Why the casual fans stopped watching wrestling part 1
from julian, December 18th, 2014 2:53 pm, WrestleShock

I think it’s safe to say that when you look at the history of professional wrestling, there are two periods that stand-out when it comes to mass success within the industry–the early WrestleMania Era (I-III) and, of course, The Attitude Era. Although The New Generation Era (1992-1997) and the Ruthless Aggression Era (2002-2008) were my favorite periods of watching, Those are the only quite defined moments in history when the entire world was watching the WWE. Yes, you can argue that there were some other spikes over that period of time, but none nearly as significant as those two occasions when EVERYBODY was talking about wrestling around the water cooler.

When the wrestling business is down, it’s clearly attributed to the mass audience, or casual viewers of professional wrestling, no longer watching the product. For a number of reasons they have tuned into something else. The audience that you see watching RAW today, is the “core” wrestling audience, or the “wrestling fan base”. They are die-hard fans who eat, sleep and breathe professional wrestling, and will watch it for three hours every Monday night regardless of how good . . . or, bad it is. I always say this when it comes to the “hardcore” wrestling fans—if the word WRESTLING is somewhere in the title of the show—they’re watching it—PERIOD.

In my case, I am NO DOUBT a casual wrestling fan. Throughout my lifetime I have watched wrestling when I am throughly entertained by it—and shut it off when I’m not. If not for my responsibilities to this website . . . I WOULD NOT be watching wrestling today (12/8/2014) but I will this Friday.

So, as a casual wrestling fan, the type of fan that the industry NEEDS in order to one day thrive again, what exactly is it that turns us off to the product? Well, the truth is . . . there are a number of things, and during the course of the next few days I am going to be going over them one, by one.

So here’s the first disconnect:

1. WRESTLERS NEED TO LOOK LIKE WRESTLERS

When a casual wrestling fan turns on a wrestling show, they expect to see actual WRESTLERS. And, to the masses, the definition of a WRESTLER is much different from that of the “die-hard” fan, or “core” wrestling audience. You see, to a casual fan, the draw of a wrestler has little to actually do with the way he “wrestles”. To us, a wrestling match is a wrestling match. Yes, some are better than others, and some are worse, but—we’re not tuning in for the “match” per say. If that were the case then we’d be tuning in every week because we would indeed be “wrestling” fans.

When it comes to casual wrestling fans, we like the wrestlers who are “larger than life”. The guys with the big frames, or impressive physiques that we all wish we had, but don’t, so we live vicariously through them. Now there are exceptions to that rule, for instance take a Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, but those guys have very distinctive characters which made up for their “lack of” physical presence. Casual wrestling fans are drawn to the wrestlers that we grew up watching, maybe the business was a bit more selective back then who knows, but whatever the case—all those guys just LOOKED like wrestlers. They didn’t look like you and me, regular guys, they looked “different”, “special”, they just stood out in the crowd. There was no one like a “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, or a King Kong Bundy, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley, the “Rock” or, of course “Stone Cold”. No one looked like someone you would run into on the street. And, if they did, then they would be road kill much like your Barry Horowitz’s. In the mind of a casual fan, when you tune into a wrestling show—WRESTLERS need to look like WRESTLERS.

For whatever reason, I know of a few, that has changed over the years. For starters, the majority of the wrestlers of today are not as “jacked-up” as years passed, largely due to the decrease in steroids over the years. You read how in the past even though a wrestler was never “directly” told to go on the juice, it was implied that if they did . . . they would find themselves higher up on the card. And, let’s face it, many did it on their own accord because it was a “business decision” as they thought it would help their stock in the long run–regardless of what the consequences may be later on in life.

Today, with drug testing in place, the importance of being a physical specimen, has been replaced with the idea of being a “great worker”. One that can actually “wrestle”. Now, where that is a must to the “core” wrestling fan, it’s not as important to the “casual” fan. Again, remember, we don’t watch every week because we’re NOT necessarily fans of the wrestling. I’ve always said this when it comes to casual wrestling fans, when there is a guy on a wrestling show on TV that —regardles of his acrobatic performance in the ring—you actually BELIEVE YOU CAN TAKE—then you have a problem on your hands.

