Wrestling, a spectacle of athleticism and storytelling, has evolved significantly over the years. While this evolution has brought new fans and styles, it has also drawn criticism from those who were part of its earlier eras. The Undertaker, a legendary figure in WWE, has voiced his opinions on modern wrestling, and he’s not alone. Here, we explore the perspectives of six WWE legends who have shared similar sentiments.
1. Bret “The Hitman” Hart
Bret Hart, known for his technical prowess and storytelling in the ring, has often been vocal about the changes in professional wrestling. He believes that the art of storytelling in matches has diminished, with a greater focus on high-risk moves and less on the psychological aspect of wrestling. Hart has expressed concerns about the safety and long-term health of wrestlers, arguing that the current style often prioritizes spectacle over substance.
2. Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan, a name synonymous with wrestling in the 80s and 90s, has also shared his views on modern wrestling. Hogan’s era was characterized by larger-than-life characters and narratives that captivated audiences worldwide. He has commented on the lack of such characters in today’s wrestling, suggesting that the industry has moved away from the kind of storytelling that once made it great. Hogan believes that while athleticism has increased, the emotional connection with the audience has waned.
3. Ric Flair
“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, a legend known for his charisma and in-ring psychology, has critiqued the modern style for its fast pace and high-risk maneuvers. Flair, who wrestled across multiple eras, appreciates the athleticism of today’s wrestlers but feels that the storytelling aspect, which he excelled in, is often overlooked. He misses the days when matches were built on emotional narratives and rivalries that developed over time.
4. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Jake Roberts, famous for his psychological approach to wrestling and masterful promo skills, has expressed concerns about the current state of wrestling promos and character development. He believes that many modern wrestlers lack the depth and complexity in their characters, something he mastered during his time. Roberts feels that this lack of character depth leads to a disconnection with the audience.
5. Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels, known for his show-stopping performances, has had a more balanced view but still offers some criticism. While acknowledging the incredible athleticism of current wrestlers, Michaels has pointed out that the emotional storytelling and selling of a match are not as prominent as they were in his time. He believes that these elements are crucial for creating memorable and impactful wrestling moments.
6. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Steve Austin, a key figure in the Attitude Era, has commented on the scripted nature of modern promos and the lack of freedom wrestlers have in developing their characters. Austin, known for his unscripted and raw promos, believes that giving wrestlers more creative freedom could lead to more authentic and engaging characters, something he feels is lacking in the current product.
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While modern wrestling continues to evolve and attract new audiences, the criticisms from these legends highlight a longing for the storytelling and character depth of past eras. Their perspectives offer valuable insights into the balance between athleticism and narrative, a balance that has defined professional wrestling’s appeal for decades. As the industry moves forward, it might benefit from reflecting on these critiques, ensuring that the art of wrestling continues to evolve while honoring its rich legacy.