WWE Hall Of Famer Gerald Brisco has given his thoughts on why WWE and wrestling in general might be losing fans and says it’s all to do with “sound-bite matches.”
Brisco has been a mainstay in the wrestling business for generations. Beginning his career in the sixties Brisco teamed with brother Jack for several years where they captured the NWA World Tag Team Championship on three separate occasions. The Brisco Brothers even competed on the first-ever Starrcade in 1983 losing in a title bout against Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood. Both Brisco brothers joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1984 before retiring from in-ring action the following year. Gerald Brisco then began working in a backstage role at the company as both a producer and road agent.
Over a decade later Gerald Brisco gained a new legion of fans when he and Pat Patterson re-emerged on television as the evil Mr. McMahon’s stooges. Although villains in The Corporation, fans of the Attitude Era soon fell in love with Brisco and Patterson as their hysterical antics and weaselly ways made for entertaining television.
For a man who has been in the wrestling business for decades, Brisco is uniquely qualified to give his thoughts on the wrestling product today. Speaking on The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Brisco did just that and also shared his thoughts on the differences in fans of wrestling from back in his heyday and the ones soon to be filling arenas once again today.
“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.”
For Gerald Brisco, it’s these fans that wrestling is at risk of losing through matches that don’t give fans enough time to become properly invested in the story.
“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.”
These days Gerald Brisco along with John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield hosts ‘Stories With Brisco and Bradshaw.’ The YouTube show sees the two men talk with the great and the good of wrestling’s past and lets them share stories such as the time Cowboy Bob Orton was saved from a baying mob by a gun-toting Captain Lou Albano.