hands of guys that are in the last stage of their careers. Do not give me that the some are doing amazing work (Orton and Lashley), I DO NOT CARE, and then compare the ages of the rosters from 2000 vs now. The main focus and ages of the roster of 2000 was around 28-33, now the roster is around 40-50.

                      Where is the new, young talent? Where is the new stars that are the future of the company? Hell, even look at NXT. Damien Priest (38) is a supposed call up, Keith Lee (36), Matt Riddle (35), they are all 'older'. Where are the young guys who are hungry and want to prove themselves? back in the AE, we had HHH, The Hardys, E&C, the Dudleys, Angle, Jericho, the Rock, Mick Foley, etc, where all of these guys were the future and were around 28-33 when they arrived and made compelling TV, and you saw the future with all of them. hell even Eddie and Benoit, when they finally arrived in the WWE, were south of 35.

                      Again, I know that people are in better shape now at an older age. Better health care, better everything, but if you are building a business where you need to plan for your future, you cannot rely on older talent. Yes Veterans should be there. Yes they should still work. But they should not all be the focus of your show. They should be giving back to the business by getting the next generation ready. It is NOT their fault. This starts at the top (Vince) and it is his decision. My suggestion, is to look to NXT, find the young guys, bring them up and start booking them and using them to build a future.

                      This is what AEW is doing. They have their future on screen almost weekly. Adam Page, MJF, Jungle Boy, Ricky Starks, Darby Allin, Hobbs, Wardlow, Sammy Guevara, Rey Fenix, Santana and Ortiz, Private Party. Yes AEW also uses veterans, but they mix it up so that the future is being groomed.
                      What you discussed was that Twitter was complaining about Goldberg being back, and I said these complaints don't matter. These twitter complaints are from people that will mostly still pay to watch the Rumble. Vince doesn't care. This isn't to say there's not a problem with what WWE is doing, but listening to twitter complaints isn't the push towards change.


                      Age isn't a factor. Most people don't watch the show thinking about Sheamus being 42. They watch Sheamus and see a bad ass who can kick 98% of the roster's (and audiences) ass. This to me is the REAL issue at hand. Those complaints about Undertaker wanting wrestling to go back to when wrestlers were "men" are hollow and pathetic because they aren't thinking of what that means. No matter what anyone tells me, I don't take Kenny Omega seriously as a world champion. It's not that he sucks, but he doesn't make me believe he can beat people up. Sheamus at 42 does that. This isn't about size or look either, but presentation. Wrestlers in 2000 who were at the top of the card all presented themselves as bad asses. Rock, Austin, Benoit, Undertaker, Kane...etc. Angle didn't act like a tough guy, but he did act like he could beat anyone up due to his skills.

                      This isn't about knocking AEW either. I think that's the same issue WWE ran into with Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho... All are wildly talented, but didn't present themselves as someone who can beat up the entire roster. They all had moments of doing it, but their main characteristics were that they worked hard and were athletically talented. There's a calling for this type of wrestler, but I really don't think it's a coincidence that when Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were the top guys in WWF, the company struggled. Finn Balor and Tomasso Ciampa in NXT, despite being smaller, do a better job at portraying themselves as tough champions than Jericho/Guerrero/Bryan...etc. They make themselves believably tough.

                      What I got out of Undertaker's comments was that wrestling needs a better presentation of toughness. Roman and Drew are awesome at that, and thankfully can deliver in the ring as well as work the mic, so no one has a problem right now. But the rest of the roster is still figuring out how to get there. Keith Lee being sent to the PC is likely part of that. He's awesome, but he doesn't have an aura of someone who is a champion above Bobby Lashley.

                      Part of the problem is the idea that GREAT MATCHES WITH CLEAN FINISHES are in demand from the fickle online crowd, and I personally do blame these fans for ruining what I feel is missing from wrestling today. Online fans want WWE to be AEW. Well, that's stupid. The reason AEW is working out is because they are purposely going for a different style and audience than WWE. Yes, all wrestling fans want similar things, but there are so many approaches to wrestling, and people prefer those different approaches. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: good wrestling matches aren't hard to find. As dire as Raw can be, we still had the good Riddle vs Hurt Business gauntlet match last Monday, as well as the very solid Sheamus matches vs Miz/Morrison.

