Our childhood was filled with the memories of ‘The Undertaker’ walking up the entrance ramp and giving us the chills, John Cena never saying no to any challenge (and in the process teaching us a valuable life lesson of never giving up), ‘Stone Cold’ Steven Austin making us give a ‘Hell Yeah!’ to him, Randy Orton being a true savage, and ‘The Shield’ teaching us the true meaning of brotherhood. But most importantly, WWE taught us that in the end, the good always prevails over the bad.
Wrestling has always had its share of critiques who say that it’s scripted and can’t be considered a competitive sport. It is indeed true that the endings are pre-decided, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t require hard work and dedication. The greatest of professional wrestlers have achieved success for the very reason that they were great at their art and made the audience care about their characters. Pro wrestling is all about stories and only those that invoke an emotion in you, be it hatred or sympathy, can be considered successful.
Let’s take the example of an iconic wrestling match and how it narrated one of the greatest stories ever told in the squared ring. It’s the now classic ‘The Undertaker’ vs Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 26. It was about Michael’s legendary career taking on Undertaker’s legendary undefeated streak. The build up was epic in every sense. Shawn’s career was discussed and so was Taker’s dominance, at the grandest of stages. And then came the night of the conclusion of this epic rivalry. The anticipation was beyond the charts. Predictably, the match turned out to be the masterpiece everyone expected, and in the end, the streak was left undefeated but was surely challenged and a career ended, but in the process, was immortalized.
WWE’s revenue is at an all time high with their shows selling out all over the world. The quality of wrestling is insane and so is the character work by their superstars. Representation of women has also improved a lot with many events being led by the women and even talks of a ‘Wrestlemania 35’ main event featuring Ronda Rousey going against Charlotte Flair are catching up with the wrestling fans. Their roster even has a lot of diversity in terms of cultures, which is always a great thing for such a large organization. Humans crave for good content and they have been providing it consistently over the years with memorable characters, stories and rivalries.
WWE has been bringing millions of people together by creating a universal product which can be enjoyed by people of every age, culture, and language, and will continue to do so until it can engage audience with its content – making the audience care about their superstars.