Pro wrestling is currently experiencing a red-h*t period, with both WWE and All Elite Wrestling (AEW) achieving remarkable success. Matt Hardy, a prominent figure in AEW, recently shared his thoughts on the current state of the industry during an episode of his podcast, "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy." According to Hardy, wrestling today is undeniably in a great place, but he believes that the way we measure its impact has changed compared to the iconic Attitude Era of the 1990s.
During that time, pro wrestling was deeply ingrained in pop culture, and people across North America were highly aware of the phenomenon. It was seen as trendy and cool, but the landscape was different due to the limited number of television channels available for viewers.
Hardy pointed out that there were only around 40 channels back then, resulting in a smaller pool of options for entertainment consumption.
Wrestling's Diverse Accessibility
In contrast, the wrestling industry has now expanded exponentially on a global scale.
While the viewership numbers during the Attitude Era were impressive, the current accessibility to thousands of channels and streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu has transformed how people engage with wrestling. Hardy emphasized that wrestling today is consumed in diverse forms, making it more accessible to a wider audience worldwide through personal devices.
When asked whether he believed the current era was the h*ttest in wrestling history, Hardy, who commenced his wrestling journey in 1992, acknowledged that the '90s held a special place as a particularly sizzling period. However, he also expressed optimism about the present and future trajectory.
With the intense competition and rivalry between WWE and AEW and the remarkable growth of both companies, Hardy believes that if the current upward trend continues, wrestling has the potential to surpass the popularity it enjoyed in the '90s.
In conclusion, the wrestling industry is currently thriving with global accessibility, but it is distinct from the '90s when wrestling was deeply embedded in popular culture. Matt Hardy remains hopeful that the ongoing expansion, competition, and innovative approaches can propel wrestling to even greater heights, potentially surpassing the unprecedented fervor of the iconic 1990s era.
As the wrestling landscape continues to evolve, fans and industry insiders alike eagerly anticipate what the future holds for this exhilarating form of entertainment.