In a recent episode of "Busted Open Radio," WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray discussed the evolving landscape of professional wrestling and pointed to the recent verbal exchange between Seth Rollins and CM Punk on "WWE Raw" as a prime example of the industry's future direction.
He emphasized that this blend of real-life tension and storyline feud has the potential to captivate audiences and generate substantial interest and revenue for WWE. During the show, host Dave LaGreca highlighted NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov's promos as a refreshing example of authentic wrestling promos.
In response, Bully Ray cited the compelling dynamic between Rollins and Punk as a standout case where real emotions were palpable in their voices. "The reality of things like a Punk and a Seth Rollins and how you could hear it in their voice how things were very real, that's what people want to hear," explained Bully Ray.
"I thoroughly believe that the next evolution of wrestling should be very reality-based on all levels."
Real vs. Scripted: Fan Engagement
The exchange between Punk and Rollins, which teased a potential WrestleMania showdown, garnered significant attention and was seen as a blend of genuine animosity and scripted drama.
Bully Ray suggested that this mixture of real-life tension and storyline intrigue is what draws fans in and keeps them engaged. He also praised the recent exchange between Nia Jax and Becky Lynch on the same episode of "WWE Raw." In this instance, the two superstars incorporated real-life events into their feud, creating a sense of authenticity that resonated with the audience.
"When you hear real vitriol for one another, that sucks you in, and then you hear something that's canned or scripted, and you know now, we're getting [staged] pro wrestling," Bully Ray explained. "I thought Nia and Becky did a great job of taking something that really happened and making it feel real the other night." As WWE continues to offer a mix of reality and scripted storytelling with feuds like Rollins-Punk and Jax-Lynch, it raises the question of whether this trend will become more prevalent throughout the wrestling industry.
The combination of real emotions and compelling storytelling appears to be resonating with fans, making it a potential driving force in the future of professional wrestling.