                      Where you do bring up a point is seeing the same people all the time, and that's where AEW definitely excels at. If Vince was booking AEW, Jon Moxley would be on every week, and Moxley wouldn't feel as special. I haven't watched Raw from 2000, but I'm willing to bet that while those main event stars are around more often than we see Mox on Dynamite, they are doing enough different things to be fresh. It's not 84 rematches like Orton vs Drew. Raw isn't starting with lengthy promos and too much time on intros.

                      I think the biggest difference overall, and this is without having watched any WWF Raw from 2000 in 21 years, is that today's product is way too formulaic. I doubt there's a noticeable formula to those shows.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PEN15v2 View Post
                        Where you do bring up a point is seeing the same people all the time, and that's where AEW definitely excels at. If Vince was booking AEW, Jon Moxley would be on every week, and Moxley wouldn't feel as special. I haven't watched Raw from 2000, but I'm willing to bet that while those main event stars are around more often than we see Mox on Dynamite, they are doing enough different things to be fresh. It's not 84 rematches like Orton vs Drew. Raw isn't starting with lengthy promos and too much time on intros.
                        It's actually quite interesting to see what they did back then with top guys. The top guys tend to be in a match of some sort, often a tag or six man intertwining two different angles, or a triple threat with the same idea that'll feature a run-in from the odd man out. If you get a straight up singles match between two top guys it's either going to be super short, have interference/DQ or just be a brawl that never gets started -- Foley booked Kane vs Benoit a few episodes ago and rather than work a match they just brawled around ringside then and there until security separated them.

                        But there are a lot of promos and backstage segments with these guys. Once they establish what the main event will be, they're constantly going back to catch up with the people involved in that match throughout the night and playing out a story.

                        The Rock's strong point is promos, obviously, so he typically has an in-ring promo segment every week. Kurt Angle is good as a promo, but excels in the ring so he's not typically the one getting the extended promo segment and his in-ring promos are kept short and sweet or used to interrupt people.

                        I didn't realize it until this week, but Austin doesn't wrestle on free TV for over a month after his return. And even then it's in a big cage match vs Rikishi following their pay per view match, and a tag match where his partner is attacked before the match and the whole match is essentially an angle in wrestling gear.

                        Obviously you see the formula watching it in rapid succession: the show opening promo from Rock, Triple H or Foley, the hardcore match right as things might otherwise start to lull, etc., but even that's changed up often enough that it doesn't get tiresome. Sometimes they'll put the opening promo in seg 2 and kick it off with a hard-hitting Benoit match. A few episodes ago the "hardcore match to pick things up" was just an extended brawl between Jacqueline and Lita with weapons, a fire extinguisher and a well shot moonsault off a production truck spot that completely hid the crash pad Lita landed on.

                        One thing that I don't think they're great at today is knowing when the show is going to drag, and so to put something interesting in there. Maybe a return of the Hardcore Title rather than the 24/7 Title is in order, so that instead of Scooby Doo chases and a school boy, you get plunder fight in the back to break up some monotony.

                        Their creativity is really good too. The 24/7 rule ran its course and needs a little bit of a break? Rather than make some grand proclamation from someone, just give Steve Blackman an extended run with the belt, have him easily dispatch of a few guys trying to jump him from behind on night one, and explain for a few weeks during his intro that because he's a self-defense master nobody dares try to take advantage of the 24/7 rule.

                        In terms of wrestlers not seeming as "tough" today, I think there's a lot to that. 32 year old me knows that Kurt Angle is a badass and he could handle most of that roster. 12 year old me didn't believe that nerd stood a chance against The Undertaker. I would bet that if I were 12 today, I wouldn't believe that Kenny had a shot against Brian Cage or there was any way The Miz wasn't going to be easily beaten by Drew.

