There have been a few stories going around lately about the WWE pushing harder to get into Japan. The WWE sees Japan as one of the most important overseas markets.
Here are a couple of quotes from a USA Today article:
“Japanese fans are changing,” [Funaki] told The Associated Press. “The key is to give them more opportunities to watch WWE. If they see it, they’ll get it.”
“Even if you’ve never watched it before, you can jump in and start watching because it’s good vs. evil,” said Ed Wells, Vice President and General Manager and WWE Japan. “We always refer to ourselves as sports entertainment. We created that genre in the U.S. And it’s something that we are now, as of this year, taking really worldwide.”
Is this a good thing?
There have been many times over the years that the WWF/WWE has steered toward the ridiculous, whether it was a particular storyline or a particular character, to the point where I just didn’t want to watch anymore. Not that other national promotions haven’t done some really stupid, embarrassing stuff as well —
Robocop in WCW, I’m talking to you brother!
When you got to the point where you thought American professional wrestling was just unwatchable, you could always get a hold of a Japanese tape and see some great wrestling action without all of the soap opera, crazy product tie-ins, kiddie-safe fare, or black-and-white storylines (e.g. “good” vs “evil). The WWE of late seems to be going back to the ’80s, where apparently everybody had to have a second job to make ends meet. They had garbage men, dentists, clowns, undertakers. Now we’re getting a carny. [Coming from a “doctor”, maybe I shouldn’t be too critical about that part]
With the WWE trying to become a bigger fixture in Japan, I’m getting a little heartburn. Will it become popular enough in Japan that the other promotions will have to adopt some of the WWE’s format and storylines to compete?
How long before we see Godzilla wrestle Rosie O’Donnell in a “King of the Monsters” match?