When a wrestler is being true to himself, a hyped up version of a desire that already exists inside him, and that wrestler comes across a completely different wrestler, who is also being true to himself, and they are both fighting for the same spot, THAT is what makes wrestling compelling. Raven and Tommy Dreamer were completely different people but it was in what drew them together that made their feud so enthralling to watch. There didn't need to be an obvious reason why these guys were fighting, they created one based on things that made sense for each character.
Very few wrestlers today have solid characters and, even those that do, they seem to turn into a generic, sterile mess when they reach television. I think this is part of what makes NXT so great, there isn't the same pressure there to be a certain way in order to not offend the "powers that be". What happened to wrestling being able to tackle issues of divisiveness in an over the top parody of reality? I'm not sure wrestling is dying so much as political correctness is killing it.
Regardless, even in the most constrained of circumstances, if there are no heated feuds over issues people can relate to then there is no reason to watch. You can break all the tables, do all the high spots, put the biggest stars available against each other, but it all becomes boring when there is nothing to get invested in. As much as I love Sheamus, the WWE has done an atrocious job of letting him be the badass warrior that made him a standout to begin with. In FCW Sheamus had an awesome gimmick that easily could have worked in the mainstream but the WWE is so obsessed with reinventing people to their own liking that they stripped him of everything that made him special to begin with.
Wrestling with handcuffs on has to be difficult. Sheamus the badass vs. Roman Reigns the badass would sell. Sheamus the confusing goof vs. Roman Reigns the unwanted hero with no defining qualities is what doesn't sell. Storylines should move based on characters, not based on the story. In other words, if you want to tell a love story that ends in the lovers hating one another you could paste any people into a generic story if you don't give a damn about who those people are. If you build that story around the characters that already exist then it can be a lot more natural and provide a lot more surprises because even the person telling the story doesn't necessarily know what is going to happen beforehand.
Feuds are what make wrestling great. Throwing a few guys together for a few months and calling it a feud is nonsense. Paige and Charlotte are trying to add realism into a feud between two completely undefined characters; it is hard to feel emotionally invested in two people you have no way of investing in to begin with. They may be great athletes but there is no defining characteristic that they stick to that fans can relate with. Dreamer was an underdog that didn't give up, Raven was a misanthrope taking out his aggression on people who thought they were better than him, Rock was the guy everyone wanted to be, Stone Cold had a no nonsense attitude everyone wishes they could have, Cena does the right thing even when it isn't popular...but how many other characters can be broken down in this way? Who have a trait that remains regardless of who they are feuding with?
The lost art of the feud is what is killing wrestling and it is what they need to bring it back.
Last edited by BigBombB on Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:12 pm; edited 1 time in total