Look at current history. The guys that the “core” wrestling fans see as over are guys like; CM Punk, Daniel Bryan , Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Now again, even though the audiences who pay to see them are reacting to them, that doesn’t mean that the world is, or even the “casual” wrestling fan. All great wrestlers, and tremendous talents in their own right, but to casual wrestling fans these guys just look like “regular guys” when you stand them up next to a Brock Lesnar, or a John Cena, or a Roman Reigns even. Now granted, the WWE brain trust haven’t exactly stepped up to the plate in supplying these guys with defined characters that could help make up for some of their lack off physical prowess, but still, at the end of the day if I ran into any one of them on the street—they wouldn’t scare me. There is nothing “different”, or “unique” about them—they just look like ordinary guys (with the exception of Daniel Bryan, of course). That’s why the WWE never really pushed CM Punk, and were hesitant to push Bryan Daniel, not because of their wrestling ability, but because these guys may not necessarily appeal to the MASSES. And, that’s just fact, not opinion. Go back and look at your numbers when these guys were on top. No question that both Rollins and Ambrose are the two best “workers” on the WWE roster right now, NO DOUBT, but, when it comes to business . . . where are they getting the WWE? Look at the numbers . . . the casual fans are not watching.

The majority of the people reading this post are going to kill me with their comments, and you know why? The Internet Wrestling Community is made up of DIE-HARD wrestling fans! Casual wrestling fans don’t go to sites to find out about the insiders of the business. they don’t even know that they exist. To them, its real simple—WRESTLERS NEED TO LOOK LIKE WRESTLERS! They need to look different, stand-out, be unique and posses a LARGER THEN LIFE presence. That’s what we grew up on, that’s what we want! It’s just part of the wrestling business, and always has been. Without even knowing the card, go look at the WrestleMania I roster. Just look at what those guys looked like PHYSICALLY! Hogan, Piper, Bundy, Orndorf, JYD, Big John Studd, Andre the Giant (OK, an exception to the rule), Jimmy Snuka, Iron Shiek, Nikolai Volkoff, ALL THESE GUYS LOOKED LIKE WRESTLERS!!! Can you say the same about today’s crop? Now, face it, much of that also has to do with lack of character development, and I’ll get into that tomorrow, but out of all those guys listed—do you think you could actually take one of them? They all just had a “presence”, and the physical aspect played a huge part. Casual fans want super heroes—we always have . . . we always will.

But, at some point, the wrestling business actually started listening to the internet fans. Somewhere along the line “work rate” became more important than “physical presence”. And, again, when the vast majority of the casual fans could give two HURRICANRANAS about how good a wrestling match is, or a wrestling match at all—you’ve lost them. And, the WWE continues to go down that road. Just watching NXT last week I saw first hand how they are getting further and further away from what the MASSES want. Yeah, I saw some UNBELIVABLE wrestlers on that show, BUT—are they going to appeal to the masses—or, do they just look like regular guys?

I guess all that is a part of STAR POWER, and unfortunately, physical appearance has something to do with that in the majority of the cases.

Hey man, don’t hate the player . . . hate the game.

Tomorrow we look at how characters are built in today’s wrestling, and why they are failing to capture the interest of the casual fan.

Follow me @julianexcalibur

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Spider-woman gets new outfit
from Rob, December 18th, 2014 11:20 am, Comic Book News

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Jessica Drew – a.k.a Spider-Woman is getting a new costume, it is completely different from the original costume design by Maie Severin in 1977’s Marvel Spotlight #32.

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The new look debuted Thursday morning on USA Today and was designed by artist Kris Anka. The costume will make it’s proper Marvel debut first as a playable character in the mobile game Spider-Man Unlimited,

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 then in comics with March’s Spider-Woman #5 – which will feature a “design variant” cover by Anka

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DC Comics movie poster homage
from Rob, December 18th, 2014 10:14 am, Comic Book News

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PRINCESS LEIA #1 
from Rob, December 18th, 2014 10:05 am, Comic Book News

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STORY BY Mark Waid ART BYTerry Dodson COVER BYTerry DodsonRachel Dodson PUBLISHER Marvel Comics COVER PRICE:$3.99 RELEASE DATE March, 2015

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Preview pages are unlettered

Platinum Series three pack of the G1 Insecticons.
from Rob, December 18th, 2014 7:21 am, Toys

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Platinum Series three pack of the G1 Insecticons. These toys were reissued several years ago at Toys R Us
names had to be replaces due to trademarking issues.

