Exclusive: What Does ECW, NWO, “The Attitude Era”, Hulk Hogan & Sting All Have In Common?

Vince Russo

survivor series reaction“Change” is a crucial word when it comes to the world of professional wrestling, because while it is vital to the success of any company, you have to have a huge set of Spauldings to implement it. That’s simply because it comes with both great chance and risk. If you succeed, you change the course of history, but if you fail, there’s the possibility of taking all those trinkets off your desk at work, putting them in a small cardboard box, putting that small box in the trunk of your car, and going home forever.

Many times, even though the gamble is a calculated one, it’s a crap shoot. However, failing to take that chance whatsoever will slowly-but-surely cripple your business over the years as the WWE has proven for the last decade and a half. Since the Attitude Era, there has been no change at all in the WWE, and over the past 14-plus years, they have lost over half of their audience in the process.

Being stagnant ultimately kills.

ECW, Paul Heyman, and everybody associated with that company’s name, changed the wrestling business forever. With the NWO, Eric Bischoff, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash brought the wrestling business to a whole new level. “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan reinvented his career with a ballsy, risky character transition. DX, The Rock, Mick Foley, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Chyna, Sable, and the rest of that entire crew, put Attitude in the business and it hasn’t been the same since.

Greatness is all about change. Daring to reinvent yourself rather than remain “safe” by doing what you’ve been doing for years, not only makes you relevant again, but in the “business” of professional wrestling, it can once again line your pockets with cash.

Say what you will about Hogan, but having the BALLS to switch from red and yellow to black and white, made him more valuable than he was when he led the WWE into their first WrestleMania. Hogan took a great gamble, but having the confidence in both himself and Eric, he rewrote history once again.

Looking back at his years in both WCW and TNA, why would Sting choose to ever change? The man was a legitimate icon for well over a decade with his short, spiked, blonde hair and his vibrant, colorful face paint. He cupped his hands to his mouth, hollered, and he was over. That’s all he ever needed to do. But, times were changing in professional wrestling, and Sting realized that if he didn’t reinvent himself to once again become relevant, he could just turn into the legend who didn’t know when to walk. So “Crow Sting” was born. And, because it was STILL Steve Borden behind the make-up, “Crow Sting” became more over than perhaps even “Venice Beach” Sting was.

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