                        So many people misunderstood Undertaker's comments. He said the product is "soft" and Drew talked about how it's harder hitting than ever before. That's not what Undertaker meant. He meant that all the hard edges have been sanded off. It's sterile. It looks like American Idol visually. In 2000 there was an honest feeling that anything could happen at any second. It felt more dangerous, even with fewer legitimately dangerous spots.

                        Kurt Angle had his Championship celebration and the ringside area was covered in confetti for the rest of the night. When someone went through the announce table, they sat at a wooden table or just had the monitors sitting on the floor for the rest of the night. Actions had consequences and everything didn't feel sterile and safe. Now, someone gets speared through the pod in the first of two (ugh) Elimination Chamber matches of the night and rather than that action having a consequence and WWE having to get creative with laying out a match, that pod is magically fixed by the second. Someone goes through the announce table in seg 2, and it's fixed by seg 3 like nothing ever happened so that someone else can go through it in seg 7. Someone got lawn darted into the screen on one of the shows recently and they didn't even shut off the LED board, they flickered it a few times and it was right back to normal 30 seconds later.

                        That's my biggest takeaway. How I miss it feeling a little grittier, less sanitized and safe. It felt like a show where anything could happen. It's as simple as the barricades being a brighter, friendlier, grey colour now as opposed to black, and LED boards covering every inch of the ring that they can instead of a steel post in the corner. I watch it thinking "man, this ringside area looks like it hurts," when someone take a bump on the floor or eats a post, as opposed to today where the size of the posts have increased 10 fold and everything looks safe to land on.

                        Security isn't around to separate people anymore either. It might not be something you notice, but subconsciously it has you asking how bad this fight could really be if they're just letting it happen. It used to be that if Angle and Triple H started fighting, security and referees would be trying to break it up, the bell would be sounding, it was pandemonium and it was exciting and it got you paying attention to what was happening on the screen.
                        Last edited by Team Farrell; 01-27-2021, 05:18 PM.
                        https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
                        My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show

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                        • #13
                          I'm honestly not that familiar with WWF 2000 firsthand, but I've really enjoyed all I've seen. I know it's the heyday of Chris Kreski and his beautiful storyboards backstage in creative, and without Russo injecting his brand of Russo-ness in there, plus WCW nicely donating some of their best wrestlers at the start of the year, it's a big recipe for success.

                          The talking point about short matches resonates with me very strongly as well. I've been watching a lot of 97-98 Nitros and matches over 10 minutes are so rare, yet I can't say I miss them at all. There are times I enjoy the longer matches of today but one of the worst things that happened to wrestling was the idea that a longer match = a better match, it's often just not true.

                          The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!

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                          • #14
                            "The One" Bully Gunn's theme song is really underrated.

                            I just watched William Regal cut a heel promo a week after the 2000 election about how confusing the whole thing was and how the US would be better off with a monarch so they wouldn't have to worry about elections. It was resoundly boo'd. In 2020 the week after the election, you throw in a line or two about the Deep State and that's a babyface promo for like 20 per cent of people. My how times have changed.
                            https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
                            My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show

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                            • #15
                              RE: Powder's point on ages - I'm not sure that we, as fans, should really care how old someone is. If they're doing entertaining stuff in the ring and not falling apart every five minutes because their neck is made of breadsticks or their muscles are basically jelly, then it's fine. Let the people who will actually depend on WWE being around in 10-15 years worry about who will be on top in 10-15 years, and sit back while enjoying what is coming out now.

                              Like with Goldberg - sure, he's 54, but if he springs up for an entertaining angle and match with Drew, does that matter?

                              I was about to mention Chris Kreski and then I see mizfan has got in there ahead of me - that storyboard type of story telling just feels right to me, and allows so much more long-term structure. And I guess it plays into what Coach is saying about everything happening for a reason to further the story of the top guys, or at least something which furthers another story. Nothing that's just decided upon for shock value, or ill thought out happening - basically no 'fat' around the story.

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