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But this seems not to be the case anymore. But there is no information on pricing & release date, there is cross-sell on the box that shows the “Seeker Squadron” of Thrust, Dirge and Ramjet. 

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This will be a great set for G1 fans.

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IDW’s new Jem and the Holograms comic 
from Rob, December 18th, 2014 6:23 am, Comic Book News

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IDW’s new Jem and the Holograms comic comes out in March 2015

Review: Madefire’s Houses of the Holy #9
from Rob, December 17th, 2014 6:30 am, Comic Book Reviews

By: A. Kirana

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Houses of the Holy continues to deliver.  Since my initial review, I have caught up with the past episodes, which I highly recommend doing so.  The episodes are short, quick reads, but the caliber of the storytelling is in no way affected by the brevity in its telling.  Each episode draws you further into this nightmarish tale, set in Nazi ruled 1930s Berlin.  If the horror of the era was not enough, it is made even more so by the three monsters terrorizing the area.

Magda Bescu, the immortal child vampire with a brain tumor that is just as immortal as she is.  Welcome, a basilisk, who in its final stage of life turns to stone and has chosen to become a house where Magda resides.  Finally, Gottlieb Kunst, Director of the Ministry of Propaganda; though he may be human, he may be the most monstrous of the three.

This is not your ordinary vampire tale, and I urge you not to dismiss it based on the recent crop of sparkly vampires saturating the literary world.  Magda’s character is neither romanticized nor glamorized.  She does not try to turn hapless victims, but she does feed on them.  The tumor, lodged in her brain was killing her prior to herself being turned, is still a apart of her.  The longer Magda goes without feeding, the larger the tumor grows, eating away at the healthy tissue as well as her memories, leaving her but a shell of who she once was and only knowing the need to feed.  Ah, even the way she feeds is a thing of horrific beauty.  Rather than biting her victims, tentacle-like appendages, snake out of her, latching on much like a leech would, and draining her helpless prey.  When their hunger consumes them, Magda goes out in search of prey, though from time to time, the hapless wander into Welcome.  The hunt is made difficult for Magda, for she is seen as prey because she is a child of the Roma gypsies and there is an open season on those of her race.

In Episode #9 entitled Hunger Pangs, Magda’s hunger sends her out to hunt, against Welcome’s better judgement.  He urges her to wait, since the Gestapo was out in force, searching for her last victim.  She fears the tumor consuming all that she is, and the urgency of her hunger makes her reckless, as Welcome’s pleas go unheeded.  Finding prey was eluding her, her desperation was making her careless, and she mistook a stranger’s offer to bring her to get food as a kindness, but his intentions was not so altruistic, since he brought her directly to the Gestapo, in hopes of the promised reward Kunst offered for any Roma gypsy child.

I cannot state enough how much Madefire’s motion comic platform is the perfect medium for this title.  The whole experience gets under your skin.  I have to admit, when Magda’s feeding tendrils jutted out of her, I cringed away from my screen.  Just a word of advice, if you’re planning on picking up a new horror story, make it this one, but do yourself a favor and read it with the lights on.

Next episode: Monsters – Who will turn out to be the most evil creature preying on Berlin, Kunst or Magda? 

On Sale This Week: Batman, B9 and Marvel’s Villain Zombies!
from Rob, December 17th, 2014 6:21 am, Toys

It’s another New Toy Day at comic shops and specialty stores across North America, when the latest toys and collectibles get delivered. And this week four new Diamond Select Toys items are shipping, just in time for the holidays! DST’s vinyl bust banks of Batman and Robin from the classic 1960s TV series have arrived, as has their metal bottle opener of the robot B9 from Lost in Space, and the latest Marvel Minimates Zombie Villains Box Set! Read more about them below, and call up your local shop to see if they have them in stock! 

