Flashback to December 15, 1997, nearly 18 years ago, and you will find a WWE (known as the WWF back then) on the decline, similar to what it is today, but for a different reason.
In the midst of the Monday Night Wars, WWE's Monday Night Raw and WCW's Monday Nitro were battling it out to sit at the top of TV ratings, and WWE needed a new edge to beat out its rival. The Attitude Era was born.
In the video of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon officially introducing the new era of wrestling, he said: "This is a conscious effort on our part to "Open the Creative Envelope", so to speak, in order to entertain you in a more contemporary manner."
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He also said: "We, in the WWF, think that you, the audience, are quite frankly, tired of having your "intelligence insulted". We also think that you're tired of the same old simplistic theory of "Good Guys VS Bad Guys". Surely the era of "The super-hero urge you to say your prayers and take your vitamins" is definitely, passe."
Doesn't this sound like the advice Mr McMahon should be listening to today due to the current state of the WWE ratings?
You can't revert back to the Attitude Era. That time has come and gone and should only be looked upon with fond memories, not to be emulated. However, the WWE can still change today by listening to us, reopening the Creative Envelope, and stop insulting our intelligence.
John Cena doesn't need to prevail by the end of every feud, The Wyatt Family doesn't need to lose at every PPV, great mid card stars that have a great fan connection should be given title opportunities. WWE needs to speak and listen to its fanbase once again to see what they want like they did 18 years ago.
The company is looking for another boom, but reverting back to previous storylines isn't the right way. Just look at how the finale of Survivor Series played out between Roman Reigns, Triple H and Sheamus storyline, and tell me you don't see the Daniel Bryan, Triple H and Randy Orton storyline from SummerSlam 2013.
You can't force the crowd to like something, especially if it was an organic reaction like it was for Bryan. It's not the right way to go because fans aren't going to be interested in something which they have seen before.
Wrestling fans are the most loyal fans in the world until you slap them in the face. The way which WWE ratings have dropped show fans are tired of being slapped. There's only so much bad booking you can watch before you stop wasting your time as it is clear it isn't going to improve and some fans have started to give up.
The question is, will the WWE realise this and have another eureka moment like they did in 1997 before it's too late?
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