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The question that has more answers then I would care to count and more responses then one could imagine continues as I have more responses to share. Instead of continuing to blabber on and on I will get to the responses for this part of the series:
Question: Will pro-wrestling ever be respected by main-stream media?
Jon Couture: As it currently stands, pro wrestling isn't considered a "real" sport in America by the average sports fan. Its not as respected as MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL by sports media. Although I will say that PW has made great strides in recent times. ESPN covering events such as Wrestlemania and Daniel Bryan's retirement was a huge step forward.
WWE has been letting outside media in the backdoor more today than they ever have in the past. The days of living kayfabe could be over and I feel that would be a huge implication of maybe gaining some acceptance from the main stream. Admitting angles and characters are all a work is key to un-allowing people to resort to that "its fake" mentality. Reality shows such as Total Divas, Breaking Ground, Ride Along and Table for Three help ease the transition.
All that being said, I don't see PW ever totally being accepted and competing with the likes of, say, the NFL in this country. And to be honest, I am okay with that. PW was founded on a "carny" mentality and I think it should stay that way. Its why listening to alternative music is cooler than listening to pop music. Its why seeing a great indie film is usually better than the Oscar nominations. PW may not be liked by everyone but at some level it should be respected by everyone. Especially today's product that has evolved to so much more than jacked up good guys vs. dirty bad guys. It is performance art at a very very high level.
Jeff: I think it will be respected as a form of entertainment, but not as a sport. I think this has to do with the way the wrestlers are presented. They have some interesting nicknames and some wear some outrageous outfits.
Daniel: I believe that pro wrestling will not have the respect by mainstream media because of the farfetched storylines from the past. The only reason how I can see mainstream media respecting WWE is if someone famous dies, hogan Rock cena, or when wrestlemania hits.
Big Gold Belt Show: Wrestling will be respected by mainstream media by the moments in which it deserves to be. There are three types of moments that mainstream media truly respects the world of pro wrestling. First, pro wrestling easily garners attention from the media when it makes a positive impact. Feel good, inspirational stories (e.g., Daniel Bryan's ascension) and charitable impacts (e.g., Make-a-Wish, breast cancer fund raising, Connor's Cure) are easy material for media outlets. Second, and much more desirable fodder for mainstream media are pro wrestling moments of creative transcendence. These days, these moments tend to occur in moments of realism integrated, when lines are blurred between reality and fiction. CM Punk's "pipebomb" (and subsequent match against John Cena at Money in the Bank 2011) and Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter's "real American" storyline entering WrestleMania 29 stick out as recent examples. The Roman Reigns saga has potential to enter that spectrum, depending on how much they are willing to let a heelish Roman off of his leash. Third, and the most impactful type of pro wrestling media coverage stems from pop culture crossover. A WWE appearance by Dwayne Johnson will always get some headlines. Stephen Amell wrestling at Summerslam - very noteworthy and worthy of a headline. It amazes me that WWE does not have at least two or three non-Rock celebrity appearances of true creative significance. Kathy Lee and Hoda breaking wine bottles over each other's rear ends does not count!
Raw Attitude Podcast: No, wrestling will never be fully respected by the mainstream media because so many people still have the idea in their heads that wrestling is simply "that fake thing The Rock used to do." Whereas other organizations have the broad appeal of the masses (e.g. -- NFL, MLB, NBA), wrestling caters to a very niche audience, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We do occasionally see pockets of mainstream acceptance (ESPN covering "WrestleMania 32," TMZ breaking the story of Lana and Rusev's engagement), but other than that, the only coverage you're probably going to see from major media outlets is when the next former WWE personality dies far sooner than he/she should have.
GT: Probably not , they mock it all the time, and they're too ph to give wrestling attention
Through the Ropes: Well, In England, Japan, Mexico Everywhere bar the States, Its respected as if its a real sport, but America has turned it into a pantomime with supernatural storys and thats what has spoiled it for America
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