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Batman Classic TV Series Batman Vinyl Bank
A Diamond Select Toys release! This is one bank the Joker won’t dare to rob! Standing 8 inches tall, this vinyl bank depicts Batman as he appeared in the Batman Classic TV Series. With a coin slot on the back and an access door on the bottom, this bust bank of Batman also features collector-quality sculpting and paint applications, and is the perfect addition to any Batman collection. Packaged in a clear polybag. Designed by Barry Bradfield, and sculpted by Jean St. Jean! (Item #JUN142088, SRP: $22.99)

Batman Classic TV Series Robin Vinyl Bust Bank
A Diamond Select Toys Release! They say a good sidekick is worth his weight in gold, but is he worth his weight in pennies? This 8-inch bust of Robin as he appeared in the Batman Classic TV Series is actually a vinyl bank, with detailed sculpting and paint to make it resemble a high-end collectible. With a coin slot on the back and an access door in the base, you’ll be saying “Holy savings, Batman!” Packaged in a clear polybag. Designed by Barry Bradfield, and sculpted by Jean St. Jean! (Item #JUL142040, SRP: $22.99)

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Lost in Space Robot B9 Metal Bottle Opener
A Diamond Select Toys Release! The Class M-3 Model B9 General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot is the most important piece of equipment on the Jupiter 2 mission. In addition to running air and soil tests on the planets they visit, it also opens all of their bottles! This 4-inch sculpted metal opener has magnets on the back, so it will stay on your refrigerator or lunar module until you’re in danger of getting thirsty! Comes packaged in a full-color slipcase. (Item #JUL142035, SRP: $18.00)
http://www.diamondselecttoys.com/lost-in-space-robot-b9-metal-bottle-opener

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Marvel Minimates Zombie Villains Series 2 Box Set
A Diamond Select Toys release! The Villain Zombies are back, to take another bite out of the Marvel Minimates line! This time, Zombie Dr Doom, Zombie Morbius, Zombie Kingpin and Zombie Sabretooth make up the box set, which should have your Marvel heroes quaking in their boots. Each Minimate stands 2 inches tall and features interchangeable parts and accessories.  (Item #JUN142082, SRP: $19.99)
http://www.diamondselecttoys.com/marvel-minimates-zombie-villains-series-2-box-set

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Find your nearest comic shop at ComicShopLocator.com!

Top Five: Graphic Novels (Holiday edition)
from Rob, December 15th, 2014 1:54 pm, Comic Book Reviews

Hey guys, I’m Rob Base. Back here again with another top five gifts for your respected holiday of choice.

With this being the Christmas season I wanted to present the best gifts for the significant other in your life (be it a lover, friend or family member).

But, before I rattle off my list, let me quickly explain the difference in what is a graphic novel and just a collected comic book.

All books, be it a “Graphic Novel” or a standard “Comic,” are, in their core, all the same. But, what makes a Comic book a Graphic novel (to me) is its format of publishing, duration and content.

As much as we love the Walking Dead, it is NOT a Graphic Novel. Sure, it has the adult content, but it’s a continued series with less then 24 active pages in each issue.

The Dark Knight Returns, even though it was published in four issues, the format of book, its short run, and adult themes make it a true Graphic Novel.

So, that is the rules. Now let us begin.
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Number 5: Art Spiegelman’s Maus. This Graphic Novel has become a part of American pop culture and history. It also has become mandatory reading in high schools.

The story is centered around Spiegelman’s father, who talks about his survival during the holocaust and an amazing subplot about his personal relationship with his father. The characters are represented as Mice for Jewish, Cats for Germans and Dogs for Americans.

It’s been collected into a graphic collection and, for most fans, this was their only way to read it.
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Number 4: Stray Toasters by Bill Sienkiewicz The story revolves around criminal psychologist, Egon Rustemagik, and his investigation of a serial killer that seems to be targeting women.

This book was years ahead of its time and has become a comic book to own.
Not only that, but this comic to me was the first true graphic novel. Bill’s unique art style and masterful storytelling makes this book something that all readers should enjoy.
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Number 3: Road to Perdition by Max Allan Collins and art by Richard Piers Rayner, published by DC Comics’ Imprint, Paradox Press.

This was adapted into the 2002 film of the same name, starring Tom Hanks, for which Collins also wrote the novelization.

Michael O’Sullivan, the ruthless but honorable enforcer for a crime syndicate, is personally betrayed by his masters and is forced to flee with his young son, Michael, Jr., on a quest for revenge. The story is set in the American Midwest during the Great Depression and draws upon several historical figures, especially the gangster John Patrick Looney, in real life, Looney came into conflict with Dan Drost, a formerly loyal lieutenant in their crime organization, and their feud eventually led to the death of Looney’s son Connor.

