I find myself thinking about hardcore recently…
Raised eyebrows from my wife as I try to explain myself…
“IT’S JUST WRESTLING!!” – doesn’t actually help the cause…
The Hardcore Championship in the WWE Attitude Era was… interesting…? Unique? Definitely creative, and surely entertaining! Matches were enjoyable because you never knew what was going to happen.
I guess the question being explored here is: should WWE bring the title/style back, or is the PPV Extreme Rules enough?
- fire extinguishers,
- trash cans,
- barbed wire(!?),
- thumb tacks(!?!?),
- Al Snow’s brilliant insanity(!?!?!?),
- Crash Holly and the 24hr title(!?!?!?!?!?)
These are all examples of what hardcore matches can offer on a regular basis (OK maybe not regularly… but you get the general picture)
Surely we need to discuss why the Hardcore Championship and regular matches were scrapped. Simply: it was the end of the Attitude Era, along with WWE making a strong move towards accommodating a TV-PG certificate and taking responsibility for a younger audience.
It’s also possible to see how WWE might want to look after it’s talent and reduce the risk of injuries coming from having to take greater and greater risks.
Nowadays we have the PPV: Extreme Rules. This event features, as you’d expect, matches which centre around peculiar and abnormal rules but, unfortunately, it’s just not the same. Having a set match where it’s OK to use chairs because one wrestler previously hit another with a chair seems weak at best in comparison.
One of the main problems, that I’ve noticed, is that everything is taken seriously, and the Hardcore Championship was/should be an amusing comic relief title for anyone willing, or starting out/not in contention elsewhere.
The other problem being: limited creativity. Any new Hardcore Championships would need to accommodate the TV-PG certificate, which automatically adds restrictions and legal limitations. It may not be possible to recapture what was loved about the original Hardcore Championship with further rules and regulations. Matches from the Attitude Era explored possibilities and tried to push boundaries.
Sadly, it does seem as though there will be no Hardcore Championship at WWE in the future. And it’s impossible to go back to the Hardcore Championship of the Attitude Era. There won’t be clowns attacking Crash Holly to become Hardcore Champion, or Al Snow fighting Head to become Champion (yes that’s right… Head was Hardcore Champion (in Al Snow’s mind). But is that such a bad thing?
Thinking about regular hardcore matches like they had before: over-exposure to extreme match ups can have a long term negative effect, making the unique features old and stale. There still are matches which incorporate hardcore elements, but they are used as tools to shock the audience and to create intensity. There may not be any comedy, but the WWE appear to have replaced that with excitement and drama instead.
What are your thoughts? Do you want to see the return of a Hardcore Championship, or are you happy with Extreme Rules? Do you miss the comedic value that was brought along with the over the top matches?
Let us know, and comment below!