Ruminations on TV Shows, Comics, And Music
How To Watch The WWE In A Focused, Fun Manner, Whether You're New Or A Long Time Fan, 10: Treading Water
Everything is someone's favorite something, so I'm sure somebody loves the 2007-2010 era of wrestling, but it's not me or anyone I've ever talked to about wrestling. While combing through the Attitude Era/Monday Night Wars involves sifting through a lot of crap, that's more an issue of quantity than quality, combined with industry-wide late 90s misogyny placing womens' wrestling as either a joke (old ladies giving birth to hands and being stripped to their granny panties) or as pure sexualization (see every Playboy match, every lingerie match/pillow fight/evening gown match, etc). But there were also epic stories like Austin vs McMahon, the NWO, Kane vs The Undertaker, etc.
In the late 2000-0s, there are three companies we're focusing on.
Ring Of Honor barely has storylines, its focus is on wrestling matches featuring up and coming talent. And by now, the original crop of superstars has either gone on to Impact/WWE or are soon to be on their way. And while their second "generation" of talent is also immensely talented (and won't be around too long before they head to Impact/WWE), the brand as a whole starts to lose its luster. I can't tell you why. There's still a lot of talent there, and interesting booking decisions, I just started to lose interest in it, as did many viewers.
This season, Impact evolves from a federation of uninteresting dinosaurs (Jeff Jarret's stranglehold on the title scene, for example) plodding their way through nostalgia runs while burying the exciting new, acrobatic talent that they were also mildly pushing (AJ Styles broke through that ceiling, but most of the X division did not) to its own interesting brand of sports entertainment . A lot of talent exchange with ROH, and the influx of some current WWE stars, ends up with the company feeling fresh for the first time since its original pay-per-view.
WWE, meanwhile, is still coasting off their post-Attitude ideas. It's still all about John Cena, the Evolution/DX stable, and the Undertaker. Most of the new blood introduced in this season fizzles out by the end, despite their talent and promise. The storylines just feel stale.
There's also still a massive problem with how women are portrayed. WWE being, by far, the worst, as Vince McMahon continues the unnecessary sexualization of women to satisfy his rape kink, or whatever it is that drove him to allegedly sexually assault all those women he spent millions of dollars of hush money on. ROH just doesn't present a very strong roster of women yet. The only company headed in the right direction in this era was Impact with its Knockout Division that pops up near the end of the season and will be the actual Womens' Revolution that WWE co-opts almost a decade later. Not bad for a company that started with several years of women being nothing more than cage dancers on the entry way or promiscuos harlots with no agency who solely existed to break up friends and tag teams.