This story is loosely based on the famed manga series Lone Wolf and Cub.
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Number 2: Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo and Satoshi Kon (uncredited)

On December 6, 1982, an apparent nuclear explosion destroys Tokyo and starts World War III. By 2019, a new city called Neo-Tokyo has been built on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay, but is gripped by anti-government terrorism and gang violence. While riding in the ruins of old Tokyo, Tetsuo, a member of the bōsōzoku gang led by Kaneda, is injured when his bike explodes after Takashi—a child Esper with wizened features—blocks his path. This incident awakens psychic powers in Tetsuo, attracting the attention of a secret government project directed by the Colonel. These increasing powers unhinge Tetsuo’s mind, exacerbating his inferiority complex about Kaneda and leading him to assume leadership of the rival Clown gang.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Akira is just an amazing manga series,
It broke the mold for what can be possible on paper.  With 6 collected volumes, this is probably one of the best collections to get for Christmas.
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Number 1: The Dark Knight Returns (as if we didn’t see this one coming). Frank Miller’s monumental effort in rebranding the story and status of DC’s second flagship character.

The Dark Knight Returns is set in a dystopian near-future version of Gotham City. Bruce Wayne is 55 years old and has retired as Batman while the levels of crime rising. Wayne, finding his retirement difficult, becomes Batman again. 

Links to all these amazing titles are listed.

Let us know what you think.
Follow me on Twitter @AltMindz

UNWRAP YOUR FIRST TWO MONTHS OF MARVEL UNLIMITED FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!
from Rob, December 15th, 2014 11:47 am, Comic Book News

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UNWRAP YOUR FIRST TWO MONTHS OF MARVEL UNLIMITED FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!

For a limited time, enjoy two months of unlimited access to over 15,000 Marvel Digital Comics

for just $9.99!

 

“Marvel Unlimited offers a solid digital comics experience…”

-PC Mag.com

 

New York, NY— December 15th, 2014 — Marvel Unlimited is celebrating the holiday season by inviting fans to share the Marvel Universe through Marvel Unlimited! New and returning subscribers will be able to experience the greatest gift of all – access to over 15,000 digital Marvel comics for just $9.99 for the first two months of a Marvel Unlimited monthly subscription!*

 

Given as a gift or purchased for yourself, unlock the Marvel Universe by using the Promo Code UNWRAPat Marvel Unlimited checkout and prepare for some of the greatest Marvel Comics featuring The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man and many more!  Marvel Unlimited is accessible on the web and through the Marvel Unlimited app on iPhone®, iPad® and select Android™ devices.

 

New to the Marvel Universe and don’t know where to start? No need to worry! Marvel Unlimited subscribers have access to the DISCOVER section of Marvel Unlimited. Subscribers are now able to discover easy to follow avenues into the Marvel Universe by being able to search by their favorite storylines, characters or creators. 

 

Want to learn about Marvel’s Infinity Gauntlet? Marvel Unlimited will show you the entire series and offer you a step-by-step suggested reading order. Curious about who Ant-Man is? Marvel Unlimited is here to provide you with his most heroic Marvel moments. Enjoy Brian Michael Bendis’ writing style? Marvel Unlimited can now show you some of his most acclaimed work all in one place.

 

With classic and newer issues being added to Marvel Unlimited on a weekly basis as early as six months after they’re in stores, you’ll definitely want to join Marvel Unlimited this holiday season and enjoy the gift of the Marvel Universe!

 

Follow Marvel on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/marvel join in the conversation on Twitter with #Marvel and for all things Marvel, please visit marvel.com.

 

 

*Offer valid 12/15/14 12:01 AM EST to 1/04/15 11:59 PM EST.Offer available only for new and former (now-cancelled) Marvel Unlimited members.  Valid only on monthly Marvel Unlimited subscriptions only.  Valid payment card required to redeem offer. First two months billed jointly $9.99 upon purchase; third and subsequent months billed at then-current monthly subscription fee (currently $9.99/month) unless and until cancelled. Cancel anytime through My Account following registration.  Auto-renewal and other terms and conditions apply.  Gift subscriptions do not auto-renew.  Gifting member will only be billed $9.99 once upon purchase for a 2-month gift membership.  Please see Marvel Unlimited Terms of Use for terms and Marvel.com/Unlimited for further details.

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