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When and why did professional wrestling lose its sense of humor?

I grew up in the Golden Age of pro wrestling: the time of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Captain Lou Albano, the Iron Sheik, the Macho Man Randy Savage, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Kerry von Erich, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Rick "The Nature Boy" Flair. These were master showmen with these enormous, hilariously cartoonish personalities and schticks, and you found yourself not caring if the matches were "real" or not. It was high melodrama and spectacle mixed with stunning athleticism. However, somewhere along the way the sport started taking itself way too seriously. The wrestlers all started to look either like members of late 90's alt-metal bands, or roadies for those bands. Gone were the over-the-top personas with the monikers and wardrobe to match, replaced by overly-tattooed dudes wrestling in their street clothes under their given names. Bo-ring! What happened? And why was I not consulted?

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Beavis913

I believe a lot has to do with the pc and PG state it's been turned into-at least in the WWE. Wrestlers these days have a lot more input in their characters, what they say, how they act, etc. In the glory days many were given the cartoonish characters. I obviously could be wrong. I do miss the days of Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, Randy Savage to the fun of Stone Cold, The Rock, Chris Jericho. It seems so tame and lame. I haven't watched wrestling in 3 years. It's become overly predictable and we have John Cena forced down our throats.

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Cena is a prime example of exactly what I was talking about. Dude looks like he just came out of the audience and walked into the ring in his T-shirt and cargo shorts. Zzzzzzz....
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Beavis913
Exactly. I would love to go back to Edge, Stone Cold, The Rock, old Chris Jericho, old Kane, etc.
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I know Rees...I know...Remember when Hulk Hogan was a good guy? That was when I watched it as well. It was a great weekend afternoon of entertainment. It was fun...it was loud...it was waaaaaayyy over the top.
And who could forget Macho Man's agent, Miss Elizabeth

http://i479.photobucket.com/albums/rr160/fishbulb-suplex/Wrestlers/Randy%20Savage/Clipboard03.jpg

There were story lines...it was a guys version of soap operas...yet the girls could have fun watching too. It was campy fun for everyone.

Now it is a joke. It isn't fun, there are no over the top characters, and Hulk became a bad guy.......

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Ah, Miss Elizabeth! Yes, the managers were often as much fun as the wrestlers. And the interviews! I still marvel at the cerebral foreboding of Jake Robert's monologues. I remember the Wrestlemania match between Hogan and the Iron Sheik. You knew Hulk was gonna win, but the drama sucked you in, and you always wondered what the finishing move was going to be. I was sad when he became "Hollywood Hogan." I think that was the beginning of the end.
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I had stopped watching before he became Hollywood Hogan. Didn't Rowdy Roddy Pipe become a good guy?
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I think so. In fact, what prompted this question was a commercial I saw for an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap in which Piper and Nature Boy exchanged wives for a week. I remember their bitter ring rivalry well.
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Apparently, Rowdy has a wrestling son he trains himself.
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