Gerald Brisco: WWE Are Losing Educated Fans
The wrestling legend has shared his thoughts on WWE’s declining viewership
Gerald Brisco knows the wrestling business inside and out. From his days teaming with older brother Jack in the NWA, to his years producing in WWE and working as one of Vince McMahon’s trusted confidants, there’s not much Brisco doesn’t know about the business.
In the wake of dwindling television audiences, Brisco insisted it’s not overexposure hurting the WWE, but a constant steady loss of ‘educated’ fans. Talking to The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Brisco said:
“Crowds back then didn’t know nearly as much as today’s crowds. Today’s crowds are the most educated crowds. And I’m talking about not just your casual TV viewer, I’m talking about somebody who buys a ticket, goes to the arena, sits down, and watches the matches at a live event. Those people are so much more educated now and have so much more knowledge. Not only about the people in the ring wrestling now, but most of them have done research and know about guys like me and know about guys like my brother. They know a little about it.
“Those are your fans that I think we’re losing a lot of because of the sound bite matches we’re having and the quickness of them. When we were [wrestling] we had time to tell people a story and draw them emotionally into a match. And very few of those guys have that opportunity now. And that’s a shame for them to lose that skill. We had [fans] emotionally involved with us because [they] knew we were going to go out and kick ass. [They] knew they were going to see a wrestling match when [they] saw the Brisco brothers.
“Nowadays you know you’re going to be entertained when you see John Cena, but you don’t get that same feeling as [older fans] did when [they] knew they were going to see some ass kicking. Well John Cena, he’s going to make me laugh and we’re going to have a great time. And I love John Cena, I think John Cena is a great performer and I think John Cena would’ve gotten over back in my day bigger than hell too, because he’s an athlete and he can go. But it’s not that same emotion, it’s not that same, what we call, ‘heat.’ There’s a different type of heat. We had heat and they’ve got interest now.”