Like most questions it has (at the very least) two answers.
Of course it is: *pregnant pause* ...and it should be, just like every generation before it was f***ing up the wrestling business in the eyes of the previous generation. Things need f***ed up that is the nature of change and change is the nature of life. What is painting, but f***ing up a perfectly good blank canvas?
Things are following the natural, cyclical, as-they-should-be processes.
Without the right amount of self-awareness, just about every headphone-blaring punk-ass kid grows up to be that old f*** that echos, “Today’s music is sh**!”
The World needs old f***s screaming “Get off my lawn!” It teaches the next generation boundaries. The World also needs punk-ass kids that don’t give two ounces of Sunny D piss about granddad’s boundaries.
Somewhere in the middle ground between “this new sh** is garbage” and “old sh** is boring” and “there’s no need to reinvent the wheel” and “f**k wheels, we flyin’ now, bish” there’s the opportunity for truly beautiful art - that pushes the envelope to the point that it bends without fully breaking the bonds of structure - to take form.
To Classical Music purists Classic Rock sounds like cats in Bane masks having an orgy under a tin roof in a hail storm. To Classic Rock purists Modern Metal sounds the Cookie Monster and an American bald eagle having a loud argument next door, while their teenage son tries to play his drum-set fast enough to skip the sh**iest parts of puberty. If you take it back the other direction, to the fans of the newer forms of music, the older music just seems kind of lame.
Is the music business dying because new forms of music have emerged over time? Nope.
Is it likely that the wrestling business will die because of the current form of wrestling? Seems unlikely, to say the least.
There was a time when guys like Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, and thousands of etceteras were the new-schoolers who were f***ing things up in the heartminds of the generation that came before them.
All that being said, there is of course chunks of golden wisdom to be panned from the creek of creaky old rocking chairs and if you pay attention you will be able to see that some of the best and brightest wrestlers of this generation, even (maybe especially) the ones that get ranted about the most often, have acquired a vast amount of wealth (both figuratively and to some extent literally) by borrowing the best - big picture - attributes of the art that the old f***s miss so dearly.
Which brings us to our second answer.
2.) Of course it’s not: the Age Of Information has made wrestling knowledge - and knowledge in-general - more accessible and has lead to an accelerated learning process that has produced some of the most sophisticated wrestling we, as wrestling fans, have ever seen.
What’s the catch, though, Kincaid? We know you like to flip-flop-struggle against topics like Steve Wright caught in a wristlock.
Well, attentive readers, yes, I do think there might be a small dip in my wrestlefuture optimism, but mostly just because I’m on my way to being an old f***, myself, and one thing that I think that we’re in danger of losing, in the Age Of Information, is Isolated Wrestling Cultures.
I like novelty; I like weird-and/or-new-to-me sh**.
There’s something deeply gratifying to me about randomly coming across 1960s wrestling from France and seeing that the wrestlers from that isolated region, during that isolated time, didn’t use ye olde collar-and-elbow tie-up that we’re accustomed to seeing all around the World, at this time.
I liked it when I was one of the only guys in my region doing the “Toreada” aka the “Lucha Pass”. I even liked when the Dursleyian old f***s of my salad days said, “I hate that phony bullsh**!” I especially liked that I would do them anyway.
I liked how having more rules made the World Of Sport style so different. I liked how having less rules made ECW style so different.
The question remains, in a Global Wrestling Community, where stylistic exchanges are a click away, will a single mix-matched, non-differentiated Global-Style spring up and wash away the unique, forged in isolation, styles away like a great flood-river swallowing up streams? Has it already?
We have seen more Sports Entertainment Style influence on Japan. More Japanese Strong-Style influence on Lucha Libre. More Lucha Libre influence on British Indie. More British Indie on American Indie. More American Indie on Sports Entertainment. And any other cross-combination or different style you want to throw in there, really.
With more wrestlers utilizing social-media-made connections to travel further without the benefit of major promotions “putting them on” and with the lack of isolation due to almost everyone uploading almost everything to YouTube, with the proliferation of quick-share GIFs on Twitter, where will the next waves of unique sub-genres of grappling emerge from?
I feel like this is the part where you’re going to attempt to answer your own question, Jason? Amiright?
Yes, attentive readers, I will partake in a wrestlefuture optimism comeback.
I think this is where the parallels that I have been drawing between wrestling and music can be more than an illustration of a point: it can be a blueprint for the future.
What if more kids came up saying “f*** pop-wrestling”, “F*** Wal-Mart Brand Wrestling!” What if more promotions said “f*** mass appeal, let’s make something that we’re going to love but not everyone is going to get, nor should they”? What if more wrestle-artists wore their style like flag-cape?
We see a bit of that attitude already. Sub-cultures of fans that want a very specific sub-genre of wrestling. Promotions that do their own thing; Chikara being a prime example. Wrestlers that have uncompromising integrity in the preservation of their unique style; think Timothy Thatcher.
It’s my hope that that alt-wrestling attitude will proliferate to the point that we’ll have new wrestling styles birthed that are as different as Polka is from Horrorcore Rap, while, at the same time, still having the genre-defying style-benders that stand out because they’re the exceptions that can’t be put in a clearly defined preset squared-circle, and while mass-appeal pop-wrestling still does it’s big-numbers thing.
So, basically what you’re saying is, this generation is f***ing up the wrestling business, but not f***ing up as much as you would personally like to see it get f***ed up?
I mean, that’s a f***ed up way of looking at it…
...but yeah. F*** yeah.